American Motorcycle News

A DIY motorcycle frame building guide

You might have the perfect idea for a motorcycle frame but just don’t know how to visualize it or bring it out into the open. and the real thing that is holding you back is the question, how are you going to build a motorcycle frame?

You need to get a variety of frame components and have to consider the frame geometry and if it will even look good with the bike that you have in mind.

Lucky for you though, this guide will have you going through everything that you need to know about building a chopper frame and will cover everything that you need to know about it from the frame tubing to the frame jig. a

So, here is how you can make your very own DIY motorcycle frame.

What are motorcycle frames?

The term frame refers to the housing that supports main components of the bike itself like the transmission, engine, and suspension.

The frame is an essential part of the motorcycle not only because it houses all of the major components, but it is also because a good quality motorcycle frame build can help better distribute the weight of these components to the wheels.

When the load is evenly distributed amongst the two wheels, it can significantly improve balance and can help with maneuverability.

Considerations of a frame

When you go out to choose a motorcycle frame, you want to consider three major things: strength, rigidity, and weight.

You preferably want a balance of all these factors for the most comfortable ride. However, depending on the type of motorcycle you’re making, your preferences may differ.

Frames on most motorcycles will often be steel or aluminum, with the latter being the best combination of the three factors above.

However, there is one particular material that has offers good strength and a rigid frame with nearly half the weight, and that is carbon fiber. Most high end motorcycle frames use this material since it allows them to accelerate even faster.

Different types of motorcycle frames

Motorcycles can be very fun to ride. Not only are they a great way to get around traffic, but they can also offer a more fun riding experience.

But if your building your chopper frames from scratch, then you want to consider the different types of materials that they can be made from.

Each of them has their fair share of pros and cons, which is why it is up to you to choose which one will work best for your bike.

Popular materials used to make a chopper frame

You can find a range of motorcycle frames to fit your specific bike. You can find cast/pressed alloy, cast aluminum, and steel tubular.

Steel tubular rigid frame tubing

Steel tubular is a good option for some of the bigger engines since it is very durable and rigid. Not only can it handle the weight of the engine, but it can also house the rest of the bike’s components with ease.

However, the only real downside to this type of frame is that it is heavy. In fact, it is easily the heaviest option you have when choosing a frame.

Cast aluminum

Another popular type of frame that has everyone’s attention is cast aluminum, which can be much lighter and a lot better in certain situations.

However, their biggest drawback is that they are not as strong as their steel counterparts, which means that a bent frame will be even harder to fix.

Granted, depending on your welding process, tube welding, and frame welding, you could reinforce this frame.

Cast/pressed alloy

Finally, there is cast/pressed alloy, which offers the best balance between weight, strength, and rigidity.

It is not as strong and durable as steel but not as weak as aluminum. And it is not as light as aluminum but not as heavy as steel. Therefore, it provides the optimal balance.

Building a motorcycle frame from scratch

Building a motorcycle frame from scratch and working on your chopper frame build can feel like a very complicated process.

In fact, one of the major reasons why most bikers don’t follow through on building a motorcycle frame is because they feel like it is a very daunting task.

It is not as hard as you think

However, the only thing that you need to be worried about is the measurements since even a slightly wrong one could throw off the balance of your bike.

You need to be careful of things like is the rear wheel the right distance from the seat post and checking if the wall thickness is just right.

So, here is a more in-depth guide on how you can build your frame.

Cutting tubes for the mainframe rail

You can start to build a motorcycle frame by first cutting two tubes that will make up the mainframe rail.

You want to make sure that these two rods are correct, since most of your frame will now be relying on these measurements.

Cutting shorter pieces

Next, you want want to cut two shorter pieces of tube which you will use for crossbeams. These connect the mainframe tubes and provide increased support to the body.

preparing the gussets

Now, you want to make four more small tubes that you can use for gussets. Even if you’re making a softail frame, the upper tube and tube bending will be just as important.

You will be using the gussets to reinforce the joints where different frame components will be coming together. They will also help you keep your frame straight and will give your frame jig a more reinforced structure.

Welding all the pieces together

Next, you want to start welding all the tubes together to make the welding jig. Frame jigs need to have a good welding to handle the stress of riding.

Therefore, you want to make sure that the welding tool that you are using is good to use for high-strength steel if that is the material that you are using.

Make sure you refer to the guide as you’re building your motorcycle in case you get stuck somewhere. You also have to be very careful as you weld the pieces together, as a small mistake can lead to very serious consequences.