Author Topic: Opinions - Balancing originality, practicality and budget.  (Read 739 times)

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Dropout_Boogie

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Opinions - Balancing originality, practicality and budget.
« on: 21 December, 2020, 22:53:43 »
What are people's views on getting a balance between originality (part of the fun for me is the fact that my bike is older than I am and will outlive me if I do a decent job), practicality (I'd quite like to use the bike regularly with as much comfort and reliability as I can) and cost (I'm poor and eBay prices make my head spin).

Don't think there's a right or wrong answer it's different strokes for different folks, but I know originality is a major point for a lot of people. But money doesn't grow on trees and many of us have had to stay at home indoors until we become transparent this year.

Just curious to see what you think.

chaz

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Re: Opinions - Balancing originality, practicality and budget.
« Reply #1 on: 22 December, 2020, 07:08:32 »
my view is there  are three categories.
The full concours restorer, better than it came out of the factory and never ridden. one of my old tooling suppliers lives here.
the useable restorer, returns the bike to useable condition and rides when ever they can, many of my contacts here.
the customiser, Ive a couple (2 BSA and one Triumph), would cost me more to return to original so have been "customised", chopped or bobbed.

my recent A50 came as a p/ex with a modern Suzuki Bandit, I couldnt sell it and the dealer agreed to the bike and cash his way, cost me 1200 and will probably end up costing me another 1200 so a 1969 A50 for 2400.
the A10 was a swap for a Land Rover Discovery, suited both parties, left as was gets a clean somewhen but not ridden now.
The T100 , another swap for a Triumph Sprint RS, again no money but since I took it off the road last year Ive spent 1500 on it. Its had custom paint, and custom parts may well be up for sale in the new year.

My son was offered a Tiger Cub for 600 and has sold for 1700 , a straight turn around as he was needing the money for his B40. The B40 an import from America, another swap with a trader for a modern bike which has now had the best part of 1700 spent on it. This will be a useable classic single to mirror the one our old landlord used regularly. Its going to be as near original as possible but if tinwear   can not be found then will be as near as possible.

any of the "non originals" would make my old tool supplier cry, he was100% concours but money was no option and they all travelled on a trailer to shows. my old A65 Thunderbolts were clean rebuilds and used on the road in most weather conditions.

horses for courses, keep your eyes and ears open, there are a few bargains out there. The advantage, taking current conditions, is that most of us have time so as long as you have a fairly regular income you can take your time to spread the cost.

DAVE BRADY

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Re: Opinions - Balancing originality, practicality and budget.
« Reply #2 on: 22 December, 2020, 09:19:38 »
Hi,

I think I would say that you make your BSA in to what you want it to be and look like.  I agree with Chaz re the types of owner but with as many categories as there are owners. 
Non of the BSAs we have are completely standard but have been modified for reliability, longevity and practicality.
For any rebuild, restoration or customisation I would really hope that no standard parts, especially original ones, are destroyed, ruined or modified for the sake of personalisation as there are plenty of 'customisable' bits out there.
I really enjoy seeing a good restoration but equally enjoy seeing a bike with personal touches and innovation.  After all, back in the '60s and '70s many bikes were changed to reflect the fashion of the day and custom parts were available everywhere.

Dave.

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Re: Opinions - Balancing originality, practicality and budget.
« Reply #3 on: 23 December, 2020, 11:59:34 »
As Dave says, it's what you prefer. A BSA owner and member local to me favours the oily rag condition which sounds and runs as sweet as a nut, which indicates he is more concerned with the reliability and comfort than condition. Not my cup of tea, but all due respect to him.

If I had a concours condition bike, I would be reluctant to use it so, like Chas said, it wouldn't get used much and that doesn't suit me either.

If you like the look of the particular model as standard then go for that. For example, the best looking A50 and A65 model year for me is 1969/70 as they all had Chrome mudguards, the best TLS front brake and, to me, the best shape fuel tank of the lot. If you settle for the same model but a different year, you will be more likely to 'modify' it to suit.

Problem nowadays is with the increasing cost of restoration and the low realistic sales value of the finished article the days of 'covering the total cost' are gone. As such we need to have a mind shift about our beloved BSA's and attach a monetary cost to the joy and pleasure we get from rebuilding/restoring/fixing up etc. fully expecting the total to be more than the final worth.

Just my twopenn'orth


idie

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Re: Opinions - Balancing originality, practicality and budget.
« Reply #4 on: 23 December, 2020, 12:58:28 »
That is why I have never tallied up what I spend on my bikes. I spend when necessary for maintenance and improvements for my comfort and enjoyment. Originality has never bothered me.

BEESY

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Re: Opinions - Balancing originality, practicality and budget.
« Reply #5 on: 23 December, 2020, 18:09:41 »
We are all different. I suppose the main thing is that they are kept up together and preserved as best they can be. I wouldn't want to do anything that couldn't be undone in the future, like chopping the frame about or cutting original mudguards or tin ware about.

I like to have mine looking as mint as possible. I bought all new shiny parts rather than re chrome the originals on basis of cost.

A pair of reproduction mudguards were 150, as opposed to 400 to re chrome the originals! But I have kept all the original parts in case I or the next owner want to use them in the future. Stainless rims and spokes too on account of I want them to last as long as possible and electronic ignition as the original stuff was missing and wanted the simplicity and reliability.

It gets used a reasonable amount, 2k miles a year but if it ever gets wet it is properly cleaned before I put it away. I'm not too bothered about the cost of the restoration compared to it value as it's not relevant to me. It's my hobby. If I haven't got the cash available then so be it. It has to wait.

I liken it guys into their fishing, they buy expensive kit and don't re coup a penny, but it's not the point.
« Last Edit: 23 December, 2020, 18:12:15 by BEESY »

Dropout_Boogie

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Re: Opinions - Balancing originality, practicality and budget.
« Reply #6 on: 24 December, 2020, 12:28:15 »
As has been said, I think it can be easy to fall into thinking about numbers and how much is spent, but people don't tend to do that with other hobbies and it should be no different with bikes. They are worth more than their monetary value, otherwise we wouldn't have them!

Personally, I'd agree with drawing a line at permanent changes to original parts if a suitable reproduction piece is available. Some things are irreplaceable, and it would be nice to think that in many decades time there will still be original parts knocking about for folk to use.
And I have neither the time nor attention span for counting rivets.

I'm glad I get to appreciate seeing other bikes looking pristine and in mint condition, and will occasionally allow myself an envious glance into mirror polished chrome and paintwork. But I like a bit of an oily rag finish myself. A bit rough and ready but with some character and a story behind it.

Dean Southall

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Re: Opinions - Balancing originality, practicality and budget.
« Reply #7 on: 24 December, 2020, 12:36:44 »
Just for fun........
BSA: turning ordinary men into mechanics since 1910

Editor

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Re: Opinions - Balancing originality, practicality and budget.
« Reply #8 on: 24 December, 2020, 13:12:41 »
Nice one Dean,
Have a good Christmas! ;D
Chris

ducati2242

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Re: Opinions - Balancing originality, practicality and budget.
« Reply #9 on: 24 December, 2020, 18:40:53 »
Use all my bikes . spent 1000s getting them to perfection then they go out on the road . Most things are original or replaced with modern equivalents . I dont have an original nut and bolt left on them but for the better in my mind . Polished stainless looks so good and what can beat a belt drive clutch .
1956 bsa GS DB500
1968 mk1 Rocket 3
2006 ducati 999R .

Re: Opinions - Balancing originality, practicality and budget.
« Reply #10 on: 26 December, 2020, 22:59:17 »
if the BSA factory had electronic ignitions available then they would have used them, same for solid state rectifiers, etc. Whatever works best in my view. To coin a phrase - if it looks and sounds like a BSA, it probably is one.
My M21 was more or less original but as parts wear out, I have no qualms in replacing them with modern non-standard bits, but I do like contact breakers and magneto's. Just my preference. If you want a museum piece to show off in shows, go for concours but if you want to use it as transport then in my opinion use the best bits you can afford.
john

royblackburn1@btinternet.

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Re: Opinions - Balancing originality, practicality and budget.
« Reply #11 on: 27 December, 2020, 11:16:35 »
I can remember at a classic bike show talking to a bike judge about an immaculate gold star and I said I thought it might have won the show however he said did you see me put my hands under the mudguards  there wasn't any road crud under them he went on to say the bike had been built as a show piece and probably came here in a van but there again that's what the owner wanted so each to their own,

MGI

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Re: Opinions - Balancing originality, practicality and budget.
« Reply #12 on: 27 December, 2020, 13:24:49 »
If it is your machine...do anything you like to it... it's your machine!

Calum

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Re: Opinions - Balancing originality, practicality and budget.
« Reply #13 on: 28 December, 2020, 12:02:57 »
As above, do to it as you wish - it is your machine! Thankfully everyone has different tastes and this is what makes the classic scenes more interesting (be they 2 or 4 wheels). It would be very boring, in my opinion, to attend a meetup and see a line of immaculate machines all exactly as they left the factory.

I'm new to the classic motorcycle world as an owner, but have owned and ran nothing but classic vehicles since I got my license. I much prefer to see used and enjoyed vehicles - they were, afterall, built to be used (in all weathers!). I do like to see originality preserved where possible, as is often said "they're only original once". But sometimes things are too far gone and there is, in my opinion, a fine line between nice patina and something that looks like it has never been taken care of or driven into every stone wall in Yorkshire...

I will never, personally, understand the fascination of collecting parts date marked correct for the year or month of machine build. If the original parts are gone, nothing can replace them, and from an outward glance it is often no different if something is marked 1957 or 1959. I do like things to look 'in period' even d not totally original.

Taste is very personal. As I said I am glad we aren't all the same!

Pete A10

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Re: Opinions - Balancing originality, practicality and budget.
« Reply #14 on: 28 December, 2020, 14:36:10 »
I think it also depends on what you start with.
The B40 I rebuilt was virtually complete but very tatty when I got it and it had factory numbers so I did that as close to original as I could (although even then there were necessarily some pattern parts).
The A10 is totally different as it was bought as a box of bits with a 1955 engine and a 1959 frame so whatever I did it would never be original. That has ended up as my version of a 1960s cafe racer - it's not original but it is the only one like it in the world.
I have just bought a Suzuki GT550 (sorry for using inappropriate language on the forum) as my next project and although very rough it again is factory numbers so that one will be going back to factory spec.