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How do I start a motorcycle customization/modification

694 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  adlowe
How do I start Doing Motorcycle Customization/Modification?

Hi, I am new to this forum. I am 20 years old and if theres one thing I love to do its ride motorcycles. I got a 2002 honda shadow 600 vlx. My bikes not perfect, some days it won't start, sometimes it leaks, and it may be beat up looking. But at the end of the day its my piece of crap and I love it to death.

Not only do I love to ride, I would also really start loving to dabble in custom/modification work. I have no experience in welding or any of the necessary skills required to making beautiful custom motorcycles.

Basically I want to be able to strip my bike down and put it together with no issue and comfort. I want to be able to paint the frame, make custom welds, and hardware changes to the bike (to hard tail my bike, things of that nature). Also learning how to do nice paint jobs all in the space of my garage. No rattle-can dingy work (which is the level I am at right now lol).

I want to be able to have my bike running in tip top condition and be able to identify problems. Now some of the work i've seen on this forum alone blew my mind. Some of the custom work I have seen on this website alone or on popular instagram pages really inspired me to start getting into this hobby.

Where do I start? Do I buy a welding rig? Do I just practice? Is there any books I can buy to start learning? I figured i could come on here and get some insight from some of the greats. What can this young guy do to get started?

I don't mind putting my bike out of commission for months at a time to build something truly unique and spectacular.

Thanks, Oz - new member and new rider.
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Basically I want to be able to strip my bike down and put it together with no issue and comfort.
What are you, a masochist? Most of us want to avoid discomfort. :mrgreen:

Anyway, start with a plan. Build the plan as acquiring knowledge, skills and tools in stages. Leave welding bikes for later though you can acquire a welder for learning and practice whenever space and money allow.

You say you don't know much about building bikes? Start by getting the one you have running like a champion. Not extra horsepower, just running the way Honda intended. (No matter how beautiful a creation you ultimately build, if it doesn't run worth a crap then it's just yard art.) Then move on to appearance. Get your bike looking beautiful. Not exotic. Maybe not even fancy. Better than a piece of crap. (Your words, not mine.)

When you're done with your bike, buy another. Maybe some barn find or a garage queen covered in dust. Make it better than the bike you have now. Sell it or trade it then do it again. And again. Each time, look for new challenges that provide opportunities to learn something new. Buy new tools for each project.

When you've gone through a couple, maybe even half a dozen, then your plan should have you thinking about the exotic creations of your dreams. Maybe you've taken a couple of classes at a local community college along the way that will make it even easier to create those beasts. Or maybe you're dedicated to learning everything "the hard way" because you're much more of a hands-on learner. Doesn't matter because you've built that into your plan. But it all begins with a plan.

Good luck!
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