Classic motorcycle ride. The next generation

Classic engine
ER Classics Desktop 2022

Fortunately, the current generation of motorcycling classic motorbike enthusiasts has received a succession. Motorcyclists M / V with passion, but not always with the same amount of technical experience

Message to the young *

The new motorcyclists M, and emphatically also V, do not appear to be very sensitive to the most modern motorcycle manufacture. An engine must be 'own'. Being nostalgic. He may, or must, be changed. But he must also remain employable and not be too extreme. Moreover, the budgets cease with a mille or 4-5. And if you can have a lot of fun for that? Hell yes! And whether you can make your dream bike without having to do the TH Delft for it? No problem either. You will get there with basic tools and your down-to-earth common sense.

The beginning

The basis of course in a classic motorcycle. And 650 cc is more than enough. The advantage is that in that segment between 1985 and 1995 a huge range of reasonably priced motorcycles is ready for you. Motorcycles that are still pleasantly mechanical so that you do not run into all kinds of electronic rowdy things. The range is so large that you can be critical. Take a knowledgeable fellow M / V with you on a motor yacht. It may also dampen your blind enthusiasm and save you from a bad buy. Preferably buy as original and well maintained as possible. Ultimately that saves money.

Classic motorcycles: Take it easy

First look at your purchase and ride a few hundred kilometers on it. You might already like it enough. But don't let yourself be carried away by your enthusiasm if you are going to adjust your classic motorcycle to your own taste. It is full of the unfinished projects of people who wanted to jump beyond the bar. Buying such an abandoned project yourself seems smarter than it actually is. You often just pull the chance card and if you are not a seasoned 'wrench monkey', you can become very sad about it. Often the stuff is incomplete and you have to believe the seller that everything works after assembly.

The adjustments

The festivities usually start with replacing the steering wheel. Pay attention to the length of the cables and the cable harness. Too long cables can be just as annoying as cables that are too short, but cables come in all shapes and sizes. And there are plenty of universal sets for sale that you can make exactly to the desired length. For the handlebar transplant, also replace the brake hose. Even if it is correct in length. Brake hoses are also wear parts on classic engines, which is often forgotten. If you are doing so, replace the brake fluid and give the entire engine a turn. Then you can immediately start a carefree test drive after the completion of your motorcycle.

On Youtube

How do you give such a turn? On YouTube you can find that online for almost all engines. Visit your local motorcycle runner during that test drive. There you can spend a morning busy picking out and fitting tanks and seats. Very often those types of parts can be made with well-arranged work. Ask on the spot if the demolition worker knows someone who could possibly weld a few strips to the frame or something. It is no shame to outsource what you cannot do yourself, so it is useful to build a network. By the way, knowing as many people as possible is much more important than having unlimited skills or amounts of money.

Be careful with outsourcing

Okay, you estimate your own skills, and decide to outsource the work to your classic motorcycle. We are not talking about amounts from the professional restoration world, but a couple of mille. That is serious money for most of us. And things can go wrong there. Because, as with any 'new' market, there are self-appointed gurus and cowboys in this sector. What we have seen in braking and wiring did not always make us happy.

All's well that ends well

But with the good mindset you can enjoy riding a budget bike to your own taste more than riding a mid-life cruiser on its thick Harley, BMW or Goldwing. Just. Because you have nothing to prove but your freedom and your number of current financing does not give you added status value.

Enjoy the purest motorcycling uncomplicated. Want to be wise? After all, you can always do that when you are old. And what if something breaks? So what?

* (Title of an LP by Chester Arthur Burnett, (10 June, 10 January, 1976), AKA 'Howling Wolf' An American blues singer, guitarist and bluesharp player who has had a lot of influence on blues music.


A reaction

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  1. Thanks for the nice pieces via e-mail. Every day curious about what news has arrived on the bus.
    I'm a fan, less of motorcycles and the more robust agricultural vehicle stuff of the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s.
    In 1981 I exchanged my second Japanese (an XS 650, which was the successor to an XS500) for a Laverda… finally a real one! The 1000 was at Jos Janssen in Grave. The notorious Gerrit Eekhuis in Brummen did the maintenance, about a year and a half until he was killed in an accident. A great pity because he was about half past half (enthusiast / businessman). After some wanderings with my 3-pitter I ended up at HdeB (Henk de Boer) and the Laverda is still there, even in our garage!
    Once a good, real bike and you are chiseled for the rest of your life! Japs are fun, a lot of fun but they are a bit more “sterile” and you don't have to do much about them… just top up gasoline now and then; too boring for me… Or could this be a masochistic trait ????

    Thank you for the newsletters, wonderful to follow the varied offer!

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