Custom or Factory – It’s All About Options!


What’s not to love about a motorcycle?  Freedom in it’s truest form for some of us.  Like the popular phrase says” If you know…you KNOW”. Some folks get it, some folks don’t, and that’s just fine, it takes all kinds. We’re going to offer this information so that you can make an informed decision about what direction you’d like to take when it comes to what you’re going to ride and how it’s going to look.

Motorcycles can be a unique way to express ourselves and we personalize them in every aspect.  For some this means custom paint, engravings and custom seats.  Americans spend millions on products that give their bikes that extra personal touch.  This means a variety of products never seen before on the market, and thanks to the internet we have unprecedented access to them.  We can now order something from the other side of the globe and it’ll be on our porch by the end of the week or month, depending on your shipping choice.  Women are also flocking to riding in record numbers with the with the relax of societal norms that began in the 60’s and is still evolving.  It’s easier today to ride up on a motorcycle and be treated like a normal citizen instead of a felon, than it was even 30 years ago.  So what does that mean for you the consumer?   It means you can now have access to vendors that will sell you anything from an engraved instrument panel to large plastic eyelashes for you headlight.

When you mention the word “custom” and “motorcycle” in the same sentence you automatically see dollar signs.  This is correct in the popular understanding, but this doesn’t always have to be so. You can start with the standard factory bike, no matter the make, and go from there.  By now we’ve all heard of  Jesse James, owner of West Coast Choppers who has been passionate about motorcycles since he was seven years old. He has customized motorcycles for many celebrities including Shaquille O’Neal, Kid Rock, and Kyle Petty. The bikes range in price from $50,000 to $150,000.  Arlen Ness rose to fame by offering his unique mix of frame style and paint schemes. Getting a bike from either James or Ness is not an option for most of us.  You may not be able to afford the whole bike but you can purchase interchangeable parts from the Ness online site like mirrors, fairings and fender strut covers. West Coast Choppers doesn’t offer as many pieces but those are just two bike builders. One quick Google search will yield dozens more, less known builders.

That’s the key to truly making the bike yours and letting it say whatever you want others to know about you.  If it can be swapped out, swap it!  You can have your bike lowered, change the handle bars and get a different seat. Most every single piece of chrome can be engraved or styled to riders request. This can be a much more wallet friendly option than setting your sites on a custom built bike.  Our bikes are basically projects in constant motion.  No matter how much we do to our bikes there always seem to be just one more thing.

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