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Discussion Starter #1
Whats the thoughts on how much time it takes for an average bike build? I know Cafe type bikes arent `technically built`, but you know what I mean. I just wonder sometimes after spending a full day working on a part or something and on stepping back, its swallowed into insignificance by everything else around it needing similar attention.

I dont know how professional shops price for restoration work, I truly dont and credit to them. When I was in the Collision Repair business on modern vehicles with no un-known horrors to be found, I could quite easily estimate in 1/10ths of an hour, a 50 or 60 hour repair that could total £6k and be within plus or minus 2.5% of that figure at invoicing.

I just wonder what sort of time, in hours and not including pissing about with a cup of tea in your hand, admiring the efforts of your labour, people have spent on a bike.

Hipster hack and rattle can jobs are going to be fast, I know that. As are the `bolt on` dress-up bikes, its the engine tear down, proper racer inspired type of project I`m curious about. Maybe it would be good to get an idea for all 3 types, which would be handy for anyone considering taking on a project.

I keep track on mine, after deductions for organizing tools, and setting up the bench etc, I am into it for over 150 hours. Its crazy, I know.
 

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The answer for me is as long as it takes then when you change details a few years on because you think it could be better, even more. Some builds are a preoccupation , a love affair, a dedicated past-time.
Originally built my Triton 8 years ago and is now in about it's 5th incarnation. Everything is hand fettled and modified.
I'm not an engineer but winter is always time to play away with hacksaws and files.
triton 2014 013.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Its those hand fettled and modified parts that soak up time isnt it. Ive got a spare pair of those large alloy, finned exhaust collars in my `stash`. Let me know if you ever break one.
 

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Thing is that some of that "looking at the bike with a cup of tea" time is billable if you are charging for the bike.
 

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Are they ever really "finished"? To me there's always something to improve or modify.
Took me two years of nights, weekends, and days off to hand build my Harley based chopper. Rode it for a year, fell off and it's now being reborn.
 

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I couldn't even guess how long it would take to get as far as you have. It's the A.D.D. that does me in.... along with the fact that I can't stick with one hobby. I start by hauling a frame out of the shed and then get distracted by a 35' wood Chris Craft that enters my life. Three years to get that into the ocean. Then I'm perusing the local Craigslist ads, and there is a 911 SC for sale just around the corner listed for $1000.... how could you pass that up, even if you don't want one....so now that displaces the M/C frame. I suppose it's like the man said, it's not the destination.....it's the journey.
You may be spending a lot of time on that bike Mark, but it's certainly time well spent.

Ps. I think Jag is correct. Sometimes sitting there staring at the bike can be one of the most important parts of the project.
 

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anywhere from a month to 10 years.

depends on what you're doing, what your goals are and how many times you've done something similar, if you're continuously upgrading things because you're riding it constantly and chasing better performance, then your goal is open ended and it will never really be done, that and you acquire more tools as you go on, so some things you wanted to do earlier you now can. if you're building a bike with a goal in mind, like, turning a 400f into a 466 with a racing cam and bored carbs, and it's something you've done before, then you can finish rather quickly, especially if you standardize a lot of the things you do, like using the same rearset design, clipon design, etc, the longer you build things, the more notebooks you wind up with, and these save lots of time
 

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why???? I always find it interesting to call project..."builds"... what are we "building"? You mean putting a motorbike together?
Some can put a bike together in a weekend... others fabricate their own parts. Whatever

I am going to "build" a bicycle rack to organize my garage...
Then maybe head to my shop to clean up and organize that space so I can work
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I did mention the term`build` on the first page of this thread, so I know what you mean. I am hoping that when I am done `assembling and fabricating my bike`, that I dont really need to be doing much else to it, other than general maintenance.

I bet I will have 250 hours into it on completion (possibly 300 including bacon butties and mugs of tea).
 

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I've done full restoration in a little more than a month or two and I have some "project" bikes that I'm still working on after several years. For me the amount of time it takes me comes down to two important areas - 1 is do I have all the money ready to go and 2 is do I have a clear though on where the project is going. I find "most" projects take much longer if the funds are not readily available. If your doing a restoration project then your build path is pretty much set and it comes down to the amount of time you spend each day. If your building a custom bike - then you spend a great deal of time working around the original design of the bike and the changes your making to fit within the constraints of what is not changing.
 

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Ha Ha "build", "fabricate", "assemble"....

I suppose I am somewhat annoyed at the amount of people out there "building" bikes, considering themselves "builders" reading in to this post trying to find a blueprint or minimal amount of time so they can call their "build"
completed so they can put it on ebay to sell it to someone else or what have you.
Not annoyed at your post... Just wondering what the builders are actually building?
Whatever... carry on.
 

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Mine has taken 5 years to get to it's current state, in saying that it was about 12 months to get to a point where I got plates and rode it around, that was meant to be a few weeks shakedown before I stripped it for paint, instead it turned int a year of riding. Then I painted and rode around some more before I added a fairing and USD forks. I still don't think it's really finished, I've been "building" (and I use the term loosely) another engine for about 18 months now but have been distracted by the bike I'm building for my wife and my Jeep.

Cheers
Steve
 

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I love when I show up to the track with my race bikes... people ask.." who made the bodywork?"... I did. " who made the tank?" ... I did... " is it a cover?".. No its a tank
Same thing every time. I've been developing my CB350 racer for the last 13 years. Dialing it in all the time.

go make stuff!
Tannermatic
 

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How the hell do you figure an "average" build time? If you buy all you need it should be a very short time. Assuming you have a fat bank account. If you have to fabricate most every thing then the time will go way out. Much like Monkey I built my LSR sidecar I get the "Who built your frame?".......I did. "Who did the bodywork?"........I did. It probably took the the best part of a year and a half working in the evenings and weekends. Allowing pissed off time when you think you have it figured and it doesn't work out. I started the build around 2004. How many hours have I got in it? I really would hate to add it up. I think I would shit myself if I did. Cash in it? I can give you a close(ish) estimate. Again, its too scary to keep score on that part. The sidecar is, today, very different to what it was originally, Its ongoing.
 

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I love when I show up to the track with my race bikes... people ask.." who made the bodywork?"... I did. " who made the tank?" ... I did... " is it a cover?".. No its a tank
Same thing every time. I've been developing my CB350 racer for the last 13 years. Dialing it in all the time.

go make stuff!

If we're gonna get into semantics, my definition is that they are all "projects" some are "restorations" back to original which should only take the time to get the work done, finding parts and funds needed. Others are "builds" where you take a base line bike and "make and fabricate" bits to your own interpretation of what would work and look better for you!
When I started my first ground up "build" nobody believed I could/would do it. The OCD, ADD, ADHD, HDMI, TSCC, and DFI in me said screw em!
I made the handlebars five times before I was happy. Anyone here that has achieved a good "build" fully understands Monkeys statement that when you're asked what/who/where you can say "I did"

Now I'm outta here to go finish my fuel tank.
 

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I have a confession. I didn't make the tank on the sidecar. Its an adapted oil tank from a Manx Norton.
 

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You dont have to make everything.... However opening up a catalog and ordering parts to decorate your 1970's honda and or fabricating a shitty seat for the same 70's honda is
no reason to go around calling yourself a motorcycle "builder"
 

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Ha Ha "build", "fabricate", "assemble"....

I suppose I am somewhat annoyed at the amount of people out there "building" bikes, considering themselves "builders" reading in to this post trying to find a blueprint or minimal amount of time so they can call their "build"
completed so they can put it on ebay to sell it to someone else or what have you.
Not annoyed at your post... Just wondering what the builders are actually building?
Whatever... carry on.
Mr. monkey, i think you are preaching to the quire, especially here on CF.net.
i BUILT my bike, i built the rear seat out of sheet metal, i design and build my own rearsets for my height, i built my exhaust system out of stainless steel tubing and sheet metal that i rounded with my bare hands, i built my own battery from LiFePo4 cells and custom aluminum casing... i built many other things...
i built my bike, but i am still been considered as an extremist among our Cafe Racer community.
Why? because it easier to throw stuff on the bike instead of building them.
i can understand when people lack the skill and know-how, and still want a nice bike - this is assembly... not Build nor Fabricate.
 
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