Archive for October, 2008

EBay stuff

Posted: October 22, 2008 in EBay, motorcycles, Norton Commando, vintage racing

It’s difficult to write about ideas and have them sound coherent.

(At least for me)

I’m still not sure who’s reading this stuff so I’m casting my net a little further, just to see who’s out there.

We do a lot of business on EBay and overall it’s been a good experience, and people have generally have been positive about our way of doing business.

Now to the meat of the matter:EBay has turned into an online giant which I feel is overall a good thing, but not without some reservations.

The first is the most obvious: EBay has become an online giant. If you don’t like the policies they set, well you can just hit the road Jack.

In the beginning, there were about 3 pages of bikes and parts, now there are zillions. Which incidentally is a Very Good Thing for us vintage bike enthusiasts. Yes I know the prices have gone up dramatically, but it has kept tons of parts and bikes from becoming landfill.

This is our contribution to the tree huggers. So there.

EBay Tip #1: please please please, take some decent pictures. In this day and age you must know someone with an acceptable digital camera who knows how to use it!

Use a tripod; it makes a huge difference and they go for short money. Nothing better than some dark, blurry, out of focus pics to sell your stuff, right?

Also take pictures of the SUNNY side of the bike, not the side in the shadows! Is this not obvious?? (I guess not if people still do it)

EBay Tip #2: Don’t give me the history of the company back to when Hector was a pup: ” The Belchfire Motorcycle Company started on Oct 23, 1909 making bicycles for the post office” . Tell me about the one YOU have for sale.

And don’t lie. I can tell, and I won’t buy your crappy bike.

That’s it for now, I have to check my EBay stuff……..

An important part of these old nails is the fact we like to have them around. A minor point perhaps, but an important one. Norton Commando Roadsters in addition to Triumph Bonnevilles (and many others) have that eye appeal that makes us like to look at them.

Ok so they don’t follow the strict formulae used for Greek architecture but in some respects they’re not far off. The size of the gas tank compared to the size of the engine and related parts somehow seems to fit together like a limbic puzzle and sit pleasingly in the back of our brain to be dredged up when we need a mechanical endorphin fix. Somehow the designers got the mix right enough to tickle that mass/proportion/color/noise combination in just the right way to open that locker of gearhead fantasies.

For most of us that ride British bikes, the Harley ethos doesn’t do it, but from my experience most of the Harley guys do get the British angle. Interesting phenomenon. Anyway, those of us afflicted in this way will never be able to drive by a bike parked on someone’s lawn without sneaking a look and comparing it to the cosmic gearhead database in their skull, and either making that fateful u-turn or just head off to work because the tumblers didn’t line up.

Parts prices

Posted: October 2, 2008 in Uncategorized

I was just having some random thoughts about parts prices.

When you think that parts for these old British bikes are steep, try pricing some new parts for your Honda motorcycle!

We sell new replacement mufflers for about $100 a pair. If you want to throw caution to the wind, you can get them in stainless for about $450. Price a set of mufflers for a modern bike and I know you can’t get a new set for $100. Used maybe….. but new, I don’t think so. How about an ignition switch? A complete Lucas switch for a Norton comes in at less than $100. Modern bike….big bucks!

So I guess the tack here is that it’s all relative. Not cheap maybe, but nevertheless relative.