Stock VS Custom: Where's the line?

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by Mad Dog Jim, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. Mad Dog Jim

    Mad Dog Jim Banned

    I was going to post this thought provoker on another thread about changing wheels and some replied about custom paint on a stock bike...

    So, what is STOCK and what is CUSTOM? Many of us HD guys "customize" our stock bikes. But what qualifies as customizing, and what is just personalizing? Or option-izing? I think that in the purest sense of the word, Stock would mean no changes at all from the factory. Or is that "Original". Also, you can find numerous bikes that appear to be Original on the oustside, but they could be far from it on the inside.

    Is there an official definition somewhere? Have we met and agreed what to call these things?

    How about this?

    OEM: Any bike that is 100% original equipment, set up as from the factory. This would include restored bikes so long as all HD parts are used.

    Stock: Any bike that has only cosmetic changes from OEM, such as chrome ornaments, paint, rotors, relocated controls, optional handlebars, etc.

    Modified: Any bike that has changes to operating systems such as exhaust, intake, ignition, valve train, drive train, etc.

    Custom: Any bike that had engineering/design modifications such as stretching the frame, changing the rake, and body changes more than just bobbing original parts

    Take my project this year for example. Started with stock FLSTC. Changed to 16" bars, stainless cables, stainless rotors, stage one intake, custom exhaust, aftermarket points cover, derby cover, axle covers, pivot covers, swingarm and caliper inserts. Shaved the fender trim and fender tip lights, and new paint in a non-HD color. Now, is it going to be OEM? no... Stock? maybe... Modified? Sure... Custom? maybe, maybe not

    This is just a conversation peice. Thought it would be a change for us from teh typical oil debating. Killing time till spring! LOL (And a version of "watching paint dry" because the painter hasn't called yet...)
  2. Randy007

    Randy007 Member


    What an interesting thread. The definition of "custom". How many times
    have we listened to someone describe their item and called it "custom". Most of the time it is "bolt on items" to change from OEM/Stock.

    I'd have to say that "custom" is one off and not easily replicated.
  3. Mad Dog Jim

    Mad Dog Jim Banned

    Brush Prarie! I've been there a time or two... I'm an 81' Tiger
  4. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Guest

    Bet there are not many bone stockers out there, any one can do add ons but to start from scratch and build a one of now that is a custom to me:s
  5. wilks3

    wilks3 Junior Member

    Bull Dog Jim, I think your break down is spot on. There is a guy here in town that has a blue 2000 (or so)FatBoy and I'm pretty sure its 100% stock. Really sticks out when around other bikes.

    NYSDEUCERIDER Active Member

    At first glance, the breakdown lines seem okay... but then I looked at 'exhaust change'.... Slip-ons are TOO easy to really qualify. Maybe it should include FULL systems, Headpipes included?If you can cange slip-ons, drive it, and swap it back in less than two hours.... Hmmm.. just sayin'.......

    But a good thread! Lets see where it goes! :)

  7. gator508

    gator508 Well-Known Member

    What about if you have a "stock, custom." :lolrolling:lolrolling:lolrolling
  8. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    I always wonderd about that how can it be a custom if the factory produced lots of them but then i have customised my softail custom so my bike might be a custom custom :p

  9. SilverFoXD

    SilverFoXD Junior Member Contributor

    Same definitions could apply to the women in our lives. Jewelry would qualify as accessorizing while still 'stock' and plastic surgery would be customization.
  10. Mad Dog Jim

    Mad Dog Jim Banned

    You guys are heading the right direction! I think too many bikes are labled "Custom" that are far from it.

    And I like Tank's post. Applying it to bikes, "Plastic" surgery does not make a bike custom. You have to change more than the plastic. LOL.