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Book: How to Build a Bobber on a Budget

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The last time I had read a book of Motorbooks’ Workshop series I was very satisfied with its content. So, I decided to buy another one almost randomly. This one is for a project hopefully I will be able to do some day in the future. That is, building a custom bike. If you’re interested in this book too, check out my review below…



Title: How to Build a Bobber on a Budget
Author: Jose de Miguel

Chapter 1: Before You Start
This is nothing more than a nice introduction to bobbers and choppers. This means, the essential history as well as characteristics of each one of them. In addition, the author gives some guidelines regarding what to look for your future donor bike that will be the first step in building your own chopper/bobber.

Chapter 2: Getting Started
Continuing from the previous chapter, this is a more detailed introduction to get you started always with keeping in mind that you don’t want to spend $50,000 to build your own bike. In this chapter, you can find valuable information in every aspect from choosing the right donor bike or tools to finding and integrating to your project custom bike inexpensive used motorcycle parts.

Chapter 3: Sheet Metal
This is a chapter with numerous tips and tricks for basic sheet metal work that has to be done on a custom bike. From gas tanks, to fenders and fender struts, this chapter includes various neat information to help you keep your budget low and have a nice result.

Chapter 4: Engine and Transmission
Once again, a nice little collection of tips and tricks by an experienced builder. Although this chapter does not have the how-to form, it gives some good advices for rebuilding engines and performing customizations in the transmission. However, the main concern is keeping the budget low and thus most tasks are limited to repairing and restoring.

Chapter 5: Pre-Assembly Mockup
This is one of the most detailed chapters of this book. It is almost a step by step guide for pre-assembly. Like the previous ones, this chapter has numerous useful advises for the mockup process.

Chapter 6: Disassembly
Another chapter full of advises of probably the most crucial stage of the build. This is simply because there is almost no return for small fixes or tweaks after breaking down the bike for paint. It’s a very nice part with numerous examples and information about various little parts of the bike that a builder should consider before sending them to paint, powder coating, chrome, etc.

Chapter 7: Paint
Although not a very useful painting guide, it gives some general guidelines and information about motorcycle painting procedures. To people completely unaware of such paint jobs this would be a gentle introduction.

Chapter 8: Final Assembly
Almost a step-by-step guide with illustrations for all of the important tasks. Here you can read about little things that can ruin your project during its final phase, the assembly. It is probably the most detailed of all the chapters with information about the various systems involved in a motorcycle.

Chapter 9: Ready to Start
This is a collection of author’s personal experiences and crucial tests that have to be done before hitting the streets with your new bike.

It’s a very well written, really easy to follow book. Everything included was written based on the factor of keeping the budget as low as possible. On the downside, it requires some prior knowledge in both theoretical and practical levels to be able to follow it. That said, I won’t suggest this book to readers who are not even slightly mechanically inclined or have never performed some basic maintenance and repairing tasks on their bike. Also, in my opinion, it should contain more detailed information on each process than advises and experiences from the overall project. Nevertheless, I wasn’t disappointed at all from this hit or miss purchase. It’s a nice book and I have the impression I have learned a couple of new things. :)

Written by xorl

March 30, 2011 at 22:07

Posted in books

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