Author Topic: The life of a project.  (Read 690 times)

Offline tombeau

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The life of a project.
« on: 17.01. 2013 20:24 »
Discussion about the price of a Super Rocket got me thinking...again

Do restored machines get broken for spares to restore other bikes, because most people want to actually restore a bike themselves. Rather than just own a nice shiney one. 

Is a finished bike built by someone else, of no interest because it takes the fun out of it?
You have no bragging rights if you bought one thats ready to go. You can maybe badmouth the DPO (Damn Previous Owner) For the horrible job he did, which you had to put right. Or boast about how you got it for a song...But it's not as satisfying is it?

Are there actually more complete, running bikes, than people who actually want them?

Also do people pay more for parts to build a bike because they "can get it past the Missus" that way?  Like the Jonny Cash song "One piece at a time".
 An outright 6 grand purchase of a shiney motorbike would be vetoed by their wife, but components bought over a period of time, and white lies about prices paid for parts make it  easier to swallow. "Look this is worth thousands, and I built it out of stuff I had, or scrounged off my mates. Amn't I clever dear? I'll get round to the kitchen/bathroom/living room soon..promise"

Is the hobby about getting out to the shed in the evening,getting blood on your knuckles, and making something, rather than tearing off on the bike?
Is a finished restoration the end of the road for some bikes?

Feel free to rant amongst yourselves. *smile*

Offline morris

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Re: The life of a project.
« Reply #1 on: 17.01. 2013 21:31 »
Mmmmmm.... sounds more like a hobby called "jig saw puzzling" ;)
Which reminds me, got a couple of boxes on a shelf *spider* waiting for the time when I get to old for riding............

But then again, isn't there a Who song that says somewhere "Hope I Die Before I get Old".......? wink2
'58 BSA A 10 SA
'52 BSA A 10 Plunger
'55 MORRIS ISIS
The world looks better from a motorbike
Belgium

Online KiwiGF

  • Last had an A10 in 1976, in 2011 it was time for my 2nd one. It was the project from HELL (but I learned a lot....)
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Re: The life of a project.
« Reply #2 on: 18.01. 2013 00:17 »
At the time I bought an A10 a couple of years ago I would not have bought a decent running bike due to the cost of them, so I bought a project bike which was a "runner" (yeah right) from a DPO *angry* ....and it then cost me a fortune in parts over the next 2 years, at an all up cost of probably double what a running bike would have cost me *problem*.

If I had the necessary chroming and paintwork done then it would be close to triple the cost - but I don't mind so much what the bike looks like (it does not look good) particularly as it will be regularly ridden at weekends and clock up quite a few miles.

The only way I can justify the cost of my bike is to spread it over the next 10 years!

So a lesson learnt for me, but no regrets as had I known the cost of getting the bike on the road 2 years go, I would not have an A10 now, or have the new "BSA" friends I've made in that time. *smile*

I guess sourcing parts (espeically used parts) would be cheaper and easier in the UK. I've bought most parts from Draganfly, and only a few locally.
New Zealand

1956 A10 Golden Flash (1st finished project)

1949 B31 rigid “400cc hot rod” (2nd finished project, + favourite bike)

1949 C11 rigid, but why!!! (cos it was cheap)

1937 B21, project missing parts, mission impossible?

GL1800 Goldwing, well, the wife likes it

KTM 950 ADV, cos it’s 100% nuts

1952 Armstrong Siddeley Whitley for rainy days (with wife

Online Brian

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Re: The life of a project.
« Reply #3 on: 18.01. 2013 02:13 »
A really difficult subject to make any sense out of, bikes are so many different things to so many different owners.

I dont think there is any doubt that the cheapest way is to buy a fully restored bike, provided you can find one with a known history so you can have faith in the rebuild, unfortunately that is almost impossible. See what I mean by it all being hard to make any sense out of !

One thing we should be 100% clear on is the quality of a bike is directly related to money, no ifs or buts, its all about money. You can not do a quality restoration cheap.

If you want a 100% correct immaculate bike you have to be prepared to pay. If you are flexible in what you want then anything is possible. Most of us fall somewhere in the middle of all that, ranging from concourse to something that goes. My bikes are not immaculate, I dont enter in shows or put them on display, my bikes are for riding and they must start, run and ride properly. However I do try to have them presentable, I keep them clean, mimimise oil leaks and try to have them look as they did in their day.

As for what to buy then that depends on what you want, how much you can afford and whats available where you live (or close by). A bit over a year ago I wanted to buy a swingarm model B33, I searched for months for a unrestored one but simply could not find one so I bought a restored one. I got it home and totally dismantled it and started again with the mechanical side of it. It was a nice looking bike but was a mess mechanically. Thing is I bought it because it was the model I wanted, and it was located only 450 k's away, I had narrowed my options by wanting a specific model close enough to me to be able to go and collect it.

As for money, anybody that is involved with old bikes that thinks they are going to make money from them is living in dream land.

So I guess this all brings it down to why we ride them, it would be a lot easier to buy a new modern one. Secretly I think we all like it when something goes wrong and we are able to diagnose and repair the fault, thats what makes it interesting. And that in itself is one of the good things about our oldies, when they do break down we can fix them unlike moderns that are electrically way too complex for the average person to fix.

Offline cyclobutch

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Re: The life of a project.
« Reply #4 on: 18.01. 2013 14:09 »
Hmmmmm. Certainly I do tend to buy bikes at the lower end of their price scales and then end up having to throw money at them, when a better one first time out would have been more cost effective. Not sure if I'm deluding myself or Mrs B on that one.

My A10 rebuild was a romantic journey for me. It had last been on the road back when we had our first holiday together. I mostly project managed that only conducting final assembly on it myself. I wouldn't have picked that bike otherwise, and I think that really it was too far gone to be financially viable. Either ways, I'm now in the position that as long as I don't sell it I surely won't lose on what I spent?

More recently I've been given an H1 Kawasaki two stroke. Sounded like a good deal - free ... except; I had to pick it up from Edinburgh (I live in central Essex), as a '76 KH500 it's really the wrong model in the wrong year. And it's brown. And it was stripped down to it's smallest constituent parts back in '85 when the crank let go, which were then mixed up with those from a Yamaha RD200. And stuff got lost, and it all looks like it must have been kept in a ditch for part of the time. So whilst everything about it says 'stick the best bits on ebay', for all my hard headed posturing I can't bring myself to conduct the coup de grace.

In the meantime, I have bikes for different purposes - some are hobby bikes and others, like the ZRX1200R are for high speed travel (usually across France) at the touch of a button. Having said that I like to go places on all my steeds and I always prepare them with that in mind. The Kawa's predessesor was a Guzzi Griso, and beautiful though it was, there was too much 'hobby' in it and it had to go.

     
Various, including ...
'58 Iron Head Flash Bitza


Online bsa-bill

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Re: The life of a project.
« Reply #5 on: 18.01. 2013 14:35 »
Think I'm thinking along the same lines as you cyclobutch, with my last project I assumed I would replace more than I probably needed to (once the bug set in) and aimed at a price that allowed for that but pretty sure I overshot the budget (if there ever was one).

however it's all a bit of a gamble and as I've said before - any hobby is going to cost - but at least ours will always have an asset of some value at the back of it, further to that many of us will look at the money invested in a usable, saleable and enjoyable machine and wish our pensions had as good a return.
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 Topdad

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Re: The life of a project.
« Reply #6 on: 24.01. 2013 10:35 »
I tried to reply to this earlier but work will interfere!!  I'd like to say that no matter how much these projects annoy us with there many niggles and changes there is also a therapeutic element to them as well . Mine was a basketcase from a previous A7SS which frame and tank were nicked , I'd had a very bad year up to starting work on it and was actually on the sick with stress due to a year long campaign of pure hate from a previous employer when a friend suggested it was time to " her back together " .The logistics of buying various bits deciding who to do what and what I could do myself worked wonders even my wife noted that I was walking round like a 16 yr old again ( lucky her ) In fact I found I remembered quite a lot from the preceding 30 yrs (but how I wish this forum had been around then )  I decided to get the engine done by SRM and build it up myself ,bought parts from what looked like established people in the bike mags, I was very lucky and never got anything duff whilst the service from SRM was really great and the motors stilll spot on after nearly 10 yrs , (so there you have it install an A10 in every mental illness ward and save the NHS a fortune !) In fact working to put  my bike together  was better than pills to me and the enjoyment factor is still  working and far outways the money spent on it although I haven't dared add the receipts up nor show 'em to the wife !!  Enjoy your bikes and the company on this forum BobH.
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Online bsa-bill

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Re: The life of a project.
« Reply #7 on: 24.01. 2013 11:59 »
Glad your back in a good place Bob, had a teeny bit of that myself
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 Topdad

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Re: The life of a project.
« Reply #8 on: 24.01. 2013 15:01 »
Thanks bill although I'm pleased to say that was a few years ago now ! Still just as stupid but not "unwell" however I was relieved  to see that the post from muskrat and our ozzie mates"ode to BSA-BILL" didn't relate to you , until I read it  in full I wondered what the hell could have happened, obviously i hadn't known there were 2 BSABILLS of good standing in this old world ,from there comments He to was was a good guy and a shame to hear of his demise Cheers Bob.
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