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Thread: Restoration Cost?

  1. #1
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    Restoration Cost?

    I have my 1965 R50/2 up for sale. That being said, every time I ride it I'm tempted to pull the ad. It is such a cool toy. I'm seriously contemplating keeping it and doing a complete restoration. As this would be beyond my own ability, I would be paying to have the work done. I'm looking for some first hand cost experiences. I'm planning on calling Vech and Tim Stafford....
    That being said, can anyone tell me what to expect?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
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    The rule of thumb for quite a while has been: $5k to buy, $5k to mechanically restore and $5k to cosmetically restore, assuming you are the "general contractor". The more work you can do yourself, the lower the restoration costs, of course.

    However, prices on the bikes have really jumped in the last year or two. Definitely talk to Stafford about it, it may open your eyes.
    --Darryl Richman, forum liaison
    http://darryl.crafty-fox.com

  3. #3
    BOKRIJDER
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    Costs will probably open your eyes, sorry to say. The first step will be to define restoration in your mind. One man's restored bike is another man's fix'r upper.

    Motard

  4. #4
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    level of restoration

    Thanks for the input.

    I plan on continuing to ride the bike, so a museum piece is not going to be worth the effort/cost.

    The bike is mechanically in very good shape now. The engine case needs to be cleaned up, and maybe the top end done. The left carb leaks a little if the bike is on its side stand (I'm told nature of the beast). No noise from the final drive, oil leaks, etc. Basically it is solid.

    The wheels need to be re-chromed and the paint shows its age. There are small dents and scratches in the tins, nothing catastrophic.

    From Darryl's post, it sounds like $5000-$8000 would not be unreasonable...

    Sound about right given the above description?

  5. #5
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    About 10 years ago I redid a barn fresh R69S and ran up a $10,000 bill even though I did most of the disassambly/assembly.
    I found that the more I did, the more I wanted everything to be just right (OEM mufflers instead of repros, original new seat, etc.). I wish that I had known the secret of when to stop.
    ......but, looking at the bike now and riding it leaves me with no regrets whatsoever!
    Best of luck.

  6. #6
    Administrator 20774's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickMitchell View Post
    The bike is mechanically in very good shape now. The engine case needs to be cleaned up, and maybe the top end done. The left carb leaks a little if the bike is on its side stand (I'm told nature of the beast). No noise from the final drive, oil leaks, etc. Basically it is solid.
    Don't park it on the side stand? One thing you might try is to shut the petcock off several blocks before you plan on stopping the bike. This will allow some of the gas to be pulled out of the bowl and result in less gas to expand out and on the ground once the bike heats up after shut down.
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  7. #7
    Registered User rmarkr's Avatar
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    Motard is right - it will cost twice as much as you think it will.
    Mark

    "Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most" Mark Twain

  8. #8
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    The wheels need to be re-chromed
    A few years ago I checked into rechroming rims and was told that the polishing labor involved made the cost quite high. About a month ago I was talking to a restorer and he said that his rechromer for wheels went from about $150-200 each to $800 because of the polishing labor. Ouch!

  9. #9
    BOKRIJDER
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    Patrick,

    I just noticed that you are very close to my location, maybe I should be asking, "how much do you want for the bike?"
    I also reread your original post and noted that you are riding the bike. I'd suggest doing what I term a rolling restoration. Over the period of a couple seasons concentrate on the mechanicals. As an example, I have in my hand a receipt for a total rebuild on a front and rear wheel pair. This service included new high wall alloy rims, new tires, new stainless spokes, blast cleaning hubs, new hub cap, tubes, bearings, everything. Actually the equivalent of new assemblies. $1430 (from a very well know shop) This would be a good winter project, not too tough on the budget, and they are oh so pretty.
    Decide what your plan is for the frame, leave it as is, paint, or powder coat. I can put you in touch with an excellent coat shop in our area. The frame would be a good winter project. While completing the frame, renew all frame and swing arm bearings. The bike is so easy to assemble and disassemble that you are not really losing that much time in breaking up the project.
    As a last step, you can complete the final cosmetics putting the frosting on the project.

    Motard

  10. #10
    tricyclerob
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    Patrick, the estimates of $5000 and $5000 are not far off... I just finished my '59 R69, over about a 6 year time frame, but the majority of the time it was being ridden, at least locally.
    Those are not unreasonably figures, but it can be done for a lot less if one concentrates on the mechanicals. I replaced a lot[all?] items with stainless , including all the nuts and bolts which is def. not required for a rider and is costly. I did all the bushings, bearings, seals, some upgrades, rebuilt motor, and everything in between, but kept the original paint as I wanted it to look like it's had a history. This might have been foolish as althought the bike is totally "restored" mechanically, it does not have the perfect paint which is the first thing some people look for. As it was going to be ridden, I could not deal with that first "ding".
    The trend in G.B. now is to get a bike running reliably without any "restoration" at all. I think they use WD 40 or motor oil for polish.
    I was once told a "bike can be restored many times but it's original only once". I think we tend to over restore and end up with "bikes under glass". To me a good running bike, that's maybe a little scuffy, but gets ridden, beats the heck out of a perfect bike that sits.
    But the bottom line is, do whatever you are happy with and the heck with everyone else. It's your ride. Have fun, enjoy the journey, Original, modified, restored or a rider, whatever trips your trigger...rj

  11. #11
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    PM sent

    Motard,

    I just sent you a PM. I'd like to catch up with you. I'm not more than an hour to an hour and thirty minutes from you.

    Thanks,

    Patrick

    Quote Originally Posted by Motard View Post
    Patrick,

    I just noticed that you are very close to my location, maybe I should be asking, "how much do you want for the bike?"
    I also reread your original post and noted that you are riding the bike. I'd suggest doing what I term a rolling restoration. Over the period of a couple seasons concentrate on the mechanicals. As an example, I have in my hand a receipt for a total rebuild on a front and rear wheel pair. This service included new high wall alloy rims, new tires, new stainless spokes, blast cleaning hubs, new hub cap, tubes, bearings, everything. Actually the equivalent of new assemblies. $1430 (from a very well know shop) This would be a good winter project, not too tough on the budget, and they are oh so pretty.
    Decide what your plan is for the frame, leave it as is, paint, or powder coat. I can put you in touch with an excellent coat shop in our area. The frame would be a good winter project. While completing the frame, renew all frame and swing arm bearings. The bike is so easy to assemble and disassemble that you are not really losing that much time in breaking up the project.
    As a last step, you can complete the final cosmetics putting the frosting on the project.

    Motard

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