Apart from being a wonderful vehicle for leisure and entertainment, they are a great way to commute because it is very affordable.
While Robert Pirsig's widely popular philosophical tome, "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance", was more about discovering the quality of life while taking a road trip on a motorcycle, Pirsig failed to note that there was zen in the actual building of the motorcycle itself. Whether you create a full chopper from the ground up with a custom kit, or simply add and replace parts on a stock bike, the satisfaction derived from the process of completing your road raring beauty may just reestablish what the quality of life is all about.
Custom bike kits offer full design personalization, even if all its parts come included in the kit. You can also use other parts and accessories acquired through other means; it's pretty much anything goes when building a custom bike from scratch. It's not as easy as the bike kit company will assure you, though; it's not a tub of Lego, after all.
Adding or replacing custom parts to a stock bike will be much easier than building one from scratch, although not as impressive to other bikers, and the resale value will obviously be much less. Still, either way, putting your own bike together is bound to be both pleasurable and challenging, and ultimately, zen.
You can't change the frame of your bike, which is why it is important to choose the best frame for you when buying your custom kit. What you can personalize instead is the appearance of your street fenders, gas tank, undertails and tire huggers. Some frames will only allow compatible street fenders and bodywork sets, but within each brand, different models are being developed and you can switch them around at will.
Another way to customize these basic parts is to have them painted in a design that fits your personality, and let the rest of your motorcycle accessories follow this style guide. There is also a wide range of decals and stickers to decorate your bike, with more innovative designs to choose from. While choosing, you should also look into protective stickers, such as tank and gas cap protectors, and traction pads which will not only enhance the look of your bike but keep its parts pretty.
Change the look of your bike by simpling replacing your handlebars or handlebar grips, mirrors, tires, wheels, exhaust, pedals, seats and luggage storage space. There are additional accessories for some of these parts; for instance, you can get caps for your mirrors or hard seat covers, to protect them while parking. Also choose a durable all-weather motorcycle cover to use to keep the elements at bay, even before you finish putting your bike together.
Once you complete your motorcycle, taking it out on the road is the next level of zen that you will experience. And then, perhaps a year or a few months later, you can start re-customizing your motorcycle all over again. You may find that working on your bike in the garage heightens the quality of life just as much as racing it on the highway.
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Written by : Reggie Andersen
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