Preference: Original or Restored?

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by ricochetrider, Dec 13, 2012.

?

Crusty old Steed or Shiny Repop Resto?

  1. Crusty Patinaed Rider?

  2. Shiny Repop Resto?

  3. I'm gonna ride the fuck out of it!

  4. I'm gonna trailer it out to show it off. Maybe I'll win a trophy.

Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. darmst6829

    darmst6829 Been here awhile

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    Given how much money it takes to restore a motorcycle I would assume its an endeavor designed to attract attention. This is a discussing on whether to restore an antique motorcycle or not? Hopefully no one is thinking of restoring a common garage sale find.

    Dave
    #21
  2. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

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    Well the first word in the title is preference so if you wanna look/be looked at go for it. Personally if I owned a priceless Britten it would see regular track use if not racing. Sure would hurt if I crashed it. :cry

    In case ya missed it this sums up my feeling on motorcycles regardless.

    [​IMG]
    #22
  3. 83XLX

    83XLX Been here awhile

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    For me, it depends on how junked-up and/or deteriorated the original is. Years ago, I bought an old Truimph that was junked-up and burning oil and returned it to near stock with some of the original parts I got the seller to throw into the deal, and other original parts I scrounged. It cleaned up pretty nicely, and was a cool bike after a top end job. If the paint had been terrible, though, I wouldn't have hesitated in having it repainted. I like my machines to look nice. They don't have to be showroom perfect, but I don't enjoy the ride as much if they look like crap. My latest bike is an Ironhead Sportster that was rusty, had been repainted, and had mismatched parts on it when I bought it. I've returned it to somewhat stock with the help of original parts from eBay. Not bike show correct, but a fun ride for sure.
    #23
  4. F_Sahms

    F_Sahms mostly paved

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    I almost always start with a box of rusty shite, well beyond patina. That's one way to avoid the question entirely.

    But I hate hate hate when "restorers" go extra shiny, plate or polish parts that were never plated or polished, polish fasteners, etc.
    #24
  5. concours

    concours WFO for 41 years

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    I don't at all care for the "rat bike" look that is everywhere because languishing old turds are being hacked up. Glad someone rides them. But... Some rattle can genius that watched too many reality shows painted the entire engine, and most everything else. :puke1:puke1:puke1

    [​IMG]

    Can't replace this:
    [​IMG]



    I feel the color/decal combination IDENTIFIES the bike as to what it was. I left the frame (washed off the rattle can graffiti) and everything else pretty much as found, just cleaned up. HAD to paint it though. Had it had faded original paint, I'd have left it as-is.

    [​IMG]

    VERY careful to not overspend.... I chose to freshen up a VERY unpopular model, so, even on a big day, wouldn't fetch $1000. No money was spent on rechroming. The engine was verified to run well FIRST, before any effort was made to clean it up.
    #25
  6. concours

    concours WFO for 41 years

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    This one I kept as found... even though the laquer applied 35 years ago is all cracked/dull :1drink

    [​IMG]

    I DID, succumb to modern rubber, again totally reversible

    [​IMG]
    #26
  7. ttpete

    ttpete Rectum Non Bustibus

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    If the bike has a nice patina and hasn't been abused, I won't do more than the mechanicals. Once, I acquired a BSA Gold Star that had seen honest use. What really attracted me was that all of the fasteners were almost pristine. Obviously, it had either never been apart or if it had, whoever did it was a pro and had the correct tools. I knew the engine needed attention because I could hear a rod rattle. I pulled the powertrain out and went through everything, which included a crank rebuild and balance, valve service, a new piston and cylinder sleeve, and main bearings. Essentially, I zero timed the engine and trans and installed a belt drive primary and clutch.

    Cosmetically, I just cleaned it up and polished the alloy tank and fenders. New wheel and head bearings and a set of tires, and it was ready. To me, it had more character by having a used but not abused look.

    The Triumph TT was entirely different because it came in boxes and wasn't very nice. It received a full resto, except that I installed lights and horn just the same as many did in its day so I could use it on the street.
    #27
  8. hugemoth

    hugemoth Long timer

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    My most recent old bike is this 81 GL500 Interstate. It's one of those barn finds that judging by the tire codes has only been ridden about 1500 miles during the last 16 years. It needed quite a bit of mechanical work although the engine is in great shape with just 22K miles. The goal was to get it into mechanically near perfect shape, let it look it's age, and be used as everyday transportation. The fairing of course is not the original Hondaline but I always liked the Windjammer better anyway.

    [​IMG]
    #28
  9. FR700

    FR700 Banned

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    It's not allowed to leak oil , wiring has to be neat and work , mechanically it has to be good. Paint and chrome ... phffft ...

    [​IMG]


    .
    #29
  10. stainlesscycle

    stainlesscycle Long timer

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    i used to spend a lot of time on cosmetics. now cosmetics mean almost nothing to me. optimum performance and reliability is #1. could care less what it looks like - but then again i'm only riding/racing offroad at this point. i haven't sent anything to paint or powdercoat in years. i did paint some fork lowers earlier this year, and have sprayed the occasional rattlecan as preventive maintenance - just been cleaning the dirt off, rebuild motor, suspension, bearings/seals, tires, etc. i do like a nice seat cover though....and a complete bike - missing sidecovers etc is a no no for me. i do try to match patina, and occasionally i may clean a part up, but nothing resembling showroom..
    #30
  11. creaky

    creaky Been here awhile

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    My bikes speak for my preferences...they are all showing original paint and fixtures....however....examples that have been brought back to original showroom look and luster do catch my eye.
    #31
  12. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

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    Both of these are OEM aside form some internal mods and the later model forks on the YZ. The RZ is sportin' a set of R1 monobloc front calipers/Brembo M/C now too. Too goddamned fast for the stockers.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #32
  13. ColonelDibsies

    ColonelDibsies Adventurer

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    What is worth patina? Is my old dime a dozen kz worth keeping its crapping paint? Or a 1995 nighthawk. If its a nice bike in nice shape than keep it. But if its a cheap bike or a common bike, do whatever you want. It's your ride, do what you want. I like seeing custom rides based on old ujms
    #33
  14. ricochetrider

    ricochetrider a certain something

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    Good point. Outside of certain realms, I think you really have to consider each bike within its own history (or yours with it), & individual set of possibilities.
    1995 Nighthawk? That doesn't even qualify for this discussion! :lol3
    A 70s or 80s Jap bike? It would depend very much on the bike and its condition. I personally have about zero love for these bikes, so I could really give a hoot either way.
    Of course others' opinions will vary- but that's what this is about anyway- peoples opinions and preferences.

    Cheers.
    #34
  15. oldroadie

    oldroadie Two wheel addict

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    I have one of each so I'd say my preference is both. This 64 was found with a load of patina, including wrinkled paint from a leaking tank. An unpainted eBay tank led me down the painting path and this modified, well running bike was the result:

    [​IMG]

    I think of this 64Triumph as a resto-rized bike. Modern parts hidden inside with mostly period correct parts outside. Then there's this one, bought as a non-running specimen and adapted to suit. 1972 Patina galore and purpose built not to be shiny:

    [​IMG]

    Take your pick. Both are always going to be works in progress. I like museum pieces, too. And rat bikes....
    #35
  16. Sox Fan

    Sox Fan SoxFan

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    This to me is the sweet spot. A well cared for original machine that looks perfect from maybe 15-20 feet away, is complete and has always been maintained and used regularly. My R90 was purchased like this. An original bike that has required nothing but gas and maintenance in the two years I have owned it. I am a perfectionist so at times I am tempted to do a full restoration but have come to appreciate original machines. I just think it is very cool to look at the tank and know a talented German hand painted those exact pinstripes in October 1975. The condition and reliability of the bike in original condition speaks to the quality of the machine.

    To each his own though.
    #36
  17. hopskipjump

    hopskipjump Adventurer

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    New to me is a very low mileage Moto Guzzi LeMans 850 with 10k on the clock-

    Notorious for crummy frame paint and even though it was indoors in California with its second owner for 32 of its years, there is rust on the frame and what appears to be battery acid leakage which caused some of the frame to "corrode". The engine and transmission castings are unevenly oxidized....

    I believe that patina, to be nice has to be evenly distributed- not a shiny this next to a dull that- Also, scratches and rust and dents are not patina....
    I also know that the unrestored perfect object is the most valuable, then comes the careful restoration that searches for the OEM parts and the hidden improvement parts- re-dos that correct poor engineering or manufacturing but that are very hard to detect....

    I would post pics but I do not know how...
    #37
  18. Sox Fan

    Sox Fan SoxFan

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    Agreed. An obvious but useful distinction. A poorly maintained but original motorbike does nothing for me.
    #38
  19. Meriden

    Meriden Yea whatever

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    Restoration is more than just returning a vehicle to original condition (or worse.) I've been thinking about my eldery Jaguar and this thread. The car was a lucky find with just a tad bit of teardrop rust at the bottom of the windshield, an almost impossible level of condition for an unrestored British car of the era. I'll be having a restoration paint job done to the car: strip all the moulding and chrome off, fix all the dings and bits of rust, clean, prime and repaint paint all the metal in the orignial Jaguar Claret. It'll end up costing almost as much as the car and take months for a good shop to complete. Without it, this car will not survive.

    Sometimes a restoration is more than the vanity of the owner, but a step toward long term preservation. It's funny, if we rebuild an engine one year, fix the dents and then have to refresh the paint another, fix the shocks and brakes a third, we call it maintenance. If we do all that at once because the vehicle needs it, we call it a restoration. How one is a good thing and another is a bad thing is beyond me.

    "Cool ol' Guzzi. Why don't you fix that rusty tank and ride it?"
    "Na, I'm trying to keep it as original as possible."

    m
    #39
  20. ttpete

    ttpete Rectum Non Bustibus

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    I have unpacked from original factory boxes many NOS British fuel tanks, fenders, and sheet metal pieces, and the original paint has nowhere near the quality that exists on the "restored" examples of the same bikes that I've seen. This includes my '67 Triumph. Same goes for cars. It's practically impossible to duplicate original finishes today, given the paints now available.
    #40