GoogleCustom Search

Buying Restored 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 been done.
  4. 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 the value.
  5. 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.