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View Full Version : Let's talk Harley's....



Bob
08-09-2010, 08:53 PM
I've been thinking about possibly putting together a Harley..on the cheap. I'm just starting to think about it but was thinking of buying parts piece by piece until it was done. It doesn't even have to be a 100% HD. I'd be happy with an aftermarket frame and a HD motor. I just have a few questions...
1. Anyone ever do this?
2. What year and size motors should I look for and avoid?
3. Any local places I should be looking at for cheap used parts? I already started searching on Craigslist.

telecast
08-09-2010, 09:30 PM
Bikes are cheaper than parts. It's going to be tough to build a HD out of parts 'on the cheap'.

Better off to find an older bike in poor shape, strip it, part out what you don't want and keep what you need.

Bob
08-09-2010, 09:37 PM
Bikes are cheaper than parts. It's going to be tough to build a HD out of parts 'on the cheap'.

Better off to find an older bike in poor shape, strip it, part out what you don't want and keep what you need.

It'll probably just take a long time. I was talking to a guy on another forum that built his bike for under $3000. But it took a while. I'm in no hurry for sure. I was also thinking of trying to find a wrecked bike and go from there. Maybe even a bent frame and just get a new hard tail frame for it or something.

junkyardjon
08-09-2010, 11:54 PM
what kinda engine and so forth?

RoadZombie
08-10-2010, 03:01 AM
If you're going with a stock H-D engine, definitely go with an EVO motor for sure. Standard "Big Twin" from 1984-1999 if I remember correctly. TwinCam engines are good too (some gear train issues on earlier models, squared away after 2006 though), but will most likely be more expensive. The aftermarket for the EVO is HUUUUUGE as well. Hell, most of your semi-custom choppers (Big Dog, Redneck Engineering, etc.) still run aftermarket engines (S&S, RevTech, etc.) based on the H-D EVO.

Regardless, sounds like a fun project! I'm wanting to do a custom metric chopper eventually...either something along the lines of a 70's Honda 750 chopper, that or a cafe'd out 60's or 70's British bike...or Yamaha XS650 if I can't get ahold of a Triumph/Norton/BSA engine and frame.

zamochit
08-10-2010, 08:10 PM
Bob, as you know I am building such a bike right now. I said I would build it with no hurry, but once you start you can't stop buying parts.

I went with the EVO, because it was a very dependable motor and there are quite a few out there. I would have rather went with one of the shoveheads I had tho.

If I was to build another I would do as mentioned above and purchase a donor bike. Its the cheapest way to build one. I will only have around $6000 in my bike when its done, but I could have bought a sportster and a rigid frame for under $4000.

I enjoy building it so much that I don't even care if I ride it much. I'll probably start building another as soon as I'm done.

MEN BUILD THERE OWN

Chris300s
08-10-2010, 08:34 PM
It's a buyers market out there (just ask anyone who's labored listing a bike on CL). The upside for us is that the possibilities are endless. Every week I see great deals on Sporty's, BT's, Triumphs, XS650's, even a couple of Norton's.
I agree with what everyone else is saying, buy a donor bike. Buying it a piece at a time will end up costing you more.
I myself have two competing thoughts right now; an FLH with hard bags and no fairings - or - a rigid Sporty/Triumph with an HD springer up front. I don't need another project, but I want one....

horrorbusiness
08-10-2010, 09:27 PM
I would look for a clear title damaged bike. I preffer the twin cam, my fatboy with just a couple of tweaks runs better than a few evos with some work done to them. Everything I have read the bottom ends are damm near bullet proof.

junkyardjon
08-10-2010, 11:52 PM
If you're going with a stock H-D engine, definitely go with an EVO motor for sure. Standard "Big Twin" from 1984-1999 if I remember correctly. TwinCam engines are good too (some gear train issues on earlier models, squared away after 2006 though), but will most likely be more expensive. The aftermarket for the EVO is HUUUUUGE as well. Hell, most of your semi-custom choppers (Big Dog, Redneck Engineering, etc.) still run aftermarket engines (S&S, RevTech, etc.) based on the H-D EVO.

Regardless, sounds like a fun project! I'm wanting to do a custom metric chopper eventually...either something along the lines of a 70's Honda 750 chopper, that or a cafe'd out 60's or 70's British bike...or Yamaha XS650 if I can't get ahold of a Triumph/Norton/BSA engine and frame.

if you wanna build a 70's 750 honda, give me a shout. i'll hook you up

telecast
08-15-2010, 09:28 AM
an FLH with hard bags and no fairings

A Road King Standard? Heck, you can buy one of those! Why look, there's one in the picture below....

If you go that way, put the quick release stuff on the forks. It's damn near invisible but lets you add a shield or fairing for a longer ride.