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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, instead of buying a brand new bike i was thinking how much would it cost to restore an 80s bike? Also i know little to nothing about bike repair but i was thinking of taking the maintenance course or just buying a repair manual. What sort of tools would you need and how much would they cost? Thanks.
 

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Hi, instead of buying a brand new bike i was thinking how much would it cost to restore an 80s bike? Also i know little to nothing about bike repair but i was thinking of taking the maintenance course or just buying a repair manual. What sort of tools would you need and how much would they cost? Thanks.

Hey Kalel,
I bought a 1980 CX500, and have done a bunch of work on it since I got it. Most older machines are pretty easy to work on, but having a repair manual is a must. I have a 190 piece socket set from Canadian Tire, ($120)and 95% of the stuff I need is in there. I also had to buy a Feeler Gauge($6), and a torque wrench,($75) but unless you're gonna strip the engine or do some heavy duty modifications, that should be all you need. I knew next to nothing about wrenching on a bike when I started, but I have a good relationship with the previous owner, and there are tons of websites with info about older bikes, and forums for questions. As for cost, I would say that depends on what you're after. If you want a decent running bike to get you around you could buy and older bike and restore it for less than a couple of grand, but if you're looking to customize, it could be mega bucks. The other advantage is the piece of mind when I'm riding. If something goes wrong on the road, I have a clue where stuff is on my bike, and can diagnose most problems right there. Makes me feel better, and gives me an excuse to spend time with my bike when it really gross out.

Good Luck.

Kith.
 

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Motorcycles are a money pit. Old motorcycles are an even larger money pit. Seals, gaskets, cracking plastic parts and who know what else are just a start. If you do buy one, have it checked over carefully by someone that knows so you know exactly how much you're going to be into it for and remember that you'll never get the money back out of it.
 

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Been there, done that. You buy and restore and old bike because they don't make that particular bike anymore and you just gotta have one, you enjoy hitting youself in the head with a hammer or you think burning piles of money is loads and loads of fun.
 

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Depends what your doing . We've restored a few CB 900, KZ 900, SR 500 ...All these bikes receiced complete engine rebuild, exhaust , paint , seals , bearings , tires , pretty much everything to make them like brand new again or better. The SR 500 put on modern 17" rims and it looked deadly. All these bikes with labour were between $4000 and $7000. Alot of it was labour.

But still, now these guys have brand new older bikes that are unique and turn heads. Not to mention they are riding something they have always wanted. So when you look at it $12000 for new Honda Shadow or $ 8000 for fully restored classic ? It's up to you, be unique or be a cookie cutter.
 

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Gotta agree with wuts already been said. Purchase price of an older bike will obviously be lower, but you have to factor in some TLC work.

But, if you find yourself an older bike in good condition, and you're willing to do most of the minor work yourself, I think you'll end up having yourself a "not as common" bike for less money than buying yourself a brand new bike.

In the 6 yrs. since I've purchased my bike, I've only had to replace the regulator/rectifier, battery, tires and the fuel petcock. So all in all, I've only had to spend an extra $600ish over my purchase price. Not bad at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Thanks a lot for the info guys. What i was thinking was maybe buying something that requires replacing of parts, tweaking etc. nothing too big. You know maybe learn something along the way. But i am not doing mad mods. But the supply and demand of bikes in bc is crazy and from what i am reading fixing something is gonna cost a few grand. Hmm i just thought of this but do you guys know where i might be able to find some repair manuals?
 

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I agree completely with flowrider and psyclone as well as Bill/5thgear.

Sounds like you are into tweaking and fixing. If you haven't had a bike before and you are getting into an older bike, they WILL end up costing you a lot of money in the end. If you want to just hop on your bike and ride sometime (often) on older bikes things just happen and you gotta fix em and often right away. Nothing wrong with riding old school and being a tweaker. I do it sometimes but be prepared for unexpected money hits and unexpected downtime along with people ooooohing and awing over your old iron and telling you stories about their youth.

Have fun and go for it.
 

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/spooky wind voice .... "ebaaaaaaeh iiiiiiissss caaaAAAAaaaallling yooooOOOOOOoooooOOOOOOoooOOOOOOoooo......."

It's hard to stick with a big project for the time needed. A lot of the work you can do yourself or learn how and then do but some is far better off being farmed out if you're not comfy with the whole enchilada. Ebay can get you a lot but mostly what you need is time and patience. T&P not only to find what you need for parts but also for trying and learning the techniques you need to do the work. For a bike that needs much and depending on what your goals are you can end up with a 2 month rat bike made from whatever looks like it's fit or you can spend 2 or even 3 years doing a full on ground up restoration that is nicer than what originally came out of the crates. Obviously the 2 month rat option won't cost you much but that other one will easily match the cost of a new bike by the time you're done unless you can do it all from soup to nuts in which case it'll only be 3/4 as much as a brand new bike.
 

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I bought an old bike, a Yamaha XJ650 Maxim last year. It wasn't running when I got it, but with the manual, I figured out the electrical problem that it had. I did alot of work to it, rebuilt the front caliper, did the back brakes (there weren't any left), cleaned the carbs, got the tank sealed and I bondoed/painted it, etc.
I also put new superbike bars on it and rerouted the control cables. It's almost ready, but I have to replace the front rotor, the one on there now is warped.

The bike is kinda cool in the old way, and with the bars it handles quite nicely, much better than with the old monkey bars that were standard. I'm not sure if I'll sell it when I'm all done with it, but the project has taught me alot about wrenching on bikes and how they work. I enjoyed working on it, but not sure if I'd do it again.
 

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I just boutght a Husqvarna (1979 CR250) and will be doing most of the work needed myself. I've been wrenching on my bikes from day one so after 25+ years I've got it covered. Will be farming out the engine work (cases split and crank rebuild) but everything else I'll do. I've done about 5 or 6 bikes so far and love the time I spend on them. Cost is always an issue but I take my time and start with what's realy important and go from there.

See you out in the dirt by spring boys and girls.
 

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Nice HUSKY , I can't remember the name but there is a site dedicated to those old bikes and lot's of parts available. I took pictures of some restored Huskies in Seattle they were trick even back then
 
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