Don’t Go Broke Building Your First Custom HarleyAfter winning Easyriders Magazine Crafty Custom motorcycle of the year, Mike Toupin of Chopper Design Group has enjoyed an influx of traffic to his shop in La Habra California. While almost all of these new customers were there for either a new sexy paint job or starting a new custom build, there were a few who were willing to pay Mike for tips on how to build their own custom Harley.
While most of the information Mike imparted to those new to building a custom Harley motorcycle is probably commonplace to most old school motorcyclists, the idea alone that it was possible to actually build a custom Harley while saving thousands of dollars excited me, even though it had later occurred to me that I went with Mike on a few parts runs when he was building my first custom bike.
“The most important thing I always do is before I start looking for parts, is get an idea of what I want to build, and I try to stay flexible, especially if I am on a tight budget like I was when I was building the “Bobb-It”” Said Mike.
Being a “Real” old school custom Harley builder, Mike Toupin has truly paid his dues when it comes to building custom show quality Harley motorcycles on a budget. “I always look for parts at motorcycle shows and swap meets before I shell out cash” says Mike. “Why blow money you will defiantly need for important things like a frame, motor, and paint when you can always get them cheaper at bike shows and at the bike swap meet!”
Most of the parts you need can be found either at motorcycle swap meets, or by trading with friends. Billet parts that used to cost an arm and leg are now mostly nickel and dime stuff. I saw other parts like new BDL drive belt assemblies going for around 800 dollars, and brake calipers for as little as $35.00 each, of course you might have to spend some money on getting them polished, but anyway you look at it, you are still saving serious cash!
The core of your build is your frame, motor, moldings, and of course paint so if you are willing to be patient, you can easily get the rest of your parts and accessories together while shaving around $5,000.00 off of your total build cost. You may even be able to make straight trades for some of those parts you have gathering dust in your garage for things you actually need for your current build.
Bike shows and motorcycle swap meets are a Harley builder’s friend, and should you even become the victim of a motorcycle accident Motorcycle accident lawyer Russ Brown is there for you as well!