Classic motorcycles are beautiful machines. Reminiscent of days gone by, they bring back memories of a different time and a different era. You may have dreamed of restoring one of these old beauties. Maybe you’re thrilled by the challenge, or are looking for a new hobby, or perhaps driving one of these amazing bikes was a childhood ambition.
Whatever the reason, it no longer has to be a dream. For each budget, there’s a classic motorcycle just waiting to be restored. All you need is a bit of time, a lot of energy, and perseverance! Before long, you’ll be flying through the streets of your town or city on a bike you’ve bought back to life.
But how do you go about renovating a classic bike? Here are some tips.
The first step to renovating a classic machine is research. Before you jump the gun and buy a classic bike, research different options and ensure the parts are available for the machine you wish to purchase and restore. Some machines, such as the 1960’s Triumph Bonneville, can be restored by parts from other bikes.
In contrast, certain parts for the Honda Canada CB750F are extremely difficult to obtain, even from importers. Doing your research properly at this stage will save you a lot of heartache and stress further down the line.
Once you’ve purchased your dream machine, you probably can’t wait to get stuck in and pull it to pieces. But hold your horses, especially if you’re a first time restorer.
Rushing to disassemble your bike may lead to parts being lost, and if you don’t know the ins and outs of this particular model you could even damage the machine or some of the parts still in working order. Instead, find a good place to work – perhaps a low table or lift – and raise your bike so you can access all the parts easily and conveniently.
You’re almost ready to go, but before you disassemble any parts take a few minutes to get organised. Make sure you have sufficient containers to hold the various components of the bike, some clear plastic bags, a can of WD40 and a camera.
Now it’s time to get stuck in! As you remove each part, take the time to clean, label and photograph it – you can never take too many photographs! Spray any metallic parts with WD40 and place each item in a plastic bag in the correct container. Spend some time examining each part, and make a list of which parts need replacing and ordering.
When it comes to the engine it’s best to dismantle it while still on the frame. The benefit of this will become apparent when you need to loosen high torque nuts, such as the crankshaft – you’ll appreciate the extra support. Clean the engine parts and rebuild, with new parts where required.
When you come to the frame, take the time to look for cracks, twists or acid damage, and do any necessary welding. Then you can assemble the frame along with your newly cleaned and rebuilt engine.
Replace all nuts and bolts, except those on the engine. When purchasing replacement bolts, avoid cadmium bolts as they rust in damp conditions. Instead opt for stainless steel bolts.
Next check the forks. Look for any signs of wear and tear, and ensure all forks are straight.
Check the shock absorbers on the bike and replace any that are worn. Finally, look at your tyres. Do they need to be replaced? If so, opt for the newest tyres available for your vehicle.
Lastly, the importance of the manufacturer’s part’s book cannot be overstated. Full of diagrams and details, it’s an essential guide to help you put your machine together properly!
If you’re interesting in renovating a classic motorcycle, contact us at Aerocom Metals.
Specialists in steel products, we supply high quality products. Get in touch today to find out how we can help you, by calling +44 (0) 2476 645 551 or contacting us online.