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Thread: Restore an original?

  1. #1
    James.A
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    Restore an original?

    I have been advised by my friends locally who are vintage bike nuts, that it would be a sacrelige to restore my R27. The bike shows a little over 12,000 miles at this point, and I have no reason to believe that it is not accurate. The opinion is unanimous. One guy told me that "the bike is only original once."
    It has 2 dings in the front fender, and some rough touch-ups, particularly on the pinstripes. Most rubber parts have been replaced due to aging. Opinions please.

  2. #2
    boomyrmyname,dangermygame boomyr's Avatar
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    I was channel flipp'n a while back, and stumbled onto a vintage bike auction at Las Vegas or some other fancy-schmancy location and they discussed this very topic. They said that an original unrestored bike with normal wear, and sometimes extreme wear will bring more money than a perfectly restored bike.

    The reason was that the history of the life and wear and tear of the particular bike was more interesting to a collector than what it looked like brand spankin' new.

    When I thought about it a little, I think I agree in most cases. On the other hand it would be nice to have a pristine example. With the stable of bikes that you own, theres no reason you can't have BOTH. I guess I'd look them all over and decide which ones to zig or zag on. If it's a bike in average or better condition, I'd probably be inclined to leave it alone cosmetically other than clean and shine, and focus on the mechanics.
    Last edited by boomyr; 05-27-2005 at 10:20 PM.

  3. #3
    dlearl476
    Guest
    I agree with the sentiment that the "patina of age" is priceless. I think only basket cases and barn finds should be restored. In fact, I'm leaving my "barn-find" R75/5 in original condition. (Not really a B-F, but my brother's garage find. Neglected 10+ years nevertheless)
    I think it's "nice, unrestored" condition totally adds to it's charm.

    If you really want to restore a bike, find one to rehabilitate. It saves one from the junk heap and doesn't negate all your years of keeping your current bike in good shape.

    And fwiw, the auction Boomyr mentioned is really a blast. A good reason to come to Vegas in late Jan/early Feb if you can swing it. Really NICE bikes can be had for $1-5K. And you can drool on some $50K+ iron. I'm still kicking myself for not buying the '74 Bultaco Alpina in a crate that was offered last year. It ended up going for something like $3750. Paul Macartney's Honda CB125 (?) went for a little over $5K IIRC, WITH Paul's original registration.
    Really a low key and fun event. And a Moto-education in it's own right.

  4. #4
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
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    Surf City, USA (Santa Cruz, CA)
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    Las Vegas Auction

    I went to the Mid America Vegas auction this year to give (im)moral support to my friend Bob, who was interested in some very old Britiron. I took a lot of photos of the bikes that were present, over 400 if I recall correctly.

    http://darryl.crafty-fox.com/motorcy...5BobsFolly.php

    I agree with dlearl and boomyr that from a collector's standpoint it's probably better not to restore a bike. The older and rarer it gets, the poorer condition it can be in and still be worth leaving original. For me, I'm more interesting in riding the bike than showing it or having a museum. I restored my /2 because it was a total basket and had been painted straight black. I haven't bothered to do that for my /3, even though it has a poorly done (and incorrect) paint job because I'm having too much fun just riding it around. Maybe someday...
    --Darryl Richman, forum liaison
    http://darryl.crafty-fox.com

  5. #5
    Registered User
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    R69US Resto

    I bought a '68 R69US in Granada Red last year from the original owner; sheet metal and paint were rough (boiled battery, other dings) and so I decided to do a frame-up resto. John Landstrom castigated me, saying an original red /2 should be preserved. I've rece3ived other comments that it would be "worth more" in the original livery, but it's going to be worth more TO ME as a nice, clean, shiny daily driver with upgrades (i.e. 12-volt system, etc) to make it more reliable. About 1/3 done with it now, beginning to reassemble.
    Roger Wiles
    roger@rogerwiles.com
    www.rogerwiles.com
    706.897.8266 24/7 Wireless

  6. #6
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger
    I've rece3ived other comments that it would be "worth more" in the original livery, but it's going to be worth more TO ME as a nice, clean, shiny daily driver with upgrades
    And there you have it. It is, after all, your bike, to do with as you like. And no one can gainsay what pleases you!
    --Darryl Richman, forum liaison
    http://darryl.crafty-fox.com

  7. #7
    rocketman
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by DarrylRi
    And there you have it. It is, after all, your bike, to do with as you like. And no one can gainsay what pleases you!
    Spoken like a true Black Sheep, as it says on our patch

    "Its your bike, do what you want"!

    Ode to My Rat Bike


    I once sat on a rat,
    And yes I still do.
    ItÔÇÖs offensive to most,
    But then so am I, too!

    I ride it all day,
    Through the mud and rain.
    ÔÇ£Why not wash itÔÇØ you ask?
    ÔÇ£ItÔÇÖs too much of a painÔÇØ!

    The frameÔÇÖs slightly bent,
    The paint rusted through,
    The fairing is cracked,
    And the wheels are not true!

    I parked it too close,
    To a dumpster one day.
    When the trash guy came by,
    Tried to hauled it away!

    I ÔÇÿsplained that, in fact,
    It did actually run.
    He didnÔÇÖt believe me.
    (The rummy old bum!)

    When I drove it away,
    He was truly amazed.
    And I think heÔÇÖll remain so,
    Till his last dying dayz.

    But what do I care,
    What the other folks think?
    I really don't care
    If they think that it ÔÇ£stinksÔÇØ!

    ItÔÇÖs mine and I love it,
    And it runs well enough.
    And it starts every time,
    Though it runs kinda rough.

    If I washed it IÔÇÖm sure,
    It would all fall apart.
    It would lie there in pieces,
    And would break my old heart!

    So IÔÇÖll keep this way,
    And take pride in just knowing;
    That itÔÇÖs mine and I love it,
    So now off IÔÇÖll be going!

    ?®2005 Jeffry L'H. Tank

    RM
    /5 Black Sheep member and proud of it!

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Palm City, FL
    Posts
    324
    Quote Originally Posted by rocketman
    Spoken like a true Black Sheep, as it says on our patch

    "Its your bike, do what you want"!

    Ode to My Rat Bike


    I once sat on a rat,
    And yes I still do.
    ItÔÇÖs offensive to most,
    But then so am I, too!

    I ride it all day,
    Through the mud and rain.
    ÔÇ£Why not wash itÔÇØ you ask?
    ÔÇ£ItÔÇÖs too much of a painÔÇØ!

    The frameÔÇÖs slightly bent,
    The paint rusted through,
    The fairing is cracked,
    And the wheels are not true!

    I parked it too close,
    To a dumpster one day.
    When the trash guy came by,
    Tried to hauled it away!

    I ÔÇÿsplained that, in fact,
    It did actually run.
    He didnÔÇÖt believe me.
    (The rummy old bum!)

    When I drove it away,
    He was truly amazed.
    And I think heÔÇÖll remain so,
    Till his last dying dayz.

    But what do I care,
    What the other folks think?
    I really don't care
    If they think that it ÔÇ£stinksÔÇØ!

    ItÔÇÖs mine and I love it,
    And it runs well enough.
    And it starts every time,
    Though it runs kinda rough.

    If I washed it IÔÇÖm sure,
    It would all fall apart.
    It would lie there in pieces,
    And would break my old heart!

    So IÔÇÖll keep this way,
    And take pride in just knowing;
    That itÔÇÖs mine and I love it,
    So now off IÔÇÖll be going!

    ?®2005 Jeffry L'H. Tank

    RM
    /5 Black Sheep member and proud of it!
    You've seen 'BIG RED'!

    MTBATP

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