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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

trying to start a restoration project here in Washington, USA. whata re some of the good forums/message boards where I can get expert advice on old pre-1980 motorcycles, like the yamaha, honda and the british ones.

TIA.
A
 

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There are some excellent restorers on this board.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you all for the responses. I accidentally bumped upon ths forum, I wasnt sure if this is where most knowledgable folks hang out or there are other places. I have my eyes on a Yamaha 500, non running condition. i couldn't find nay model specific forums. I am on a tight budget for this, and that is because, I am new to restorations, and want to dip my toe into it, and learn a bit about engine maintenence, so starting with expensiv antique bikes is not a good way to do that.
 

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I'd certainly suggest to post any questions specific to your project here and let the good folks here guide or at least try to help you. And start a restore thread showing your results as you go. There are many restore projects here so have a look at others to get an idea of what's in store.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'd certainly suggest to post any questions specific to your project here and let the good folks here guide or at least try to help you. And start a restore thread showing your results as you go. There are many restore projects here so have a look at others to get an idea of what's in store.
I havent started yet. Before I buy a bike for it, I wanted to know which ones are easy to find parts for. Example, I know that there is a huge fan following for vw bugs in usa, and it is easy to get parts for it, but I dont know the corresponding makes and models for motor cycles.
 

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Yeah, Harley's are to restore as are BMW's. There are some Honda's like Goldwings perhaps and maybe Royal Enfields, they have just recently made huge electronic changes so older models might be okay. If you have a salvage yard for bikes within a 200 mile radius, I check them to see what they might have tons of parts for.
 

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Oh, a Triumph Bonny would be another good project bike. Then you'd have a cool bike to boot. Well, cool to my way of thinking. I always wanted one and never managed to get one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks Skant153 and hogcowboy for the insights.
So you guys are saying I should avoid even looking at the yamahas or kawasakis if I want a stock restore project? I love british bikes liek the BSA, triumph, norton, and the original royal enfliend(not the indian one), but they are so hard to get by, finding a 1940s bike to restore would be a dream.

While on the topic of REs, teh Indian RE went through major changes in teh last 10 years, after a very very long time. While the older bikes has problems like oil leaks, and were notorious for wiring issues, the newer ones, though flashier, arent that great. They changed the engine to aluminum, which means reboring wasnt possible, and the EFI adds easy starting, but isnt that great in quality, IMHO. The wiring issues have become slightly better, but the handle vibrations at high speeds is a pain, also the Himalayan model is just **** in my opinion, if all bikes are built on one chassis that is what happens.
 

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i like the idea of checking a salvage yard for whatever they've got around. pick the type they have the most parts available. if you're going for 40s, good luck with anything. if you've got a machine shop you could make most of the parts you'd be missing but lights and plastics are gonna be tough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
i like the idea of checking a salvage yard for whatever they've got around. pick the type they have the most parts available. if you're going for 40s, good luck with anything. if you've got a machine shop you could make most of the parts you'd be missing but lights and plastics are gonna be tough.
This seems the difference between vw bugs and bikes, one can easily source parts for those without spinning up a lathe machine.

i started searching for 1970s bike, but the only ones I see are yamahas and honada cafe racers. (Actually I not like cruisers or dirt bikes), but I need to zero in on a make/model to see what all is available for it. dont want to get stuck with a project for months because ebay doesnt show parts.
 

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Thank you all for the responses. I accidentally bumped upon ths forum, I wasnt sure if this is where most knowledgable folks hang out or there are other places. I have my eyes on a Yamaha 500, non running condition. i couldn't find nay model specific forums. I am on a tight budget for this, and that is because, I am new to restorations, and want to dip my toe into it, and learn a bit about engine maintenence, so starting with expensiv antique bikes is not a good way to do that.

Is it the SR500? They were only made for one or two years so parts may be expensive and difficult to come by. It was also a pain to kick start. There was a window on the right side case for aligning up everything to get it started. They were difficult to start.

If you want to restore something, check parts prices and your skills level before buying anything. Sometimes it's better to let someone else spend all the money on parts and labor and buy it from them. Most restorations aren't worth what you put into them when you go to sell it.
 

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Sometimes it's better to let someone else spend all the money on parts and labor and buy it from them. Most restorations aren't worth what you put into them when you go to sell it.
I generally agree with this but sometimes it's just fun to do.
I'd like to get an old bike when my son is older and repair it with him so it's ready when he starts riding. In that case, the money wouldn't matter as much as the memories
 

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If I wanted to get an idea of what bikes were going to be easy to find parts for, I'd research candidates by seeing how many were currently available for sale 2nd hand. If there are a lot of them out there, and being offered for sale, then that model will be easier to find parts for.

There are some online resources that can be used for these types of searches in my post on the Price Guide thread: Motorcycle price guide reference

Once I had a good candidate in mind, I'd start to search for specific parts, to get an idea of what my total budget was going to have to be. For example, you are almost always going to need to buy a new exhaust, and if your only choice is to find one NOS, or have a system custom welded and chrome plated, you can easily spend more than you did on the rest of the bike put together. This exhaust issue is one thing that makes singles and twins more attractive, because there are a lot more options in aftermarket mufflers. Ebay is a good place to start, but some machines generate enough interest to have their own forums and a few even have some after market parts being made for them.

In Yamahas, I would suggest the XS650 as being a good bike with a lot of restoration ( and custom) interest. In Hondas, I'd suggest the CX500 or the CB750. Honda sold a lot of CB350s in the 70s, so that would be a bike that's easy to find, but won't increase much in value after restoration. One bike that I think is an excellent candidate is the little Harley Hummer 125s that were sold in the 50s. If you can find one in restorable condition, it can fetch a tidy sum when completed, and it's a relatively easy machine to work on.

Another factor to consider is the value of the machine after restoring. In some cases restoring will increase the value to pay for the restoration. but, in a lot of cases restoration is a financial loser, or break even at best. The best deals, from a financial standpoint, in my opinion, will be bikes that are mainly complete, have almost all their parts, but are not running.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
If I wanted to get an idea of what bikes were going to be easy to find parts for, I'd research candidates by seeing how many were currently available for sale 2nd hand. If there are a lot of them out there, and being offered for sale, then that model will be easier to find parts for.

There are some online resources that can be used for these types of searches in my post on the Price Guide thread: Motorcycle price guide reference

Once I had a good candidate in mind, I'd start to search for specific parts, to get an idea of what my total budget was going to have to be. For example, you are almost always going to need to buy a new exhaust, and if your only choice is to find one NOS, or have a system custom welded and chrome plated, you can easily spend more than you did on the rest of the bike put together. This exhaust issue is one thing that makes singles and twins more attractive, because there are a lot more options in aftermarket mufflers. Ebay is a good place to start, but some machines generate enough interest to have their own forums and a few even have some after market parts being made for them.

In Yamahas, I would suggest the XS650 as being a good bike with a lot of restoration ( and custom) interest. In Hondas, I'd suggest the CX500 or the CB750. Honda sold a lot of CB350s in the 70s, so that would be a bike that's easy to find, but won't increase much in value after restoration. One bike that I think is an excellent candidate is the little Harley Hummer 125s that were sold in the 50s. If you can find one in restorable condition, it can fetch a tidy sum when completed, and it's a relatively easy machine to work on.

Another factor to consider is the value of the machine after restoring. In some cases restoring will increase the value to pay for the restoration. but, in a lot of cases restoration is a financial loser, or break even at best. The best deals, from a financial standpoint, in my opinion, will be bikes that are mainly complete, have almost all their parts, but are not running.
Your list of links is very helpful. After soming reaserch I think classic cars have better fan following than motorcycles in USA. I will browse those links and follow your recommendation about the yamaha and honda models,

As you rightly said, value doesnt increase much upon restoring, so I need to buy one as low as possible, but will as much parts complete, and start from there.
 
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