Mocking up the build

At this point in your build, you’ve probably achieved the following; 

  • Stripped the bike of any unnecessary systems 
  • Made sure that systems are part you are keeping work as expected, or if not, you have a clear plan what needs to be done to get them working 
  • Cleaned, re-built or refreshed any systems or parts that you are keeping if applicable at this stage 
  • Bought new parts for you bike 
  • Removed any unwanted tabs or brackets from your bike 
  • Fabricated any new components, perhaps an electrical tray, a hoop or new brackets or fixing points for new parts 

All in all, the physical elements of your bike should now be decided and you have them all at hand, even if that means some things are still in boxes.  

It's tempting at this stage to dismantle the bike into pieces and start the rewarding tasks of making everything bright and shiny through polish and paint. However (and particularly if you have made extensive changes) it makes sense to assemble as much of the bike as possible at this stage and if possible, even test ride it. 

This allows you to find all the fitment and assembly issues and make any changes to parts BEFORE they are nice and shiny.  

You will be surprised how often when making a part in isolation it fits really well, or you can access the fixing points easily, but then when for example a fender is bolted on, or the seat is fitted, issues with clearance and access appear. Or the way you planned to slide on the new seat you made won’t work now because with the rear cowl is fitted it gets in the way. 

Sometimes existing fixings, such as bolts that hold the engine in, may no longer accessible or they can’t come all the way out because a new tab or bracket is in the way. Or perhaps you made a new front fender without the front wheel in, and now you can’t access the bolts, or put the fender on with the wheel in. Or you have missed making a new bracket entirely! 

This is why the extra time spent to put all these new parts on the bike is worth it. 

Obviously, you only need to worry about this on areas of the bike where things have been changed. If you haven’t been anywhere the front end, no need to make sure you can get the front wheel in and out! 

With all the physical parts in place, it will also allow a great understanding of what room you have or paths are available for any new wiring that you might need to add.