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  #1  
Old 27th October 2016
Walley39 Walley39 is offline
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Talking First Chopper, where to start?

Hi Guys

I have just brought my first bike a 2001 XLH 883 Sportster. I am planning to slowly turn it into a custom chopper but as I cannot afford it all at once I wondered where would be the best place to start from personal experiences?

I will most likely start with a stage 1 upgrade but am not sure where to go from there.

I would massively appreciate any tips or feedback from anyone that has gone through the process.

Cheers
Walley
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  #2  
Old 27th October 2016
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Flame__ Flame__ is offline
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Walley, welcome to the forum! Custom chopper is wipe open to interpretation. Look through the bike of the week pictures, and the project section to find inspiration for direction

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  #3  
Old 27th October 2016
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Graywolf Graywolf is offline
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2001 when I bought it about 15 years ago.



Same 2001 now.




First things to take care of if you plan to ride it while you are working on it is the mechanical stuff. Get it running good and check everything for wear, leaks, cracks, anything that needs fixing.
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  #4  
Old 30th January 2017
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BILLETPROOF BILLETPROOF is offline
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I agree with Graywolf. Get the important stuff sorted out so she's reliable. After that, I would certainly put together a plan of attack. It will keep you on track and certainly save you some money in the long run. If you can draw, sketch out what you think she'll look like when it's done. If you can't, start clipping pictures of bikes that inspire you. There are a lot of things you can do, with very little money, that drastically changes the look. Best of luck; the project is often more fun than riding it.
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  #5  
Old 30th January 2017
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StickFSMC StickFSMC is offline
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A Chopper build can be anything from Mild to Wild!

The essence of a Chopper is to take an existing bike, chop off the things you don't want, then add in the things you do want.

That can be as simple as intake/exhaust, a seat, and new mirrors. Or it can be as drastic as something like mine where the only Harley parts left of the stock bike are the engine/trans, and even they were changed once when I blew the motor. Well, maybe the rear brakes as well.



Where you take your bike is all up to you. As has been mentioned, make sure you have a good, reliable bike first, then start making your modifications. If it all works, Great! If not, you'll know it's one of your mods that is causing the trouble, and it should be easy to track down.

If you want something wild, be prepared to pay good money unless you have fabrications skills. Full custom is not cheap, unless you do the work yourself. Even then, it can become a money pit if you're not careful.

I know I will never get the money I spent on my bike back out of it. But I did it as a labor of love and an expression of my dreams/desires. I hope to never be in such dire straights that I would have to sell it. There's just too much of "ME" in that bike. I personally fabricated all the custom, one off parts on my bike. I also took some old vintage parts and modified those to make them work. I was also able to buy some off the shelf items like the frame, and track down others that were off the shelf +45 years ago, but are now hard to come by.

Do you have any ideas what direction you want to take your bike?
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  #6  
Old 30th January 2017
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The Crusher The Crusher is offline
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First place to start is an honest assessment of your mechanical ability. After that it's just taste and money.
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  #7  
Old 24th March 2017
Ras.milling Ras.milling is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walley39 View Post
I will most likely start with a stage 1 upgrade but am not sure where to go from there
Well, i would lower the rear end either with short shocks or hardtail struts. A slim looking seat or solo seat. Apehangers and a good looking paint job.

Then you are on the right path
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  #8  
Old 24th March 2017
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jharback jharback is offline
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As others have said, get the bike mechanically sound first. You can than change the bike in sections, i.e., front end, wheels, rear end, tins, etc.

Here's a pic of mine after I did the front end.



And here it is two years later pretty much completed:



But the most important thing is to have a very good idea of where you want to end up. Else, you'll end up wasting money, with the constant changing of parts.
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  #9  
Old 7th April 2017
kayakguy kayakguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jharback View Post
As others have said, get the bike mechanically sound first. You can than change the bike in sections, i.e., front end, wheels, rear end, tins, etc.

Here's a pic of mine after I did the front end.



And here it is two years later pretty much completed:



But the most important thing is to have a very good idea of where you want to end up. Else, you'll end up wasting money, with the constant changing of parts.
Very nice! Tell me about the frame please.
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  #10  
Old 8th April 2017
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jharback jharback is offline
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It's a Road6Custom welded on 3" extended hardtail. No modifications to the neck. The girder front end has a 3 degree rake.

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Last edited by jharback; 8th April 2017 at 16:17..
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