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need advice in building a bike

3740 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  DaveL
ok so im getting my first bike here in a few months and right now im planning on the sv650. however i am a huge tinkerer and love to figure out how things work and lately i've tossing around the idea of building my own bike. i might have a mechanic who will help walk me through the process and let me use his shop(i'll be paying him for his time). in any case my only issue is the cost.

im not going to be building anything extreme, it will be relatively basic and i will be making the fenders and gas tank myself(with an experienced guide showing me how so no worries there). basically the two biggest costs i've seen so far are the engine and the frame.

i'm not willing to make my own frame, i dont trust my welds to hold as much weight as the frame will be. so first off does anyone have any tips on getting a relatively inexpensive frame? so far im finding them for about $800 on up which isnt totally awful but its a good chunk of cash.

next off the engine. its been difficult for me to find engines, much less an engine that is cheaper than buying a whole used bike. any tips or advice there?

i'll be making the seat, fenders, gas tank, and other small parts myself. anything that is not too complicated im making and everything else im buying.

*note* i understand this is my first bike and i might end up hating riding. even if that does happen i am keeping the bike if i built it. generally the process of building and learning means more to me that the product. it will not seem like wasted money to me at all so dont worry about me "wasting my time/money" on building a bike. no matter the outcome i will be happy.

Thanks very much,
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
tyler: you may want to consider riding or a season or two so you have better idea what you do and do not want in your own machine.
vash: that would definitely be beneficial but i figure if i find something i wish was different on my bike ill just change it.

im actually considering buying a V-star and then just modifying that. i think it would be alot smarter and save me a ton of money.

used bike

just find a good used bike and decide wether you like riding or not. if you do, find a wrecked bike to rebuild or a good starter point of a bike
I think im gonna do just that with the v-star. good starting bike and good for customizing. cool..that was easy enough to figure out.

Tyler, it sounds like you're picking the wrong bike to do all the wrong things, and for all the wrong reasons. You may have some fun doing it and than again you may regret the whole project. In my shop I see tons of this stuff and in at least 90% of the cases the bikes are ruined in the process. The guys who engineered our bikes in the first place have done an pretty good job of getting things 'right' and when someone with no experience, no engineering background, little or no motorcycle exposure jumps right in and throws perfectly good components out the window and piles on useless and ill-advised artwork is usually in for a surprise. For the most part, the folks making a living butchering motorcycles have developed a style that is 99% looks and 1% function. When the emphasis is totally focused on the cosmetic you're guaranteed to be creating an abortion. When you're all through, you'll probably want to go out and buy a motorcycle you can actually ride again. I almost never see anyone undo the mess they've created. They just sell it to someone that doesn't know a motorcycle from a wheel borrow and start all over again. Like Vash says, it's a good idea to ride motorcycles for a while and learn what distinguishes a great bike from a lousy one.
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