Recommended books

If you’re looking for the ultimate custom motorcycle builder’s reference books, here are my favorites.

These are useful at various stages of your custom motorcycle build, so check out the list and see which ones meet your needs right now.

Easy

Motorcycle inspection checklist

I take this list with me when I look at a used bike. I’m never expecting a second hand bike to be flawless. But I’m looking for problems, and assessing “how much” it will take me to correct these problems – either with time or money.

7 Lessons

Easy

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Construct a timber build platform

So, you have got a head full of steam for your custom bike project and a  project bike lined up on eBay . What’s next?  Better knock out a build table!

Here’s one I built from hardware store lumber.  Nothing fancy.  A couple of hours in the shop. Note this one doesn’t have the shelf shown in the plans.  I added that later when I realised I had a lot of wasted space under the platform.

If you’re just getting started in DIY and custom motorcycles, then this simple project will have you practicing measuring and cutting accurately; skills that will come in handy in future projects.

Go ahead now and download and print the PDF files showing the parts you’ll need in the upcoming steps.

Intermediate

Plan your custom motorcycle build

Developing a plan for your build will help you get finished faster and cheaper.

But what does the plan need to include? And how do you put one together?

Follow our examples showing the use of free software tools to build a project plan. And use our templates to get started!

14 Lessons

Easy

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Sketch your custom mtorcycle

What's your custom motorcycle build going to look like? How do you get the picture in your head onto paper? How can you evaluation and compare design options you're weighing up?

Learn how to complete simple - but very useful - sketches on paper or digitally specifically for custom motorcycle projects.

This course is facilitated by Fraser Pyke, a qualified product design engineer and a custom bike builder himself. Follow Fraser's lessons to see how he builds the design sketches for his next project bike.

Even if you failed 8th grade art, Fraser will show you the steps to get ideas out of your head!

You'll finish up with a coloured design sketch you can use for inspiration, guidance and to communicate your requirements to your welder or painter. 

16 Lessons

Easy

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Basic Maintenance eBook

New to motorcycles? No problem! Check out this basics eBook!

Easy

Hand tool school

Get aquainted with the essential tools you'll need for any motorcycle maintenance or custom work!

I'll tell you exactly which ones you need to buy - and why - so you're ready to tackle your next job.

25 Lessons

Easy

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Metalshaping prerequisites

Check out the tools (some of which you can make yourself!) if you want to create shapes like fenders and gas tanks from flat sheet metal!

8 Lessons

Easy

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Electrical fundamentals

If electrical systems scare you, work through our fundamentals first! 

You'll learn basic terms and concepts that underpin all the electrical modications or repairs you might want to carry out on your bike!

7 Lessons

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Torque

What is torque? And why is it important? We'll limit this discussion (and the free download) to torque applied to nuts and bolts, which is important to ensure that engine you've just assembed doesn't fall apart!  

Easy

Limits & fits

Here is a technical concept that might be of interest. "Fits and Limits" refers to the ability to make two (or more) individual parts fit and work together as intended. This is of most interest when you are making precision custom parts, or swapping parts onto your custom motorcycle project.

Intermediate

Welding fundamentals

Fundamental Welding Knowledge  will give you a basic overview of common welding processes, plus give you the knowledge to run your first TIG weld! 

19 Lessons

Easy

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How to metalshape a custom fender

Sure, you can buy a fender, but why not learn some new skills and beat one out of a flat sheet of metal! 

This training video will demonstrate the basic skills to create a fender using easily-accessible hand tools.

Intermediate

Welding Cast Aluminum

I had a cracked engine mount bolted to the case of this old Harley Davidson engine. To remove it requires splitting the cases. Are we going to do that? No way! We weld it insitu! 

Check out my specific process for welding cast aluminum to learn the steps. 

Advanced

Fabricating a luggage rack

I needed a luggage rack for an upcoming camping trip. Follow my design and fabrication process in lots of detail! Use this approach for sissy bars, fender struts and similar fabrication jobs on your own project bike!

3 Lessons

Intermediate

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Making metal motorcycle parts

Making metal motorcycle parts  is the fundamental course to teach you basic skills to work with metal. We start from a zero base, and take you to the stage of building some simple functional shop tools and motorcycle parts.

This course consists of 35 video lessons stretching to just over six hours.

Scroll down to see the lessons within the course.

24 Lessons

Easy

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Fabricating a custom gas tank

I fabricated this tank out of a sheet of 2mm 5005 Aluminium. 

Check out all the steps from concept, design, fabricating a buck, layout of the parts, shaping, welding and finishing.

This course is 107 minutes watch time, so settle in and pick up some tips and tricks!

12 Lessons

Advanced

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How to paint a motorcycle tank

Who says you can't paint some (or all) of your motorcycle project in your home shop with aerosol paint?

11 Lessons

Easy

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