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  #1  
Old 20-07-2006, 07:18 AM
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Friar Tuck Friar Tuck is offline
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Default Kit Bikes!

As I have posted elsewhere here, I am struggling to come to terms with this 'kit bike' philosphy.

I Have strongly objected to these in the past, as being 'Uncreative'. The only concession to creativity being choice of paintwork. Otherwise, prices for these machines being wopping big figures of £18 grand plus!

Also, what are these bikes named exactly? Are they registered as a Harley? Bearing in mind that if all these 'kit bike' parts are supplied brand new, from the one catalogue to make the bike up, then it should have a proper registration no. and not a Q plate. If they are then reg'd as a 'Harley', then shouldn't Harley Davidson get stroppy and sue for TM infringement? Like they have done in the past?

If they are re'gd as a Harley, then does that fcuk up the insurance as being a 'modified, bike? Even if it is brand new?

So with all these points in mind I have objected to 'Kit bikes': to sum up:

Low Creativity.
Overpriced
Non-Identity
High Insurance
Not to mention a Quality issue! (build quality is down to the individual, I'm talking manufactured build quality like to ISO9000 standards).

So why then why do I not object to 'kit cars'? Which in real terms are more prone to being lashed up than a 'kit bike'? Is it because kit cars have been around longer and therefore more accepted by the public in general. Ebay is littered with 'unfinished' projects.

I mean kit cars are just as nasty to build, cheaper to build (just, but is it really?) relies on dubious donor vehicles, and if anything more dangerous to drive if not put together right, even if they have got SVA, MOT etc. Whereas Kit Bikes will probably have been assembled with far greater care!

I have crossed sticks with Blue on this on a number of occassions on this and Chopshop built bikes. But like I have said, I'm struggling to come to terms with this 'kit bike' philosophy!

Maybe it's because kit bikes are a relatively new concept in the custom scene, and people are still struggling to come to terms with the idea like what I am going through at the moment. A bit like the old Brit attitude of the '60's when jap bikes first arrived on these shores:- "Huh! Bloody Jap Crap! Won't last!" Oh yes they did! Maybe this will happen to the Custom Scene? As Peeps wanting to have an 'individual' bike but can't be arsed to go through the pain of having the bike sva'd etc, so will end up going to individual bike builders, that seem to be sprouting up offering builds of these Kit bikes, rather than the one-off chopshop custom builders.

Over to you lot!
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Last edited by Friar Tuck; 20-07-2006 at 07:23 AM.
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Old 20-07-2006, 07:30 AM
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Take two cars side by side
One's an AC Cobra through and through
The other's a very well put together, home built, V8 Rover Cobra kit car

Which one do you want ?
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Old 20-07-2006, 08:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freak
Take two cars side by side
One's an AC Cobra through and through
The other's a very well put together, home built, V8 Rover Cobra kit car

Which one do you want ?
neither.

i'll have a de-tomaso Pantera please



so bit like putting a standard harley next to a well put together kit bike and choosing one??
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Old 20-07-2006, 08:20 AM
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i think kit bikes are designed for people with more disposable income and less mechanical savvy than most of 'us', but fair play to 'em, if thats the only way to get into the custom bike 'scene' they've got, why not??
what pisses me off is after they've had them built, they think its ok to enter them in shows on an equal footing with the rest of 'us'. there should at least be a seperate category for kit/shop built bikes.
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Old 20-07-2006, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rob
i think kit bikes are designed for people with more disposable income and less mechanical savvy than most of 'us', but fair play to 'em, if thats the only way to get into the custom bike 'scene' they've got, why not??
what pisses me off is after they've had them built, they think its ok to enter them in shows on an equal footing with the rest of 'us'. there should at least be a seperate category for kit/shop built bikes.
ys that then rob are they beatin you at the shows all the time rob
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Old 20-07-2006, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatty
ys that then rob are they beatin you at the shows all the time rob
cheeky bugger!!

in all the (24) years i've been building my own bikes i've never entered any in shows, thats not why i build them, i do it for me, not other people. i only entered 'illogical progression' at the R&S because stefan (the organiser) specifically asked me to. i didnt build it to win prizes, i built it because i could.
although to be fair, i did have half an eye on parking it next to a few billet barges, just to watch their owners move them away.......
i never expected to win anything tho, and certainly didn't expect the fuss it causes whenever i park it somewhere.

Last edited by rob; 20-07-2006 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 20-07-2006, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rob
i think kit bikes are designed for people with more disposable income and less mechanical savvy than most of 'us', .
You ever tried putting a kit bike together? Despite the claims of the manufacturers, I've not come across one yet where everything fitted and where quite a large amount of mechanical and engineering aptitude wasn't required. If there's one thing that concerns me about kit bikes, it's that there's 'get-rich-quick' merchants setting up building kits on the back of the current chopper trend without the skills of experience to do so.

What scares me far more than kit bikes is the new homologised bikes that Custom Chrome Europe is offering. That could have very serious ramifications for the European custom world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FriarTuck
As Peeps wanting to have an 'individual' bike but can't be arsed to go through the pain of having the bike sva'd etc, so will end up going to individual bike builders, that seem to be sprouting up offering builds of these Kit bikes,
Fuck me, I wish we'd known that kit bikes didn't need to be SVA'd before we went to the trouble of getting the Big Bear done. Strangely, the authorities still seem to reckon that kit bikes should be SVA'd... And most kit bikes are registered under their manufacturers' name and model and not as a Harley, FT.
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Old 20-07-2006, 03:29 PM
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Corss posted from another thread but it is the best kit bike I've ever seen.
vincent kit bike
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  #9  
Old 20-07-2006, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freak
Take two cars side by side
One's an AC Cobra through and through
The other's a very well put together, home built, V8 Rover Cobra kit car

Which one do you want ?

Un fair analagy


real Cobras are reliable
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  #10  
Old 21-07-2006, 03:59 AM
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Buy the kit bike and put yer own personal stamp on it, brilliant.
Buy it, or have it built by a shop, and it's just another standard bike innit.
Aint got no soul.
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Old 21-07-2006, 04:05 AM
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if you get a frame made, search for months to get the right bits to go on it and build yourself a bike, or buy a kit bike with all the bits there, whats the difference ?
you built it, thats all that counts
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  #12  
Old 21-07-2006, 06:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue
You ever tried putting a kit bike together? Despite the claims of the manufacturers, I've not come across one yet where everything fitted and where quite a large amount of mechanical and engineering aptitude wasn't required. If there's one thing that concerns me about kit bikes, it's that there's 'get-rich-quick' merchants setting up building kits on the back of the current chopper trend without the skills of experience to do so.
I have read about the poor quality of kit bikes on here and on other forums, which as you say, is of concern. What with incompetant home builders and even less forgiving, chopshop built kit bikes just slung together. we could see a number of accidents, rising in the future, which after investigation, could lead to more Government intervention, making it even harder for the honest custom builder to get their machine on the road.

Quote:
What scares me far more than kit bikes is the new homologised bikes that Custom Chrome Europe is offering. That could have very serious ramifications for the European custom world.
People paying top dollar for crap quality bikes. And if the government get their way (SVA etc.) these may be the only route to getting a "custom" bike on the road in the future? If so this may possibly be the death knell for the custom scene as we know it.



Quote:
Fuck me
I never thought you'd ask!

Quote:
I wish we'd known that kit bikes didn't need to be SVA'd before we went to the trouble of getting the Big Bear done. Strangely, the authorities still seem to reckon that kit bikes should be SVA'd... And most kit bikes are registered under their manufacturers' name and model and not as a Harley, FT.
I am only a humble reader, and do not know all the intricasies of the SVA law so I stand corrected about kit bikes being SVA'd.

So a kit bike would be registered as a "Custom Chrome Europe 1340cc Whatever" rather than a "Harley 1340cc doo-dah"? The problem I see here is when a punter gets tired of his bike he will sell it as a "Harley" most likely and breach advertising laws!
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Last edited by Friar Tuck; 21-07-2006 at 06:41 AM.
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Old 24-07-2006, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue
You ever tried putting a kit bike together? Despite the claims of the manufacturers, I've not come across one yet where everything fitted and where quite a large amount of mechanical and engineering aptitude wasn't required.
no, i havent, but i dont need to, i'm lucky enough to be able to build my own frames etc. i thought the whole idea of a kit bike was that it fitted together?? hence the name 'kit'.
in my (ever so 'umble) opinion choosing what colour to have it painted and filing a few bolt holes into slots coz bits dont line up correctly isnt that bloody difficult, in fact if those numpties at OCC can do it, then anyone should be able to.


i wonder if there is a market for 'illogical progression' kits??
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Old 24-07-2006, 04:27 PM
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IMO, the big difference between a kit bike and a built from scratch one as far as engineering goes, is this:

on a kit bike worthy of the name it should be reasonably obvious from the instructions how the thing is supposed to go together, that doesnt imply that the bolt holes will line up, or that the cutout in the mudguard clears the chain, or the bolts are the right thread or any one of a thousand mismatches that happen when you assemble a bunch of parts from disparate manufacturers. The overall concept has been thought out by someone else and the major design issues sorted, which still leaves plenty of work of the nature that was called "fitting" when I worked in a manufacturing plant.

On a bike built from scratch, or from a donor vehicle, there are major design problems that have to be resolved by the builder, such as "how do I get the sprockets to align without having the wheels misaligned" or "How much rake angle do I need to use these forks? and how am I going to get it?" In the case of a donor vehicle this can be more of an issue than starting from scratch is some cases.

After that comes the task of actually fabricating the items, usually with considerably less equipment than a production outfit, altho this line has always been blurred by things like the machinist mate on night shift, or the friendly local machine shop who do jobs for cash.

Final assembly, wiring, and cosmetics equate about the same for both IMO and I don't regard a kit bike as a piece of piss to get on the road, but I do believe there is considerably more mental effort required to build from scratch than to assemble a kit bike.

Lots of people don't have the time/space/facilities/skills to build something from scratch, and I reckon a kit bike is a good way of getting into the more substantial aspects of bike building.
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Old 02-08-2006, 01:03 PM
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Aha Rob that'll be your illogical progression bike in 100% the other month. Loved it. Best thing I seen since the diesel engined matt blacker at the East Leeds.

Well done that man, your bike really has been the subject of more than the odd pub conversation along the lines of: Why? and How the ferk's that work then?
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  #16  
Old 02-08-2006, 06:12 PM
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In a way kit bikes have been around for a long time,I remember someone doing a "multi-mount" frame back in the 80's which was basically an off the shelf rigid frame and you bought different engine mounts to fit whatever lump you were using.You could then add to this whichever tank, seat, mudguards, battery box, etc from their catalogue so other than you had to supply your own engine it wasn't really that much different.
I agree with Rob that many people don't have the engineering skills or equipment to build their own bikes but if someones main skill is their earning capacity to buy a new kit or have someone else build their dream for them that shouldn't stop them from having what they want.
Personnally I am an engineer but I don't earn that much which explains why my own bikes have had all sorts of one-off trick bits on them but had pretty dodgy paintjobs from spray cans
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Old 02-08-2006, 06:56 PM
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Hmmmm.

Have a look at this...

http://hondachopper.com/amen.html

Sooo....

quite a lot of the "Old School" choppers you saw in the seventies were actually built from bits bought out of a catalogue. I'm pretty sure that if you'd rung Amen up and said "I've got a (insert motorcycle of choice here) and I want to build a chopper.." they'd have held your hand and guided you through choosing all the parts you needed to do the job.

Sort of like a kit really.....

One other thing I'd like to point out. Those "MultiFit" frames from the 80's? Did you ever actually have one? You got a 3/4"/19mm spindle slot, which was unfortunate if you didn't have a 3/4"/19mm spindle, a piece of tube for a headstock so you could buy the press in bearing cups to suit your front end, and oh how we laughed when we realised that the down tubes were in the way of the exhaust ports.
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Old 03-08-2006, 11:45 AM
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I did have a GS750 chop back then which I'd bought as an unfinished project only to discover that nobody made headstock bearings which would fit,fortunately where I worked then had a toolroom so I could get some ground down to fit.
My mate had one of those frames where the downtubes were exactly in line with the inner exhaust ports on his Honda 4 lump,he wasn't best pleased either!!
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Old 03-08-2006, 12:59 PM
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Surely if anyone has changed parts on their bike.. seat..mirrors... wheels etc.etc. for aftermarket ones of any description, they have a semi-kit bike don't they?

after all its no longer standard, they didn't make the parts, and they got em from a shop or catalogue?
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Old 03-08-2006, 11:56 PM
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I think the trikes showed the way. Look at all them Boom etc ones. Small scale production does not equal custom. Custom means just that - customised to the owners taste, not just choose yer options.

That said why not if people have the cash. Just don't stick it in a custom show if you didn't design build or otherwise customise it yourself.
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Old 04-08-2006, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TektroG
why not if people have the cash. Just don't stick it in a custom show if you didn't design build or otherwise customise it yourself.
well said, that man.
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Old 04-08-2006, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TektroG
That said why not if people have the cash. Just don't stick it in a custom show if you didn't design build or otherwise customise it yourself.
The problem with that mate, is that the shows would be half empty and mainly full of rat bikes, all painted matt black!!
I would think that the greater proportion of bikes in shows are pro built, or at least the majority of the work done is pro built anyway...especially things like paint work, fabrication etc..etc..
Agreed that it would be great if everyone had the skills to build show bikes themselves... but the reality is that not many do.. and I for one like to see all standards of bikes in shows, not just bikes built in sheds at the back of the house with a file and a paint brush!
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Old 04-08-2006, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassman
The problem with that mate, is that the shows would be half empty and mainly full of rat bikes, all painted matt black!!
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Old 04-08-2006, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassman
and I for one like to see all standards of bikes in shows, not just bikes built in sheds at the back of the house with a file and a paint brush!
yeh, everything from mick clarkes to.... well.... mine.
but not just bought from a shop as is, and put straight into a show, or worse bought from someone else, and entered as your own.
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Old 04-08-2006, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rob
yeh, everything from mick clarkes to.... well.... mine.
but not just bought from a shop as is, and put straight into a show, or worse bought from someone else, and entered as your own.
Absolutely agree Rob... if its a show bike, by all means enter it, but at the very least give the builders the credit where its due...

must admit it pisses me off a tad when i see bikes built by a shop entered as the new owners work...
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Old 04-08-2006, 01:03 PM
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Anyone got a brazier?

If we're dragging old chestnuts out, we might as well roast a few.....

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Old 04-08-2006, 05:39 PM
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can't be arsed to check back over all the 16,859 previous threads just to see if its been posted before.....
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