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classic / vintage bike?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by MZ, Apr 25, 2008.

  1. Hi all
    I am thinking of getting myself a vintage/classic bike but seem to be having trouble finding any for sale so does anyone know of any good sites I could look at ?
    I have tried bikepoint ,bikesales and tried to join clubs but it seem they like you to have a bike first :roll:

  2. Why don't you try the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club, right in Newcastle? www.vjmcoz.org or contact the club's promotions officer, Vince Foreman on (02) 4973 1852
  3. Wanna be a bit more specific, Vintage to me is anything from the 70's to mid 80's
  4. The prime source of classic motorcyle deals has always been Just Bikes, less than $5. The current issue as usual has plenty, both privately and from dealers.

    Good old Motorcycle Trader (an off-shoot of AMCN which is overseas owned) has been trying to knock off Just Bikes for years, with little result.

    However, last year they started offering free ads for bikes over 25 years old, and so they have probably trebled their classic bike listings, to maybe 30. ;-)

    Trader comes out at sort of (well, it did last year) 3 week intervals. It also has some ads from BikePoint. If you are desperate you could buy it also (I do) just to encourage them a little. ;-)

    You didn't say what sort of classic bike you wanted - something like a Honda 400/4 or older, with smoke, like a Kawasaki 500 triple? Or a twin from the 70s? Or something european like an MZ??? What sort of dollars?

    All the best

    Trevor G

    PS I shudder to even mention it, but there have even been versions of the worst motorcylce ever produced, the Yamaha TX750, offered for sale in recent times. That was one bike that could use a crankshaft every couple of thousand km. Amazingly bad...
  5. You sure you weren't exaggerating just a teensy, weensy leetle bit?

    Try the Classic Enthusiasts MCC - contact details in Just Bikes. Any club which ever existed (and some which didn't) is shown there.


    Trevor G

    PS It IS ok to exaggerate just a little, as long as you admit it when I catch you out... ;-)
  6. Hey my brother has a honda 500/4 with custom paint if your interested
  7. classic style in Seaford and Central Motorcycles in huntingdale have heaps of classic bikes for sale.
  8. I buy both the just bike and motorcycle trade ever month and haven`t found anything yet .
    What I am after is a restored BSA 500 Sloper or something similar with tank change and girder forks .

  9. True, although last time I looked, their prices seemed very high. Maybe I'm just a cheapskate though :grin: .

    Well, I can see why you're having difficulty :) . With a wishlist like that, you've got a fairly small pool of bikes to choose from. Maybe a few hundred at most in Australia, even if you extend to other makes, with a correspondingly small number for sale at any one time. I'd tend to agree that Just Bikes and their advertisers are probably your best bet.

    Alternatively, you could look at bringing a bike in from the UK. Not a cheap, easy or risk free option, but maybe feasible given the strong dollar. If I was going that way and had the capital, I'd think about bringing in two or three to reduce the cost per unit, selling the excess machines here to help cover costs. However, you'd have to choose models carefully to ensure you got something that would sell for decent money without too much hassle.

    Otherwise, you'll just have to keep your eyes open and resign yourself to a long search.
  10. Wwll, there are classic clubs listed in Just Bikes, and I know of a number (including the previously mentioned CEMCC) who do not require ownership before membership.

    You could also advertise in the Wanted section in Just Bikes - that also has been effective for me in the past. People read those ads, you know. ;-) Other people are just waiting for someone to desire their pride and joy so they can get another Vincent, or whatever.


    Trevor G

    PS I doubt that many Netriders have any BSA Sloppers in their sheds...

    NB That is the correct spelling, too - I once saw it n a very nicely prepared sign at an exhibition - and the bikes sometimes live up to it.
  11. +1 for just bikes

    Have been looking at vintage bikes as well, and was surprised by the amount of bikes listed and the prices were better than I was expecting as well.
  12. Prices will only continue to climb as they are getting more rare by the month.
  13. I've got to agree when it comes to the Japanese bikes. Mind you when it comes to the British bikes, which are only a grand or so more than the private ones on eBay, they're still cheap compared to contemporary bike prices, given what it is you are buying. $7000 spent there and you've got a bike for life!

    Hubie, it will be interesting to see what happens to the price and demand for used late Royal Enfields, with the old-style motor having been replaced (a real shame!:( )
  14. I can tell you, they're going to go up, and up, and up!
  15. At last! A topic right down my motorcycle alley...

    There are quite a few dealers that have he older bikes, but you'll pay a premium, specially for fully restored bikes. And those that are fully restored (and often specially from dealers) are rarely well restored - cosmetic at best. I thi nk this is where older bikes get their poor reliability reputation from (that, and they aren't the most reliable things to start with!)

    Buying an older restoration from a vintage/veteran club member gives you the chance of finding out about the previous owners, bikes etc etc etc. It will also be cheaper. That being said, don't be afraid of going for an unrestored bike - they aren't too difficult or expensive to restore (compared to a mid 60s Jag!)

    A BSA sloper (from memory, they were all 500cc) will be a bit more expensive because it's a pretty, well liked bike. You'll also pay a preium for Brittish V-twins, Indians or some Harleys (strong following for the Indians and Harley's inflate their price).

    If you want to start really basic, get a BSA M20 (or M21 if you can) - rediculously basic and cheap - thousands were produced by just about every manufacturer in Britain for the war effort (WM20's were the military bikes, exactly the same as an M20, but painted in wartime livery). I can't believe one went for $18,000. They usually go for $3500 to maybe $10,000 for a fully restored rare war campaign (desert campaign or similar), full history kind of thing.

    Try Dave Gittus in Maldon - I don't think he deals in complete motorcycles anymore, but he'll know what's about. Go to Classic Style in Seaford and Central Motorcycles to get some hands on look-see and get aquainted with the older bikes. Also go and talk to the folk at Modac in Elizabeth Street too. There is both a Vintage and a veteran Motorcycle Club in Victoria, as well as several others around the place.

    Dave Gittus' web shop (I think he closed his shop/museum in Maldon)

    As far as parts go, there are plenty about - and can be also imported from OS through ebay etc etc still pretty cheaply.

    If you can, get a bike with matching frame and engine numbers, although this is more to do with post war bikes. Pre war, it is important to get a bike who's frame number is from the same year (or so) as the engine number. Look for a complete bike - tinware can be difficult to find sometimes, and the electric (magneto and generator) can be problematic. Wheels and tyres are easily to repair (about $1500 for re-spoke, straighten, new bearings etc etc), gearboxes will cost about $500 - $600 for a complete rebuild (including just about everything inside the box) - BSAs had Burman gearboxes which are cheap and easy to repair. Frames will cost about $500 to get up to scratch. Motors depend on what goes wrong, but generally they're hardy little numbers.

    PM me if you'd like some more information - this post could go on for ages! (Sorry, no sloper in the garage, just a '49 Norton and a '35 Sunbeam!...ok...in bits again!) :LOL:


  16. Pity you didn't go to the All-Brit Rally here in Vic this weekend MZ, there was, gawd, 1000-plus Brit bike riders and bikes? You could've wandered and gazed and spoken to the owners and got drunk and everything :cool:

    I got my Bonnie from Central Motorcycles in Oakleigh (the bike shop previously mentioned). Honest bikes and they are happy to chat to you.

    Bear in mind the thought of owning a classic bike and the reality of owning and living with one can sometimes be two different things, sometime they're not - shop around and you'll find a bike that will hold it's value - with luck!
  17. I was recalled to work the anzac day weekend, did you go to the rally? Get any photos?????
  18. Only a couple, was too, erm, busy :LOL:

    Longest-distance was a bloke on a 71-72 Norton from Alice Springs, a few from NSW/Qld and a brace of Brough Superiors from Tassie - magic!
  19. I love those Broughs! They have such a nice sound to them, and built beautifully. Australia has quite a few since they formed part of an early police motorcycle unit (SS80's if I remember)

    Now that's what I call class!

    One of the hardest parts to owning a vintage/veteran bike is deciding which one! Budget was one of my limiting factors, but also wanted a pre-war Sunbeam. The Model 9 came from classic style, and was cheaper since it was essentially pretty sad, but not a basket case (which can be difficult to restore). After the Norton is finished (well, gearbox back in, frame aligned and frame lugs repaired, new frame bolts, powder coated, and put back together again, the fuel and oil tanks will get stripped and redone, then the guards repaired/replaced) the Sunbeam will get a good restoration.

    Don't worry about things like missing tyres - but try to find a complete bike. Rust can be fixed, and cracked casings can be welded (but try to avoid a cracked crank case...or main gearbox case - but broken mounting points, covers etc can be welded - although some early alloys can be problematic). Girder forks will nearly always be out of alignment on an unrestored bike - no poblems to realign, but avoid obvious accident damage or where the forks are creased/bent. Same with the frame, although sectiojns are easily replaced since frame sections are generally brazed, not welded.

    BSA's a good - their were plenty made, and since many Brittish bike makers merged pre-war, many parts were interchangeable, or came from parts manufacturers - like Burman for gearboxes. The further back you go, the less this happens though, and companies (like Sunbeam) made most of their bikes in house.

    Hope all this helps,



    PS its always an adventure to ride an early bike. But great fun too! :grin: