by Chris Callen and Cycle Source
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Custom Bike Building Basics is the basic bible that at-home builders need to build and modify their own motorcycle. Before you can build that dream bike, you need a place to work and a set of tools to work with.
Chapter One covers these topics and more, including the need for a quality compressor and a decent motorcycle lift. Home-built bikes and their components are built from steel, so Working with Steel, and Welding steel, are two essential topics.
Cycle Source and Chris Callen start with how to buy the right steel and move on to setting up the welder and doing your first welds. Grass roots bikes are often built using a “donor bike” as the foundation and source for the majority of parts.
Chapters Four and Five offer tips on choosing the best donor bike, and scrounging the swap meets for the things that didn’t come along with that bike. Once you have most of the parts, you still need to Create a Plan. Chris suggests you put it all down on paper, whether it’s just a notebook of ideas or an elaborate sketch of the dream bike. With a plan and most of the parts, it’s time to Build a Roller.
This could also be called the Need for a Mock-Up chapter. This is a chance to see how things fit together in the real world, what might be needed for wheel spacers, and exactly how the fenders should mount. Fender fitment brings up the next major topic in this new Bike Building Basics manual – Sheet Metal Fabrication.
In addition to sheet metal, anyone who plans to build a bike will need to build everything from engine mounts to handle bars, topics covered in Chapters Nine and Ten. The final topics are two that most of us find very intimidating: Upholstery and Wiring. With one chapter on each Topic, the mystery and fear are eliminated.
Simple leather work is not rocket science. And basic wiring, especially for a bike without turn signals or electric start, is likewise a pretty straightforward operation – especially with the help of a good how-to chapter on each topic. New from Wolfgang Publications and Cycle Source Magazine, Custom Bike Building Basics is the one book you need before you tear into that donor bike and begin the process of creating your own motorcycle.
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