The term “kit bike” has come to mean “chopper kit” for the most part, since with all of the chopper building TV shows and build offs, the chopper shops began putting boxes of parts together to give the home builder a chance to roll his own, just like on TV. We’ve been questioning for some time the single minded concentration on choppers and asking why not build a sport bike or a standard, instead. As long as you’re building from the ground up there’s no reason to confine yourself to ten foot long, billet and chrome choppers.
It looks like Custom Chrome slipped in under the radar with their new V Bike kit. The V Bike is a standard, powered by a 110 cubic inch RevTech V-twin, the same engine used in their chopper kits. The configuration, however, is definitely non-chopper. It has Paioli upside down forks at 25 degrees and a very standard seating position. Progressive shocks out back control the non-chopper sized Avon 170 tire on a 17 inch Marchesini wheel with an Avon 120X17 up front. Brembo calipers and rotors do the stopping. Seating is provided by Corbin.
In the May issue of Cycle World magazine, they order up one of these V Bikes and proceed to go through the assembly process. The major problems they had were the type you would expect with a new kit, in their case a total lack of any instructions with the kit and a few parts that didn’t fit quite right. Custom Chrome said all future bikes would have these oversights corrected.
The kit comes in at $15,000, totally unassembled except for the engine and transmission. That should be enough to give most folks the “I built it myself” feeling. Cycle World promises to test the bike and give the report in an upcoming issue.
This is very promising, once you get people thinking that bike building doesn’t mean chopper building, they might get all sorts of crazy ideas and begin building every type of bike. If enough builders show an interest, more components may start to appear and the mix and match possibilities keep growing, although there are a lot of parts already available, it’s just the idea of building non-chopper that’s in short supply. How many other companies will follow with their own standard or sport bike kits? Time will tell but I hope it’s a lot.
Doug tipped me to this before I even opened my issue of Cycle World.