Motorcycles - Top Tips
Buying a pre-restored bike is a great way to
get the joys of an old bike without the toil,
but it's east to pay over the odds or end up
with a lash-up. These tips will help you on
the right path but for most models there are
specialists and owners groups who can help further.
- Frame and engine the original engine and
frame together are worth more, so first check
the numbers match each other and the V5, then
if you're dealing with a bike where the engine
and frame numbers never matched each other
from new, do some further research.
- Bodywork check it has the right parts for
that model, and that it's OE and not replica
or aftermarket, if that's what you want. Some
bikes are harder to find OE panels for, but
those with the right parts are worth more.
Check the quality of the paint, and check
the graphics are correct too. A small magnet
helps find the filler on metal tanks.
- If the owner claims work has been done (especially
to the engine), ask for proof. If they don't
have it, ask where it was done and call the
business to check. Otherwise assume it's not
- Look at as many pictures of original bikes
as possible familiarise yourself with the
correct spec, so you can spot parts that aren't
restored to original spec, or replaced with
parts from another model, which will affect
- Most bikes have problem areas, or parts
that are rare. Knowing what these are will
help you spot bodges and recognise bits that
aren't as they should be.