…That is the question!
When it comes to motorbikes surely the most personalized and unique bikes are the American V-twin based motorcycles. Having said that if you want a motorbike of this kind you only have two choices; get down to your Harley-Davidson® dealer, buy one, than spend tons of money to make it personal or build a custom motorbike for yourself.
Now you think: Yeah, right! Who would trust any aftermarket sh** components. So you would probably go with one of Harley-Davidsons trusted factory model. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with Harley-Davidson® motorcycles. They’re nice as they are and you can customize them big time. All I’m trying to do here just to open your eyes a little bit that you can see beyond the masses. If you’re into custom motorbikes but don’t want to pay £35000 + for one, there’s a number of world class manufacturers who produce top quality motorcycle components which are not just used by custom motorbike builders but even by well known motorcycle manufacturers when it comes to customizing.
If you’ve heard about manufacturers like S&S, Accel, Mallory, Dynatek, Wire Plus, SuperTrapp, Mikuni, Qwiksilver, K&N, Dynojet, Delkron, Jims, Crane, Rowe, Keith Black, Wiseco, Arias, James, Athena, Primo, Barnett, Baker, PM, Andrews, Tsubaki, Rick’s, Avon, Harrison Billet, Beringer, Goodridge, GMA, Pro1, Hyperpro, Progressive, (just to mention a few) I don’t have to explain to you how well known they are in the professional and racing world which means you can’t really go wrong with their top quality products. So the good part is that with these components you can build a full custom motorcycle that is truly a top quality performance motorbike. Your problem comes in when you have to choose the right parts for your dream chopper to make sure they’re compatible and fit. This is the point where you pull the professionals into the game, unless of course you’re a pro yourself.
To build a custom motorbike from scratch is a very complicated job. To ease this task some custom parts companies created Bike Kits. A bike kit is a custom motorbike in a box which contains almost everything (apart from a few nuts and bolts) to build that dream chopper of yours. Just add paint and fuel and way you go. The price of these bike kits are generally between £10000 and £20000. For this money you can get some fairly basic big twin bike kits but you can also find a few real performance custom bikes as well. One of these is the “Black Prince” bike kit. When I’m talking about performance first of all I mean that the motorbike can perform, with other words is rideable, powerful and looks the bollocks at the same time. I must say this because there are some truly extreme looking custom choppers and bike kits on the market but unfortunately most of them are useless when it comes to riding them. Poor handling, some of them are lethal. This is one of the reasons why you should always get the advice of a professional before you decide to choose your custom chopper. I’m sure there’s a number of great performing custom motorbikes out there but let me introduce you to my favorite one, the “Black Prince“. This Pro Street custom motorbike is truly a stunning creation from “The Godfather”, Zodiac’s General Manager Ton Pels. The “Black Prince” kits contain almost every part you need to build your own Custom motorcycle. All parts in this kit are from the industries leading manufacturers. Brakes from PM, wheels from Rick’s, seat by Le Pera wiring by Wire Plus. The kit comes standard with the famous S&S 96CI (1,530 cc) V-2 style engine, but can also be supplied with an S&S 113CI (1,850 cc) SideWinder, or S&S 124CI (2,035 cc) Super SideWinder motor. The frame is a TUV approved Fat-Tube Right Side Drive and matching swing-arm to accommodate for the massive Avon 300/35-R18 rear tire on the Rick’s 10.5×18 wheel. The use of a Right Side Drive transmission keeps the rear wheel exactly in the center of the frame without the necessity to offset the primary transmission. The swingarm is wide enough to take Avon’s 330 rear tire, when used in conjunction with a matching RSD transmission. Primary drive is by an impressive 3” wide open belt drive. Final drive is by belt on the right side of the bike. SuperTrapp re-designed their Fat Shot exhaust system in such a way that they fitted straight on to bikes with a RSD transmission. The SuperTrapp Fat Shots feature large volume mufflers for optimal performance and that rumbling V-Twin sound. The front suspension is Zodiac’s TUV approved Fat Bubba that is 32” long, has 60mm diameter tubes and is fitted in a set of 3 degrees raked triple trees. Together with the 38 degrees neck rake in the frame and the 130/60 x 18 front tire this builds a very good handling bike. Anyone who has ever ridden it was amazed that a bike with such an extreme wide rear tire was so easy to steer and also how stable it is on a long and high-speed straight. The pictured “Black Prince” is equipped with a prototype handlebar with integrated speedo, a custom build two-piece rear fender and adjustable air suspension (these are one off parts and don’t come with the kit as standard). The kit bike comes with progressive shock suspension, raw steel fender strut sides and base and a raw steel rear fender.
All in all, no factory made motorbike can compare with this custom look and performance. The other positive thing about the “Black Prince” is the price. There’s absolutely no way that you can get an other custom motorbike looking and performing like this for £18300 if you build it yourself. Add the cost of the custom paint job (anything between £800 and £2000). Even if you get a professional bike builder workshop to build this top quality custom bike for you it probably wouldn’t cost you more than £23000. Do you know what that means? Well, it means, that you will have a real unique high performance custom Pro Street motorbike and you save around £10000 – £15000 on the bill.
Obviously you will have various engine options from a restricted S&S 96ci (1575cc) to a massive unrestricted big bore S&S 124ci (2035cc).