Author Topic: good candidate for restoration? maybe NGC  (Read 8139 times)

Doppelgaenger

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good candidate for restoration? maybe NGC
« on: February 26, 2015, 05:22:25 PM »
Hi all,

I've developed the itch to restore a bike. I'm only just starting to do my homework here so I won't be buying for a while. I'd like to pick up something that is a bit of a basket case and needs a lot of work, but that a lot of parts are still available for.

It doesn't have to be guzzi nor even a twin, but it does have to be 750cc or smaller, ideally 500cc, I want this to be something to tool around town on, not some crazy thing. anything from the early 80s or older please

Any suggestions? I'm not versed enough in older bikes to know what is out there and is interesting

So far I've considered R75/5, the VFR400, GL1000 (I'm willing to break the displacement barrier for something truly great).

oldbike54

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Re: good candidate for restoration? maybe NGC
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2015, 05:34:26 PM »
 Hmm , first off , we need  a rough idea of your budget , abilities , and plans for the MC after restoration . Restoring a tiddler for touring duty , or the opposite , restoring a GL 1000 for trips to the park kinda makes no sense  ;)

  Dusty

Doppelgaenger

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Re: good candidate for restoration? maybe NGC
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2015, 05:46:27 PM »
Anything I pick up is probably going to be less than $2000 because I want it to be non-running. But I suppose max budget is about 3k

I'm pretty capable with a wrench when I put myself to it.

As for duty for the bike, it will depend on what I end up getting. Right now I'm just looking for suggestions

Offline Testarossa

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Re: good candidate for restoration? maybe NGC
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2015, 05:55:15 PM »
Any air-cooled Japanese middleweight, or any beat-up Triumph -- easy to get parts, easy to find expert advice -- and you'll end up with something practical, rideable and reasonably dependable. Guzzis are great fun and easy to work on but you don't find dozens of companies selling cheap but well-made Taiwanese parts.

Someone recently noted here that the Taiwan factories have now achieved the metallurgy and precision level of '80s-era Euro and Japanse bikes, which is perfectly acceptable in restoring '80s-era bikes.

I'm assuming here that you don't expect to do an all-original restoration, which is going to be big bucks for any Euro bike.
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Re: good candidate for restoration? maybe NGC
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2015, 05:55:15 PM »

oldbike54

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Re: good candidate for restoration? maybe NGC
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2015, 06:04:47 PM »
 /5 beemers are relatively simple devices , and the parts availability is really good . Older Tontis frame bikes are very popular here . My opinion is that many older Japanese bikes can be fairly complicated devices and parts can be problematic . The thing is , the bike really needs to be something that you desire , because it is gonna take twice as much work and cost twice as much money than you think .

  Dusty

Offline boatdetective

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Re: good candidate for restoration? maybe NGC
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2015, 06:19:40 PM »
 A GL1000 in restored condition is a pretty cool bike. It seems like you have decent support from Randaak.

I might suggest that no matter what you choose, make the decision at least partly based on parts availability. A friend of mine did a project on a Yamaha XS650 and had a blast. He said parts are plentiful and cheap. The motor is really attractive. Lots of folks customize them, but i think the stock look is handsome.



Jonathan K
Marblehead, MA

1981 V50III "Gina"
2007 Griso 1100 "Bluto" (departed but not forgotten)
2003 EV "Lola" gone to the "Ridin' Realtor" in Peoria
2007 1200 Sport "Ginger"

"Who's the cat who won't cop out, when there's danger all about?"  -Isaac Hayes

Offline Matt

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Re: good candidate for restoration? maybe NGC
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2015, 06:42:07 PM »
XS650 is a good platform, getting hard to find un-ruined examples but they're out there.

I found this '78 unspecial for $250, no restoration planned. New wheel and steering head bearings, cables, tires, ignition, carb kits and other bits added another $450ish.

 

KZ400 is another bike that seems to be a good option:




http://thebikeshed.cc/2014/07/18/oily-rag-kz400-tracker/
Matt
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Guzzi bit
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Offline Antietam Classic Cycle

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Re: good candidate for restoration? maybe NGC
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2015, 06:57:50 PM »
A V700 or Ambassador would be good choices. Other than the chrome bore issue, they're very durable machines and super simple. More "real world" usable than many of their contemporaries. Parts are readily available with a few exceptions, the support network (Greg Bender's website and the Loop Yahoo Group) is among the best.

If anyone would like a Honda GL 1000, a friend has been trying to sell his very nice yellow '76 off-and-on for the last several years. Original paint, chrome, etc. in excellent condition. Doesn't need much work - carbs cleaned and water pump replaced. It just sits in his garage under cover, waiting for it's next owner. Could likely be bought "cheap". So much so that I've thought about buying it myself.  ;)
Charlie

Offline Chuck in Indiana

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Re: good candidate for restoration? maybe NGC
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2015, 07:07:36 PM »
I recently picked up an MZ Skorpion tour barn find. Cheap, of course. I'm spoiled by the shared knowledge and easy parts availability of Guzzis. Jest sayin. Early Japanese bikes suffer from the same parts availability problems. When I did the Lario, anything I wanted to know was right here, along with parts knowledge. Same with the Strada. Same with the V50III.
Getta Guzzi..  ;D
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Frulk

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Re: good candidate for restoration? maybe NGC
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2015, 07:18:11 PM »
1977 GL 1000 for $935

http://www.ksl.com/?nid=218&ad=31907617&cat=&lpid=&search=honda gl1000&ad_cid=1

There are currently 6 listed and a couple look to be a very reasonably priced

2 non-running XS650's for $875 each

http://www.ksl.com/?nid=218&ad=33554699&cat=&lpid=&search=yamaha xs650&ad_cid=2
« Last Edit: February 26, 2015, 07:43:30 PM by Frulk »

Online Cam3512

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Re: good candidate for restoration? maybe NGC
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2015, 07:49:32 PM »
"Restoration" means different things to different people.  Just look at some "Restored" bikes for sale.   It's a very slippery slope, once you get started the costs just add up.

It's very satisfying, but a budget of $3,000.00. (including cost of bike) won't cut it on a non-running basket case.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2015, 07:54:00 PM by Cam3512 »
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Offline lucky phil

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Re: good candidate for restoration? maybe NGC
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2015, 08:00:49 PM »
I was recently researching engine parts and one thing got my attention was the amount of parts support for Yamaha XS650's. You can get just about everything there is engine and cycle parts at really reasonable prices.
Plus there seems to be a lot of forum support as well.
Might be worth considering
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Offline Matt

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Re:
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2015, 08:11:42 PM »
Oh, and be patient. Deals are out there but you have to be quick and have cash in hand. Lucky people mention it in conversation and somebodys uncle has a bike he wants to get rid of.
Matt
Everett, WA
Guzzi bit
1250 Bandit
SV650

Doppelgaenger

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Re: good candidate for restoration? maybe NGC
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2015, 08:38:32 PM »
Let me clarify that $3k would be for initial investment in the bike (if I were to find something really amazing and in mostly great shape) and NOT the total budget. You can't make a bike look like the way I want it to eventually look for that much. I know full well how prices and times double and triple with pretty much everything in life. I expect it to be labor and money intensive. The work will be a challenge to be enjoyed, not suffered.

the KZ400 sounds like a great idea. I saw a honda SL400 at the local bent bike shop and also a HD 350 sprint that is a complete basket case...

oldbike54

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Re: good candidate for restoration? maybe NGC
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2015, 08:49:08 PM »
Let me clarify that $3k would be for initial investment in the bike (if I were to find something really amazing and in mostly great shape) and NOT the total budget. You can't make a bike look like the way I want it to eventually look for that much. I know full well how prices and times double and triple with pretty much everything in life. I expect it to be labor and money intensive. The work will be a challenge to be enjoyed, not suffered.

the KZ400 sounds like a great idea. I saw a honda SL400 at the local bent bike shop and also a HD 350 sprint that is a complete basket case...

 2 of the 3 of those are in my top ten worst MCling experiences ever  ;)

  Dusty

Doppelgaenger

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Re: good candidate for restoration? maybe NGC
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2015, 09:13:09 PM »
2 of the 3 of those are in my top ten worst MCling experiences ever  ;)

  Dusty

Dusty, you can't lay that egg without telling the stories!

canuck750

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Re: good candidate for restoration? maybe NGC
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2015, 09:22:12 PM »
I nominate the Yamaha XT500 / TT500 or SR500. Very durable bikes, they have cult status in the UK and Germany, parts are readily available and they are quite simple to work on. I rebuilt 4 of them before becoming infected with a Guzzi virus.

Go for a 76' XT if you can find one.



Or go for a TT and customise it, lots of It and YZ parts cross over.


Offline Matt

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Re: good candidate for restoration? maybe NGC
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2015, 09:29:55 PM »
I nominate the Yamaha XT500 / TT500 or SR500. Very durable bikes, they have cult status in the UK and Germany, parts are readily available and they are quite simple to work on. I rebuilt 4 of them before becoming infected with a Guzzi virus.

Go for a 76' XT if you can find one.



Or go for a TT and customise it, lots of It and YZ parts cross over.



Still kicking myself...$300 SR500 with title. Pretty far gone but still an SR500, sold in a pique of "I have too much stuff".

Matt
Everett, WA
Guzzi bit
1250 Bandit
SV650

Offline Antietam Classic Cycle

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Re: good candidate for restoration? maybe NGC
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2015, 09:32:47 PM »
I nominate the Yamaha XT500 / TT500 or SR500. Very durable bikes, they have cult status in the UK and Germany, parts are readily available and they are quite simple to work on. I rebuilt 4 of them before becoming infected with a Guzzi virus.

Go for a 76' XT if you can find one.


My '77 XT500 will be for sale soon.
Charlie

oldbike54

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Re: good candidate for restoration? maybe NGC
« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2015, 09:37:33 PM »
Dusty, you can't lay that egg without telling the stories!


  :D :D :D :D
  We worked on a KZ400 , complete service , rebuilt carbs , new tires . Starts right up , no weird noises , idles and revs fine , everything seems OK . Until first gear is engaged and the clutch is out . Is this thing running , open the throttle about half way , engine seems to be revving , but no meaningful forward progress is happening . Shift into second , hmm , maybe the clutch is slipping . After checking everything , we just figured out that was about all it had, underwhelming at best . About like a decent 200 CC 4 stroke .

 As for the 350 Aermacchi/HD Sprint . The very earliest 350s were not too awful , kind of a porkier version of the 250 model that proceeded it . But the ones from about '67 or so on were heavy under powered hand grenades . Kind of like riding a bike with 30 lbs of lead weight mounted in a bad place . Walk into a Harley dealer , ask for parts for a Sprint , they will either deny the existence of the Sprint , or laugh out loud . Now , an early open fin 250 Sprint , that might be fun , although still unreliable .

  Dusty

 

Doppelgaenger

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Re: good candidate for restoration? maybe NGC
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2015, 12:50:54 AM »

  :D :D :D :D
  We worked on a KZ400 , complete service , rebuilt carbs , new tires . Starts right up , no weird noises , idles and revs fine , everything seems OK . Until first gear is engaged and the clutch is out . Is this thing running , open the throttle about half way , engine seems to be revving , but no meaningful forward progress is happening . Shift into second , hmm , maybe the clutch is slipping . After checking everything , we just figured out that was about all it had, underwhelming at best . About like a decent 200 CC 4 stroke .
 

It can't be worse than a ninja 250 and those have some pep. can it???

oldbike54

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Re: good candidate for restoration? maybe NGC
« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2015, 01:10:24 AM »
It can't be worse than a ninja 250 and those have some pep. can it???

Unfortunately yes they can be worse . At least the Ninjette will rev , the 400 just feels anemic all of the time . My buddy that owned it finally gave up after the Kaw shop in Tulsa said "that 's just how they are" . Dunno .
  Dusty


Sent from a submarine in Oklahoma .

Offline Two Checks

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Re: good candidate for restoration? maybe NGC
« Reply #22 on: February 27, 2015, 06:56:50 AM »
Very nice 80s GS Suzukis can be easily had for ~1500. Parts are still available OEM and support is plentiful.
And they are bulletproof.
Check thegsresources.com.
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Offline kckershovel

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Re: good candidate for restoration? maybe NGC
« Reply #23 on: February 27, 2015, 08:38:56 AM »
What about the Virago platform to build a little around town dare I say tracker out of it? V-twin multiple displacements shaft drive mono or twin rear shock. I had an 1100 for a short time last year and it was a blast. I will definitely have another.

 

Offline drlapo

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Re: good candidate for restoration? maybe NGC
« Reply #24 on: February 27, 2015, 10:05:28 AM »
there was a vendor at Rice O Rama last year with 6  running KZ400s for $900 each

Offline jetmechmarty

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Re: good candidate for restoration? maybe NGC
« Reply #25 on: February 27, 2015, 10:25:59 AM »
I'm a bit of an XS650ologist if you go that route.  I know the pluses and minuses of the various models.  I know where to get parts and where to get information.  I'm quite fond of the XS650.

1977 XS650D


1972 XS-2


1981 XS650SH


A '79 Special, customized to resemble an XS-1
Marty (in Mississippi)
No Guzzi right now

Offline boatdetective

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Re: good candidate for restoration? maybe NGC
« Reply #26 on: February 27, 2015, 11:38:45 AM »
Marty-   fill me in a bit. I think the XS650 is a very handsome machine. I read somewhere about "speed wobbles" and don't know what to make of it. Some posts mention the problem at 85-100mph- to which I would firmly suggest Darwin settle the matter.  Is this really overblown? I had to runthrough all the suspension, steering head bits on my V50 and it's fine. Felt like crap before.
Jonathan K
Marblehead, MA

1981 V50III "Gina"
2007 Griso 1100 "Bluto" (departed but not forgotten)
2003 EV "Lola" gone to the "Ridin' Realtor" in Peoria
2007 1200 Sport "Ginger"

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Offline jetmechmarty

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Re: good candidate for restoration? maybe NGC
« Reply #27 on: February 27, 2015, 04:42:19 PM »
Marty-   fill me in a bit. I think the XS650 is a very handsome machine. I read somewhere about "speed wobbles" and don't know what to make of it. Some posts mention the problem at 85-100mph- to which I would firmly suggest Darwin settle the matter.  Is this really overblown? I had to runthrough all the suspension, steering head bits on my V50 and it's fine. Felt like crap before.

When I was younger (read bulletproof), had a brand new XS650, and no experience, I had to see how fast the bike would go.  Best I figured at the time, using my tach and two chase bikes, I had that thing going 112 mph!  That's awfully fast for that bike and most won't do it.  I had no wobble, ever.  I still have that bike and it's a Special.  With that comes a fatter rear tire and rear shocks tilted slightly forward making it just a bit lower in the back.  The standards are quicker handling bikes and you could say twitchy.  In their 15 year production run, the frames gained over 15 lbs.  The early ones are pretty flimsy and the last ones are not.  

Depending upon what you're going to do with the bike dictates which one you want.  If you want to really use the bike, acquire a 1977 or later model.  More modern brakes that year and fatter forks.  '79 saw the last standard, but parts swap like Legos.  A Special can easily be transformed to look more standard and a longer shock makes it handle the same.  The earlier models are getting noticed by collectors.  The '70 to '73 models can get pricey.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2015, 04:43:33 PM by jetmechmarty »
Marty (in Mississippi)
No Guzzi right now

Offline jetmechmarty

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Re: good candidate for restoration? maybe NGC
« Reply #28 on: February 27, 2015, 04:47:33 PM »
I should add that the XS650 is still actively used on the racetrack.  You see a lot of them going fast in AHRMA racing.

Mine doesn't see 85 mph anymore.
Marty (in Mississippi)
No Guzzi right now


Harper's Moto Guzzi : Go Ride, Break Parts, Call me!
Harper's Moto Guzzi. Where we still answer the phone, use the highest quality parts, and also do Transmission, rear drive, and carb rebuilds fast. Call us at 816.697.3411 and get your problems resolved.
http://www.harpermoto.com
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Harper's Moto Guzzi : Go Ride, Break Parts, Call me!
Harper's Moto Guzzi. Where we still answer the phone, use the highest quality parts, and also do Transmission, rear drive, and carb rebuilds fast. Call us at 816.697.3411 and get your problems resolved.
http://www.harpermoto.com
Advertise Here