How do you come by a good vintage bike to rebuild?

HomeMadeSin

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#1
Any tips or tricks? It seems that Walnecks is mostly old street bikes, and I wouldn't mind finding an old Husky (auto maybe?), CR480 or other classic bike to re-work. I tried working on cars, but I just don't have the room for it and a vintage bike would be cool. There just doesn't seem to be much "rough diamonds' listed in the papers. Just wondering if there ws a trick to it.
 
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#2
Ebay is my favorite source by far. Its frustrating because you can find lots of good bikes that are too far away. I hate seeing a $200 bike that would cost $300 to ship! My last vintage ride came from ebay, had to drive 2 hours to get it, but it was cool!

IM not sure what things are like in your area, but we have several vintage swap meets a year within a couple of hours drive of where Im at in Baltimore. Some are sponsored by the AMA, but others are run by local clubs. DO some checking in your area to see. I love the swap meets, you can get anyhting from a $50 boat anchor to a $6000 museum piece.

theres lots of classified ads all over the 'net. The AHRMA site has an ads section. Motorcycle.com also has some ads including a vintage section. If you have a brand you like, check out the web for some sites. Lots of guys who run sites about the sport can help you find a bike.
 

weimedog

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#3
Best place is local adds for omotorcycles. I always see the older bike for less there as vintage oriented website sell to vintage fanatics and expect top dollor. The local add are usually folks with an old peice of junk looking to clean their yard. Conversely the best place for parts is ebay and vintage websites. My Husky was a 600 dollar junker that would bring 1000 plus on ebay.
 

weimedog

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#4
I re-read your post....as another example I found an old stuck with bad plastic 1982 Honda CR480 in a barn for 200 bucks. Its typical and is a good place to start as it is complete and the chassis is tight (Motor is stuck from just time..plastic and tires wasting away from what ever....but typical of what you find if you look around.) I'd ditch that honda for what I have into it for Husky parts....as I decided to focus on Husky)
 

HomeMadeSin

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#5
weimedog: I'd love a classic 480. I remember the days when I raced enduros back in VA with my 84 CR250 and the 480 always put me in awe. That's the main reason I bought the 500 I have now. Please PM me with the $ (if different that what you implied).

Also, you said you found it in a barn. This kind of stroy pops up a lot inthe vintage sites. Do you just drive around peaking in barns or what?

I agree that the motorcycle specific ads are not the best for good deals as the owner probably knows what he has. I don't want to rip anybody off, but then again I don't want to pay top dollar 'cuz bringing it back to life ain't cheap. It's not like cars (yet) where you can re-coup alot of costs. I guess that is why we do motorcycles - for the love.
 

weimedog

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#7
All I would want is the same 200 I have into it. I,m not a dealer. Problem is you are in Colorado. (I lived in Berthoud for 11 years prior to moving to NYS two years ago) Cost of getting this old junker out there is more than its worth. Trust me. I have a sister in law still in Ft. Collins and she drove out here to pick up a horse and drove it back. $ days of hell. I drove back and forth to Colorado when we moved 4 times. Forward air is at least 350 so I would just hunt around out there for something similar. Ally shopping? no. I find stuff word of mouth. Just let folks know and stuff comes your way. Garage sales work too. Also local papers with their adds are a good sorce. Saw a OSSA Pioneer in Syracuse in good shape for 500 bucks...just keep your eyes open.
 

HomeMadeSin

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#8
Thanks. It is probably too much trouble. I do have friends around - like near Seneca Falls, NY and Pittsburgh, PA so things aren't always out of the question, but who knows when I get out that way anyway. I'll have to sell the 96 to meet the wife's demands. I'll start saving for a CRF450X when Honda gets off their arse, but a classic dirtbike would fill the bill until then.

I've always laughed at my step father who is a garage sale nut, but I guess it pays sometimes.

Back in SE Virginia, there is a paper called" Tidewater Trading Post". Great stuff in there for sale, I mean all kinds of stuff. I can't find anything like it out here in CO. They nearest ones fail miserably.

BTW, have you guys ever seen the VMX magazine? It looks awesome, even though it is printed in Australia. The website is out of date, but it looked like it had some decent info on older dirtbikes.
 
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#9
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#10
I run an add in a local 'for sale' paper called the 'Nickle' stateing 'I want old dirt bikes' . I get so many free bikes I have to have a storage unit. You wouldn't believe how many people just want to get rid of a bike and will give them to you. :aj: Also just get the word out to friends and post adds at local bike shops that you are looking and it always seems someone know somebody who... you get the picture. :thumb:
 

weimedog

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#11
So after all the advice...I found the vintage project of my dreams in a very conventional way...the ACR website swap meet page. I found a pair of 1979 KTM 420's. Doesn't mean much to most collectors but that was the bike I turned expert on and had the most successful seasons of my life in racing on. Lots of sentimental value. I've been looking for one of those for years....

Probably is going to be years before I find the bits and peices to get it running and restored. Point?

Keep your eys open and EVENTUALLY you will find what you are looking for.

Other point?
This vintage stuff allows a true enthusuast to explore motorcycles in a way beyond the newest, trickest, most raved about by the magazines, latest techno freak on the block. This was an excellent day.
 

HomeMadeSin

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#12
I'm trying to recapture the fun I had when I first learned to ride. I like the 1996 CR500 and all, but I had more fun on the simpler bikes back in the day. Maybe it's that way 'cuz now I have a mortgage, family and other considerations. But when I look at 'On Any Sunday' it seems like fun, even during the races. Today the riders seem more mechanical. Off topic, I guess.

I'll keep a looking.
 
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#13
Ally shopping? no. I find stuff word of mouth. [/B]


I supose alley shopping in New York means something totally different (i hope we are not talking about illegal acts here), I did not mean "hot" merchandice. i meant if ya happen to see a bike in the weeds around the corner of the garage next to the old refrigerator, go up to the door and ask if it is for sale.
 
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#14
My Honda 450 was leaning against the wall in the garage of a house my dad bought as a rental property. He called me and asked me if I wanted it.

My experience is to try to get the bike for as close to nothing as possible as you will end up replacing everything anyway. Exceptions would be restored bikes that the owner is selling for less than they have in it or a bike that has a lot of new parts. The seller should be able to get the value of the new parts out of it at least, that's only fair.

Once found two pentons in a junkyard - late '60smodels. They were rough but cheap.

Putting the word out to friends is useful , everybody know somebody with an old dirtbike in the barn.
 
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#15
hey weimedog, where in NY are you? I might be interested in the 480. I live near Olean and can travel to pick it up. thanks