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Build Your Own Custom Chopper


stevehaigh

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i've been musing over the idea of building my own custom chopper from whatever parts i can find in Thailand and ordering stuff from ebay if necessary.

any ideas about the practicality of this? where would i look for used engines, frames, wheels, etc. are there cycle salvage yards anywhere?

also, any idea how to get something registered in the unlikely event i build something ridable?

thx steve

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Registration will be tied to the frame.. The frame and book have to match.

Secondly engine numbers can be changed in the book, but it may require proof of the tax paid on the import of the engine.. Without it the book change can sometimes be done with bribes but your stepping off the safe path then.

KPG hardly ideal ride territory ??

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Registration will be tied to the frame.. The frame and book have to match.

Secondly engine numbers can be changed in the book, but it may require proof of the tax paid on the import of the engine.. Without it the book change can sometimes be done with bribes but your stepping off the safe path then.

KPG hardly ideal ride territory ??

i was planning to find a second hand engine too. what papers would i need for that?

i realise KPG is massively inconvenient for almost everything except drunken, all night beach parties but i visit the mainland in the truck quite often and i'm not in a big hurry.

thx steve

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I have asked that question myself without getting an answer..

I know a buddy got a new engine for his steed and paid a fair bit more because the engine came with all the import tax paid papers.. But what happens when someone prangs a bike and parts out the engine, thats had its taxes paid but how do you prove it ??

Then the current big deal down our way is the tax records on page 18 of the bike book.. Loads of books dont have these and back taxes for stuff years ago (I mean decade plus) is being demanded !! Often it seems it WAS in there but when a bike was moved provinces or a new book was issued from a full one the DMV officers were too lazy to move this 'irrelevant' info over, so now the farang pays again !! And this has suddenly become a huge money maker for our customs office.

The whole thing is a minefield. Even following it in detail its hard to have any idea what is or isnt possible, thais dont know, the DMV makes the rules up as they go along, they dont know what the customs people say, the customs people dont do what the DMV people say, lawyers dont know, its all done on who you know, a Thai will do better than you, a hiso Thai will get waied and rubber stamped, the whole system is loose and informal and corrupt. Kind of off putting to be honest.

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i've been musing over the idea of building my own custom chopper from whatever parts i can find in Thailand and ordering stuff from ebay if necessary.

any ideas about the practicality of this? where would i look for used engines, frames, wheels, etc. are there cycle salvage yards anywhere?

also, any idea how to get something registered in the unlikely event i build something ridable?

thx steve

I'm afraid it's an uphill battle in Thailand,import tax,registration...A nightmare finacially and emotionlly.A possible way is to purchase a registered bike(Say an older steed or what not,and customize it,as you would have the basic parts needed(Rolling chassis with numbers,etc).Then it's just a matter of finding people willing to do the work and a decent donk to power it.Unless of course you are handy with a mig or tig and have access to said equipment.Plenty of sites devoted to home builders.

http://www.bccorlando.com/

http://www.chopperhandbook.com/neatstuff/downloads.htm (This site is great)

http://www.mig-welding.co.uk/tutorial.htm

http://www.gottrikes.com/Tube_Bender.htm

http://www.crimescenechoppers.com/blog/

http://www.pirate4x4.com/tech/bendin_tube/index.html

Of course you don't need a v twin for a decent chopper...

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The massive used parts warehouse behind Red Baron in Bangkok has everything you would need to build a bike, but getting it registered... Good luck!

...massive used parts... Where is that exactly? I am looking for Steed spare parts, stock & custom, have been to Red Baron but never seen that warehouse. Does ist belong to RB?

Thanks,

Philipp

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The massive used parts warehouse behind Red Baron in Bangkok has everything you would need to build a bike, but getting it registered... Good luck!

...massive used parts... Where is that exactly? I am looking for Steed spare parts, stock & custom, have been to Red Baron but never seen that warehouse. Does ist belong to RB?

Thanks,

Philipp

Cheers Philipp,

Behind the Red Baron showroom and mechanic shop there's a huge warehouse FULL of frames, engines, and everything else you need to build your own custom bike-

000.jpg

Here's the link: http://www.redbaronbkk.com/usedpart.php

Like most things at Red Baron, the used parts are often overpriced, but prices are definitely negotiable.

Hope this is useful.

Happy Trails!

Tony

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Hey Philipp, I just msg'd you but I'll add to this discussion as well the suggestion to check out Somchai Alai's place down the road from RB. They are cheaper but their stuff is a little more banged up.

Allan: Is the place you're talking about Apichai Motor? I went there a few months ago, and didn't see any used parts. I might have gone to the wrong place though...

They did have some interesting seats for Steeds, and seemed to do some custom work. I'll double check the name the next time I'm out that way.

**EDIT**

I almost forgot, has anyone ever found any good used parts places near Chula? According to the BKKriders map there are a few shops around there, but when I checked it out, it was only small bike parts and auto parts. Has anyone ever found big bike parts there?

Edited by Meridian007
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Thanks Guys,

thanks for all these new addresses, will look for parts this weekend for sure.

I 've never made it to Apichai yet, is a little far for me, is it worth? Seats sounds already interesting.

After my "steed paradise"(never knew the real name) near Huay Khwang closed down, I bought some parts at Nopparat's motor bike shop near Kaset Navamin/Lad Phrao Soi 71 intersection. Not huge but they somehow can magially make needed parts appear within some minutes (Still have a Supertrapp Stainless Steel 2 in 1 for trade, custom made from them)

Also once visited http://www.tarad.com/megabike/index.en.html at Pahonyotin road, seems they make amazing custombikes, but had no parts for sale.

And on Saturday evenings the huge vintage market between Sutthisan and Ratchada MRT stations, a flea market with vintage motorcycles and parts and mostly other old stuff (food!), not too many big bikes but worth for the atmosphere alone.

Will also enter these places to the google map.

Been also recently to the Chula area walking up the sois up and down for 2 hours - zilch, small bike and car parts only, beside one dirt bike shop.

Cheers,

Philipp

Edited by pmhmaster
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The more I look at a map, the more I'm unsure that I ended up at Apichai...

If you'd like somewhere that I know does good custom seat and tank work, check out Dr. Bike instead. He doesn't speak English well, and he will want to see your bike before he starts any custom work (so he can see the connection points), but he has some nice stuff for good prices. If I suddenly have an extra few thousand baht lying around, I think I want to get a modified form of his OCC styled tank and seat combo.

Is the night market nearer to Sutthisan or Ratchada station? I'd love to check that out! I remember that one of the antique shops in Fortune Town used to have a beautifully restored 1930s Indian Chief! Only 1 million Baht! Beautiful though...

I wish I knew who did the entry for Chula on the BKKriders list, I've done the same thing as you, but I keep thinking (dreaming) that there is another RB warehouse hidden somewhere, and that someone found it. It would be nice to be able to go to some used parts shops close to a BTS/MRT station and aren't so baanok!

With that in mind, I found an alternative for those of you without a car (or hate driving/riding in town) who want parts from RB without sitting in a taxi for an hour! I finally found a website that outlines the canal ferries, and one goes relatively close to RB! Check it out:

http://www.ebangkok.org/map.asp?cat=276

I think RB might be just a motorcycle taxi ride from the mall bangkapi, maybe I'll have a chance to check it out next week.

Nick: Can you read it? I can understand a little written Thai, but I'm not sure where Klong 6 is, and the address on the map says Klong 7, but I don't see any recognizable road names on it... I need to learn to read Thai better! Great find if we can find it!

Edited by Meridian007
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The more I look at a map, the more I'm unsure that I ended up at Apichai...

If you'd like somewhere that I know does good custom seat and tank work, check out Dr. Bike instead. He doesn't speak English well, and he will want to see your bike before he starts any custom work (so he can see the connection points), but he has some nice stuff for good prices. If I suddenly have an extra few thousand baht lying around, I think I want to get a modified form of his OCC styled tank and seat combo.

Is the night market nearer to Sutthisan or Ratchada station? I'd love to check that out! I remember that one of the antique shops in Fortune Town used to have a beautifully restored 1930s Indian Chief! Only 1 million Baht! Beautiful though...

I wish I knew who did the entry for Chula on the BKKriders list, I've done the same thing as you, but I keep thinking (dreaming) that there is another RB warehouse hidden somewhere, and that someone found it. It would be nice to be able to go to some used parts shops close to a BTS/MRT station and aren't so baanok!

With that in mind, I found an alternative for those of you without a car (or hate driving/riding in town) who want parts from RB without sitting in a taxi for an hour! I finally found a website that outlines the canal ferries, and one goes relatively close to RB! Check it out:

http://www.ebangkok.org/map.asp?cat=276

I think RB might be just a motorcycle taxi ride from the mall bangkapi, maybe I'll have a chance to check it out next week.

Hey Meridien,

That's a really cool map!

This map is not at all to scale:

bigmap.jpg

From the Mall Bangkapi to Red Baron is still a ways- probably a 60-70 Baht taxi ride.

I'm also a fan of Dr Bike- http://www.dr-bikebangkok.com/

K. Yo is a great guy and I'm very happy with the custom rack he helped design and build for my ER-6n. Excellent quality and great price.

I drove all over Bangers yesterday looking for frame sliders for my ER without luck so I'll be going back to Dr Bike as I know he can make some from scratch.

Happy Trails!

Tony

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Yup, I think I was on Phet Kasem, not Ratchapruek. (well, it was really hot that day...)

When I get the bike back (again) I will check out Apichai.

Yo is a very competent customizer, I just wish he was closer to Pinklao!!! I am lucky to have Yut (Dynamik motors) close by though, so I can't complain.

I just stumbled upon that map 2 days ago, I never knew the klong ferries went so far out! I can catch the first one not too far away from Pinklao too!

I looked around on the net some more, and I think Klong 6 is in Lum Lukka. After buying my bike from a guy who lives near there, I swore I would never ride that close to Don Muang ever again! I hope I'm wrong and that it isn't so far away, but I'm having a hard time making out the letters on the map.

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Is the night market nearer to Sutthisan or Ratchada station? I'd love to check that out! I remember that one of the antique shops in Fortune Town used to have a beautifully restored 1930s Indian Chief! Only 1 million Baht! Beautiful though...

Sutthisan was wrong, sorry, it's between Ladphrao and Ratchada Station, but closer to Lad Phrao. It is an open air market, so it's better to check out this time of the year. A lot of useless stuff, old clothes and crap, but in between some nice old bikes and parts. The bikes are mostly smaller bikes, Honda 250 scramblers, but also have seen BSA and Norton there. When you go and check it out you could email me before, I live around the corner and could probably join.

Philipp

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Cool, I'd love to see some of the old Brit bikes. Good luck on your buying spree this weekend!

ThaiCBR, I'm not sure about Yut being much of a racer, he does love bikes though! His main clientele are BMW bikes, but I talked him into looking at my Steed when I first bought it, and he's been my mechanic ever since. He wasn't too excited about messing with my carbs when I first got the bike, but he cleaned them out and got the bike running well. I'm not sure about fine tuning sport bike carbs (I assume there's not too much difference, but then again, I suck at carbs. I've tried a few times to do carb rebuilds over the years, and I've always made them worse so I leave them to the pros).

I'll let you know how he does with my carbs this time. Ever since I got my pipes modified, the bike has been backfiring, so I brought it in a couple days ago to get it looked at. I think it's just a jet problem, so hopefully I'll get it back soon! He's packed with bikes right now though, so I might be waiting...

Yut is a good guy, he speaks English really well so it makes it easier to explain what I want done. The poor guy seems to be perpetually overworked though, I guess that's what you get for being good at your job!

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The more I look at a map, the more I'm unsure that I ended up at Apichai...

If you'd like somewhere that I know does good custom seat and tank work, check out Dr. Bike instead. He doesn't speak English well, and he will want to see your bike before he starts any custom work (so he can see the connection points), but he has some nice stuff for good prices. If I suddenly have an extra few thousand baht lying around, I think I want to get a modified form of his OCC styled tank and seat combo.

Is the night market nearer to Sutthisan or Ratchada station? I'd love to check that out! I remember that one of the antique shops in Fortune Town used to have a beautifully restored 1930s Indian Chief! Only 1 million Baht! Beautiful though...

I wish I knew who did the entry for Chula on the BKKriders list, I've done the same thing as you, but I keep thinking (dreaming) that there is another RB warehouse hidden somewhere, and that someone found it. It would be nice to be able to go to some used parts shops close to a BTS/MRT station and aren't so baanok!

With that in mind, I found an alternative for those of you without a car (or hate driving/riding in town) who want parts from RB without sitting in a taxi for an hour! I finally found a website that outlines the canal ferries, and one goes relatively close to RB! Check it out:

http://www.ebangkok.org/map.asp?cat=276

I think RB might be just a motorcycle taxi ride from the mall bangkapi, maybe I'll have a chance to check it out next week.

Nick: Can you read it? I can understand a little written Thai, but I'm not sure where Klong 6 is, and the address on the map says Klong 7, but I don't see any recognizable road names on it... I need to learn to read Thai better! Great find if we can find it!

Meridian007,

They are based in Pathom Thani,I am not sure how easy they are to find.! Its on my go to list as I need to get a few bits for a Virago.

I can let you know after I have been if you are interested, or check for what you may need if that helps?

Nick

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Thanks Guys,

thanks for all these new addresses, will look for parts this weekend for sure.

I 've never made it to Apichai yet, is a little far for me, is it worth? Seats sounds already interesting.

After my "steed paradise"(never knew the real name) near Huay Khwang closed down, I bought some parts at Nopparat's motor bike shop near Kaset Navamin/Lad Phrao Soi 71 intersection. Not huge but they somehow can magially make needed parts appear within some minutes (Still have a Supertrapp Stainless Steel 2 in 1 for trade, custom made from them)

Also once visited http://www.tarad.com/megabike/index.en.html at Pahonyotin road, seems they make amazing custombikes, but had no parts for sale.

And on Saturday evenings the huge vintage market between Sutthisan and Ratchada MRT stations, a flea market with vintage motorcycles and parts and mostly other old stuff (food!), not too many big bikes but worth for the atmosphere alone.

Will also enter these places to the google map.

Been also recently to the Chula area walking up the sois up and down for 2 hours - zilch, small bike and car parts only, beside one dirt bike shop.

Cheers,

Philipp

Yeah,these guys don't have much in the way of stock,but can build you pretty much whatever you need.I have seen their work,and it is to a high standard,at realistic prices. :o

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Meridian007,

They are based in Pathom Thani,I am not sure how easy they are to find.! Its on my go to list as I need to get a few bits for a Virago.

I can let you know after I have been if you are interested, or check for what you may need if that helps?

Nick

That would be great! If they are sufficiently out of town it will be easier to get to them! I'm mainly curious as to how they rate when compared to RB, the pictures show a similar amount of stock, I wonder if their prices are as high?

Could you add them to the map project when you find them? Thanks!

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&amp....775391&z=6

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Hey Guys

I have been to Somchai Alai and Red Barons last Saturday, thumbs up for Red Baron got everything I was looking for, got a good discount too.

But Somchai was disappointing, has a lot of (beaten) parts on stock but wasn't even patient enough to listen to my intermediate Thai language skills, which brings me otherwise quite far, need seldom translation, but he didn't even give it a try and I had to get translation. After he finally could overcome his laziness and get from the chair into his own store, he asked for ridiculous high prices, almost double the prices from Red Barons. Side covers 3500, original exhaust 4500, rusty bullet light set 1800...

Will not see me again for sure, Farangs not welcome there.

Philipp

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Wow, he must have been having a bad day. When I went there he had a helper who was very patient with my stumbling Thai, and allowed me to look around for a while. I got a pretty good price on a front mag rim, about 2/3 what I would have payed at RB.

I agree though that most of what he has is junk, and the shop is not organized at all. I just usually go there to see if I might find something before I head to RB.

RB seems to care about their stuff, and the guy who runs the warehouse (I can't remember his name right now) is really nice and helpful. They are more expensive than what I would expect for used parts (I'm used to the junkyards at home), but I guess the extra money is for infrastructure.

Were you able to get wheels Philipp? What kind of prices did they have on them?

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Wow, he must have been having a bad day. When I went there he had a helper who was very patient with my stumbling Thai, and allowed me to look around for a while.

Were you able to get wheels Philipp? What kind of prices did they have on them?

Yep, must have been having a bad day, maybe I was the 7th farang that day asking for steed parts in stumbling thai. Mai pen rai.

I didn't buy wheels as I still count on yours, but I forgot to check out prices. You got a price by now?

Could anyone confirm the link about the warehouse at Klong 6?

Philipp

Edited by pmhmaster
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