First Project Bike

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BoltAction

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Feb 22, 2008, 11:53:41 PM2/22/08
to Philly Vintage Motorcyclists - PhillyVinMoto
So I'm looking to start my first project bike, but I'm more than a
little hesitant to start something I'm not going to be able to finish.
As I have very limited mechanics skills, ie oil changes, brake handle
repairs, gasket replacement, etc, etc, etc I'm a little wary of
purchasing something from Craigslist that states "Great Project Bike,
50% done". I'm even a little hesitant to start something that states
75% done, so I have a few basic questions for the board as you all
seem/are experts on projects/repairs et al.

Obviously I'm looking to start with something a little older, my
reasoning is that (for the most part) the older the bike the less
sophisticated the mechanisms that'll need repair. Obviously I'm not
looking for a 1924 Harley as that's out of my price range. I was
thinking 60's or 70's Triumph, Norton, Harley, BSA etc.

1. Where do I begin? Where's a good place to start looking for a
project bike? Are there publications out there that list local project
and antique bikes?
2. What should I be looking for? Is the condition of the frame more
important than the motor? or vice versa or doesn't it really matter?
3. What's the easiest/best way to get my hands dirty? Obviously
working on my own bike is the answer but when header bolts need to be
drilled, that's way over my head. Should I just go out and buy a
working classic and start taking it apart piece by piece and
reassembling it to learn the insides?

Well off the top of my head, that's all I've got right now, but any
information that you guys could lend would be phenominal.

Thanks
Drew

sprinter666

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Feb 23, 2008, 12:08:37 AM2/23/08
to Philly Vintage Motorcyclists - PhillyVinMoto
Well this may or may not be help.. but i have medium mechanical skill.
can weld ok, turn a wrench a little. but i dont touch motors or paint.
i think with most jap bikes you cant go wrong. but i have no
experience with British stuff so i cant comment there..
I got in over my head with my bike (80 gs450) but i am slowly chugging
away when time and more importantly money comes into play. I think if
i did it again i would find something with way less miles and more
complete... spend more off the bat and get an older bike in better
shape.

I think if you take our time. and get something in decent shape. not a
pile of parts in some milk crates. it can be more enjoyable.. i would
also check out the guys on here. adam cramer has those shop nights and
him and the gang are rad dudes who know waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more than i
ever will... see what they have/reccomend.. buying a bike from a
knowledgeable dude may save you some headaches down the line..
instead of the guy off craigslist that is like "uhhh i think its a
750" "i never got her running"

Skip Chernoff

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Feb 23, 2008, 5:16:22 AM2/23/08
to philly...@googlegroups.com

Matt I disagree, the most fun is buying a couple of milk crates with parts and turning it into a "best of show" vintage machine. The problem is that these projects are way more costly in the long run,and you must have experience to tackle them. They can't be a first attempt at restoring a bike!. For a newbie,it is much better to start with a more complete/running bike,so I agree with you on that point.
----------------------------------------
> Date: Fri, 22 Feb 2008 21:08:37 -0800
> Subject: [PhillyVinMoto] Re: First Project Bike
> From: Matthe...@gmail.com
> To: Philly...@googlegroups.com

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Skip Chernoff

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Feb 23, 2008, 5:39:52 AM2/23/08
to philly...@googlegroups.com


First of all, you must have a place to work on a project bike.The next step is finding a bike that you really love and want when it's all finished,and not just buy something because it's a good deal. You are correct about choosing a less complicated machine for a first timer. Another important consideration is how much money you are willing to "invest" in the project. As far as which marque of bike to restore/ build I always recommend Triumphs as there are way more parts available,parts are cheaper,donor and project bikes are easier to find,Triumphs are plentiful and fun. In recent years the value of Triumphs has gone up in comparison to other Marques. Finally, there are alot of events to take your Triumph to, once it is complete......The bike in the attachment started as two milk crates with rusty parts......Have Fun.....Skip
----------------------------------------
> Date: Fri, 22 Feb 2008 20:53:41 -0800
> Subject: [PhillyVinMoto] First Project Bike
> From: justic...@gmail.com
> To: Philly...@googlegroups.com

_________________________________________________________________
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RickL

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Feb 25, 2008, 5:56:49 PM2/25/08
to Philly...@googlegroups.com
Drew,

I'd steer you toward a 70's Japanese bike. For what a Brit or HD will cost,
you can get a runner and two project bikes.

A model that was produced in high volume will be best in that you will find
manuals and parts lists and parts in the form of new parts (NOS) or used
parts on ebay and whole parts bikes. Something like a Yamaha XS650 twin or
a Honda CB750 or CB350 would fit that bill. Stay away from uncommon models,
and for that matter avoid some Kawasaki models. Years ago I got my hands on
a Kawi Big Horn (model F9) and I could not even find an air cleaner for that
thing. It was all but impossible to get a parts book or service manual. I
got two parts bikes and they were all missing the same stuff. Eventually I
traded those three bikes and some PA monitors for a Suzuki T500. OTOH a
Kawi KZ400 can be found cheap and you might start with one and make one good
runner. (those engines have 4 or 5 chains inside).

Another thing to consider is starting with something that is all there, not
missing many parts, and first get it running. Once you get the engine fired
up then work on making it rideable. Then take it apart and make it pretty.

The first two bikes I restored I didn't do any more to the motor than
absolutely necessary to get it running. Later I got quite good at fixing
the engines by working on the engines from the parts bikes.

Perhaps you can find some potential projects and post your prospects here
for feedback. Maybe someone on this list has a project for you?

A Yamaha RD350, R5, DS7 might also be a good project if you like to smoke!

-RickL
www.VinMoto.org

Thanks
Drew


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RickL

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Feb 27, 2008, 9:41:27 AM2/27/08
to Philly Vintage Motorcyclists - PhillyVinMoto
Drew, any decisions yet?

I thought I should show you one reason to consider a Yam 650 twin.
This has to be one of the best support bikes in the world. Here is
just one (probably the best) site that caters to 650s.

www.650central.com

So, what is it going to be ?

adam cramer

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Feb 27, 2008, 10:11:14 AM2/27/08
to philly...@googlegroups.com
HEY DREW,& ALL YOU VIN MOTO GUYS,,ADAM HERE FROM LIBERTY VINTAGE,PHILA VIN MOTO HOST,FIRST ON YOUR PROJECT BIKE QUEST,,RICK IS CORRECT IN HIS ACCOLADES FOR THE YAM 650,,PLENTY OF PARTS AVAILBLE,,EASY TO WORK ON AND NOT TOO BIG BUT STILL HAS FULL SIZE POWER,,,MANY,MANY AFTERMARKET GOODIES AVAILBLE FOR IT,,LOTS OF DIFFRENT STYLES YOU CAN SET UP LIKE,,,PLUS I LIKE A BIKE WITH A KICK STARTER & PUSH BUTTON..ALSO ANOTHER WEB SITE TO LOOK AT IS OMARS DIRT TRACK RACING,,NOT SURE OF THE WWW FOR HIM BUT A WEB SEARCH WILL TURN HIM UP...LOTS OF COOL BODY WORK AND AND GOOD PLACE TO SEE,,WHAT CAN BE WITH A YAM 650 TWIN
 
NOW ON TO THE FUN* THIS FRIDAY NIGHT 2-29-08   8PM VIN MOTO PHILLY GET TOGETHER.LIBERTY VINTAGE 2212 SEPVIVA ST. PHILA, PA. 19125    ADAM CELL 267-973-9421....BRING BEER OR WHATEVER YOUR FANCY.WITNESS THE COUPLING OF A SIDECAR TO A DUTCH ARMY MATCHLESS,,AND THEN ITS TIME FOR SIDECAR RIDES
BRING FRIENDS..WELDING AND TORCH CUTTING DEMONSTRATIONS
 
 
HEY TRENTON GUYS,HAV'NT HEARD FROM YOU IN A WHILE,,BRING YOUR BLING-BLING DRIFT CARS,,,ALSO SEVERAL CHEAP PROJECT BIKES FOR $75,,TAKE EM HOME,,,,
 
ANYONE NEED A WORKBAY,LOTS OF SPACE AVAILBLE FOR RENT IN THE SHOP,,DREW MIGHT BE A GOOD START FOR YOU,,WE KNOW HOW TO MAKE "JUNK" INTO BEAUTY
 
 


> Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2008 06:41:27 -0800

> Subject: [PhillyVinMoto] Re: First Project Bike

Skip Chernoff

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Feb 27, 2008, 9:11:46 PM2/27/08
to philly...@googlegroups.com

Well, I guess to each his own. I just have a bias toward the big bikes from Meridan. I understand them ,and know how to make them work. There's nothing wrong with the 650 Yamaha,and I agree that there is alot of stuff out there for them. There is one thing for certain, if you have to go into one of those Jap engines, some parts can be more difficult to find and more expensive than equivalent British stuff. Also the engines are more complex than British stuff which becomes an issue for the newbie. I guess a Triton is out of the question? LOL Skip
________________________________
> From: cycl...@hotmail.com
> To: philly...@googlegroups.com

> Subject: [PhillyVinMoto] Re: First Project Bike
> Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2008 10:11:14 -0500

>
> HEY DREW,& ALL YOU VIN MOTO GUYS,,ADAM HERE FROM LIBERTY VINTAGE,PHILA VIN MOTO HOST,FIRST ON YOUR PROJECT BIKE QUEST,,RICK IS CORRECT IN HIS ACCOLADES FOR THE YAM 650,,PLENTY OF PARTS AVAILBLE,,EASY TO WORK ON AND NOT TOO BIG BUT STILL HAS FULL SIZE POWER,,,MANY,MANY AFTERMARKET GOODIES AVAILBLE FOR IT,,LOTS OF DIFFRENT STYLES YOU CAN SET UP LIKE,,,PLUS I LIKE A BIKE WITH A KICK STARTER & PUSH BUTTON..ALSO ANOTHER WEB SITE TO LOOK AT IS OMARS DIRT TRACK RACING,,NOT SURE OF THE WWW FOR HIM BUT A WEB SEARCH WILL TURN HIM UP...LOTS OF COOL BODY WORK AND AND GOOD PLACE TO SEE,,WHAT CAN BE WITH A YAM 650 TWIN
>
> NOW ON TO THE FUN* THIS FRIDAY NIGHT 2-29-08 8PM VIN MOTO PHILLY GET TOGETHER.LIBERTY VINTAGE 2212 SEPVIVA ST. PHILA, PA. 19125 ADAM CELL 267-973-9421....BRING BEER OR WHATEVER YOUR FANCY.WITNESS THE COUPLING OF A SIDECAR TO A DUTCH ARMY MATCHLESS,,AND THEN ITS TIME FOR SIDECAR RIDES
> BRING FRIENDS..WELDING AND TORCH CUTTING DEMONSTRATIONS
>
>
> HEY TRENTON GUYS,HAV'NT HEARD FROM YOU IN A WHILE,,BRING YOUR BLING-BLING DRIFT CARS,,,ALSO SEVERAL CHEAP PROJECT BIKES FOR $75,,TAKE EM HOME,,,,
>
> ANYONE NEED A WORKBAY,LOTS OF SPACE AVAILBLE FOR RENT IN THE SHOP,,DREW MIGHT BE A GOOD START FOR YOU,,WE KNOW HOW TO MAKE "JUNK" INTO BEAUTY
>
>
>
>
>> Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2008 06:41:27 -0800
>> Subject: [PhillyVinMoto] Re: First Project Bike
>> From: vin...@comcast.net
>> To: Philly...@googlegroups.com
>>
>>
>> Drew, any decisions yet?
>>
>> I thought I should show you one reason to consider a Yam 650 twin.
>> This has to be one of the best support bikes in the world. Here is
>> just one (probably the best) site that caters to 650s.
>>
>> www.650central.com
>>
>> So, what is it going to be ?
>>
>> _________________________________________________________________
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adam cramer

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Feb 27, 2008, 9:37:45 PM2/27/08
to philly...@googlegroups.com
skip has an excellent point on some of the part prices for the jap motors and the simplicity of a british motor...and when your done? would you rather have sunk time and money into a long term classic like a triumph or a,some call,,triumph copy...its all according what stirs you to movement,,,THINK LESS..DO MORE,,i always say....now a cb350 or 450 dohc,,for me anyway,,is more apt to get my money and they are a little smaller and have better handling,,,still lots of parts availble and starting to become a classic in their own right....my best advise is to buy something that half ass runs at least

iscurt

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Feb 28, 2008, 8:35:20 PM2/28/08
to Philly Vintage Motorcyclists - PhillyVinMoto
hey
drew, no motor guru here but if i were getting into bikes, wrenching
on them in particular, I would find a cool single cylinder bike. by
default the price for parts goes down since there are less ,maybe not
a manx or goldstar but a vintage high pipe bike or a ducati 350 i also
agree a 650 twin is an excellent choice as well
curt

BoltAction

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Feb 29, 2008, 1:43:15 PM2/29/08
to Philly Vintage Motorcyclists - PhillyVinMoto
Wow, thanks for the replies everyone, the 650 is a good idea, but I
agree with what Skip said up above. there's something about the Brit
bikes that just warms the heart. But at this point I'm not ruling
anything out it really comes down to the price. I'm saving for a
buddy's wedding, which is in Ireland, so I'm just trying to get some
ideas of what are good cheap starter bikes. I do like the idea of the
single cylinder except that I want something that will be able to pull
my 250 Lbs around. I'm definitely going to take a look at that 650
website and see what I can't find on there. I saw someone posted an ad
on Craiglist looking for a yamaha 650 the other day.

Have a good one everyone.
Drew
> > Drew- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

BoltAction

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Mar 6, 2008, 1:52:03 PM3/6/08
to Philly Vintage Motorcyclists - PhillyVinMoto
Adam,

I stopped by on Friday night around 9 o-clock with a 30 pack of Bud
and banged on the gate, no answer. Must have missed you and anyone
else that was there. Well, hope to catch up with you guys some time
soon.

Drew

On Feb 27, 9:37 pm, adam cramer <cyclea...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> skip has an excellent point on some of the part prices for the jap motors and the simplicity of a british motor...and when your done? would you rather have sunk time and money into a long term classic like a triumph or a,some call,,triumph copy...its all according what stirs you to movement,,,THINK LESS..DO MORE,,i always say....now a cb350 or 450 dohc,,for me anyway,,is more apt to get my money and they are a little smaller and have better handling,,,still lots of parts availble and starting to become a classic in their own right....my best advise is to buy something that half ass runs at least> From: skipchern...@hotmail.com> To: philly...@googlegroups.com> Subject: [PhillyVinMoto] Re: First Project Bike> Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2008 02:11:46 +0000> > > Well, I guess to each his own. I just have a bias toward the big bikes from Meridan. I understand them ,and know how to make them work. There's nothing wrong with the 650 Yamaha,and I agree that there is alot of stuff out there for them. There is one thing for certain, if you have to go into one of those Jap engines, some parts can be more difficult to find and more expensive than equivalent British stuff. Also the engines are more complex than British stuff which becomes an issue for the newbie. I guess a Triton is out of the question? LOL Skip> ________________________________> > From: cyclea...@hotmail.com> > To: philly...@googlegroups.com> > Subject: [PhillyVinMoto] Re: First Project Bike> > Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2008 10:11:14 -0500> >> > HEY DREW,& ALL YOU VIN MOTO GUYS,,ADAM HERE FROM LIBERTY VINTAGE,PHILA VIN MOTO HOST,FIRST ON YOUR PROJECT BIKE QUEST,,RICK IS CORRECT IN HIS ACCOLADES FOR THE YAM 650,,PLENTY OF PARTS AVAILBLE,,EASY TO WORK ON AND NOT TOO BIG BUT STILL HAS FULL SIZE POWER,,,MANY,MANY AFTERMARKET GOODIES AVAILBLE FOR IT,,LOTS OF DIFFRENT STYLES YOU CAN SET UP LIKE,,,PLUS I LIKE A BIKE WITH A KICK STARTER & PUSH BUTTON..ALSO ANOTHER WEB SITE TO LOOK AT IS OMARS DIRT TRACK RACING,,NOT SURE OF THE WWW FOR HIM BUT A WEB SEARCH WILL TURN HIM UP...LOTS OF COOL BODY WORK AND AND GOOD PLACE TO SEE,,WHAT CAN BE WITH A YAM 650 TWIN> >> > NOW ON TO THE FUN* THIS FRIDAY NIGHT 2-29-08 8PM VIN MOTO PHILLY GET TOGETHER.LIBERTY VINTAGE 2212 SEPVIVA ST. PHILA, PA. 19125 ADAM CELL 267-973-9421....BRING BEER OR WHATEVER YOUR FANCY.WITNESS THE COUPLING OF A SIDECAR TO A DUTCH ARMY MATCHLESS,,AND THEN ITS TIME FOR SIDECAR RIDES> > BRING FRIENDS..WELDING AND TORCH CUTTING DEMONSTRATIONS> >> >> > HEY TRENTON GUYS,HAV'NT HEARD FROM YOU IN A WHILE,,BRING YOUR BLING-BLING DRIFT CARS,,,ALSO SEVERAL CHEAP PROJECT BIKES FOR $75,,TAKE EM HOME,,,,> >> > ANYONE NEED A WORKBAY,LOTS OF SPACE AVAILBLE FOR RENT IN THE SHOP,,DREW MIGHT BE A GOOD START FOR YOU,,WE KNOW HOW TO MAKE 'JUNK' INTO BEAUTY> >> >> >> >> >> Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2008 06:41:27 -0800> >> Subject: [PhillyVinMoto] Re: First Project Bike> >> From: vinm...@comcast.net> >> To: Philly...@googlegroups.com> >>> >>> >> Drew, any decisions yet?> >>> >> I thought I should show you one reason to consider a Yam 650 twin.> >> This has to be one of the best support bikes in the world. Here is> >> just one (probably the best) site that caters to 650s.> >>> >>www.650central.com> >>> >> So, what is it going to be ?> >>> >> On Feb 22, 10:53 pm, BoltAction wrote:> >>> So I'm looking to start my first project bike, but I'm more than a> >>> little hesitant to start something I'm not going to be able to finish.> >>> As I have very limited mechanics skills, ie oil changes, brake handle> >>> repairs, gasket replacement, etc, etc, etc I'm a little wary of> >>> purchasing something from Craigslist that states 'Great Project Bike,> >>> 50% done'. I'm even a little hesitant to start something that states> >>> 75% done, so I have a few basic questions for the board as you all> >>> seem/are experts on projects/repairs et al.> >>>> >>> Obviously I'm looking to start with something a little older, my> >>> reasoning is that (for the most part) the older the bike the less> >>> sophisticated the mechanisms that'll need repair. Obviously I'm not> >>> looking for a 1924 Harley as that's out of my price range. I was> >>> thinking 60's or 70's Triumph, Norton, Harley, BSA etc.> >>>> >>> 1. Where do I begin? Where's a good place to start looking for a> >>> project bike? Are there publications out there that list local project> >>> and antique bikes?> >>> 2. What should I be looking for? Is the condition of the frame more> >>> important than the motor? or vice versa or doesn't it really matter?> >>> 3. What's the easiest/best way to get my hands dirty? Obviously> >>> working on my own bike is the answer but when header bolts need to be> >>> drilled, that's way over my head. Should I just go out and buy a> >>> working classic and start taking it apart piece by piece and> >>> reassembling it to learn the insides?> >>>> >>> Well off the top of my head, that's all I've got right now, but any> >>> information that you guys could lend would be phenominal.> >>>> >>> Thanks> >>> Drew> >> _________________________________________________________________> Helping your favorite cause is as easy as instant messaging. You IM, we give.>http://im.live.com/Messenger/IM/Home/?source=text_hotmail_join> _________________________________________________________________

adam cramer

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Mar 6, 2008, 1:55:49 PM3/6/08
to philly...@googlegroups.com
sorry man,,we were here ,,best is to phone me from outside  267-973-9421

> Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2008 10:52:03 -0800

> Subject: [PhillyVinMoto] Re: First Project Bike
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