View Full Version : Motorcycle frame jig

03-31-2005, 04:49 PM
Hey guys, I just started reading this forum a couple of weeks ago and can not beleive the wealth of info that is on here, its great. Was wondering what the best way to build a motorcycle jig is. I've found jigs on ebay thay are made of box tubing. Is this an accurate jig. Here is a link to the page http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dllViewItem&rd=1&item=4539163439&category=35562. I am fairly new at all this fabrication stuff, about 5 years experience in fabrication, and a few years running a small lathe for bike building. I have built two bikes from scratch. Making exhaust pipes, gas tanks, sissy bars, handle bars, ext. I don't like to rely on anyone, so that is why I try and build everything. I am very interested to start building my own frames. Thanks for any info. Later


03-31-2005, 08:13 PM
link aint working, try this- http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=4539163439&category=35562 or http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=4539537874&category=35562

03-31-2005, 09:31 PM
Personally I would save your money and build the fixture yourself. The frame fixture I use cost me about $150 in steel and works as well as any I've seen. As far as box tubing being accurate enough, that depends how much care is taken when it's built. Do a good job on it and you'll easily be able to hold tighter tolerances than the factory ever sent out the door.


03-31-2005, 09:43 PM
That's a good looking jig John. Very rarely see a sporty jig that nice. It looks easily changeable and adjustable.........john

04-01-2005, 10:10 AM
Hey thanks, jig looks great, nice looking frame. What type of tubing bender do you have. I currently have plans to build one from 2 by 2 box tubing. The most expensive part of the bender will be the dies, $200.00 for a die set. THAT SUCKS. Oh well, thanks again.

04-01-2005, 10:38 AM
Andy, have built 2 frame jigs for motorcycles , one was a dedicated fixture for a petecular chassis I was building, and the other was a more adjustable generic design that incorperates a 2'x5' cast iron surface plate that comes in real handy for doing repair/modifiction work. The dedicated fixture is built from tubing and is very repeatable,as I check critical dimensions on the plate jig after assembling/welding is complete. I bought a Pro Tools tubing bender, a mechanical model,and am very pleased with it's performance. Their Die prices are not too terrible,although I can make my own dies now. Are you contmplating a mild steel chassis or 4130?,and what type of bike? Shawn

04-01-2005, 10:54 AM
John, your right it's completely adjustable for rake/stretch/axle placement and so forth. And takes about 5 minutes to change the tooling over to a Big twin or Triumph.

Andy, I have a Hossfeld #2 bender. Your right the dies are expensive, but you get what you pay for and if you take care of your tooling your great grand kids will be bending up custom handle bars for their nuke powered hover crafts with them.


diesel breath
04-01-2005, 11:33 AM
hey andy, go to www.chopperhandbook.com website. they have plans on building a frame jig, chopper frames,steering necks etc...... jeff

04-01-2005, 03:47 PM
My next project is going to be a sportser. I plan on converting the stock frame to a rigid. I also want to be able to build big twin frames. I think the better choice would be the 4130 tubing over the mild steel. From what I understand 4130 is best for bike frames because of its strength. Any idea what radius die I should purchase, I don't want to spend the money and order the wrong one for my application? Hope I live to see those nuke hover crafts. THAT WOULD ROCK!!!!

04-01-2005, 06:38 PM
AJH37 Unless you are building a racing bike where weight is a factor don't use 4130. It is harder to work with and not worth the extra expense. DOM will work quite nicely. I think 1 1/4x.120 wall is probably the standard for chopper frames.

Doug Walter

04-01-2005, 08:57 PM
4130 welds come out brittle if you dont control your heat right, stick with DOM

04-02-2005, 01:17 PM
Thanks guys, I'll go with the DOM.

04-26-2005, 10:45 AM
I saw a link for chopper handbook. It's deffinently another site with a wealth of info. I'm currently in the process of designing and hopefully soon building a frame.

If you look at chopper handbook they also say that ERW, or CREW will work for most of your frame, And it's about 1/2 the price of DOM.

My only question is why a Ridgid. Have you ever ridden one, I mean sure, they're cool to look at, but a real pain in the @$$, litterally. But I must admit they do look pretty *****'n.

04-26-2005, 11:23 AM
I'd stick to the DOM, though Santee frames are built using ERW. Santee is the frame manufacturing division of Custom Chrome. As for a hardtail, yes they are are harder than a softail by a few inches. Run 26 psi in the rear and you get a nice little cushion, add in a spring seat, and you'll be good to go...

Dirk D
05-06-2005, 05:07 PM
What original frame dimensions are the measurements taken off of? EX: 4" up and 1" out from what, is what I am trying to say. I have a chunk of 3/4" plate blanchard ground 3' by 5' that would make perfect jig table.


05-06-2005, 09:02 PM
Dirk, do you want to build one frame or many, do you want them all the same and just the ability to add rake and stretch, or do you want to be able to change from all different types of drive and suspension choices?

You need to answer this truthfully for yourself, as each option is more complicated, expensive and requires different approaches......john

Dirk D
05-07-2005, 11:39 AM
I just want make one rigid or softail, nothing special, but i don't know a **** thing about H-D's. My favorite bike is the orange and green flame Jesse James bikes that aired on the first motorcycle mania. Simple, no bull****, and I ride crotch rockets now, so it's gonna have to go fast and stop fast.


05-07-2005, 03:54 PM
I am not familiar with this bike. Choppers rarely handle that well because of the increased wheelbase, and stopping is decreased as well. There is so little weight on the front wheel that it is practiclly useless in a panic stop.....if it slides, you're down.

They are good cruisers however, and accelerate OK.

You need to have an engine and trans w/drive setup to mock up in the frame to build it or another frame.

Rigids are easy, softails require more fixtures. How much rake and stretch do you want? How long a front end to you have? Tire size?...........all this has to be decided before you start.............john

Dirk D
05-08-2005, 01:03 PM
Here it is.
My problem is that really do not want to spend 8-10 grand on a motor and tranny, when there is H-D motor i could use, but like I said, i don't know jack about Harleys. So i don't know which bikes have the motors needed.

05-08-2005, 09:01 PM
Black and chrome HD evo motors are available from the dealer, as are the transmission, and the drive. Everything could be had for around 6500.

If you don't know anything about them, buy a used bike, ride it, and go from there.................john

05-08-2005, 10:45 PM
why build jig if you gonna build same frame like everyone, there is so much same frames design in the market , i only would build jig if i build one of frame special construction , people building all this frame and ending up with same constructions , plus lots problems with registretion and insurance, why?

save you same time and troble call WWC they have big sale now 70% ,CFL frame 999.00 right now

05-09-2005, 04:20 AM
I have just started my first motorcycle with a 80" inch harley motor. They cheap and any dealer can work on them. WVHARLEY has the best prices around, even with shipping charges. I bought my frame thru Broadway Choppers and its a Max Metal Works frame. Excellent welds and great
details. My bike is being based on the EXILE design theory, keep it simple...
I still have not been able to figure how to post pics but when I do I post some
of my project

Dirk D
05-09-2005, 03:11 PM
Why by it when you can build it yourself? I am not going to spend $999 on tubing. Having full access to a machine shop and a father that has 20 years tool and die experience, and I myself weld parts for GE Aircraft Engines. So the question isn't why, it's why not. Look at the bike on the cover of Hot Bike, creative, yes, ugly and what was the guy thinking.

05-28-2005, 07:54 PM
I feel the same way that you do I would rather build it myself heck even if it cost more for me to make it. I would derive a great deal of pleasure from making it myself and it would increase my knowleage base.
Good luck on your project.

Envy Inc
06-16-2005, 01:08 PM
What original frame dimensions are the measurements taken off of? EX: 4" up and 1" out from what, is what I am trying to say. I have a chunk of 3/4" plate blanchard ground 3' by 5' that would make perfect jig table.


Dirk, these original measurements are taken from a stock HD Softail chassis. Thus, 4" up and 1" out would be 4" longer in the downtubes and 1" longer in the backbone than a stock HD Softail.

Probaby the most important thing to consider, however, is rake and trail. Rake will help to determine your trail measurement, which will determine whether the bike will handle safely or not. 2" to 4" of trail is considered to be "good" handling range. More than 4" will begin to introduce "fork flop" where the wheel will tend to flop over at low speed. The bike will also become increasingly stable at speed, and will not want to corner. Anything less than 2" of trail is dangerous, and can leed to excessively twitchy handling and will probably cause an accident rather quickly. Here's a good picture of how to determine trail:


Draw an imaginary line straight through the steering nck to the ground. (The black line.) Draw another line from the axle centerline straight down to the ground. (The blue line.) Measure the distance between these two points to determine your trail.


04-10-2006, 10:00 PM
joe at crime scene choppers has recently posted his jig plans on his site. it's fully adjustable and it's free.

05-14-2006, 03:07 PM
I have built two chopper frames from the ground up. One had a 5hp engine and the other has an 80cc yamaha engine with 4 speed transmision. I would like to build a street legal chopper with a v twin. I have no idea were to get a v-twin. If any one knows were to get a motor it would be very helpful.

05-14-2006, 09:56 PM
If you are looking for a HarleyDavidson, Try a Dealership, crate engines are available....evo and twincam. S&S Cycle in Viola WI sell complete engines, Midwest cycle, Drag Specialties, and Custom Chrome all sell engines.

If you buy a used engine, or an EBAY engine you have an 85% chance of getting junk.................john

05-15-2006, 03:48 AM
West Virgina Harley has the best price in town for brand new harley motor and trans

05-15-2006, 04:46 PM
How much do harley crate engines coast?
What are the chances of finding a near running v-twin in a junk yard?

05-15-2006, 10:14 PM
Kurt, I've been building HD V-twins for over 25 years and I have NEVER found one in a junk yard. Very seldom found in a motorcycle salvage. A inexpensive crate motor would be in the $3,000.00 range.

Maybe you should consider a v-twin of asian decent..........they're all over the junkyards:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: ...............

Actually if you are trying to get experience in bike building there are many bikes that you could use that would allow you to build a complete bike for less than the cost of a Harley motor. Don't forget the 1-2 thousand for a transmission and primary drive...................john

05-16-2006, 09:33 AM
There are plenty of vtwin wrecks at crashedtoys.com

05-16-2006, 06:12 PM
Are there any Asian v-twins that are not water cooled. The cooling system is just one more thing that can go wrong.

05-16-2006, 10:38 PM
Yes, a good many of them are air/oil cooled, most are 60 and 90 degree v-twins where traditional HD's are 45 degree v. Some are counterbalanced and very smooth. One or more of our members has built some nice 650 Yamaha twins also................john

05-18-2006, 04:44 PM
I found some junk yards that i will have to visit to see if they have what i am looking for. I am also going to start designing my frame jig.

05-19-2006, 05:35 AM
They offer free plans at crime scene choppers for motorcycle frame jigs

anders nørgaard
05-19-2006, 07:51 AM
They offer free plans at crime scene choppers for motorcycle frame jigs

Here's a link:


Go to FREEBIES and find the jig frame plans. 10 page pdf file.
There's a lot of work building this jig. Everything must be accurate :o :o :o

No jig is better than a bad (not straight) jig http://www.metalmeet.com/forum/images/icons/icon10.gif

05-19-2006, 12:47 PM
I went to crime scene choppers and the plans are great.

Michael Moore
06-03-2006, 02:02 PM
Here's my frame jig, which is designed for doing one-offs, rather than as a production jig.


06-03-2006, 04:45 PM
With a solid (but humble knowledge) of over 35 years of recognized retail experience in the American v-twin industry in Canada, and a family that still operates a very successful retail aftermarket shop, there isn't a jig company or supplier out there that provides us with the need to throw our hat into the ring which is the quagmyre of the aftermarket motorcycle frame industry.
Once you know your basics of "framz" geometry, it isn't rocket science.
Rake, stretch, and length is a farce today, as it depends on who you know at the DMV safety check points whether your contraption passes or not.
There have been more Canadian frame companies (Including exclusive to US manufacturers such as BD & AIH who bought from them) put out of business because their products never went through "destructive DOT testing" as required by the charter manufacturers.
It's the encouragement from little shops like us in Canada that put these guys on the map. They got so big with the aftermarket push in the last decade, they forgot where they came from, and couldn't supply us whatsoever.
The odds of being able to register any custom motorcycle built by any reputable shop today with a wild rake or stretch are nil, without paying some "hanky-panky" at a DMV inspection station located well off beaten the highway.
If they choose this route once it's registered, the enforcement folk in town will make the owners life miserable, with 30 day impound, charges pending, and general emabarassment.
We built a 330 tyred bike for a client last year, and with the "now defunct" Canadian (but still listed in the US suppliers's catalogs" as a frame manufacturer) not being "able" to supply us with a "certificate of origin", we "was up the creek" without a paddle after completing the build.
So now it sits, in my brother's shop, collecting dust.
We bought that frame through a known "Brand name" supplier "First run" as an awarded and many years reknown "jobber shop".
We finally received the cerificate of origin for the 124 CU.IN motor we bought from the engine company, and not from the same supplier we bought it from, even though they told us we would receive it from them. Bull!
We received the certificate of origin from the company we bought the 6 speed, right side drive transmission from in kind almost a year later.
Back to the frame.
This was a "high-end model", sold as as a close to "bolt together" fit. This was in fact an exercise in not going back to the Canadian supplier selling through a US catalog well within driving distance, and throwing it through their picture window as direct calls to them were all but ignored! (And we are very diplomatic by nature)
Our client will have many hours of fun trailering his new $60,000.00 bike investment from meet to meet as a result, not to mention the regulatory issues still apparent.
The insurance industry is another problem.
Nowhere in Canada can you insure a "non OEM" motorcycle ("Artisan built" they call it) for over $15K, regardless of how much you spent, even if you take your raked triple trees and invert them to make the rake rule work for the safety check.
Then there's the component parts issue.
Brakes as built by PM are 6 piston, and the rotors are floating.... state of the art... right?
They've never been tested by the DOT though, and therefore are inadmissible to be considered during safety checks. OEM, or not.
There goes another $5K brake system.
Same with forward controls and handlebars. Never mind fit and height, are they OEM? Visual and all but apparent quality doesn't count without a spec sheet on every component installed.

And who eats it all?
The company that built the frame, or the shop that put it all together. It's their responsibility if this product isn't legal...
... "It's the shop's fault nothing fits. They should have researched whether this was legal or not.... "
Or so they tell me.
And we're also a victim of they system that doesn't work. If it isn't the same in the states, it's soon to be.

Still want to get into building motorcycle frames?

06-04-2006, 07:47 PM
Since The Subject Was Somthing I Was Currantly Workin On I Thought Some Of You Would Like To See My Frame Fixture.

It's For ( One Of A Kind's ) No Two Will Be The Same.


06-04-2006, 10:06 PM
Well Richard it looks as if you might be able to scrimp by with that old jig :lol: :lol:

I've used several different jigs, that one may take the cake. Can you get in there to tack it up? I'd bet money it would be accurate. Thanks for posting.......john

06-05-2006, 10:07 PM
Tac it up....oh yea....!

All the bars unbolt real easy, so you can get anywere you have to.

Very Accurate & very adjustable was the plan.