Author Topic: Non running art piece Motorcycles. Worthy decor or shameful embarrassments?  (Read 412 times)

Offline Sluggo

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OK-fair disclosure, I am assembling bits for several display and cutaway engines and trans for our museum promotions as well as set aside some parts for some non running bikes but in my defence, they are all to be using only worn out, damaged or unserviceable parts for the majority.   These can be very effective to draw peoples interest as well as educational.  (motto of the museum is "Education is our purpose")

But while conceding that hipster stores, fern bars and coffee joints want some cool retro machinery to display, and some wealthy collector use such material for office art to be polished and detailed by attractive and youthful  assistants (Miss MoneyPenny,, you missed a spot down low, Be a dear and give it a good rub!)

But there is a certain amount of derision, scorn and annoyance at those who build up vintage machinery that will never run, nor is intended too.  Locally to me is a wealthy collector who snowbirds down south in Arizona but used to summer in Seattle.  Cool thing is he spent his money on very cool toys and amassed an amazing collection of bikes for his personal "Museum".   But after restoration he made it very clear his bikes all were ZERO miles and would stay that way.  I sent him an email offering an exchange program for parts that appeared nice but were knackered in exchange for servicable ones.  -NO RESPONSE-

But things came to head locally when stories got out about a Vincent that had a damaged crank and had not run in years, Would get trotted out for shows from its enclosed trailer and then wheeled back into its cocoon.  So a local show up in Seattle that was on its way to Hoity-toity status enacted a rule that ANY Machine entered into the show would have to demonstrate it ran and was functional.

This previously mentioned collector had worked hard,, sorry,,,,,,,pushed his paid restorer hard to complete one of his latest builds to be ready for the show. When the rule change was announced, he was livid and withdrew from the show and ranted at length about this. (he blogged about this as well, but it seems to have disappeared)

But, at other events and online I am seeing more and more of bikes that are just empty shells and merely styling Icons and art pieces.  At the Sears craftsman store up on the walls are pictures of a grimey engine that is clearly a late 60s Triumph 650 Bonnie engine and in each picture is a grease smeared hand holding Craftsman tools.  Silly, as none of the tools are whitworth!  But its associating an IMAGE, Not function.

Form follows function, or does art dictate form?   I have seen multiple listings in the last few years of bikes that -no joke- were style props in hipster clothing and accy stores.  One listing was on ebay for months at grossly inflated prices for a flat track style Triumph and the owners ad copy was so off the mark its clear the guy had zero clue about motorcycles at all.  Just REALLY annoying overly enthusiastic hyperbole on a topic it was so laughably wrong it was painful to look at or read.

(probably got a hefty increase on the rent for his storefront due to gentrification and forced to sell the shiny styling bauble)

I try not to respond to such sellers on Craigslist and FeeBay as it unproductive and just annoys them, often getting a angry ALL CAPS reply.  But these clowns have been listing some really dodgy stuff for some time now.  Personally when I read ad copy and see the seller is so full of excrement, Its a big turn off, but perhaps it must work in some fashion??

So, you guys tell me........Is it okay in some circumstances to build up something for display only as long as real motorcycles were not harmed in the process or is it all just offensive?

Here is a prime example in my opinion, The $15,000 dollar BSA MX.

(must be some shill bidding, this is the 4th or 5th attempt and its been bid as high as $5,000 but keeps getting relisted)

See: https://www.ebay.com/itm/1966-BSA-B44/362305433336?hash=item545b162ef8:g:OGcAAOSwLahas~EH&vxp=mtr

" 1966 BSA B44 VICTOR ENDURO

NADA #1 Value of $15,645.00 And Worth Every Penny

Will Continue Appreciating Daily

One of the most stunning and gorgeous MX bikes we have ever had here at the museum
needs engine/tranny/wiring work but as is it can be rolled into any museum and is a real head turner!
The last of the Duane Carlisle BSA collection

Equipped with vintage Works Performance shocks

SOLD WITH A NOTARIZED BILL OF SALE,

NO PREVIOUS REGISTRATION OR TITLE!

PLEASE WATCH THE COMPLETE VIDEO;

NEEDS A FULL ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION REBUILD AND WIRING HARNESS AND OTHER DETAILS TO BE RACE READY!!!  OR ROLL IT INTO YOUR MUSEUM AS IT IS! SOLD AS-IS

TOO MUCH TO LIST; THOUSANDS INVESTED RECENTLY;
WE JUST COMPLETED A FRAME OFF / FRAME UP COSMETIC RESTORATION

NEW PAINT
NEW GAS CAP
NEW FUEL LINES
NEW GRAPHICS
NEW TIRES
NEW CHAIN
NEW BARS
NEW GRIPS
NEW LEVERS
NEW SHIFTER
NEW BSA BAR PROTECTOR
NEW SEAT
NEW POINTS COVER
WORKS PERFORMANCE SHOCKS
and much more....
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yes.. you read right!  It DOES NOT run! Needs wiring and "motor work",,  So, basically its just shiny bits.
Question is, how much work does it really need?

Note thats a Royal Enfield tank on it and all kinds off odds & sods tacked on.
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Offline duTch

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 Sounds like my Rocketty Flash that I ride most days *smile* (need to share the love with The Gutzzi though)..

 I think I said before that I can't see anything wrong with assembling a bunch of (nice looking) 'scrap' together for a static display so long as there's no pretense of being something that it's not...(just needs ++++to be race ready  *bash*)
Started building in about 1977/8 a on average '52 A10 -built from bits 'n pieces never resto intended -maybe 'personalised'
Have a '74 850T Moto Guzzi since '92-best thing I ever bought doesn't need a kickstart 'cos it bump starts sooooooooo(mostly) easy
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Online muskrat

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I'd prefer it to be parted out to keep going bikes going.
At our show next Sunday the bikes must go or be goable to win a trophy.
Cheers
'51 A7 plunger, '57 A7SS now A10CR,  '83 CB1100F, .
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Online berger

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quick note its blooming Baltic and I am going to the PUB! anyway sluggo that is nicely put across it reminds me of a good friend [ geof another deceased, WILL everybody please stop dying] we used to do car repaires together until they became computer controlled and put together by mobile robots, he used to allways say nice clean car kid, and my response was anyboby can polish a car , what about all the shot ball joints brake pistons seized etc etc and his response would be piece o p*s kid , but as we all must know its never as easy as one sentence. so I say yes its a good idea to do what your saying. I wish I had as many pound notes in ratio to when ive said get that bike off that trailor and ride it to the show your only going 30/40/50/ maybe a 100 miles on the road, so it makes me think lots of these[ nice clean bike kid] haven't got any bollocks in them  *sarcastic*

Offline Rex

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When someone knocks up some sort of horrific formulaic ch*pper or b*bber and spoils a good bike in the process someone else will always defend them by saying "it's their bike to do with as they wish".
Why wouldn't the same principle apply? Many seem to get as much/more fun out of rebuilding/displaying/polishing than riding, so who's to say who's right or wrong?

Offline Greybeard

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Many seem to get as much/more fun out of rebuilding/displaying/polishing than riding, so who's to say who's right or wrong?

These days a good polish is as much as I can expect!  ;)

Offline jachenbach

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When I see over-restored, unridden bikes at shows, I wonder "what's the point"? Not up to me to tell others what to do with their bikes, but personally I build to ride.

Online Black Sheep

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I hate to see machines (and that's what bikes are - as are aeroplanes etc) locked up in museums never to be used. Such a waste. The only consolation in my view is that, given time and a change or two of ownership, they could be brought to life again. At least when someone hacks a bike to a bobber, it is likely to run. There is a seventh hell awaiting these people... and the bobber hackers too.
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Offline tlmark

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This is why I love The International West Kent Run because you can only enter the show if you go on the ride and that can be about 100 miles. you can display bike but not enter to win a prize.

Offline duTch

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 For the record, and fairly sure I said it before, that my interpretation of Sluggo's concept (which may be different to his ), is to use parts that are *TRASHED*, and would normally be 'binned', to create an object that doesn't pretend to be a functioning motorcycle..... *????*

  I don't chuck ANYTHING out, thinking everything can be used for something...like an art installation. I dunno if it's still there, but 10 years or so ago, there was a fabbed up 'exploded-view' model of  Mick Doohans' race bike hanging in the ceiling of Ippy Art gallery- looked impressive, but sure as heck that wasn't intended to ride away *whistle*
Started building in about 1977/8 a on average '52 A10 -built from bits 'n pieces never resto intended -maybe 'personalised'
Have a '74 850T Moto Guzzi since '92-best thing I ever bought doesn't need a kickstart 'cos it bump starts sooooooooo(mostly) easy
Australia

Offline Sluggo

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BINGO Dutch,, *yeah*  That is my take as well.   
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Offline duTch

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 Thanks Sluggo- in addition, I don't disagree with the other opinions either, Like Musko, when I was involved in the local bikeshow, riding up to collect a trophy was a pre-requisite....That show fell by the wayside for a few years, but now re-born  *eek*(did I say that?) 2 years ago, down the hill at a new location- I'll have to get along this year...


 ** edit; I have to add that if 'scrap' can be functional, like in the form of pre-mentioned trophies or  whatevers, that's much the better *smile*
Started building in about 1977/8 a on average '52 A10 -built from bits 'n pieces never resto intended -maybe 'personalised'
Have a '74 850T Moto Guzzi since '92-best thing I ever bought doesn't need a kickstart 'cos it bump starts sooooooooo(mostly) easy
Australia