Restoration is investing in loss

ER Classics Desktop 2022

Well… almost always. And of course we have to take into account that the world has gone mad. Yet. When I saw the advertisement about the - of course again - Moto Guzzi V7 found in a shed, I immediately fell in love. From experience, however, I immediately put him in oblivion. In the meantime he will no doubt have been sold or adopted.

Even a major service can be too expensive

I heard the valid explanation for this very clearly in the past when I asked at TLM in Nijmegen why they demolished all those bikes, which were all better and more beautiful than my then daily driver (also a classic by the way). “Do you know what it costs to prepare such a machine for sale? And then we also have to earn a little bit of it.

Saved from demolition

And then there was talk of a major overhaul and some minor repairs. Later on I was allowed to buy such a demolition machine under the strictest agreements. My 'workshop hours' cost nothing. And after two days I had a bike with which I could drive miles with no problems for years to come.
But barn finds, however heart-conquering they may be, usually take more than two days to get rid of overdue maintenance. This means that the 'market value' if you have the work officially performed is already exceeded. Ideally, these types of bikes need a major overhaul, including new tires, and a brake overhaul, including new brake hoses. Plus of course a fresh battery and probably a new sprocket / chain set. Chrome has often gone so far that brushing can no longer get the pits out. Scoring or chroming new parts? That's expensive! And paint can have patina or just become too sad.

More suffering

There is a serious chance that the tank is rusted through and leaving 40+ years of wiring is asking for trouble. In some of the cases, the parts supply can be an additional problem. For Haley and English brands, reference parts are often sub-modal in quality. And put the case neatly in the or a new lacquer coat? This can be achieved with three hundred euros and a handy sprayer without a receipt. But for craftsmanship 1000 euros comes first, or 1700 euros.

Spreading the costs helps

To reduce the pain, you can of course organize your purchasing policy in such a way that you only work with used stuff and take the time for it. But never buy only 1 part of 'a set'. It is a law that after purchasing 1 nice right exhaust…. Only other nice right exhausts can be found. By the way, that must be a good concept for conspiracy thinkers.

If you start with pleasure and patience, you can be completely happy and satisfied at the end of the ride. If you don't mind that your pride has cost a lot more than it ever will. Or as a trader once described it: “Your restoration is my profit”.
Of course, that doesn't matter if you take the time and realize that you are having a good time. Moreover, doing something like this is usually after some time a good reason for friends and acquaintances to come and visit. So it also does a good job for your social life.

If, by the way, you want to 'earn' something from a restoration - without actually counting your hours - there is only 1 option: Choose a complete, sought-after classic as a starting point. Then go for an absolutely 100% guaranteed new condition. And have patience. Because then a BMW R68, of which about three thousand are made, can just bring 40D + euros. Not directly. And certainly not in the Netherlands… But still.

We would like to get in touch with the new owner

After the restoration, the costs of the collection will be settled, yes

An R69S can be 'worthwhile'


Leave a Reply
  1. The big advantage of restoring yourself is that you also gain knowledge of your vehicle, so that you can also help yourself in the event of a breakdown.

  2. 'Restoration is investing in your hobby' ..
    that's how I would have liked the title.
    Of course it is mainly fun and busy, you shouldn't do it for big bucks.
    But tinkering / repairing / restoring is seen by many as half the hobby, so you also invest in yourself.

  3. what is value? i am doing one Triumph Vitesse convertible to be completely restored. my hours are for nothing.
    when it is finished it will have value. valuation is only for insurance against theft.
    value is only if you are a trader or quickly change car / motorcycle.
    it doesn't bother me because I don't sell it.
    no, buy a painting for tens of a copy of a bridge with shopping carts thrown off.
    value is only for money wolves.

  4. Fortunately, the trend has changed in recent years. Sure, a good engine, a good gearbox, the brakes and lighting must be in order. For me money, however, shows that a motorcycle has lived and is old. That actually gives it more charm. It is just like an elderly woman who can be smoothed out and thinks she can stop aging with all kinds of operations. Respect for 100% restorations, really, but I'd rather see an old worn-out engine that keeps spinning its rounds.

  5. Fortunately, most insurance appraisals issue high amounts. So you still have the idea that the costs are in balance.
    My experience is now that making a car / engine “new” is always far too expensive. Or you really have to be able to do everything yourself.
    Recently done a 1947 Ford tow truck. Technically left untouched, 100% made.
    Dam such a project suddenly becomes much more feasible and in balance.

  6. Mijn Blauwtje was 'restoration' and technical project at the same time. It was clear in advance that the investments would never fail to pay off. But that was also the approach. He was just worth it. And a lot of driving pleasure later, I still stand behind everything I have done on it.
    Just,… .. because he was worth it and because I have already had tons of driving pleasure with him.

  7. Had seen the Guzzi too and luckily I still have 9 projects to go. All Moto Guzzi though. 5 pcs V7; 1x Le Mans III; 1x California 1100 sport and 2 Guzzinis.

    I am now 70 years old and have to be 100 to finish everything and enjoy it.
    In between some tinkering on my V7 1100 GT California and also my wife's Guzz still needs to be fitted with new crankshaft seals.
    Oh yes, getting Paul van Hooff's Guzz ready for his new adventure at the end of next year. Just need to overhaul the gearbox, clean crankshaft, new front and rear fender and, and, and etc.

  8. Remember an appraiser shaking his head at our Triumph Spitfire came to watch. Put soul and bliss into it and the thing would never become worth anything…. the man was right ...

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