Building your own bike from motorcycle parts is  cheaper  than buying one new and is a whole lot of fun. When you are done, there is nothing like the satisfaction of driving around on a machine you built with your bare hands.

Your first bike project can be a daunting task even if you’ve done repairs or  custom  work already. Advice from someone who’s been through it can save you a lot of time and frustration and there are plenty of books to help.

How to Build a Kit Bike

Custom bike kits are a great choice for your first chopper. In this book by Tim Remus, you get a complete inventory of motorcycle parts so you don’t have to worry about missing something or making sure different pieces match up. All you have to do is put it all together and paint it.

This book illustrates step-by-step the construction of four kit bikes. And “illustrates” is the right word because this book is packed with pictures that let you see how every step is going to progress. It includes advice on tools and techniques that are invaluable for a first project.

Although it is a good introduction and overview, some of the information is a bit superficial. It’s a good start but not useful for anyone who has already built a bike. It’s no replacement for getting down and dirty with motorcycle parts. You’ll still make some mistakes, but you’ll make a lot fewer after reading this book.

How to Build a  Cheap  Chopper

Like the book above, this book by Tim Remus carefully illustrates the build of 5 bikes. However these aren’t kit bikes but rather bikes built from parts.

Most of the builds involve getting  cheap  Harley parts from junked donor bikes. The most expensive example is built with all  custom  chopper parts, but even this one will cost far less than buying a bike new.

Like Remus’s other book, this one provides a solid foundation to the new bike builder but is no substitute for experience. It’s a basic how-to manual that educates you on the basic concepts.

How to Paint Your Motorcycle

Once you assemble your motorcycle parts into a bad ass street machine you still need to paint it. You could take it to a paint shop, but then you could have just bought a new bike.

In this book, JoAnn Bortles shows you how to give your bike a professional paint job. She draws on her own extensive experience and is free with stories of personal mistakes. The book has a great conversational tone that makes it fun to read. It’s a comprehensive reference of techniques from basic preparation to elaborate bodywork.

Whether you want just a quick coating of black or you want to try your hand at painting flaming skulls, or even if you just want a good read while waiting for the pros to paint your bike, this is a great addition to any bike builder’s library.