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I need a winter project....I have to tinker with something or I will go nuts. I thought about buying an older crusier and building a bobber out of it, then I came across the idea of a kit bike. Of course I found one I fell in love with, well the look and style anyways.


Have any of you tried one of these? How do you know what they will feel or ride like when they are done? Do I need specialized tools, or will a metric and standard toolset, an air compressor and a torque wrench suffice? Are these things worth the effort, or are they a death trap, or worth pennies on the dollar when it is complete? I am usually pretty particular with how things are done, so just doing a half-a$$ job is not good enough for me.


Here is the one that caught my eye...now I am just trying to figure out how to afford it...


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Sell the k12ooS and join the harly web site.

There are so many unloved rusting hulks of the /2 variety that need need restoration and will be so much more a superior ride than you first choice when finished. bncry.gif

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It can be done, a donor bike for the major bits would, IMHO, be the way to go. I think it would be hard to do it "right" as a winter project in your basement although I have done so. Bike needs to be built twice. Preliminary build on the raw chassis in which you get the various brackets and things like axle spacers, wheels, hose routing and wiring harness right. Then down it all comes for paint, powder coating and chrome, building it back up whilst re-tapping all the holes and kicking and prying stuff back into position.


At the end, it probably won't be worth what you have in it. If you want to go into the custom chopper business you might make out. You will need some tools that are not in the average garage. A Tig or Mig welder, a good sized belt sander for shaping brackets, small machine work can be farmed out to a local job shop and you will need their services for making spacers, bungs for those seat and oil bag mounts. You can probably buy most of this stuff if you are familiar with the various sources but oftentimes it is easier to just make what you need.


Getting the look you pictured will depend on which bike you select for a donor. A wrecked Super Glide or the like, too many options here. You can get complete front ends off the shelf, the rear wheel will be the tough spot as most of these bikes wind up with chain drive rather than belt and getting the sprocket in proper alignment is critical. It ain't as easy as they make it look on TV.

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Do I need specialized tools, or will a metric and standard toolset, an air compressor and a torque wrench suffice?


Um, I think it's like IKEA. All you will need is a hex wrench and a illustrated assembly sheet. wave.gif

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Of course you love you S.

Is that kit one of those 250 wanna be things? I saw something recently in a motomag that seemed like that.

Tool wise metric probably. Air compressor only for tires unless you paint too.

It may prove to be a money pit...wait until your beloved 'S' needs work and you'll know what is meant by money pit!

Projects always seem to get worse as you go. Ask Dave Edwards of the motomag fame who has waxed poetic on the demise of his wallet on random acts of love with motorcycles.

Caveat Emptor! dopeslap.gif

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Greg: I built a Cobra car kit a few years back and as complicated as it was, the most specialized tools I needed were a welder, an engine lift, and a pneumatic riveter. And I only need the welder because I made some modifications. You won't need much in the way of tools to build the bike.


A couple of years ago I decided I wanted to build a custom HD powered cafe bike. I called a lot of frame builders, and many were interested, but too busy building 300mm bar hopper frames. I also talked to Steve Storz about building one of his excllent Sportster based flat track replicas, but it was easily $25k, which was more than it was worth to me. Then the XL1200N came along and I liked its looks, plus it was less than 1/2 the cost of building a custom bike.





One tip: not all Harley kit manufacturers make equal quality stuff. Some are great and some are junk.

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Better check into how the bike will be registered and if a smog, noise or emissions check is needed. The kit bike should come with a "certificate of origin" and in the case of Ca, the bike will be known as "special construction". Many insurance companies won't insure such vehicles.

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it looks like you are lusting after a shovelhead. buy a wrecked soft tail, and build you a bike. the soft tail has the counter balanced motor. no vibration. the other harleys use the standard motor -- rubber mounted. not as good.

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Don't let the title/insurance scare you off -- as long as you're dealing with a reputable company, you'll get the MSOs you need to title it and plenty of insurance companies these days do insure special construction bikes. If you're worried, ask around before you purchase the kit.


It won't be worth what you put into it, but you'll have a bike you built/assembled yourself and that's something. If it's going to be worth the effort, you're going to have to enjoy the build (twice, like Ed said). Otherwise, pick up a shovelhead for half the price.

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