Many bikers enjoy a sense of pride with vintage motorcycle restoration projects. Restoring a vintage motorcycle requires commitment, mechanical expertise and organizational skills. These five tips will assist a novice to restore a vintage motorcycle.
- Inspection and Inventory: A thorough inspection and inventory are the initial steps in the process. Many novice motorcycle restorers will want to start working on the motor first. A quality vintage motorcycle restoration requires specific parts. Inspect the vintage motorcycle for parts that will need replacing. An assessment of the motor and body will need to be completed. Some parts may be rechromed; however, the cost effective solution may be to replace the rusty parts. Compose a list of damaged or missing parts before getting to work.
- Investigate Vintage Motorcycle Parts Suppliers: Turn to the internet to investigate information concerning the particular make and model of the vintage motorcycle to be restored. Conduct an online search for needed body and motor parts. Online searches may reveal suggestions for feasible replacements when necessary. Motorcycle shows are also an excellent source of information. Other restorers are glad to share information concerning parts suppliers.
- Locate a Work Space: A level work space is necessary for the motorcycle restoration process. A covered or enclosed area with proper lighting is ideal. A drop cloth may be purchased at a local home improvement store to protect the flooring surface and new or refurbished parts. Good lighting will allow work to continue past dusk.
- Obtain a Camera: One of the best tips is to obtain a good camera to take pictures as the motorcycle is disassembled for later recollection when reassembling. The photos could be posted on a bulletin board for easy viewing. The photos also serve as a chronicle for the restoration work and may be placed in a journal when the work is completed.
- Plastic Storage Bags: The oganization of parts plays a major role in motorcycle restoration. Parts can be placed in clear plastic storage bags and labeled with a permanent marker for organization and later reference. Shelves or a large storage bin is excellent for storing the bags and keeping you organized throughout the restoration process.
*Photo courtesy of Harley Street by Les Chatfield at Flickr’s Creative Commons.