How far should I go?

If you lack an understanding of how long tasks take, which order to complete them, or even the skills you have in your personal inventory, it can be difficult to decide how much work you want to take on. Indeed, you want to bite off enough for an engaging and interesting journey, but not so much that you burn out halfway through due to frustration or lack of progress.

Unfortunately, there is no perfect formula for calculating the right scope for your build. Everyone has their own tolerance for this type of project and with more experience, the better sense you’ll have for the effort it takes to complete various modifications.

For a first-time builder, a mix of variables will inform how much you should attempt to accomplish:

  • Existing and relevant skills
  • Willingness to learn additional skills
  • Tools, or access to them
  • Budget
  • Timeframe
  • The end goal for the motorcycle—Is it your daily rider? Is it a long-term project bike? How long can it be off the road?

If you’ve never turned a wrench in your life, perhaps don’t start with a full ground-up rebuild, unless you’re prepared to put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into the build. But you have a long mechanical resume and a great set of tools and equipment, such a build might be easy. A full build allows for more flexibility and may be essential depending on the type of changes you want to make.

To pick a scope of work you will feel comfortable with, you might need to take on a little less than you think you can ultimately do. This will help ensure the whole experience remains positive and you get the work completed. You can always revisit your bike to perform more complex work or find a new project to extend your skills later.

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