Before you can get your hands dirty you need to learn how to actually restore a motorcycle. This may seem as simple as changing your oil or cleaning a carburetor, but it’s not that simple.
As we’ve already discussed, restoration is not the same as repairing your motorcycle. Repairs are other normal maintenance keep your motorcycle running as part of the bike’s normal life cycle. Restoration is the return of vintage or classic motorcycle to it’s original state. This sort of extensive job requires expertise in both body work and mechanical knowledge.
Restoration is also not for the faint of heart. This article on Jalopnik, describes how restoring a 1981 Suzuki GS550L, bought for $300, turned into over a $1,000 investment.
As the buyer of that Suzuki on Jalopnik wrote:
In fact, I discovered that perhaps a better description than “motorcycle” would have been “conglomerate of parts shaped as a motorcycle.”
And that’s the rub of restoring a motorcycle, you never know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. Restoration should really be a passion project for most buyers. That is unless you have extensive experience in vintage repairs and a deep understanding of the value and economics of classic motorcycles and the restoration process.