Guide to Older Motorcycle Service, Repair and Restoration
Working with older motorcycles falls into three categories
First are the running motorcycles that are ridden fairly regularly. More of these bikes are out there than you think. A twenty year old motorcycle is still a great value when compared to the new prices today. Some people prefer the styles of the 70's and the 80's vehicles. a bonus for Honda motorcycles is the availability of most parts.
Second are the project bikes. These are older motorcycles that have been sitting unused for a few years to many years. They do not run are are not able to be ridden.
Third are the true restoration projects to restore a motorcycles to a new or like new condition. One challenge when working on any of these categories is the age of most technicians at the dealerships. As new techs are trained they only receive instruction on the newer and latest vehicles and technology. There are not many technicians working today that have ever installed a set of points. This means we must find and use the "older" technicians who know and understand the 60's, 70's and 80's vehicles.
Running Older Vehicles
Have you taken an "older" motorcycle to your local dealer only to told "we don't work on anything older than ten years?"We know that is frustrating for you to hear. Dreyer Honda South does not stop working on vehicles older than ten years and we actually stock many parts for the older Honda's!This guide will help you understand what is involved working on the older motorcycles.
We get requests for service on many older running motorcycles. It may be a tire change, oil and filter change, brake repair or various jobs. We DHS view these jobs as important to you just the same as our customers with newer motorcycles. However, there are many challenges working with the older machines. Age is usually not kind to us or our vehicles. Corrosion is a problem with even a "like new" motorcycle. You may only want a rear tire but the axle may be seized in the wheel. Extra time may be required compared to a newer model. Older service manuals were notorious for incomplete or poorly converted specs. Most of these issues can be overcome with some additional time for the job.
As the heading states, these are project motorcycles. They do not run now but with enough time and money they can be turned back into a nice, reliable machine that you will enjoy owning and riding. If this appeals to you then a project bike may be what you want. This type of repair is best done in the winter or off-months of the year. Lots of disassembly is required as wel as the time required to order or even locate many of the parts you will need. Bikes that have been sitting for long periods typically need tires and brake repairs, fork seal replacement, carburetor rebuilds, fuel tank cleaning and new batteries and cables to start with. These jobs are very labor intensive. Some customers can do some of the jobs but leave others to a professional. We just need to be clear on the expectation of the customer. In order to have a nice, safe and reliable motorcycle, these jobs can cost several thousands of dollars.
Restoration jobs bring the motorcycle back to original condition. This is a painstaking process that will typically take somewhere around 100 hours of time plus the costs of refinishing, paint and parts.
The finished product will make the owner proud to own such a motorcycle.On "get running" projects we can only provide an approximate cost. Restorations will be given a starting quote on request. Labor rate for vehicles older than 25 years is $140.00 per hour.
Deposits are required when dropping the vehicle off.