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Restoration

Ever wanted to get an old bike and turn it into a pristine work of art? Finding elusive parts, repairing, painting and finally fitting them back on the bike is just part of the fun of restoring a classic.

Polishing and Buffing Motorcycle Engine Cases

Classic Motorcycle Restoration--Parts Lists
For a complete classic motorcycle restoration, an extensive list of replacement parts will almost certainly be required. Establishing this list at the outset will save a lot of time.

Yamaha XS650 Board Track Racer

Honda CB125 K5 Restoration in Bermuda
Restoration of a classic motorcycle can take many forms: replacement of old or worn parts, a respray and cosmetic work, or a complete restoration. This bike, a 1973 Honda CB125 K5, was restored using some parts from an earlier CL125 by the owner in Bermuda.

Bolt Identification

BSA Royal Star Restoration
Restoration projects come in all types. Some bikes require basic mechanical work and some just need some fresh paint. Others, like this 1966 BSA A50 Royal Star, are in pretty bad shape when you get your hands on them--and will need a lot of work.

Photographing Your Restoration Project
At the start of a classic motorcycle restoration project, it is all about getting organized. For someone looking to undertake a professional restoration, the process starts with a camera.

Restore a Motorcycle
Restoring a classic motorcycle seems like fun, on the face of it. It is, however, a long process requiring dedication, organization, mechanical skills and some tooling. But, for the most part, it is not beyond the average owner with good mechanical skills to restore a classic motorcycle.

Motorcycle Chrome Plating
West coast company specializing in chrome plating and polishing of motorcycle parts.

Wheel Rims and Spokes
This California based company specializes in spoke type motorcycle wheel repairs and replacement. The company also manufactures their own rims: Sun Rims.

Servi-Cycle Truck – Motorcycle Restoration at its Best
Servi-Cycle manufactured motorcycles from 1935 to 1960. They also produced a three wheeled truck which was used by a number of small businesses: by police forces, the US Post Office, fire brigades and even the military.

Classic Racer - Kawasaki Bighorn
At first glance a Kawasaki Bighorn may not seem like an ideal classic racer. But for two former racers, these bikes made perfect restoration projects that became racers.

Photographing Your Restoration Project
At the start of a classic motorcycle restoration project, it is all about getting organized. For someone looking to undertake a professional restoration, the process starts with a camera.

Restoration of a KTM 420 MX Bike
Restoring a classic MX bike can be a challenge: from locating parts to finding a reasonable example worthy of restoration. After 8 years of diligent restoration, this KTM 420 MX bike is worthy of an award for attention to detail if nothing else.

Motorcycle Chrome Plating
With a few exceptions, all parts on a motorcycle have undergone some painting or plating process; the most well known of plating processes is, of course, chromium plating. The highly reflective bright finish of chrome has long been a favorite of manufacturers and owners alike. But what is chrome plating?

Excelsior Board Track Racer Replica
Starting with some drawings, original photographs (right side only) and a set of 1919 crankcases, a Washington State fabricator replicates a 1920 Excelsior Board Track racer.

Anodizing Motorcycle Parts
The use of aluminum on motorcycles greatly enhanced their appearance. From engine components to wheel rims, aluminum has proven to be a very durable, light and economical material. But the surface finish and durability can be improved by anodizing.

Lathes, Mills and Drills for Motorcycle Restoration
For the home mechanic, a few small specialist tools are adequate, but if you intend to undertake an extensive renovation, machining capabilities will be required. However, lathes, mills and even pedestal drills are not cheap.

Classic Motorcycle Workshop – Sand Blasters
A major part of classic motorcycle restoration is cleaning. Removing dirt, grime and rust from an old motorcycle is a time consuming dirty task. However, machines are available to greatly reduce the work involved and also enhance the appearance of many components.

Pin Striping on Classic Motorcycles
For classic motorcycle restorers, repainting and then pin striping a classic motorcycle is the last part of many weeks of work preparing the various parts. But is this a job the hobbyist can undertake? Yes.

Ducati Monza Restoration
This restoration is centered on a 250-cc Ducati Monza from 1968. The bike belongs to Louise Dutton in Florida. Louise is well known amongst Florida’s classic bike owners as organizer of the annual Mods V Rockers bike show.

Vespa Restoration
The restoration covered here is of a VBS Vespa, with GS specification modifications. Although this restoration was performed by a professional company, it gives the private owner/restorer an insight into what is required to make the older Vespa’s serviceable again.

Triton Restoration
Restoration of a classic Triton.

Motorcycle Seat Re-covering
For many classic bike restorers, having the seat recovered is a must. Removing the old cover is relatively simple. However, before paying to have the seat professionally re-covered, the owner should check to see if there is a cover available, or a complete seat, as a spare part.

Motorcycle will not Start
There are many individual components on a motorcycle that can, if broken or damaged, stop the engine from starting. But in essence, an internal combustion engine needs three things before it will run.

Classic Bike Brake Fluid
Choosing the right brake fluid for a classic motorcycle should be based on the original manufacturer’s recommendations. However, understanding the different types is essential--not all brake fluids are the same!

Triumph T120C TT Special Restoration
In 1963, Triumph converted a number of their popular Bonnevilles for competition use. Primarily intended for use in Scrambles, the 120C also proved to be highly competitive in the America flat track TT racing.

Motorcycle Engine Rebuilding, the Basics

Tools, Cheap or Expensive?
Building up a tool kit can be very costly, and few people have an unlimited budget. Buying the best tools available makes the most sense, but is it necessary?

Honda CB750F Restoration

Classic Motorcycle Frame Welding Types
The early bicycle frames used the lug construction method of frame assembly. Later motorcycle frames used various welding types including brazing, shielded metal arc, MIG and TIG to join the various tubes.

Welding Repairs on Classic Motorcycles

Classic Motorcycle Parts--Grit Blasting

How to Make a Motorcycle Cable
Making a motorcycle control cable is relatively easy and requires few tools. If the cables are to be made from scratch, the mechanic must first establish the length of the outer cable.

First time Restoration of a Classic Motorcycle

Motorcycle Fuel Tanks

Show Time

Restoring a Racing Motorcycle

Honda Goldwing Restoration

Classic Collections in India

Honda Goldwing Restoration, Part Two

The Honda RC 161 Replica
Making a replica of any engineering piece is challenging. Making a replica of a factory racing motorcycle is especially challenging, but this is what the employees at the Barber Vintage Motorcycle Museum did when they built a replica Honda RC161.


The Yamaha TR2s changed the face of international motorcycle racing when they were introduced. Today they are raced all over the world in classic races and make an excellent restoration project.

Painting a Motorcycle a Non Standard Color
Painting a motorcycle is not easy. There are many do's and don'ts to consider to achieve a professional looking finish.

Classic Japanese Motorcycle Casing Finish
Replicating the surface finish on aluminum classic Japanese motorcycle parts can be challenging. But by following these eight steps aluminum parts can be made to look new again.

Honda GL Restoration (part 3)
The Honda Canada Riders Association Club's restoration of a Honda Gold Wing is nearing completion. In this article (3) the team are putting the finishing touches to the GL.

Building a Board Track Racer
Britney and Matt Olsen's 1923 Harley Davidson board track racer in detail.

Interview with Brittney Olsen

Two Classic Suzukis

Honda CB750 Sand Cast Builder
After a prototype sand cast CB750 Honda sold on eBay for more than $148,000, the internet has been abuzz. We interviewed builder Vic World for the low-down on this bike.

Motorcycle Rewiring
Rewiring a motorcycle is a relatively simple task as long as some basic guidelines are followed.

Motorcycle Electrics
Sooner or later a classic or vintage motorcycle will need its wiring harness or wiring loom replacing. For the home based mechanic this is not a particularly difficult job as long as he or she follows some basic guidelines.

Classic Suzuki Racer
Taking a stock T500 Suzuki twin from a garden (where it had stood for ten years), to 2nd place in a classic race at the Nürburgring is a major accomplishment, but that's what one Dutchman did.

Building a Classic Motorcycle
For a classic enthusiast looking to personalize a motorcycle, building one from scratch may be the best, and most economical, answer. But the builder must follow some basic guidelines due to safety considerations.

Making Motorcycle Emblems and Badges
Emblems and badges can be hard to find for older motorcycles, making them may be only option.

Building a Manx Look-a-Like
The legendary Manx Nortons are becoming rare and expensive, so for one English owner, the only alternative was to build a look-a-like.

How to Fix a Motorcycle Carburetor
Fixing a motorcycle carburetor need not be a daunting task to any reasonably competent mechanic. By following some basic guidelines the bike can be up and running again in no time.

Motorcycle Mechanics – Removing Fairings, Fuel Tanks and Seats
Before doing maintenance or repairs on motorcycles, it is sometimes necessary to remove fairings, tanks, and seats. Although removing these is relatively simple, for the beginner, there are some important does and don'ts.

Classic Motorcycle Workshop Hand-Tools
Owning a classic motorcycle often means undertaking most, if not all, regular maintenance and repairs. But the obvious problem you’ll run into when updating or when buying the first set of tools is price; for instance, how do you decide when to go expensive?

Motorcycle Mechanics
Removing and refitting motorcycle wheels is a relatively easy process as long as some basic guidelines are followed.

Motorcycle Mechanics
Replacing motorcycle wheel bearings sounds scary, but to the competent home mechanic, it is a relatively straightforward job.

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