Chopper Frame Building: 10 Tips

Chopper frame building: ten tips gives you the freedom to design your chopper the way you choose. In order to do that, you’re going to need some information, and sometimes, the best way to determine information is to answer specific questions. For this reason, the 10 tips for chopper frame building are presented in a Q&A format.

  1. What type of material is best for chopper frame building? Steel, aluminum or other materials can be used. Steel provides more strength, while aluminum is more lightweight, but is still strong enough to support the engine, chassis and other parts of your chopper. Both steel and aluminum are durable; in fact, some other materials may require more maintenance than others, which something you might want to take into consideration.

  2. Do you want your chopper frame building to consist of putting together a kit, or is your idea of chopper frame building starting “from the ground up”?  Whether or not you choose a kit depends on how much of the actual building you want to do. This decision is definitely a personal one.

  3. Can you weld or will you need someone to do it for you? Chopper frame building is going to require some welding. You may want to enlist the services of someone who has welding experience to help you with this phase.

  4. Softail or hard? Before any chopper frame building can start, you must choose between a softail design or hardtail design. The difference between the two is very simple—the softtail design is two-piece, while the hardtail is one-piece.

  5. Do you have all the right tools or will you need to rent, borrow or otherwise acquire the ones you will need? Consider whether this is going to be a one-time experience or if you intend to make this a hobby. If it’s the former, you may want to consider just renting or borrowing the tools you will need; if you intend to make it a hobby, you may want to go ahead and start building your own chopper frame building tool collection.

  6. Do you have adequate workspace? You will need enough room to spread out the parts and equipment so that you will not be tripping over or bumping into things. In addition, for chopper frame building comfort and protection, the workspace needs to be enclosed or at least protected from weather.

  7. Can you read directions, blueprints, schematics and other instruction materials well? If not, you may want to ask someone who can to help you figure them out.

  8. Are you mechanically inclined? This is actually the most important question. Chopper frame building is not easy. If you are not mechanically inclined, the satisfaction of knowing you performed your own chopper frame building may be overshadowed by frustration as you attempt to do so. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need to.

  9. Do custom-built chopper frames have to pass municipal or state requirements so that your finished product will be considered street-legal? You may need to check with your local Department of Motor Vehicles on this.

  10. Are you willing to invest the time and money that chopper frame building will require? It’s going to take both. Make sure you’re up to the task.

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