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What bike as a first project?

Discussion in 'Modifications and Projects' started by k8t, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. Hey Everyone,

    I've recently bought myself a 2009 GS500F and want to start on a project bike to get my mechanical self satisfied.

    I was wondering what people's ideas are on a good first bike project? I was thinking something like an older GS500 or a Yamaha 600 but I would prefer a road bike to trails. I've done those up before. :)

  2. Hmm,

    So if you have done up trail bikes before then you already know something about bike mechanicals?

    It is a big question, given the big wide world of bikes out there. I mean - do you want to buy a bike to do up and then ride in which case buy something you want to ride.

    Or do you want to buy a bike to do up, learn from the experiance and then sell it? In which case buy a bike you can get parts for easy and cheap and you know it will sell.

    Or are you like me ,and just want the fun of tinkering on a bike and don't care about resale or parts cost - in which case buy the coolest bike you like and spend years playing with the bits.

    Do you want carbies to play with or electronics?

    Do you want lots of fairings to sand smooth and repaint or do you want a naked bike with all metal parts?

    I have not helped have I?
  3. Ok here's some answers.

    Yes I know a little about bike mechanicals, I started early (age 4) doing up my first bike PW80 with my dad. Since then we've worked on things like a 83 Honda 185, 7? Suzuki Waterbottle and a couple of car projects. So a good tools and a Clymer's manual and I'm somewhat ok.

    I would like to do a bike up that I can ride but have the potential to sell at a later stage. Problem is, I'm not really sure what I would like to ride other than it being an older sports tourer. I'm not really into electronics so staying away from that would be great (I can buy a new bike etc). Something where the parts are generally easy to find would be good and also something which is over a 250cc.

    Oh and I'd like to go naked for my next bike. Much easier!
  4. Pretty much any late 70s/early 80s inline 4 would fit the bill. I'm partial to Suzukis myself so my pick would be either a GS750 ('cos it was the first) or a GS1000S ('cos they can still be had cheapish but prices are on the rise) for an old tech ride, or a GSX550 or GSX750 for a slightly more modern chassis and personal nostalgia reasons.

    Similarly aged Kawasakis are also an excellent bet (though best carry a fire extinguisher, eh, Slygrog :wink:).

    Or for something a bit different and a little sportier, RD/LC/RZ Yams are dead easy to work on and well served by specialists, whilst being cracking bikes to ride and becoming rare and valuable in good or restored condition.
  5. Thanks for the list Pat. I'll have a look into those models and see what I can find :)
  6. Onya Pat - I reckon any naked japanese bike from late 60's to early 80's with carbs would be a great project too.

    Mind you - I would always go Honda first, most milk bars and hardware stores have spare parts (as you keep telling me).

    I was looking at a Honda CR as a road bike project, wouldn't be too hard to take it from trail to road.
  7. Hmm. Thats odd. I posted a reply but it didn't make it.

    I basically said what maduncle said but I was more direct :p lol

    I said something along the lines of go for something late 70's early 80's. This will ensure its got pretty much minimal electrical components, so you'll be playing with carb's instead of trying to work out if the computer is working or not.
    Also stick with a jap bike as the parts are still mostly available and fairly cheap.

    I do find that since the Cafe Racer bug, honda 4's have gone up considerably in price as well as their parts....So try and buy something cheap and it will do you well.
    If i were to do this again, i'd def buy a bike in which I can verify the engine runs and is mechanically sound (even if the entire rest of the bike is falling apart)...but my weakness is engine internals so...you can understand where i'm coming from.

    I've found that with my bike build GS1100, there has been a wealth of information on every single topic I've ever had to research. And i've gone through the bike a few times.
    I'm sure you'll find the same for the big 4 (yama,kawa,honda,suzi). I wouldn't spend more than 500 on a bike from that era that needs work....

    Something else I will highly recommend. Consider getting a mail forwarding service from the states. It will save you a shitload of cash. Ebayers tend to sting us aussies in shipping (around 40 bux for most items no matter the size) because we're stupid and we just pay it....a mail forward service allows you to ship ur item to a US address, and then you can ship it to aus via the cheapest method (normally around 10 bux) thus saving quite a bit of cash. U can also buy form several buyers and get the mail forward service to send it as one pack...
    I use shipito.com and they are marvellous. They do charge a small fee, but overall its alot cheaper. I wish I did it earlier on i spent shitloads in shipping.
  8. A million Brit bike and BMW owners roll upon the floor at your suggestion :LOL:. Nonetheless, go with something not too obscure and it shouldn't be too painful finding parts and paying for them.
  9. What a disturbing image...

    A million Brit bike and BMW owners rolling on the floor together.

    Mind you - if that is what they do at their club meets in private, who am I to judge?