What makes a classic motorcycle?

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flw
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What makes a classic motorcycle?

Unread post by flw » Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:54 pm

I'm interested in getting involved in restoring classic bikes from the past. 60's or 70's. British or American but less so on the Japanese bike.

Where should I start?

Finding local people that do?

Learning what makes a classic bike?

Learning the price points for a project bike?

Finding outside resources?

What did I miss?

My first question is how to determine what is a true classic vs just what I think?

Idea's.
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Re: What makes a classic motorcycle?

Unread post by Gummiente » Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:52 pm

flw wrote:IWhat did I miss?
Telling us where you live, so we can provide more local information, would be a good start.
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Re: What makes a classic motorcycle?

Unread post by storysunfolding » Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:39 pm

Typically the easy to work on and find parts for classics have plenty of sights and parts still around. Some, like cb750's and xs650 have new parts being made today by aftermarket companies. Bless those guys!
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Re: What makes a classic motorcycle?

Unread post by flw » Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:26 pm

Gummiente wrote:
flw wrote:IWhat did I miss?
Telling us where you live, so we can provide more local information, would be a good start.
I live in Northern Il. and would like the keep the bike to a one cylinder bike. I saw a '67 Suzuki TS120 the other day for 1,000 that still runs but needs to be restored. I just don't want to put time and money into a bike that is worth less, when I'm done than when I started.
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Re: What makes a classic motorcycle?

Unread post by Gummiente » Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:41 pm

flw wrote:I live in Northern Il. and would like the keep the bike to a one cylinder bike.
Perfect. Get in touch with these boys: Vintage Iron Riders
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Re: What makes a classic motorcycle?

Unread post by slimcolo » Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:54 am

My first question is how to determine what is a true classic vs just what I think?
This really depends on the State or Prov.
In Colorado prior to 2010 to be considered a classic (and tag as a classic motorcycle) it had to be 25 years old. As of 2010 it must be manufactured before 1975 (or been tagged with classic tags prior to 2010) To be called Vintage it must be at least 50 years old (same rules as Horseless Carriage tags on a car, these actually cost less than $13 for five years as opposed to a min. of $47/year for regular bike tags) Also in Colorado Classic or Vintage tagged vehicles are exempt from emissions, but so are all motorcycles.

In South Dakota I believe it is 30 years and New Mexico it is 35 Years. Also I think that Alberta requires a inspection of bike to get classic tags, in addition to age requirements.

Check with the State or Prov. (In Colorado the County Clerk sells most plates but has limited knowledge as to application, Vintage tags are only sold by the state in Denver, or through mail, and cannot be bought at County Clerk)

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Re: What makes a classic motorcycle?

Unread post by BuzZz » Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:14 am

Seems you are asking what bikes are desirable (therefore valuable) classics.....?

That depends on a whole lot of factors. A bike that was popular in it's day will have many people willing to pay for a restored example today, since many people will have fond memories of 'back in the day'. Old CB's, Honda Dreams, K/KZ's, XS's, GS's, Triumphs, BSA's and the like.....

Or a bike that was rare-but-had-a-killer-rep will be easy to sell to all those who couldn't afford/find one back then. Kawi Triple 2-strokes, Ducati's... or anything Italian....

The best way to tell if a bike will be easy to sell afterwards might be to check out bike auction sites and classic bike for sale sites to see if what you are thinking of buying and restoring has any demand. I think you might have to wait for the right buyer to sell a restored TS-120 too, but I could be wrong, as I haven't checked into it.

Just my nickel's worth......
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Re: What makes a classic motorcycle?

Unread post by Harvey » Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:34 am

A "classic" is anything that isn't made anymore.

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Re: What makes a classic motorcycle?

Unread post by jimbeemer » Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:53 pm

A classic isn't just old - it has to have a little extra (Norton Commando, Vincent, Round-case Ducati?) Probably a bit sporty and unreliable when new, more so now. Anold clunker like a BSA M20 might be fun - but it ain't a classic. :boat:

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Re: What makes a classic motorcycle?

Unread post by TechTMW » Fri Oct 28, 2011 7:45 am

flw wrote: I live in Northern Il. and would like the keep the bike to a one cylinder bike. I saw a '67 Suzuki TS120 the other day for 1,000 that still runs but needs to be restored. I just don't want to put time and money into a bike that is worth less, when I'm done than when I started.
First, I'd suggest getting a non-desirable bike to 'practice' on. You didn't tell us if you are mechanically inclined, or just starting ... Get a clunker, fix it up and get it running, and see if the whole restoration process is 'for' you. Get something that YOU want to ride. There's a reason why there are so many unfinished 'project' bikes on the market. :humm:

Second, you have to go into it KNOWING that any bike you fix wil probably not sell for more than you put into it. Same rule applies to old cars. Yeah, people do it, but they are typically professionals who have the time and resources to restore an old bike to its former glory. For a shade tree mechanic, without the ability to fabricate or source used parts, you are looking at alot of TIME or MONEY. If you have no mechanical experience, you are also looking at the possibility of costly screw ups.

Just opinion from my experience ... YMMV.
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