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Discussion Starter #1
I come from a high-level bicycling background, and one thing that has always bugged me is the use of the word "custom" when people describe their bikes (not so bad in bicycling, but it seems WAY too overdone in the motorcycle world).

People in bicycling seem to understand that a "custom" bicycle is made for the rider -- from the ground up. The frame is designed to rider-specific dimensions, with tubing selection based on rider size and intended use.

But I see the word "custom" thrown around with such abandon when referring to motorcycles. Yeah, I'd call the OCC products custom (with the exception of the 4 production models they put out). And I'd definitely say that the Honzuki project is a custom. And I'd tend to put the Super-bobber SV into the custom realm.

But come one... A unique paint job does not, to me, make a bike "custom". Nor does pretty much any off-the-shelf bolt-on arrangement (or lack thereof).

I've done some amount of "liberating" on my bike with respect to weight, and added a couple of things like LEDs for auxiliary turn indicators, but I'd never call my bike "custom".

Just something that bugs me.

Carry on...
 

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hmm. does your motorcycle have a motor or an engine?
 

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i guess that's the issue these days, what people consider custom? i agree with you, painting your bike an unusual color doesn't make the bike custom, i wouldn't even call it custom paint.

according to merriam webster, custom made means something made to individual specifications. but i guess that's where the problem begins, since that's pretty arbitrary.
 

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Anything that isn't stock could be considered "custom" if done by a professional and especially if it's a home built goodie. ;)
 

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Anything that isn't stock could be considered "custom" if done by a professional and especially if it's a home built goodie. ;)
Anything that isn't stock is "personalized", unless it is built/uniquely tailored to individual specifications.

For example: a surfboard is custom when you specify the shape to the board shaper and they make of for you.

If you buy a "custom" surfboard second hand, it is no longer a custom board, it is now just a unique surfboard. It is only custom if it is your own specs that it was designed to fulfill.

A custom Corbin motorcycle saddle is not bought off ebay. You head out to the Corbin factory and they shape the saddle to fit your bottom.

If you buy a second hand "custom" Corbin saddle, but it wasn't shaped for your bottom, than it is not truly "custom".
 

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So putting GSXr forks on a SV isnt custom no more because it is the norm? How about being the only one with a certain rear end? Then what about having a R1 swingarm? If it is made diferent than it was meant to be, and is unique than I think it should be called custom. I dont think a custom is described only if a shop does it. I make custom stuff in my garage all teh time. for example I made a full 3" turbo back exhaust for my 2001 Saturn, I used no bends I cut and welded each turnto maximize flow. that is truely custom
 

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So wait, I have to build a bike from the ground up for it to be "custom" now? I understand in the bicycling world that is realistic, but come on, it would cost a fortune to build a motorcycle from the ground up exactly to your needs. I consider a bike with mods that make it do the job it's rider asks better customized. But maybe I don't put that much importance on the term, might just be me.
 

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After you take a bike apart and mod it to your liking it is custom. From what you said about a bike being custom is having one that has been built for you. The difference for most of us with motorcycles is we did it ourselves. Atleast most of us. And under your definition theres not a whole lot left thats custom unless its a one off moto gp bike or something similar. Custom made per definition means built to your specifications. I believe that is what alot us strive to do with our bikes which make them custom. Dont get me wrong I feel it takes more then turn signals and paint but I assume you get the point.
 

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janitor or sanitary engineer?

same argument. political correctness can blow me.
the best method of communication is the direct approach. if somebody paints their bike white because they are fond of white and want their bike to be white, then their bike is customized for them. this makes the bike by definition "custom". obviously there are different levels of customization, and categories to be customized, but if the bike has been worked on by its rider in the pursuit of making their bike their own then it is in fact custom.

i can take it one step further to deal with the initial argument.

if the bike i was referring to in the above paragraph was an SV, then the bike would be a 'custom SV'.
however, if the bike was built from the ground up with the rider in mind, then it would be a 'custom built motorcycle'.

there is a difference between customizing an existing model of bike and building a bike from scratch FOR the rider, though both would technically be considered custom.
 

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my favorite is when you get some 16-17 year old white kid with his flat brim gangsta hat thrownin a can on a four door grand am and calling it custom. oh my...:rolleyes:
 

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I have bar end mirrors...now that's custom. ;)
 

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I believe that once something is modified it is custom, if it is not modified but built for whatever reason to suit no specific need "made to sell choppers" it is custom-built, if it is specifically built for the a pre-determined owner to suit very specific needs it is then a one-off....
 

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Where is Suzanne's Cat Duck?
 

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I customized my SV with random intaglio plastic customization on my seat cowl and environmental chain art (the non-cognoscenti might call that "rust")
 

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according to merriam webster, custom made means something made to individual specifications. but i guess that's where the problem begins, since that's pretty arbitrary.
You left out there example...

"cus⋅tom⋅ize
   /ˈkʌstəˌmaɪz/ [kuhs-tuh-mahyz]
–verb (used with object) -ized, -iz⋅ing.
to modify or build according to individual or personal specifications or preference: to customize an automobile. "
 

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Discussion Starter #20
So wait, I have to build a bike from the ground up for it to be "custom" now? I understand in the bicycling world that is realistic, but come on, it would cost a fortune to build a motorcycle from the ground up exactly to your needs. I consider a bike with mods that make it do the job it's rider asks better customized. But maybe I don't put that much importance on the term, might just be me.
Notice I said that I consider the Honzuki and Super-bobber SV to be customs.

But... I chopped my muffler this past weekend. I would say that I have a custom muffler, but I wouldn't say I have a custom bike.
 
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