Tips for Choosing a Custom Motorcycle Frame for Your Bike

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  • 1-40 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-30,000

A custom motorcycle frame can be great for setting your motorcycle apart from all of the others on the road. A custom motorcycle frame can be expensive, especially as individuality doesn’t often come cheap! When you’re considering a custom motorcycle frame, you need to take a number of considerations into account in order for it to be the right choice for you.

1. Rake

One highly important factor in a custom motorcycle frame is the rake of the forks. The greater the rake, the worse the cornering ability of the bike. While a rake of 55 degrees can look wonderful on a show motorcycle, it’s not going to handle well on the roads.

The generally accepted rule of thumb is that the rake should be no more than 40 degrees for regular riding and a rake of between 30 degrees and 35 degrees is ideal. This offers the very best handling while still looking good.

2. Frame Stretch


With frame stretch, it’s important to get a good combination of stretch over the backbone of the bike with the rise. Where the stretch is too great on the custom motorcycle frame, the bike will flex too much on the road. However, if the rise is too great, you’ll need to be tall in order to feel comfortable on the bike.

When you’re designing a custom motorcycle frame, you need to research this area thoroughly to find out what will be ideal for you. An excellent street bike configuration is a rise of one inch with a backbone stretch of between two inches and three inches and a 12-inch stretch over the front end.

3. Neck Style

When it comes to neck style for your custom motorcycle frame, you really only have two choices. If you go with a straight neck, you will need to install bearing races. With an hourglass neck, you can use fork cups where the races are already installed.

4. Tubing Size

The size of the tubing is vital when you’re designing a custom motorcycle frame. If you have a large engine and large rake, you’ll need larger tubing. For strength, go with 1 ¼ inch tubing since it gives real strength to the frame and also offers improved handling.

5. Stress Bar


Stress bars are standard on stock frames but are not always considered on custom motorcycle frames. However, they do offer several advantages. They give increased frame strength and stop the bike flexing excessively. Also, consider you can use a stress bar to hide much of the wiring on the bike, which results in a cleaner overall appearance. A stress bar is always a good idea when your bike has a heavy front end.

6. Other Factors

A custom motorcycle frame is more than a series of lines. In reality, it’s actually a series of informed decisions. Consider where your controls will be. Will they be forward controls or mid controls? If you plan on using a seat that’s not a standard item, you’ll need to allow for this in the design. The more you decide before designing your custom motorcycle frame, the easier your job will be.