Classic Bike Restoration Tips

logoIn no particular order….

  • Record every step of the strip-down with a digital camera, or even with a simple sketch it’ll be invaluable later.
  • Carry out extensive research on your intended project before parting with any cash.
  • Avoid boxes of parts that masquerade as complete bikes unless the price is irresistible it may work but it’ll be bloody hard work!
  • Try to plan for the worst-case scenario when buying.
  • Whenever possible, join the owners club well in advance of parting with serios cash.
  • Try to buy within the club too most members know each other’s machines and can offer advice on value etc.
  • Watch prices and check with a dealer before diving in on eBay.
  • It can often prove more cost effective to buy new fittings rather than risk losing them while being replaced etc.
  • Spread the word, tell all and sundry what you’re doing, somebody will know of the part you are looking for, so spreading the word can only be positive.
  • Attend as many classic shows as possible to gather information and contacts, as well as scouring the autojumbles, the latter is especially important if you are restoring a rare classic bike.
  • Patience is a must when parts are scarce, sometimes bringing the project to a standstill is best rather than risk compromising the end result.
  • Ask questions. If it just needs a spark plug to run then why hasn’t the owner done so?
  • Engine PJ Motorcycle Engineers offer a door-to-door rebuilding service.
  • Make sure the wiring loom is in good condition, £100 for a brand new loom is an easier pill to swallow than fault-curing night after night in the garage.
  • Don’t let two-strokes sit idle, condensation means they will rust from the inside out once the oil/fuel has evaporated. Start it regularly.
  • When applying transfers, put them in a bucket of warm water with a dash of fairy liquid. Wet the panel with the water then remove the sticker’s backing and place on the panel. It’ll float on the water. Position it just right, then use a spatula to squeeze out the water from behind.