Classic Motorcycle Resotoration
For many people, restoring old motorcycles and cars is a labor of love in the same sense as writing a song or painting a picture. Others, however, look at an old motorcycle that needs to be souped up and are rather intimidated by the process. If you are not sure where to start and are looking around at insurance brokers to complete your job, there are a few things you need to know about the entire process.
Get The Workspace Cleared
Restoring a motorcycle is not the same thing as building a birdhouse. It requires a large amount of space and the right tools for the job. If you have a garage, you may want to clear it out (or as much of it as you are able to clear out) and then put the necessary tools and parts in its place. Your workbench needs to have the right sockets, screws, wrenches, and other machine tools for a restoration effort.
Do The Homework
Some classic motorcycles are more finicky than others and will not be as easy to get started as their cousins. If you are serious about getting one up and running, you will have to do a lot of research about the make and model of the bike, making sure that its history is solid and that the parts you purchase will be compatible.
Start a restoration job by photographing the entire bike at every side. You want these pictures for several reasons, not the least of which to show to your friends and yourself the process from start to finish. Each photo should show any damage and its extent on the bike, along with any parts that need a particular touch-up or a new spot of paint. Try to photograph any new work at the end of each day.
Take It All Apart
A motorcycle is nothing more than a composite of smaller parts. Each one you take off makes the machine a more simple beast to conquer. When you restore a classic motorcycle, you ultimately want to strip it all the way down to just the engine and then re-assemble it, adding new parts when needed. Take pictures of parts you put on and take off.
Dust It Up
There are many ways to restore the many parts of a classic motorcycle. Chroming creates a stain-proof, water-proof sealer that will keep further environmental damage from slowing a motorcycle down. Powder coating will improve its strength by making it more difficult to corrode. Finally, you want to paint it so that it has a strong aesthetic feel.
Test It All
You want to be sure that all the electrical components of a classic bike still work. Replace any faulty wiring in the harness and make sure that all the signals are in good condition.
Put It Together
The last part, but often the most difficult, is putting a motorcycle back together once it is pulled apart. It is not recommended you use the original screws and bolts, since they are often rusted.