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Old 04-09-2011, 01:10 PM   #82
Gnarly Adventurer
tenorjazz's Avatar
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: Woodinville, WA
Oddometer: 263
I just got a chance to ride Dave's trials bike this morning. Just putted around the driveway and a little through the woods in front of my house and it was a blast.

He brought it by this morning so I could look at how some of the bits go together for my restoration project


The guy knows about Bultacos and getting them running, he has 3 running bikes, a Matador, a Sherpa and a Campera and is currently building a Metralla. All mid 60's vintage. The bike I'm restoring is also his (when I'm done I get to ride it for as long as I want or until I get my own Matador rebuilt and running).

The cost for parts on the motor rebuild I am doing has been a few hundred dollars, and that includes stripping down the motor to the last washer, cleaning it up and putting back together with new bearings and seals. I didn't do any work on the crank or piston other than clean it. If the motor had needed a complete rebuild and I sent it off to someone else to do, it would have cost $1200 easy.

Total rebuild might only be $400 in parts, plus anything I can find in Dave's pile of used parts. Of course I have needed to get a new compressor, some specialty tools, tap and die set, buffing wheel, blast cabinet, Powder coating system (I already had a pottery kiln $$$ that I use for my oven), air tools, and more, on top of all the tools I already had (lost track of the cost...) Then there is the time spent. I've never done this before so there is some trial and lot's of error, plus just trying to figure out how things work, on top of the labor. I figure if I was charging $10.00 an hour I could easily bill for $3500 in labor. The amount of money it takes to restore motorcycles can be a lot. Of course the money in tools can be amortized over all the motorcycles you build.

If this is the only bike I build I figure it would cost about $8500 for tools, parts and labor to cover the costs.

As far as making a really nice looking bike verses just a runner, my background as artist, sculptor and craftsman means I need to make it look great or it's not worth doing. I plan on competing with it when I'm done, but the first time I take it out of the shop I want it to look better than new! I've cleaned, painted and polished everything on this bike and even though it is taking me longer to get in running because of this, in the end I will really feel good about the work I've done.

In the end all this squabbling over the cost of a rebuild comes down to "it depends".
  • It depends on how much work you do yourself
  • It depends on how much time or skill you have to do the work
  • It depends on how many tools you own yourself
  • It depends on what level of restoration/rebuild you want to do.

But it doesn't matter in the end how you do it, it just matters that you take these incredible old bikes and get them running again.

And Dave... Thanks for getting me excited again about the bikes of my youth!!

Getting close!!!

Life is short, live and enjoy it !!!

05' BMW R1200GS - If you can only afford one bike...
06' VStrom 650 - Fond memories (gone)
06' Suzuki DRZ400 - Wish I could afford two bikes (gone)


S.O. Bikes
07' VStrom 650 ABS (Silver)
05' VStrom 650 (Red) - Sold to get one with ABS

tenorjazz screwed with this post 04-09-2011 at 01:16 PM
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