Motorcycle Restoration Rant

I’ve always wanted to tell people about this so here goes:

If after a few bottles of lager you decide to “restore” that old bike in your garage/basement/shed/what have you…..DON’T!!!!!

Your vision, shining clearly through those beer goggles will never come to pass. I know because I’ve been the guy who comes to look at your pride and joy after you’ve taken it to the smallest bits you can and then lost all the smallest most expensive parts. You’ve put an ad in the local paper after you have done your worst and then decided maybe it wasn’t such a good idea after all. So you figure, hey I can sell it to some poor sucker who gets as pissed drunk as I do/am/was.

All you’ve done is removed any value that may have been left in that worthless pile. “Oh” you say, “she’s a beauty, just a little freshening up and you’ve got a classic bike there pal” Yeah a real classic waste of time you dolt. A series of soggy cardboard boxes full of rusting, filthy corroded junk lying on a dirt floor behind a bent/rusted/filthy frame. Good thing you took it all apart and lost most of it you jackass so now it’s an easy decision for me: SEE YA!

Next time leave it all together and either leave it for someone else to restore for you (something you’d never consider because you’re such a great wrench)  or just leave it alone altogether. Please.

  1. MarshalNorton says:

    Appropriately put.
    I bought a rolling disaster as described above in 1979.
    It was a ’73 Bonnie. It was all there some where in the
    guys garage. Had a simple wiring problem that after a few ill
    advised friends and a couple cases of beer got to it, It was a parts bin.
    I gathered up what was visibly bike stuff and headed home.
    13 months later it was rideable.
    I enjoyed the reassembly but had to scavenge allot of little stuff.
    $200 for bike was ok. Wouldn’t pay what the public things they are worth
    in that cond. today.
    Ebay and Antiques roadshow has done us wonders.

  2. Harvey Mushman says:

    Kind of sort of agree. BUT, I bought a pile of T140 junk from a guy. Seriously it was in a crawl space in boxes under his house. Loaded the junk into my truck and took it up to the old Gauger Cycle. Asked Ed Zender what he thought. He said, “Well not the most desireable bike but you will learn from it.” Did a complete frame up restoration with a whole bunch of Ed standing behind me saying “What the F*#K are you doing.” Next thing the torch is out. Spent a couple of years putting the bike back together and at the end of day even got a pat on the back from old Ed!

    Then I bought a T-150 and a model R Commando from who else. Ed and made some great friends in the process.

    And oh yes there was a LOT of beer involved.



    Ride Fast

    • I didn’t mean to sound too harsh but hey, I did say it was a rant up front. As long as you walk into one of these situations with your eyes open, you’re ok. I’ve taken home some real crap myself and asked myself the next day: “WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING???” So we’re all susceptible to the lure of a project.
      In the end it’s chump change compared to collector cars etc. Keeps you off the streets too.

  3. Are you a writer? Is your blog just you writing? Nicely done, Steven.

    • Thanks for the kind words Steven, sometimes I read my old posts and say “not too shabby”, myself. Occasionally I can string some words together to express a thought but it ain’t as easy as it looks. I admire guys like Peter Egan who can express himself in a folksy down home style and let you in on what he’s thinking, and make it seem effortless. All the great writers say “write what you know “, well when you don’t know all that much it puts a severe restriction on your writing. The motorcycle rant was just my standard rap because I really do get infuriated about what people do to poor unsuspecting motorcycles. Sort of like when you were little and there was that whacky kid down the street who ate crayons and tormented the local cats and dogs. He will grow up to make a chopper out of a really nice bike.
      And the chopper will suck.

  4. Artesksew says:

    Outstanding Article , I thought it was special

    I look forward to more innovative postings like this one. Does Your Blog have a subscription I can subscribe to for anymore information from you?

  5. Ecodoadarse says:

    Thanks for the news!

  6. Excellent!this post deserves nothing hahaha just joking 😛 nice post 😛 very informative

  7. John Cannon says:

    🙂 On the other hand, running across one of these bikes brings the price down to a level that I can consider – sweat equity is a lot easier to come by than actual money, in my household anyway. So, I’d just amend the rant to say “You’re more than welcome to bail out of a project in mid-stream, but if yer gonna take the durned thing apart & let it sit around for years, at least try not to lose any important/expensive parts!”

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