A Custom Harley For Less Than $10,000. Possible.

If you want to ride a brand new stock Harley under $10,000 the lower-priced Sportsters are an option. But if you want a used Custom Harley for almost the same budget, the one featured here is a good representation of what you could build for yourself. Michael Kamalian from Revolution Manufacturing wanted to show what could be done with some trading and ingenuity for a total of $9890.62 in purchase receipts, of course excluding labor time because when you work on your own bike time means nothing…

This total budget includes the donor bike, a 1998 Softail with 28,000 miles (see picture as purchased at bottom) and some primary issues (turned out to be a worn through adjustment shoe) purchased by Michael for $5000. After stripping down the bike, the stock Harley frame was molded to hide the ugly welds, then powdercoated. The stock 80″ motor was kept with cylinders bored .860 over and pistons and rings replaced. Harley 5-speed transmission just received new fluid.

Belt final drive was replaced by a chain and a beautiful 2″ wide Performance Machine Open Belt Bystem, (the most expensive part of the project but financed in part by trading all the stock Softail sheet metal) replaced the stock enclosed primary setup. Wheels were traded for a pair of 16”, disassembled and black powdercoated. Forks were swapped for a FL set set, then received a Progressive Suspension lowering kit. On them an HHI triple trees, new bars and controls. A swap meet tank and fender scrap from out back were painted in-house and Michael fabricated the seat. That’s it. If the days of high dollar bikes are mostly gone, at least you know that it’s still possible to ride custom for a budget still in the means of many bikers.  Used Harley 5 to 15 years old can still be found at bargain prices. For how long? So, take you time to built something looking cool, but start now or for help, call Revolution Manufacturing.

21 Responses to “A Custom Harley For Less Than $10,000. Possible.”

  1. 1 Dave Blevins Dec 14th, 2011 at 10:15 am

    I like it. Simple, uncluttered, functional.

  2. 2 RokDoctor Dec 14th, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Pretty cool that Michael could see a vision of something cool hiding under that stock softtail.

    Not my color, but I gotta respect the before and after improvement – it’s huge!

  3. 3 Cantrell Dec 14th, 2011 at 11:12 am

    Gee…Like it use to be. What a novel concept! Back to garage built bikes.


  4. 4 ray c wheeler Dec 14th, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Good job and rideable.

  5. 5 roscoe Dec 14th, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Just like how it is supposed to be.
    The days of overpriced Big Dogs, BBC, Bourgets are coming to an end, thank goodness!
    All those people will now see how is meant to be.
    Get out those low budget HDs, the rigid 750 Hondas, build a bike that YOU like!

  6. 6 therealchuckdizzle Dec 14th, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Mike is one of the few visionaries left in the industry

  7. 7 ImagineThat Dec 14th, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    Now that is a bike I would like to own and ride the daylights out of it! It is nice to see affordable bike builds again not the “theme mega bucks unrideable” show pieces that have been the norm lately. Althought those museum pieces have there place it is good that they are dying away. Bikes are meant to be ridden not just sit in a showroom/ garage or museum. I say if you can’t ride it everyday 200 miles it is useless.

  8. 8 DJ Dec 14th, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    That is not a bike! Where is all the pin wheels and kazoo’s? No bubble machine? Who are they kidding with that thing

  9. 9 John Green Dec 14th, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    We have been holding a competition for the last year for bikes under the $10,000 mark.
    It is called the Crafty Customs.
    The final competition is Jan 7 in Anaheim at the Easyriders Bike Show.
    Winner gets $10,000 cash
    Too late to enter but if you dig this kind of bike there will be a lot of them to look at during the show.

    John Green

  10. 10 hk Dec 14th, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    this is not news .If you dont pay yourself you could scrounge parts ,refinish used broken crap and make a show winner for next to nothing .People do it everyday

  11. 11 Reverend John T. Awesome Dec 14th, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    I have a grand total of 1400 bucks into my little custom ’94 evo sportster. Lots of work and a bit of horse-trading and you can do damn near anything.

  12. 12 george Dec 14th, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    The only thing I would change is to add a little more padding to the seat. Other than that I like it.

  13. 13 Jason Hallman Dec 14th, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    Nice job…glad to see there are some out there still working with what they have and not trying to build something that is overpriced for the sake of doing it.

  14. 14 4bs Dec 15th, 2011 at 7:46 am

    That is one of ugliest motorcycles I have ever layed eyes on! I cannot imagine anyone wanting to ride something that hideous. But, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  15. 15 Dinky Dot Dec 15th, 2011 at 8:23 am

    I have to agree i like the before picture better. to each there own i guess

  16. 16 Larry R Dec 15th, 2011 at 9:37 am

    I like what he did and commend him for having done it. Donor bikes are a great resource! L&R.

  17. 17 Michael Kamalian Dec 15th, 2011 at 10:02 am

    Thanks for all the comments both good and bad – i appreciate all opinions. This was just a project to see if it realistically could be done at a professional level with undertones of a new avenue to attract clients. The labor bill would add $2,000 to the total so anyone who walked into my shop would reasonably know what to expect to pay for something similar.

  18. 18 Eric Maurer (Evobuilder) Dec 15th, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    the last two bikes I built were all under 10K and the one I am doing now, was under 10K until I decided that I wanted the motor all go fast and stuff…. fast ain’t cheap. Still, I may squeak in under 10K but won’t know till all is done and I fire it an add it all up.

  19. 19 Iron Horse Dec 15th, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    I’ll take one in a different color thanks…love the basic look. Good job.

  20. 20 Maddpuppy Dec 16th, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    I like it ~

  21. 21 barney Dec 17th, 2011 at 10:24 am

    Much nicer than the stock. Seat should be more padded and all black…top of bike needs that extra bit of black to relieve the blue. Nice bike.

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Cyril Huze