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Side covers and exhausts, that's a thing

Sport lungs
ER Classics Desktop 2022

Back in the day, when only British, American and German motorcycles were being restored, life was simple. First, the standards were a bit lower. Really neatly used stuff? That was good enough. Tanks and sheet metal were sturdy and made of steel. That could always be brought back to new condition. Because we did not have to get the traditional skills of sheet metal workers and welders from Poland yet.

Side covers, tanks and fenders?

Make it tight and spray it? Chrome plating? I was once in the center of Utrecht. There was just a chrome factory. The extraction of the polishing dust and the bad fumes from the chrome bath? That happened through open windows and the lungs of the staff.


Exhaust bends and mufflers were then simple things. And those parts were for sale long after the production stop as 'new old stock'. But copying it was not witchcraft either. Incidentally, it is a well-known fact that many of that 'reference' for British motorcycles (and cars) had a sad fit / quality.

Japanese (and Italian) is tricky

The problems only started when people thought they could also restore Japanese and Italian motorcycles. The Japanese color and chrome parts were designed for mass production. For production with expensive, difficult molds. That was a bridge too far for Old Craft Europeans. And those Japanese realized quite early that it made no sense to make so many random spare parts, such as exhausts, that it was good for eternity and three weeks. With the Italians, production numbers were often so astonishingly low that they were only in proportion to the amount of additional parts that were made.

Already at a fairly early stage there were people who were going to make replica exhausts for the BMW VollSchwinge models. But that wasn't rocket science. Furthermore, everything was made for just about everything. But that didn't even look like original stuff in the distance.

The pioneers

CMSNL was the first company to search for 'old Japanese stocks' worldwide. Technical parts, but also exhausts and other beautiful things. She did that very well. Nowadays there are even completely authentic Honda CB 750 exhaust sets and exhausts for Black Bombers being copied. The old London Motorcycle Exhausts are called a bit different these days. But from Almere, mufflers for Suzuki T500s are made worldwide. And because Love can do everything, replica exhaust systems are even made for the Benelli 2500 Sei, which was produced around 750 times. And that such a set costs € 1600? Well: better expensive than not for sale.

The same story applies for things like side covers for Honda CB 750 OHC machines and stickers for the side covers of Honda CB450 Black Bombers. By the way, the one who had a world first with that was the world-famous Ernst Hagen in classical Japanese circles. But that was because he needed them for his own restoration and the printer told him it was much better to take a whole role. Ernst has been able to make enthusiasts happy for years. His role will now be finished. But in the meantime, more commercial people have plunged into that market. For BMW, for example, all 'old' stickers are available as perfect reproductions.

And so nowadays there is much to be found for many classics to have them reborn to perfection. Nice is not it?

Those dampers are still for sale

And that too

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