Author Topic: am I the only one who feels this way  (Read 1228 times)

Offline mikethebrush

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am I the only one who feels this way
« on: 02.08. 2010 12:09 »
or do others find the brit bike scene frustrating, I would like to hear others views on this as my be seeing the whole thing wrong. I have felt this way for a while but didnt say anything but reading LJs thread has tugged a heart string and no its not the green eyed monster im genuinely pleased for him

to me its how it should be and its how I remember it being 30 yrs ago
first off all its the value of bikes
my mate , whos got a garage full of some lovely bikes in various stages of restoration, told me that I could break mine for spares and buy the same model fully restored and make a profit, sounds daft but its true, mines worth a lot more in bits than it is complete, enough to but a restored gf, ive done the maths
restoration projects cost nearly as much as a completed bike as they are a total of the their spare parts and someone could buy them for breaking and make money
second hand spares are an arm and a leg so they make the restoration expensive
by the time you have bought the project and the spares you have spent far in excess of the bikes resale value and thats not counting you r time
,I dont look at this financially as Im a biker,but it means I cant afford to buy an oily rag to run around on while I restore mine and thats the bit im finding frustrating as I want to ride a bike not have it as a showpeice how do others feel about this
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Online bsa-bill

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Re: am I the only one who feels this way
« Reply #1 on: 02.08. 2010 12:40 »
Mike I reckon we all know exactly what your meaning, and it is a shame in many ways, however our whole wide world revolves around supply and demand, no way around it as far as I can see.
So while many in the relatively wealthy West can afford to pay funny money for bits for old bikes it will remain the way it is I reckon, maybe when a lot of us get to feeble to kick start our P&J the prices will begin to fall. ( but that's being taken care of as well)
On the upside if there was not a healthy market for our bikes and bits of, you would probably not be able to buy new tyres, carbs, 6 volt bulbs, gaskets, rims and spokes, brake shoes, clutch plates, pistons rings and many other things we need to keep them running .
All the best - Bill
1961 Flash - stock, reliable, steady, fantastic for shopping
1959 Rocket Gold Flash - blinged and tarted up  would have seizure if taken to  Tesco

Offline alanp

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Re: am I the only one who feels this way
« Reply #2 on: 02.08. 2010 12:57 »
You're not alone. When I start a restoration I know that I'd be unlikely to eventually sell it to even cover my costs, if I do a guality job that is. But that doesn't stop me since a) I only restore bikes I want to own and experience riding not to make a profit and b) my wife is happy since I'm not wandering around the house in boredom. It is however getting increasingly difficult to find interesting bikes to restore because the more we restore the less there are left and also as you say restorable bikes are often broken up and the parts sold as spares. The fewer bikes available just pushes up the demand for original parts and hence their cost and hence the attractive incentive from those who see a quick profit to break bikes up for parts. We are therefore contributing to this situation by pursuing our hobby.
Costs just go higher and higher, don't they? My '59 DBD34 Gold Star cost me £4000 as a restoration project about 5 years ago, I eventually sold it quality restored for £10500 when my wrists couldn't take the clip ons any more, which was break even and they now sell for up to £15000. Try getting a DBD34 restoration project complete with old log book for £4000 today!   
Alan
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Online lawnmowerman

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Re: am I the only one who feels this way
« Reply #3 on: 02.08. 2010 13:23 »


I know where you're coming from Mike. IMHO, there are three types of people out there involved in bikes.

There are the profiteers and rip-off merchants who buy a bike purely as an investment to see how much they can get out of the reg no (hence all the questions on ebay about whether numbers are transferrable) and how much they can get out of the parts if the bike is broken. They have no conscience whatsoever about removing a perfectly serviceable bike from the road forever.

Then there are the professional restorers who rebuild bikes to a high standard or complete part finished projects. I have nothing against these as long as they do not cannibalize other serviceable bikes in the process. It gives fellow enthusiasts who may not have the time and skills the chance to own a restored classic bike. At the end of the day, professional restorers need to earn a living so they will need to charge a realistic price.

Finally there are people like us on the forum who have a passion for classic bikes and restore and ride bikes as a hobby and pastime. We will never make money on our projects but that is not what it is all about. It is the satisfaction of a job well done and keeping a piece of history alive as well as keeping alive the skills required in the restorations and day to day maintenance.

Unfortunately because of the demand for original parts mainly due to the poor quality of pattern replacement parts means that ?oily rags? never stay on the road as the financial incentives for the profiteers are too great not to break them.

Unfortunately it is a vicious circle because the more crap parts we buy, the less the quality suppliers make and more and more of them start going out of business, thus raising the need for original parts from broken bikes and more bikes leaving the road.

As Bill says, ?Supply and demand? and always someone in the background willing to make a quick buck.

Jim
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Offline tombeau

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Re: am I the only one who feels this way
« Reply #4 on: 02.08. 2010 15:48 »
I think the oily rag bikes will always circulate amongst friends. I have never sold a bike through an advert and only ever bought one once that way.
Bikes have always changed hands in a gentlemans agreement. In fact, thinking about it, most of my friends' idea of "selling a bike" is to do nothing more than mention a bike is for sale to a couple of people and let the grapevine do it's work.

I don't like to see people making a fast buck out of things, and people, they feel nothing for.

Cheers,
Iain

Online trevinoz

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Re: am I the only one who feels this way
« Reply #5 on: 03.08. 2010 00:57 »
Mike,
              Try pricing the parts to build a new bike. Or car. Or anything.
Same story only worse.
   Trev.

Offline gold33

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Re: am I the only one who feels this way
« Reply #6 on: 03.08. 2010 03:35 »
The saddest part of this whole story is that many bikes are in storage awaiting price hikes instead of being ridden, or left hidden in a terrible state in sheds and under houses because they will cost more to restore than they will be worth when finished.

The '08 market collapse saw some of the investment types being forced to sell. Bring on GFC 2
Darren
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Offline mikethebrush

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Re: am I the only one who feels this way
« Reply #7 on: 10.08. 2010 14:56 »
thanks for the replies lads, one thing is sure, its still about riding the bikes
ive thought about all your comments and understand the situation better now. as far as im concerned it should all be the way it is with LJ being offerd spares and bikes at a reasonable cost. my bike was 20 odd yeats old when I bought so I had a look at some projects of that age, there are some reasonably priced restoration projects but japanese bikes dont interest me so I probably wont bother with them, there is probably some projects rotting away near me so if people find out im interested they may tell me their whereabouts, so ive been dropping bike restoration quietly into conversations, I have now heard of a 55 speed twin in bits but he doesnt want to sell at the moment despite doing nothing with it for years but ive expressed an interest in case he changes his mind, thats the first one but no doubt others will follow and one of those will be up for sale

thanks for your views as they have changed my way of seeing things and now theres the thrill of the chase
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Offline a101960

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Re: am I the only one who feels this way
« Reply #8 on: 10.08. 2010 15:52 »
The mentality of some of the hoarders mystifies me. A few years ago I used to pass a sizeable plot of land on my way to and from work. On this piece of land were lots of old cars from the 1950's just slowly rotting away. Amongst all of these old cars was an MG Magnette ZA Saloon that I lusted after. Suffice to say the person that owned all these cars would not entertain selling any of them. Eventually he died, and what remained of the cars were bulldozed into skips because they had become beyond saving. What was that all about I wonder? The same fate befalls many old bikes as well. I sure we all know the whereabouts of an old bike or car languishing away in a garage or shed. The owner will not sell, and appears to have no motivation to restore his "prized possession" either. I have always taken the view that if I have spares that I have no immediate use for and somebody else needs it then its far better to let it go. At least it gets another bike on the road. The whole Classic vehicle scene just amazes me. There is one dealer (Andy Tierman) who has been offering a BSA C11G for sale at £3000. The world has gone mad.

John

Offline LJ.

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Re: am I the only one who feels this way
« Reply #9 on: 10.08. 2010 17:47 »
Mike... you mention somewhere that your a painter & Decorator, I also served an apprenticeship as a decorator during the late seventies. (I've yet to wallpaper a motorcycle though! *lol*

The skills of being a brush hand is very useful owning a classic bike so I have found. I've just about given up with keeping my bikes immaculate because as I ride them a lot of miles, they are bound to become soiled... muck accumulates underneath and chips appear on the paintwork etc.

I found when I bought my 49 star twin it had been hand painted with a cheap new brush and looked horrible, sand and grit thrown into the paint as well, you know the amature horrors. *lol* So what I did was to fine rub down those brush marks and re-hand paint various parts when time allowed including the newly chromed petrol tank. The result is a sort of perfect 'fake patinered' motorcycle that has not been over restored and I must admit it looks stunning and original. Don't get me wrong about those guys doing nut & bolt restorations costing £££s... They do look fantastic but I'd be afraid to ride it and keep it tucked away clean and dry.

It seems that there is oily rag and... oily rag! On one end of the scale a bike is just not touched, wires are untidy and loose, paint badly chipped and just very dirty etc and then the other end... Old paintwork is cleaned and polished, tired chrome work is renovated and can look quite okay if not looked at too closely. This is probably the cheapest restoration which I find gets lots of close looks and is satisfying to achieve.

Try not to be too frustrated with it, accept it for what it is and for how you enjoy it.
Ride Safely Lads! LJ.
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Offline tombeau

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Re: am I the only one who feels this way
« Reply #10 on: 10.08. 2010 18:29 »
A lot of these mad old hoarders bought the stuff when it was junk and nobody wanted it...They thought it was treasure even then. Years later people start knocking on their doors asking to buy "See I was right, its really is special, everyone wants it. Worth a fortune so it is!" Their original opinion is reinforced, they cant see that the stuff has deteriorated, just the same as they couldn't see why the stuff was worthless at the time they got it.

Often these old bikes languishing in sheds, but not for sale, are so prized by their owners, because they offer a connection with their past, conjuring up memories of their youth, friendships, wild rides, holidays, early experiences with girls, etc.
To us, they are actually just old motorbikes, to them they are much more.

Cheers,
Iain

Offline mikethebrush

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Re: am I the only one who feels this way
« Reply #11 on: 10.08. 2010 19:01 »
LJ

I too served my time in the late 70s and went on to become an advanced craft decorator, I know the new brush finish with a bit of grit thrown in plus the odd bristle to really make it interesting only too well, most of my life is spent getting over poor application

im going down the oily rag route as my bike is original but some parts are beyond reason which poses another problem of introducing new chrome and paint without making the rest look awfull, ive got a long job ahead and will take it one step at a time

thanks for your words of advice and encouragement

mike
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Offline trickytree

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Re: am I the only one who feels this way
« Reply #12 on: 11.08. 2010 00:00 »
As a newcomer to the Brit bike scene I pretty quickly discovered there are an awfull lot of crooks out there....to be found on ebay mostly, but there idea of "good sevicable condition" is wildly differant to mine.

As for breaking good bikes as there worth more that way then why not? It would be interesting to find out the actual number of bikes out there that are ridden on a regular basis rather than hiding away in the shed of some serial restorer.....how many of these bikes do more than say, 1,000 miles a year...not very many I would bet. I remember the first Newark Autojumble I went to about 18 months ago. As we were waiting for the gates to open I was listening to a group of guys in front of me. A chap asked one of them what he was "doing up" at the momment...he reeled of a list of 3 or 4 bikes and mentioned the bits he was hoping to pick up, but the amazing (to me) thing was that when he was asked what he was riding at the momment he said none of them...he hadnt ridden any for a good couple of years.

My point is that for every good bike thats broken for parts, a few of those parts probably keeps a regularly ridden bike on the road a little longer....the rest of them go towards Mr serial restorers little collection....eventually he pegs it and his grandson chucks the lot on ebay and the whole proccess starts again.
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Online bsa-bill

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Re: am I the only one who feels this way
« Reply #13 on: 11.08. 2010 08:46 »
Interesting point you make trickytree , taken to it's ultimate conclusion if every vehicle ever made were to be kept and ridden there would be no room on the roads to put them  *sad2* *sad2*
All the best - Bill
1961 Flash - stock, reliable, steady, fantastic for shopping
1959 Rocket Gold Flash - blinged and tarted up  would have seizure if taken to  Tesco