It’s Springtime…Time to Customize!

Our Thunder Design Process Helps You Build Your Dreams

Save money, save time and get a better end result in creating that custom look for your cruiser by having a plan in mind before you begin.

Although lots of chrome usually always looks great on a cruiser, it’s important to remember that your ride should be an expression of the rider and not just a magnet for chrome.

That’s why we came up with the Thunder Design Process.

We believe that for any process to succeed, you have to keep it simple. Our process isn’t revolutionary however, it does give you some common sense steps to think about that will make customizing your bike easier.

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BEFORE & AFTER 2004 VULCAN VN2000

THE THUNDER DESIGN PROCESS

1. Decide on the purpose of your cruiser:

  • Bagger for short/medium range cruising
  • Trophy or tavern to tavern
  • Muscle or performance bike
  • Standard cruising
  • Long distance/touring
  • Hybrid or multipurpose

2. Choose a theme:

  • Pro street
  • Old school
  • Bobber
  • Gangster
  • Blackout or night train
  • Modern
  • Retro
  • Western
  • One-of-a-kind

3. Decide on a budget:

  • How much are you willing to spend?
  • Remember that paint, pipes and wheels are highest cost.
  • Consider labor costs if someone else will be doing the work.
  • Prioritize what is most/least important to your purpose/theme

4. Determine your timeline:

  • Decide on a realistic timeline. All at one or in segments
  • If paint is part of the plan, allow for it (2 weeks)

a. Time to dismantle paint surfaces
b. Paint theme development
c. Painters schedule, (build in an extra 1-2 weeks)
d. Time to reassemble,(double the dismantle time)
e. Consider that electrical, cabling, handlebars and some other elements are easier to complete while body parts are in paint

  • Be aware of lead times on key parts such as wheels and custom seats
  • Consider seasonality – Colder climates have more down time for major projects

It’s most important to understand that there is no right or wrong, all that matters is that you achieve the experience you had in mind. Magazines, the Internet and your own travels will become your best source for ideas.

Remember, don’t worry that each decision you make will be final or irreversible. There is a very large secondary market out there for well maintained used cruiser parts. If you decide you want to change from a set of drag pipes to a two-into-one pipe, there is a good chance you can resell your old pipes on Ebay or one of the many online bike forums.

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Customizing a cruiser is the next best thing to riding one!
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