When Did Custom Become a Four-letter Word?

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February 25, 2011 | By: J&P Cycles

One of the most common questions we get around here sounds like this: “Is this thing going to be an exact fit for my bike?” Or, “Hey, is this thing plug-and-play?” And if we reply to the negative, a lot of folks immediately lose interest. They don’t want to mess with it. For most of us who like to fiddle with our bikes, at least half the parts were originally meant to fit something else.

But you know what? If you switch this or move that, most parts are going to fit just fine on your bike. After all, custom means one of a kind, or made to fit. It also means you’ve put your heart and soul into it.

For those of you who ride Harley-Davidson motorcycles, one of the biggest benefits is the painstaking effort you put into displaying your own personality and character through your rides. A few of us were standing outside a watering hole the other night and parked right outside the front door were three identical black Street Glides. This trio of bikes was alike all the way down to the choice of exhaust system. Makes you wonder how they knew which one was theirs when they departed the tavern.

Think about it this way: You show up to work and there’s your buddy wearing the same T-shirt you’ve got on. Does this make you happy? Of course not! Somebody’s going to mistake you for a boy band so you immediately return that shirt to the bottom of the pile when you get home. Or maybe even the dumpster.

We’re not saying to quit buying bike parts just because someone else is rocking them on their bike. Just don’t discard out of hand the idea of adding that new custom dash, tach, handlebars, just because you think the install is too difficult or might take too long. Have you ever thought of trading around some labor? Maybe you’re really good at building cabinets and your friend is a welder. Swap out jobs. Build him some drawers for his garage and maybe he’ll weld all the tabs on your custom frame for you. All you need is some patience, an imagination and a couple of talented friends who are willing to trade skill sets. The benefit is a bike that will stand out from the crowd.

Comments: 1 Comment | Categorized Under: Custom Bikes

Comments (1)

Makin’ stuff work in a new or different way on your scooter is what bikin’ is all about! It’s supposed to be fun and you are supposed to be creative, be different and original. We did it years ago just because we could! Don’t just stand back and throw money at your bike, get your hands dirty. You might be suprised at what you learn, not to mention the cash you’ll save!

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