Last weekend I spent a long time talking to a fellow person. Someone who is also a genetic motorcyclist, someone who is very busy with technology, someone who likes classics much more than new stuff. We talked about our classic motorcycles and the parts provision thereof.
If you can make things yourself
For Robin, the parts supply is not such a problem when it comes to the technical components. He has almost all machines for turning, milling or planing almost everything. But there are also things that he cannot do, and then he must also look for them.
But finding is also possible
And actually we were both very happy how 'easy' it is to find parts for classics, for classic motorcycles. Even if such a brave two-wheeler is already quite old. A Harley-Davidson WL A or C? That's a barely 75-year-old thing. And the parts? You can build such a classic Vtwin completely from new original parts. Or ditto for replica parts. Or from used parts. This almost perfect parts supply also applies to many British classic motorcycles and certainly to BMWs.
There are no Japanese parts
And despite the worldwide rumor about availability and prices of parts for classic Japanese motorcycles, there is much, if not everything, through specialists such as CMSNL and David Silver and e-bay. And that sometimes hefty prices are charged for this? Well: better expensive than not available. Two search addresses that are not yet known to everyone are Le bon coin and Kleinanzeigen.de. And strangely enough, there is still a lot to be found in Poland and the Czech Republic, although the origins of those parts are sometimes a bit dark.
Networking is the best
No matter how outdated it may sound: you still walk the best search processes via the tamtam, smoke signals and your own network. Because together we have and know everything.
Be careful with the 'weterij' only when you are going to ask questions on general motorcycle forums. Because in many forums there are bleating figures who cough up the most stupid things with great certainty. On the other hand, you can find the most interesting and correct information in the technical forums of brand clubs. The forum of the Moto Guzziclub Netherlands is a great example of this.
Youtube as a WPHB
To assemble all those new parts, we used to have only our workshop manuals. With a bit of luck they were in Dutch (publisher Peters in Deventer). Nowadays you can find instructional videos on almost all types of work on almost all types of classic motorcycles on youtube. Then you are in the garage with the lap top next to you, and you can stop and rewind what you want. Fine!
Classic enthusiasts across generations
The funny thing last weekend was that Robin and I as sworn classic enthusiasts care exactly twenty years in age. And that son of comrade Ernie has been suffering from this for another twenty years. Moreover, on the last 'Hardenberg' we saw that there were not only gray crests walking around anymore. Until recently, if you saw someone under the age of forty at a trade show, that person would have come with his parents.
So we think it looks pretty good for the classic world below the line. Fortunately!
A quick look to the left: Parts for Italian classics are usually easy to find