Softail Bobber. $19,500 VIN Included

To offer a custom motorcycle with a VIN number for the price of an equivalent factory bike is the challenge of many custom shops. Many entered this market segment and try hard to get your business by offering the most bang for you hard earned (and I hope preserved) dollars. This model is from South Side Kustoms, and since I cannot test-ride all bikes, I will limit this post to listing the main components. Frame: DNA for 180/200 mm rear tire. Engine: Harley 80” black & Chrome. Paint: Gloss black. Carburetor: S&S E Shorty. DNA Billet Wheels front 21 x 2.125”, rear 18 x 5.5”. Avon Tires. Controls/Mirrors: Jay Brake. Bars: Ape Hangers 12”. Exhaust: Paul Yaffe. Brakes: DNA 4-piston. Open Belt: Polished Tauer 3”. More details at South Side Kustoms.

19 Responses to “Softail Bobber. $19,500 VIN Included”

  1. 1 Jason Oct 19th, 2008 at 11:44 am

    THANK YOU TO CYRIL HUZE and STAFF! I love reading your blog and greatly appreciate the PR


  2. 2 harry Oct 19th, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    It looks like a real nice bike, saw the website and they have some real nice rides. Hope they sell as many bikes as they can crank out.

  3. 3 Dave B. Oct 19th, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    Looks good, and very reasonably priced. DNA parts are American made and of good quality too, can’t go wrong there!
    Nice going guys.

  4. 4 J Oct 19th, 2008 at 11:24 pm

    Very nice to see such a nice, comprehensive bike in light of various builders who swear they can’t possibly break even on their bikes for less than $40K;

    The free market lives!

  5. 5 raaaaaa Oct 20th, 2008 at 1:19 am


  6. 6 crazycowboy Oct 20th, 2008 at 11:55 am

    Dave B….are you f’ng kidding me??!!! DNA parts american made??!! You are clueless.

    DNA parts are made in CHINA, yes, CHINA!!! ALL of their parts!!! frames, wheels, brake calipers, front ends, everything!!! For the record, the wheels are chromed and assembled with the hubs here in the US. But they come from China.

    Sorry boys, the only American parts on this bike is the HD motor, primary and other small parts . I would go as far as to say that this bike is over 80% Chinese…..or very close to it. And yes, Chinese parts are INFERIOR!!! The metals in China don’t have to meet the US standards, therefore, they aluminums are much, much softer. Also, the tolerances are way off compared to the American parts.

    I can understand the effort of SSK to bring “custom” bike to market for the 20K an under price tag, but remember, you get what you pay for. I am sure that their workmanship is very good, however, the integrity of the Chinese components are not.

    I know this from experience, I was in the business for over 35 years. I am now safely retired….and enjoying it.

    This is reality, and this is America, not China!!

    Ride on boys, ride on…

  7. 7 Jason Oct 20th, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    Yes crazycowboy is correct, DNA parts are made in China. But to be able to deliver a great custom under the 20K price with American Parts would be impossible. Due to high costs of steel (because of the Chinese buying up big supplies), also even the BIG or more popular builders have started to sub out their parts to the Chinese or somewhere in the ASIA vasinity, because of lower costs. True they don’t take as much pride or standards as the good ol’ USA, but like I stated building an ALL AMERICAN bike at a low cost is virtualy impossible.

    I currently have a customer looking to build all American, this drove his price up as ALL American made parts cost more–usually ALOT more. Unfortunate, but the truth. So providing a low cost BUT WELL built bike has to take some Asain parts. Not saying it can’t be done, but in a mass production or line, and the public’s demand for a lower cost bike, = cost effective parts.

    I can say this, DNA’s quality is better over the competitor ULTIMA, I have used their frames and wheels for awhile, and I haven’t experience a problem or flaking of wheels. To be perfectly honest, being a certified welder, the DNA frames have some of the best welds I have seen especially next to most, the only other company that beat their welds was Kraft tech frames which I believe are American made, but at higher cost. The welder for kraft Tech is a welding god!

    Besides South Side Kustoms does stand behind our bikes, that if you have a problem we will take care of it.

    Last thought – I don’t think us as consumers can be disillusioned into thinking that EVERY componet on an American built motor are all American parts., or atleast assembled somewhere else – not many things are TOTALLY AMERICAN MADE anymore. Damn shame.

  8. 8 Gar Oct 20th, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    The bottom line here is you get what you pay for! Don’t cry when the Chinese crap falls apart —- you have no one to blame but yourself. Also please don’t bitch about not having a job in the US … afer all you are happy to pay the Chinese for a scooter because their parts are “more affordable”! and what the hell they are almost as good as American Made!

    Gar Out.

  9. 9 Biker Bob Oct 20th, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    What ever happened to a 100 % american made built in America bike?? That stopped happening in the old days Iam afraid, when the builder fabricated all his own parts or bought what he needed from a metal shop around the corner from his shop. Wire, switches, electronics and on and on and on come from South Korea, China, Japan or other places. Anyone would be hard pressed to find 100% of the parts need to build a bike these days that are made in the good old USA, and if you did like Jason has already stated, you’d be paying out the kazoo for em. For the dude who has money but no bike building skills, SSK bikes make sense, most of the guys replying on this blog are manufacturers or builders, so it dosen’t make sense to them.
    Me, I like their bikes and I think they are a great deal for the public, hell, most of the buyers for custom bikes rarely ride them anyway.

    I wonder if Gar thinks he’s driving a 100% made in America car, or lives in a 100% made in America home, and the list goes on. Dude, wake up America isen’t 100% American anymore. In order for parts to be made in America and match Chinas prices, Americans would have to work for peanuts, I can assure you that aint gonna happen.

    Keep up the good work SSK

  10. 10 Gar Oct 20th, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    Biker Bob,

    I am not one who is stuck on buying American just because the tag says “Made in America”. We build some real crap in this country as well. I am however, into buying quality products from wherever they may have been produced. I do not buy “price” whether that is in my home, cars, clothing or whatever you can think of. In the long run I save money by buying quality products that will have a life beyond 6 months.

    In fear of repeating myself —- you get what you pay for. Now with that statement I am not taking anything away from South Side Customs as I am sure they build a nice bike for the price. I am simply letting history speak for itself….. remember the Ultra Ground Pounder, just to mention one of a long list of similar “affordable” bikes? Six months down the road the people who bought these “affordable” bikes had nothing more than boat anchors on their hands. That does nothing other than make the industry as a whole look bad.

    Gar Out

  11. 11 Jason Oct 20th, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    Thank you for the compliments – Hey we can build high cost budget bikes too! We hand make parts whenever we can, or it is cost effective.

    It is astounding how it has become, right down to steel. South Side Kustoms is located in Buffalo, NY – which at one point in history was the mecca of manufacturing companies, especially steel, but since the 1970’s our area has lost 1/4 million people. 250,000 have just picked up and left, for better opportunities. Most people don’t even realize that most of the steel products are made overseas especially raw steel. How many steel companies are left in the USA? 75% of the steel we are provided is made abroad, cuz they do it cheaper than AMERICA – UNREAL the we have out priced ourselves in the global economy. But then again most Americans are disillusioned by thinking the war in Iraq drives up gas prices, when America gets most of it’s crude oil from South America.

    We recently lost American Axle in the Buffalo Area, these guys were complaining about the new contracts and their costs. When a local NBC affiliate did some research on the average Automobile Factory worker, this is what they found – They have a house loan, 3-4 vehicles not including a motorcycle,snowmobile and /or boat plus alot of these guys had “summer cabins” – are you serious? This all helped along by the insane pay scales they had and demands for more. I’m not bashing the unions, but they sure didn’t help keep jobs and “American made parts” in America.

    If your a “Fat Cat” and you look at cost of the American worker vs abroad, and how much more money you could shove in your pocket instead of ongoing high demands….I’m sure whether most would admit it or not–they would out source. Me I like making things myself and supporting smaller businesses. I’d love to get back to the basics, the way it was when my parents or grand parents era was. But the rest of America doesn’t want that.

    Sad we have gone from a blue collar nation, where women worked on a factory floor while our boys fought for world freedom, to a nation that cries about everything, instead of demanding or causing things to be different, all while holding our phones and texting… a lazy fat white collar nation we are today.

    Ok I am done ranting…..

  12. 12 Gar Oct 21st, 2008 at 10:21 am

    Well said Jason!

    Gar Out

  13. 13 busfreak Oct 22nd, 2008 at 7:16 am

    Jason well said, just heard a guy on tv talking about how the economy is so bad that he can’t buy organic tomatoes. He said he has to buy the regular tomatoes like all the other low lives. I just don’t know man.

  14. 14 Dave B. Oct 23rd, 2008 at 1:15 am

    I was contacted by a sales call from DNA around 3 years ago, a typical sales call like any other. The guy on the phone told me their frames were made in California, as were their wheels, and I assumed most of the other products as well. I use R.C. Components wheels and stuff (an American manufacturer 2 hours from my shop) and I make my own frames, & springers, so I don’t need DNA’s parts… but if what you say is true and their products are in fact made in China, I was clearly misinformed. I plan to find out.
    I try to use as many U.S. made parts as is possible in my shop, and urge others to buy American as well. If I have misrepresented DNA as an American manufacturer by mistake, my bad.

  15. 15 Largo Nov 5th, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    “Besides South Side Kustoms does stand behind our bikes, that if you have a problem WE WILL TAKE CARE OF IT?”

    So you’ll take care of the funeral expenses when the front end cracks going 120 mph?

  16. 16 Gunrunner Nov 7th, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    Another bobber to add to the fad that died three years ago. “Fad” meaning three years ago it became appealing (for one year) to the worldwide consumers to own a Rockabilly styled motorcycle.

    Good luck, to building maybe 15 of those next year, which brings no profit to you as a manufacture, and with no profit… how do you plan to provide efficient support for all of your customers across the nation?

    My apologies in advance – just being realistic.

  17. 17 Gunrunner Nov 7th, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    And, don’t get me started on lending institutions. What retail financing do you have in place for your buyers?

    What bank or alternative financing source recognizes an SSK’s actual value?

    Okay, sorry, I’m done…

  18. 18 Jason Nov 12th, 2008 at 10:21 am

    We use Wells Fargo for Lending, we are in the process of getting listed with Kelly Blue Book and Nada, and have setup a couple of dealers

    as far a DNA frontend cracking, personally I have never seen it, and that is what business insurance is for if someone come back to sue you.

    As far as bobbers being a “FAD” –I don’t see that on this end, Most of what is being purchased is Baggers on one end or Bobbers on the other. why else would Sucker Punch or Flyrite be so popular, if bobbers were a “fad”

    from what I can see is The now aday “Choppers” and “prostreet” bling machines are the “fad” that has died off.

    As far as my bottom line – we are doing just fine, base model means just that..starting point, if someone wants to switch a frontend out for a Paghco or switch the frame or anything else they can do so at a nominal fee.

  19. 19 oldskool Dec 3rd, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    I made the mistake of buying one of these. It has so many assembly errors it was delivered unrideable. As it stands I have yet to even hear this bike run. They stated here that they stand behind their product & will take care of issues. Simply a lie. I have 2 estimates to make this bike safe & right to ride & the lesser one at initial inspection is $6,500.00. That’s right, & SSK is refusing to pay & has not even offered to look at the bike to see the problems. The bike will have to be disassembled & redone to correct the problems. They claim the shippers did the damage, but I have a builder- mechanic with 40 yrs. experience telling me these are assembly errors not from shipping. It doesn’t even have the frame I paid for in it. I paid well over $20k for this bike, he was 9 months breach of contract on delivery date & it is unrideable & none of the problems are his fault!

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Cyril Huze