I have been a member for a couple of years. I would love to hear your opinions on how to get started in the world of vintage bikes. There are so many cool old bikes out there....what is a good make/model/year to start with?
Or better yet what to stay away from?
I am keeping my eyes open in the newsletter and on the CVMG buy and sell. I am looking for something to restore but not a complete basket case.
Any input would be greatly appreciated
1. How is your mechanical ability?
No problem with a complete tear down provided I can find manuals etc.
2. Do you like to wrench or only ride?
Enjoy both. I have a bike to ride (2009 BMW R1200R) so the vintage bike would be for fun to restore and ride occasionally
My former bike was a 1985 Honda Nighthawk CB650SC that I cosmetically restored using a 1984 for parts (tank, seat, speedo etc)
2. What kind of riding do you expect to do?(occasional short rides, daily commuting, longer distance all day rides or all the above?
See answer to question 2
3. What's your price range?
I would like to stay under $2000 if possible but it would really depend on the bike and what it's status is
4. What kind of bikes are you more fond of? British, Euro, or Japanese?
There in lies the issue...love them all...
I have been toying with the idea of an old Bonneville as we have a 2008 T100 and it would be cool to have both the old and new version. Or an R class BMW (old vs new with R1200R)
Or something completely different Norton, Guzzi, or Japanese...
I am concerned about getting something that I cannot get parts for as that would make things a little more difficult as you have stated
"I would stay away from any obscure and/or limited production models as parts will be more difficult and/or expense to source"
That is where I need to rely on some of you your knowledge to know what ones I should not persue due to limited availablility of parts.
Just to add my two cents to the good advice that has already been offered. I would take a look at the parts supply before deciding on a machine. There are a number of businesses in Canada dedicated to providing parts for some British bikes ...and at reasonable prices. I just received a couple of catalogues of new replica Harley parts so can state with confidence that anythiung you need to keep that engine running is available!
The tin work on any of these machines can be very hard to get though. Given your mechanical experience, I would prefer to buy a complete machine that needs an engine rebuild over one with a good engine but needing many other parts.
Good luck in your search!
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