Restoration

If you have a bike you want to restore, we want to help. We love doing bike restorations and have done several, from major cleanups to complete “ground up” restorations. We can keep your bike exactly as is with the parts as it comes to us or upgrade it with aftermarket parts. It’s entirely up to you and your budget.

If you have a bike you are seriously looking to have restored please give us a call on 704 675 5393 to discuss or send an email to gmw@media-317.com and we will help you sort out an estimate of what it will cost to bring your baby back to new. One thing, we take pride in the work we do and don’t cut corners… So don’t ask us to.

Click HERE for examples of restorations we have done.

If you’re reading this, you’re likely as crazy about bikes as we are. We are absolutely convinced that (one day) good examples of nearly any bike will fetch astronomical prices from eager collectors.

Unfortunately our opinion carries little weight when considered in the context of the current economic market.

Many of you would like to have your current bike or dream bike brought back to “perfect” condition. While we have no problem with this, you should be aware a full bore, money-no-object, 100% correct, museum quality restoration can easily top $10,000 plus whatever acquisition cost you had invested in the starting point. It’s very easy to get upside down on restoration projects in this kind of market.

Here’s a restoration strategy that we think makes some sense for most bikes and customers

A complete mechanical rejuvenation combined with a sensible (but not anal) cosmetic refresh which runs on average $2,000-$4,500 in our shop (this assumes you don’t need internal engine repairs). The finished bike will perform and look fabulous. At this price point, most of your investment could be recovered if you decided to sell and you have the added benefit of owning a bike you can actually ride and enjoy.

Compare this level of investment with anything available new and you have a compelling case.

We work with each customer to develop a detailed work plan and estimate. Once we agree on what’s “in-scope,” we get started on the project. We use a Change Order process to manage deviations from the plan.

Here’s what we typically do on a restoration project like this:

Mechanical Rejuvenation

  • Complete carburetor rebuild
  • Brake system overhaul
  • Service radiator
  • Service fuel tank
  • New radiator hoses
  • New battery
  • New fuel and vacuum hoses
  • Fresh filters
  • New points, plugs, condenser, and plug caps
  • Comprehensive service per Service Manual – includes all recommended fluids, checks and adjustments

Safety Items

  • Tires
  • Brake hoses
  • Brake pads
  • Throttle cables
  • Clutch cable
  • Grips

Cosmetics

  • Show-quality paint and correct graphics (full fairing increases cost)
  • New frame decals
  • Polish carb tops

If you’ve just installed new tires or a battery, these are things we don’t need to worry about. The key to this approach is where you spend your money. The best bang for your buck will be spending money that counts for performance, safety and visual appeal. Certain compromises are OK as long as they aren’t obvious. Professional paint and graphics will represent nearly $1000 of your budget, but this will have a huge impact on how the project turns out.

Examples of what you DON’T get with this strategy (certainly possible, but runs up your investment):

  • Frame taken down to bare metal and powder coated
  • Replacement of functional items such as handlebar switchgear which work fine but may have weathered
  • Wheels re-laced
  • New turn signals
  • New headset bearings
  • New swing arm bearings
  • New wheel bearings
  • New drive train (chain and sprocket set)

We aim for the closest, reasonable representation of the bike you bring to us. When OEM parts are no longer available we use aftermarket products. Obviously, if you want something that is not stock, we are happy to arrange any items for you.

The best restoration candidate for this strategy might come as a surprise. We would rather start with a somewhat ratty but complete “runner” as opposed to a better looking “barn fresh” bike that has been sitting for any length of time. A bike that is capable of self-propulsion (and stopping!) generally presents less risk and expense than the unknowns involved with a “sitter” no matter how good it looks.