Custom Bike Building Basics For The Backyard Garage Mechanic.

Pro-builders know and use a lot of tricks to get around the difficulties they encounter daily while custom building one-off bikes. If you are a backyard garage mechanic, you want to know as many of these tricks as possible.

In this new book, through 3 start-to-finish assemblies (1 Shovelhead, 2 Panheads) built on a working man budget, Chris Callen, publisher of Cycle Source Magazine, share useful tips to make your next garage project easier and faster to complete.

All the builds described are grass roots, old-school bikes assembled on a tight budget with each sequence thoroughly described and explained . First comes the chapter on Setting up your Shop. Once you have a place to work, Chris walks you through welding, fabricating mounts, assembling the roller, motor, wiring, leather works, painting, road test, etc. Published by custom motorcycle industry veteran Timothy Remus, “Custom Bike Building Basics” features more than 400 pictures on 144 pages. $24.95. Order online at . (Father’s day coming Sunday June 17th…)


12 Responses to “Custom Bike Building Basics For The Backyard Garage Mechanic.”

  1. 1 Josh May 30th, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    How many books already on this topic? What makes one book better than the other? I read a few, and after the 1st one I learned nothing from the 2nd and 3rd. My way is to ask advice to my local shop because they are good and not afraid to share their knowledge. But buy one of these books if you never read one. You will learn and probably save some money and frustration.

  2. 2 David Blevins May 30th, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Perhaps this will be someone’s first how-to book.
    By the way Mr. Callen, nice looking wishbone frame.

  3. 3 Eric Maurer May 30th, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    I like these books. I have a Evo tuning book I bought and still like to thumb through it over the years. Does it teach me anything? Probably not, but just like a magazine or a blog…. its good entertainment.
    I think these books are great for getting new builders interested in building and customizing. Does it teach you everything you need to build your own badass chopper? Probably not, but if it gets you motiviated to break a bolt free, remove a part and dream about what you could do… than its money well spent.

    I will order one…. if for nothing else, it will bee a fun read and also so I have something to pass on to a new builder sometime in the future. I know I loved getting books and mags from the people I learned from.

    Pay it forward 🙂

    Eric Maurer (evobuilder)

  4. 4 May 31st, 2012 at 7:51 am

    I heard this book was in the making last year, I am sure Chris and his crew nailed it with the book! I will be getting it and have built around 40 bikes.

  5. 5 izadore007 Jun 1st, 2012 at 9:30 am

    If you ever read Cycle Source Magazine, you have to believe that this will be a great Book. These Guys don’t tout anybody or anyone unless well deserved. I don’t know where these Cycle Source Dude’s came from but surely, don’t come from Ca.,Fl.,NY., or Texas.

  6. 6 Jun 1st, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Hey gang, thanks for the good words! Just to make sure there is no misunderstanding about the book I wanted to comment on what it is. This is a book for the average cat to take his home garage and make it into a place to build a custom bike. There are several good pieces of knowledge in it, albeit obvious to many who are well accomplished but we should remember that not everyone that is in motorcycling today is. So when Tim from Wolfgang came to us with the idea of doing a book, I didn’t want us to stand up and pump our chest like look what we can do, but rather a book that said…. Look what YOU can do!

    Thanks again for the good words, and for reading The Source!


  7. 7 Jun 1st, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    PS, also would like to mention that this book was a collaborative effort of our whole staff, like everything we do, we are only as good as our brothers!

  8. 8 Jun 1st, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    Having seen the book I was amazed at all the info loaded into one book. There is a zillion pictures with info for every level. Thanks for passing it along Cyril!

  9. 9 Ron Jun 4th, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    I like these books, they are good for reference/entertainment (I have a normal day job and a family so sometimes there just isn’t time in the day to go in the garage so I have to get my fix elsewhere). But it doesn’t matter how good your theoretical knowledge is it is very different when you are standing in front of a bike part with a grinder in your hand actually trying to do something…

  10. 10 nicker Jun 4th, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    “…If you are a backyard garage mechanic,…”

    Then you are where it all began.
    And that is a VERY cool place to be.


  11. 11 Micah Schwartz Jun 5th, 2012 at 12:44 am

    I commend Chris Callen and the folks at Cycle Source for taking the time to share with others the knowledge that collectively spans many years of hands on experience wrenching on Motorcycles!

    The way I see it is that every bit of knowledge past on by others which have been proven credible allow another to educate themselves with the basics and more which may ease the trial & error experience quite possibly.

    I have built quite a few bikes over the years and have purchased pretty much every book I came across that I found to have useful information even if it was just one procedure out of 50.

    Sure there are books that have repetitive procedures yet some vary from builder to builder as well as some a bit more in depth and some that pertain to various applications within a type of design such as wide tire applications.

    I personally am looking forward to adding it to my library as well as any others that follow in the future.

    Thank you Chris Callen for taking the time to pass on knowledge for future generations to come!

    Micah Schwartz

  12. 12 Jun 5th, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    A television program that takes the build beyond the garage and into the state inspection station, passed, then insured, would be informative anyone sitting on a fence on whether to invest in building a mechanical horse that actually hits the road – information and stoke the viewer can take away with him and into the shop. Hit the general problem areas first. It won’t be boring without dialog, if you edit 6 months of filming into 50 seamless minutes and have those segments available for re-run at will.

    If indeed the “garage and independent shop M/C builder” is where all innovation begins, then water (nurture) the thing. Dust off Section G. of the EPA (over on the M/C Industry News topic) and build one by the EPA’s guidelines. Showing each step and paragraph of Section G. in a build.

    Show states (other than California which is DONE) it can be done and “how it’s done”, so that hobby builders get included in the population instead of excluded. The EPA is behind us with Section G. Most states don’t have a regulations against kit-builds.

    Keep it alive or it will be legislated out as a “bargaining chip” to some other want or need by the majority. And we are definitely the minority.

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