Motorcycle restoration is in many ways the perfect hobby. It combines interesting things like machinery, craftsmanship, skill, collecting, the excitement of riding and the acquisition of value. You can simply learn more about how cycles work, or you can throw yourself headlong into every square inch of motorized technology and customization.
What to get? Motorcycles that are even fairly-well made can be desirable – anything from the old English mid-sized sporting singles like Nortons, Velocette’s, Triumphs and BSA’s to the revolutionary Japanese twins like the Kawasaki Z1 or the Honda CB750s. The prices of older, rarer classics have risen but are still within reach, unlike the models that get more attention from the elite collectors like Vincents, MotoGuzzi and Ducatis.
So where to start? Honestly, do your homework with local and regional clubs, meet experts, learn which questions to ask and why certain things are important. Some states have custom swap meets that feature many different models and parts manufacturers. For those ready to take the big plunge, there’s always Bike Week in Daytona, FL that will let you find literally thousands of riders and builders in one small town who are ready to show off what they’ve been doing.
What else helps? A few subscriptions to motorcycle restoration magazines, keeping your eyes on some legit restoration blogs and of course, some new local friends who are already knee-deep in cycles can’t hurt either. Then you’re ready to move onto the big 3. The big 3 ingredients in any bike restoration project are an engine, a frame and a manufacturer’s parts book. The engine and frame are the heart of the project; the parts book, with its exploded diagrams, is the brains.
So hit the trade mags, send some emails, find some parts and make some calls. The perfect bike is waiting out there for you. If you’ve done your restoration right, you’ll be transported back to the 1950′s, 60′s or 70′s when both the bike and you were young. Not a bad feeling. Plus remember, unlike almost every other hobby involving restoration and collection, when you’re finished you get to ride it! Or if you’re really going to be crafty, you get to sell it and start all over again with a new project (and just maybe a pretty good profit).
So as was stated before, motorcycle restoration is in many ways the perfect hobby, but in many ways it can be a cycle junkie’s perfect career too. Technical Schools Guide can help you find a small engine technician course at a school near you! You can get started right now!
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