Bobber and Chopper Building DVD Reviews!

front end assemblyI have been searching all over the internet for a DVD that would give me detailed instructions on how to build my own motorcycle. Most of the DVDs I found were of bikers just showing off.

These bikers love displaying their custom made motorcycles without giving any details as to how they made them.

Below is a list of the best bike building videos on the market, in my humble opinion. They are not numbered in ranking order…

#1) Build Your Own Bike Instructional DVD:

build your own bike dvdsFinally, I have found a DVD that contains the information that I am looking for. Michael Durham and Ray Culver have really come together to make a dynamite motorcycle building tutorial DVD.

Ray is kind of the behind the scenes guy who edits the video and does the technical work for it. Michael, on the other hand, is the star of the video and he starts you off by showing you the materials you need to make a kit builder or to just build a bike from the ground up.

The cool thing is no matter if you are building a chopper, a bobber or a street machine, the steps in building them are all the same. All of this information is on the first disc.

There is also a second disc that talks about the final assembly of the bike after painting it.

build a bobberMost people forget to get paint out of the threads before they mount pieces onto the frame. This usually results in bolts snapping, which forces you to have to take apart the bike and then re-bolt everything…

This is one of many mistakes you will learn to avoid as well as how to build your bike from the ground up (not including the frame – see Building A Chopper Chassis below…it’s my personal favorite).

Michael certainly knows what he is talking about and will guide you towards the right path in building a bike for yourself.

By the way, the bike he builds is a killer rigid bobber, as you can see above.

Motorcycle Metal Fabrication: from Sheet to Street (DVD):

sheet to streetFinding the right motorcycle parts can be a pain. I’ve gone on eBay to look for parts, but those sellers always jack up the prices and I end up having to pay more in the end when building my own motorcycle.

That is why I am so glad I found Ron Fournier’s DVD on motorcycle metal fabrication!

He is truly a master at creating customized motorcycle parts from mere sheet metal.

Ron doesn’t get into too many technical terms either, but instead is a straight shooter when telling you what needs to be done. He gives clear instructions on everything from constructing an aluminum tank to fabricating the fender, seat pan and sides of a bike. I loved learning about the metal shaping process because it truly is a magical process that you have to see to believe.

ron fournier weldingHowever, I will say that not just anybody should try metal fabrication. If you are new to this whole thing then this video may not be enough. You might want to have someone skilled to help you out the first time around.

Not that Ron’s video is bad, but you need some kind of experience and skill in order to do it right. When you deal with fabricating equipment, like thermal cutters and arc welders, you need the ability and the know how to use them properly.

If you are an experienced fabricator that wants to learn how to make custom parts for your motorcycle, then watching this video won’t leave anything out. It was truly a fun and educational experience for me to watch Ron work his magic.

Building a Chopper Chassis:

chopper chassis build dvdI am a big fan of Ron Covell. This guy is a motorcycle master and I just love his DVDs.

When I heard about his DVD on learning how to build the frame for a chopper, I couldn’t wait to see it. I didn’t even know that a frame is called a chassis, so you can see how slow I am.

Anyways, after watching this DVD I can tell you that Ron gives precise details on the entire process of building one of these chopper frames.

He goes over the design of the frame and the raking, trail and stretching of it. He even talks about the proper jigs to use with the chassis for mounting it in place while working.

chopper frame buildIt is important to learn about the proper jigs to use because it will help you bend and fit the tubing better, which can help match the design of any chopper frame that you have in mind.

What is unique about Ron’s demonstrations is that he doesn’t favor the experienced motorcycle builders. He covers techniques that both entry level and experienced builders can appreciate.

Like if you are somebody just starting out in a motorcycle shop, Ron covers what tools inexperienced people should use when they are performing various tasks like cutting and bending.

These tools differ from the high end tools that an experienced builder would use. Either way, you will learn and become successful at chassis building while watching Ron perform. He leaves nothing out for anyone.

springer hardtail chopper
Ron Covell and His Rigid Springer Chopper Build.

Making Motorcycle Gas Tanks:

Motorcycle Gas TanksI never thought about what goes into making a motorcycle gas tank before watching this DVD. I guess you have to be a real hardcore motorcycle builder to get this deep into it and Ron Covell reveals that he is that deep.

After watching this DVD, I learned so much about the process of making two distinctive style gas tanks for motorcycles.

One gas tank can be made out of steel, which is popular to use for a chopper’s gas tank. The other kind of gas tank is a comma shaped tank that is made out of aluminum. He shows you how to make both!

One important lesson I got from watching these various lessons from Ron was that it helps to have good skills as a welder when building any kind of motorcycle.

tear drop gas tank buildIt’s not enough to just love bikes and love the parts, but you have to have the skill to fabricate and sculpt the materials that go into the bike as well. I never realized how much I’d learn about gas and arc welding from watching these DVDs.

Also, Ron shows us how to test for leaks in the gas tank. Obviously, you don’t want to be riding your chopper on the interstate with a trail of gasoline behind you.

That wouldn’t be a pretty site. However, Ron shows us how to make hidden rubber mounts that can fix any leak issues like this. Best of all, the techniques that Ron shows the viewer can be used on motorcycle tanks of all shapes and sizes.

How to Build a Bobber:

bobber build dvdI have read various tutorial books on how to build a bobber motorcycle.

Some of these books were even published by the same producer of this DVD, Wolfgang Publications. From what I understand, this was their first DVD about building bobbers and it was easy to tell while watching it. The video seemed rushed during the “lessons” and it also had poor quality visuals.

What this two hour long DVD features is Tim Remus working at his bike shops at Redneck Engineering and Klok Werks. He works with something called a “red neck biker kit,” which most people I know do not possess. I wish Tim would have talked about other biker kits that can be used to build a bobber.

Then, when it came to the tutorials I felt that the only detailed segment was the one where he shows you how to strip and transform a cruiser. But what about the extra wires and parts that are usually left after jobs like that are done?

He gave no details about that or about anything else. It was just him working in his two shops and showing off his skills. I guess for a first time video tutorial, this company really didn’t understand the idea of how to teach people through demonstration on camera.

I think from now on I’ll stick to the book tutorials. That way every action is explained in words and I don’t have to guess what I am looking at. Maybe it’s not Tim’s fault because he seems to know about bobbers. However, he doesn’t know about teaching us how to make them.

Final Thoughts:

You may be wondering which ones to get. If you can afford it get all of them. But only a few of us have the budget for that. So if I had to pick three, I would choose:

They are all good except for the last one (although there were a few nuggets that made it worth my time and money), in my opinion. I learned a great deal from each one of them. But the ones I keep going back to the most are Build Your Own Bike, From Sheet To Street, and Building A Chopper Chassis.

Comment below if you have any thoughts on this. Otherwise get building!

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