Digital Precision Simplifies Custom Motorcycle Manufacturing
FARO Technologies' FaroArm
For decades, custom motorcycles consisted mostly of one-off bikes, modifications of Milwaukee or Tokyo iron with welded-up handlebars and extended forks. Most of these choppers were assembled in a garage or backyard, where fabrication adhered to the rule of the "military-fine-adjustment" tool: If it doesn't fit, use a bigger hammer.
Today's custom-bike industry has a very different approach and is driven by craftsmen who specialize in form without shirking function. Orange County Choppers of Montgomery, New York, may be the perfect example of this new breed of entrepreneur.
Image aside, these are serious motorcycles. Because the machines that OCC produces are created from the ground up--not modified--the geometry and dynamics of the bikes are fully in the hands of the builders. Axle alignment, chassis balance, torsional stiffness, suspension alignment--all have to be right to allow a rider to tackle winding roads without winding up in the ditch.
The company uses FARO Technologies Inc.'s FaroArm to digitally re-create the exact space required by complex parts. The FaroArm's free-turning joints articulate over the full reach of the model to measure points with an accuracy to 0.0005 in. As points are measured, the image of the surface is re-created on-screen by the FaroArm's software.