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How much will it cost to make my old motorcycle roadworthy?

It goes something like this…

I have a 19__ (insert moto brand), that I need to get on the road. How much will it cost?

Write that question a couple different ways and you will have what I am asked most often. Roadworthy to me and roadworthy to you, may be very distinct. Here are some essential things you need to consider when getting that old bike on the road. Most of this stuff is easy to accomplish at home with some patience, a good reference book or two, and asking questions in an online discussion group for the make and or model of your bike.

Tires – $150 to 300 – shop
You have two points of contact with the road. Make them count. Are the old ones in good shape, do they have tread, are they dry rotting? And, since they are your only two contacts with the road, don’t be a cheap ass.

Cables – $20 for each cable – DIY
They may work for now, get the new ones anyway and keep your old ones as spares in your tool kit. Did I mention you should get a tool kit?

Chain$50 to 120 – DIY
Check the side to side stretch and make sure the rear wheel is adjusted so the chain has the proper amount of slack.

Brakes$40 to 120 – DIY for some
Excluding disc brakes, drum brakes are not hard to do. Follow your manual or a Haynes guide. While your doing this check the bearings on your wheels. Most often modern sealed bearings are cheap and easy to install.

Oil/Fluids$12 to 50 – DIY
Get that bike warm and drop that ancient oil. Does your bike have a gearbox? How about the oil in those forks?

Fuel Lines/Gas Filter$10 to 20 – DIY
New gas line and an inline gas filter. Once you start running about on that old beast, there will be old gunk stirred up in that tank – use a filter.

And all this, still does not get into making the engine run reliably.

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Just back from Oregon

Velocette LE

Well, it has really been two weeks since I have been back. Making this post very overdue.

Above is a Velocette LE that pulled up across the street while I had my breakfast outside the Hood River Hotel.

I spent a week out there and as always the people food and beer were awesome. A real nice coincidence was finding the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum. Hidden away in the Columbia Gorge is one amazing little museum. I only had a short time to spend and was able to snap off a few shots.

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Frenchtown or Bust = Bust

This last Saturday was the first Classic Bikes and Bluegrass in Frenchtown, NJ. Needless to say there were the best of intentions to get there, but well, things don’t always work the way you plan.
As I have not yet gotten any where with my own Ariel project bike, I quickly registered and was getting road ready a 68 Triumph T100C that had been collecting dust in the back of the shop. It was the basic new tires, new cables, new chain, top up the fluids kind of work I thought would go quickly. The night before I planned on getting it all done. By three in the a.m. it was not near complete, due to the constant discovery of something else that was wrong.

Well the morning hit, and I help the wife and kids off to a long day of lacrosse and baseball. Grab Steve from the train and head back to the shop.

Steve’s CB750 had been sitting there waiting for him with new air pods, suspension, and various other little things and was, well I thought it was, ready to go.

Many apologies to Brian who showed up with the only reliably running bike and was patient enough to hang out and help us wrench these things back into almost running shape.

But alas, no trip to Frenchtown was to be had. After everything was good to go the battery on the T100 crapped out and the CB refused to kick back into life.

Brian got some good pics tho…

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