2007 Factory Choppers Buyer's Guide

Everything You Need To Know To Buy Your Ultimate Ride

If you wanted to ride a chopper barely a decade ago, you'd either have to have your own well-stocked and equipped professional garage and be an expert on everything from welding to fabrication, or you'd have to contract the job out to some local mechanic who would try to get to your build in-between tuning-up Chevy Caprice Taxis and rebuilding Briggs & Stratton lawn mowers.

Then some of the first real custom motorcycle manufacturers started to appear on the motorcycling horizon. These manufacturers were legitimate factories that built motorcycles in sizeable numbers and were able to offer pre-customized standard models where only individual customization was available before.

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After decades of being ignored by the mass media, custom motorcycle builders are HOT right now. It's hard to flip a cable remote control without coming across the Teutuls screaming at each other, Jesse James welding something, or Russell Mitchell turning another lovely motorcycle into a depressing, dirt-black, cobbled-together, rag-wrapped exhaust, low-riding old-skool retro bucket of bolts. (Can you tell I'm not especially an Exile fan?)

2007 may very well end up being the watershed year. It is estimated that more custom motorcycles will be sold this year than in any other. There are countless manufacturers competing for your hard-earned dollars and it would take several hundred pages to list every single model available.

Some of these manufacturers are true professional, moderate-to-high volume factories. Some of them are still backyard shadetree operations. And some of them don't even bother building the bike, but will ship you a kit in a big crate for you to bolt together.

Don't be fooled into thinking that building your own chopper from a kit is an easy day's work and you'll be riding by sunset. It was once estimated that fully 40% of custom motorcycle kits purchased never see the road and end up in the back of some garage to rust away.

Considering that some chopper kits can cost well over $30,000, that's not an avenue that I particularly care to travel.

There are some factory choppers that can set you back just short of one hundred thousand dollars. That will buy you about 15 two-bedroom fully-detached homes in good condition with nice yards in pleasant small Saskatchewan towns.

Yes, I'm aware that you may not want to live in a small Saskatchewan town. But no matter how you slice 100 grand, it's a huge chunk of change for most of us.

That's why this 2007 Factory Chopper Buyer's Guide concentrates on a selection from some of the major custom motorcycle manufacturers that meet a budget. The prices of each motorcycle is not included as MSRP means very little in this market.

There's usually a fair amount of horsetrading involved in buying a custom motorcycle from a local dealer and the discounts can be substantial if you know how to bargain.

If you play your cards right you should be able to buy each bike on this page for $25,000 or less. And you might even be able to pick up one or two for a bit under $20,000.

The custom factories love to "custom"-ize, so these choppers are available to be custom-ordered in a wide range of colours and usually give you a bevy of choices of seats, handlebars, engine displacements, exhaust systems, etc. You can certainly get your ride looking and riding exactly how you want it without ever picking up a wrench.

Each factory also offers a wide range of Bobbers, Roadsters, etc. Sorry. I have very little personal interest in those bikes. I'm a chopper man.

If you're going to be buying this year, then Ride On, Brother (or Sister). If you're just going to be salivating at the photos and specs (like me) then there's always hope that someday you'll be riding off to the horizon on one of these righteous rides!

 

 

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