One thing that unites all factions of bikerdom is the desire to have a distinctive bike. Some people consider anything coated in chrome to be "custom," but we know better. This month's compilation features legitimately customizable accessories.
Warning: Some elbow grease and/or creativity may be required; your results may vary.
Everyone wants a custom paint job, but actual paint can cost thousands. With a bike wrap from Bikeskinz, you can get a similar appearance for a fraction of the price. Today's vinyl coatings are easy to apply and can be printed in any combination of colors for as little as $400. Brash designs for sportbikes are BikeSkinz's bread and butter, but they'll gladly produce wraps for your Honda Gold Wing or Harley Electra Glide in any design you can think up. Kits come with 9-12 pieces to cover your entire bike, and the 3M material is guaranteed against fading and peeling for 3 years.
Galfer Brake Lines
With more than 13,000 part numbers representing thousands of applications, odds are Galfer has the brake lines you need. But if your ride calls for special hoses-say, to compensate for clip-ons, risers or drag bars-Galfer is happy to help. Their techs will assemble top-quality Spanish-made hoses and fittings in any configuration you can imagine. Custom builds start at around $100 (just a couple bucks more than standard), and that price gives you free reign over length, fitting angles and colors.
Jeff "Styles" Overman has been wielding the squirrel-hair brush since 1980, and in that time he's developed a reputation as one of the best pinstripers in the business. While he has a passion for fine lines, his flames are also a hot commodity and he's quite talented with an air brush, too. He'll stripe anything you want, and at a fair price. The helmet pictured here was done for just $125, and fenders and tanks can be done at similar cost. But be warned: Painters tend to be flakey (it's the fumes), and Styles is no exception. Expect to wait a while for your piece to get finished, but it will be worth the wait.
Lincoln Home Welder
Can't find the parts you need? Make them yourself! Nothing unlocks the door to customization like being able to weld, and Lincoln's Power MIG 140C welder does it all. From gas-less flux-core work on thick steel to MIG welding on stainless steel and aluminum, the 140C has the versatility and power to get the job done. The 140C runs on household (110-volt) current and is small enough to fit in a cabinet or on a shelf. It retails for $664, comes with a 3-year warranty, and for a limited time you'll get a free auto-darkening welding helmet with your purchase through Lincoln's Money Matters Promotion.
Seats are Saddlemen's specialty, and as with all their products, their new Gel Channel sportbike seats can be tailored to suit your needs. Custom builds start at $300 and offer your choice of fabric, foam material, accent colors and even the height and contour. The Gel Channel's deep central groove eliminates pressure on your perineum to maintain blood flow and keep you comfortable, just like on racing bicycle seats. We've tried them and they make a big difference on all-day rides, for men and women.
Home Powder Coating
Powder coating is more durable than conventional paint, and with Harbor Freight's $70 coating system it's never been easier or cheaper to do it yourself. We picked up a kit and have used it to coat small parts like fork caps, sidestands and triple clamps. It's an effective way to subtly alter your bike's appearance and protect high-wear surfaces such as engine cases. An oven (or a toaster oven, like we use) is required to cure the coated part.
Two Brothers Exhaust
Click the "Custom Shop" tab on the Two Brothers website and you'll enter a world of options. There you can play with an interactive program to build your own exhaust. Whether you're in the market for an affordable slip-on or performance-enhancing full system, Two Brothers lets you choose your sleeve material, inlet, outlet and end cap colors, and even design a personalized badge with your name and race number. Pricing depends on pipe model and the options you select, so check out the website to get an estimate.
FP Racing Levers
You can get your levers engraved at any jewelry store, but good luck getting them done for just $10! When you buy a set of FP Racing folding levers, they offer the option to have the logo or text of your choice laser-etched on the surface for just $5 per side. FP's six-way adjustable levers are machined from billet aluminum and are assembled in your choice of 14 anodized colors. Their folding design helps prevent component damage in the event of a crash or tip-over, and each $179 set is guaranteed for life.
While the nice people at Bates offer their contemporary textile garments in off-the-rack sizes, their leather jackets are all custom-sewn to order. It's a tradition that dates back to 1949, and is part of the reason Bates was the brand of choice for legends like King Kenny Roberts and Giacomo Agostini. Garments are hewn from the finest leather in classically attractive styles, and are intended to provide a lifetime of comfort and protection. Pricing starts at $830. Options such as armor and special designs are available.