Posted by Steve King on Sunday, September 9, 2018 Under: Guest Motorcycle Articles
Complete motorcycle kits are just what they sound like - kits with all the parts you would need to build a motorcycle. A few extra bits and pieces in case you lose a screw or two may also be included, but basically everything inside the box will be used to make one single vehicle - wheels, engine, drive belts and chains, frame, seat, fork, handlebars, and electrical parts, they are all in there. The question that needs asking is, therefore, why offer motorcycles in kit form? Isn't it better to just sell the vehicles pre-built. Well, there are practical reasons behind this, as well as historical ones.
The motorcycle of course, evolved from the bicycle. The idea of attaching an engine to a bicycle to make a light, cheap, and personal mode of transport was the result of people wanting more speed out of and less effort into their vehicles. The motorized bicycle concept was refined, and so we have the motorcycle today. When mass production came along and revolutionized everything, it introduced parallel manufacturing. At that time, motorcycle parts were shipped to dealers and other points-of-sale, since parts consumed less space than the whole vehicles. Perhaps one day someone thought, why not sell the motorcycles as kits, since it would make them easier to transport and also trim a little off of the price as labor and warehousing would be reduced. Regardless of the actual sequence of events, motorcycle kits have become a popular offering amongst small manufacturing companies, a phenomenon to be discussed next.
Complete Motorcycle Kits - Saving Space and Money
Complete motorcycle kits are a response to the needs of small companies and consumers who want something more personal and down-to-earth. Large companies can afford large warehouses to store their products, and so they can produce huge numbers of individual units. Shipping for volume is also cheaper if you get past a certain lower limit. Smaller motorcycle companies and shops cannot compete with that, but they still want to be able to offer their products to a wider area. With the power of the Internet, it is possible to advertise your products across the world, and offer sales to a specified region. So, even if you are in a single town or city, you can basically sell products to people in faraway places, places that would ordinarily be out of sales reach. The next advantage affects how business is done. Normally when buying a vehicle, the buyer has to come to the point of sale and drive the vehicle away after paying. The business model for motorcycle kits is different - the customer no longer has to travel to the shop. They just need to send money digitally, and the product will be shipped to their home. So how does this affect costs? The seller can reduce storage and labor costs by keeping the motorcycles in boxed kit form, so they can reduce the price of the unit. These savings are offset by shipping costs, but shipping a box of parts still costs less than shipping the pre-built thing. In the end, with just a little bit of thinking and effort, the consumer can have a motorcycle that they want and save some hard earned cash getting it.
Complete Motorcycle Kits - Steps 1 through N
Getting complete motorcycle kits is just part one of the whole deal. After choosing the design, possibly selecting custom parts, transferring money as payment, and waiting for the package to arrive on your doorstep, the next part is to build the vehicle and this is where it gets interesting. Note that despite the name saying "complete" these kits will not include the tools required to build the motorcycle. "Complete" refers to the motorcycle's parts, not the construction process. Then again you will need to have the tools to maintain your ride anyway, so buying a good set is a great idea. For real gear heads, they would have tools in their garages anyway, and these are the same people who make up the bulk of the consumers for these vehicles in boxes. A set of instructions, most likely quite long, will also be included in the kit. No amount of whining about not liking to read manuals and following steps will get you around the fact that these instructions are critical. If you fail to read the instructions, you might miss something, and that something could be the one thing that spells the difference between a great ride and a nasty crash. Doing it yourself does not necessarily mean doing it your way, at least in this case. So, with the lecture out of the way, you can get on with building the motorcycle. What comes after completing it is where you can take liberties as you wish.
Complete Motorcycle Kits - Personality for Personal Utility
Having a ride of your own means you can design and customize it as you wish and this is especially true for something that you built yourself, though admittedly it was from a complete motorcycle kit. Adding personal touches to your ride makes it more personal, and more unique. It will be your sense of design and aesthetics that will make or break the appearance of the ride, so have fun with it. Maybe some fancy exhaust pipes, a few or a lot of decals and custom paints jobs, or even flashy neon lights, and you could have one sweet bike. Any customization of your motorcycle lies outside of the kit cost, and with customization the price can soon add up, but remember, after all it is all in the pursuit of enjoyment. Nothing beats being able to ride something that you designed yourself, since it is about pride, personality, and identity. Of course, there are those who prefer it straight up and simple.
Tags: building your own motorcycle