Fundamental question before buying a motorcycle
Before buying a garment, you probably think, “What am I going to use it for? It’s not the same to buy a suit to go to work than a sweatshirt to train. The same thing happens with motorcycles, it’s important to answer the question: What is the use I’m going to make of the bike? The WHAT: to have fun on weekends, to go to work or move around the city, etc. depending on the case, you will know whether or not a custom bike will be the best option.
Another important question is: Will you ride the bike alone or with a companion?
What kind of biker are you?
Have you ever driven a big motorcycle before? If the answer is no! you are a beginner, but if you have already rode a custom bike you are an expert.
Try not to underestimate your ability and go step by step, with time you can be an expert and improve the riding of the bike you ride.
Before buying a bike, start by choosing one that makes you feel safe and comfortable when you ride, it should be light and not too high, as the phrase “put your feet on the ground” says, the same happens with the bike, choose the one that allows you to put both feet on the ground, you will increase your confidence and safety.
Back to the example of clothing, when you buy a sweatshirt has to fit your size, the same happens with the bike, most have a standard size but there are exceptions, and depending on your height will be good to take into account the exceptions.
Imagine you’re on the bike and it’s big or small, in either case you won’t be comfortable or safe, choose a bike that fits your body size.
CUSTOM MOTORCYCLE TYPES
Cruiser motorbikes are the mile-eaters par excellence in the custom segment, you probably have the image of a motorcyclist driving this type of bikes through endless straights, the driver’s feet are leaning forward and the arms are extended upwards. They are known in the world of motorcycles for their general ease in driving, as the usually massive engine allows flexible driving, tones of torque sparing a lot of gear shift.
The seat is low allowing you to rest your feet comfortably on the ground when needed. The harmonized engine for low speed power facilitates clutch/ accelerator coordination with a little bit of training. Something like a 2-wheel luxury tractor.
Hey, if you prefer a more sporty, less exclusive and “less metal” feel, you can look for a jewel from the ’90s called Yamaha V-Max. With 145CV it is not suitable for all public, in its glory days it holded the acceleration record for street motorcycles, probably too out of the concept to be a cruiser for purists.
If you share the Harley way of life you will prefer an exclusive but expensive softail, something like a real carriage with 2 thick wheels. Here we meet the travel comfort segment, probably facing Route 66 (the Mother Road that attracts hundreds of Badtoros each year for touring it). Welcome to the Power Cruiser.
Power Cruisers differ from Cruisers by having higher power levels. They include improved brakes and suspensions, with high quality finishing. This power cruiser segment has an even more specific extension; the dresser or bagger.
The dresser/bagger owes its name (jocular) to the fact of carrying suitcases, bags, saddlebags or other accessories for the transport of clothes or luggage. You have probably seen a custom style motorcycle with leather bags on the sides decorated with fringes… Well, that was a custom in bagger trend…
It is common to see power cruisers with fine chromework and airbrush-art. They are perfect bikes to ride calmly on the road and cause astonishment once parked.
These are lower motorcycles and an attempt is made to lengthen the distance between the wheels. You can distinguish a Bobber at a glance because it usually removes all excessive bodywork, eliminates the front mudguard and reduces the rear. Known for its retro air or rather “vintage”, the bobber is the type of bike that most people decide to leave on their side because it has a single-seater spring seat. Renowned for the thickness of its front and rear tires, some have a white strip to visually emphasize the style of the tire. The chrome parts are replaced by other painted parts, such as the engine parts, the tank, mudguards, etc. is painted matte. Some details can be appreciated in this type of motorcycles as smaller fuel tanks and short exhaust pipe.
The most famous style of custom motorcycles appeared on the market years ago and is here to stay. You can differentiate them from the rest by their elongated fork with a steep inclination, the “let’s hang” handlebars and the long chassis. They eliminate or reduce most of the possible elements such as covers, tanks, mirrors or even brakes. They are customised with different designs and colours and stand out for their creative style.
If you seek to differentiate yourself with this motorcycle style you will be the focus of your neighbors. The Rat Bike maintain the style of the Cruiser or Naked bikes, however, the concept of this bike is to leave it as it is, which means no money spent on it, only spare parts are used that do not mean any budget. The aesthetics of this type of motorcycles is not important because any piece is replaceable by some piece of junk that can serve: a plastic drum, a piece, a rusty cable, etc.. The only thing you add to it with money is fuel. It has a particular smell and colour, if your budget is zero. You have found the perfect bike!
You rarely find these motorcycles on the street, they are usually designed for contests. They are a kind of showcase for brands to advertise: show their designs and parts; leaving everyone speechless.
A very questionable category among American-style motorcycles. Although we include it because of the high degree of personalization that they may have.
There is an obvious inspiration from (vintage) racing, these cafe racer really demand another rhythm despite looking old… Of course, with a lot of style.
The driver’s position is tilted and reclined face down. The remarkable difference of these bikes is their semi-handlebars in low position, has a single-seat tail at the same height as the fuel tank, trumpet style exhaust and multi-tubular or cradle chassis. They look like a race bike. Another motorcycle kind that leaves the passenger at home for having the single seat.
Again only included for customization reasons, since this style is very related to Europe/Asia taste and base models for the transformation.
Still if you are interested in this fierce-looking custom bikes, you will be happy that Harley Davidson did notice this segment and built Buell in purpose. So basically these latter are aggressively lighter street-racing Harleys.
The urban motorcycle that will make the pavement vibrate with a unique appearance, you will recognize it for having mixed or polyvalent tires, cradle chassis and single-seater tail. They are commonly understood as the road twins for mixed track-oriented scrambler family.
That explains the usual mistake confusing trackers with scramblers: if you see a multitrack tyre on a tracker bike, this is a scrambler bike.
Here is the bike that will make you leave home and enjoy a ride on the mountain or winding terrain with differences in level. The Scrambler is prepared for this type of road by featuring studded tires, small fuel tank, padded seat, and a high and side exhaust system.
Many scramblers end up adopting a look between military and adventurer, something that many eyes would situate in the middle of the last century. If you fancy vintage adventure, these are an option to consider.
Synonymous with acceleration. It combines low chassis with flat handlebars, uniform seat and low height. The driver goes in an almost lyed down position, the Drag Style bikes are a crazy mix between acceleration and track bike. The enormous width of the rear wheel, essential in the track dragster, can be seen on a more rational scale in some street customizations… Truth is that engineering apart, it looks phenomenal!
Now that you know how to choose the best custom bike is time to enjoy the road and get the most out of the engine displacement. Here’s the BadToro phrase of the month: Valentino Rossi.