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1021 County Road 519
Frenchtown, NJ, 08825
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Classic Cycles Ltd. brings you a wealth of information and resources on our favorite vintage bikes. Visit our blog today!

The Beginner’s Guide to Classic Motorcycle Restoration

Daniel Roberts

Contrary to popular belief, motorcycle restoration isn’t rocket scientists. While your bike enthusiast friend will help you know that a successful restoration is very difficult to pull off, we ask you to ignore this advice and focus on how good it would feel to hit the road on your trusty two-wheeler.

To help our readers approach the restoration project more systematically, we’ve compiled a short guide that details all you need to know about classic British motorcycles restoration.

Here are a few things you need to do to resurrect your vintage bike.

Batteries Are A Necessity:

While advertising will have you believe that your bike’s battery can withstand indefinite dormant periods, this simply isn’t true. We say this because the electrolytes in your battery are chemicals and these chemicals tend to break down or evaporate due to long periods of inactivity.

So, before you even think about taking your vintage motorcycle out for a spin, you need to address the battery situation. We strongly recommend installing a new battery as this will massively enhance your bike’s performance.

However, if you’re low on funds and don’t want to overspend, you should run a battery test. If the voltage levels check out, then your battery could (theoretically) be used for a little while longer.

Check the Carburetor:

The second item on our checklist of the bike restoration project is the carburetor. Given how important this device is to the overall functionality of your bike, it should come as a surprise to no one that it finds itself so high on our checklist.

Once you have installed the new battery, we want you to invest in a new carb cleaner (readily available on both eBay and Amazon). If this touch-over does the trick and your bike is able to start then you’ve just saved yourself hundreds of dollars.

However, if the carb cleaner didn’t help then you will just have to invest in a carburetor. Visit your local bike repair shop as most bike shops offer free (or reasonably priced) installation services.

The Gas Tank:

The absence of fuel from the gas tank leaves it vulnerable to the perils of rust. Make sure that rust and corrosion never get in the way of your dream of restoring your classic motorcycle by thoroughly examining your bike’s gas tank.

If you find no rust in it whatsoever then you’re in luck! However, if you manage to spot rust pits, you shouldn’t worry too much as a simple gas tank cleaner will solve your problems in no time!

Oil Change

This one’s a no-brainer. Once you’ve fully restored your ignition and fuel tank, the next logical step is to make sure that they maintain their longevity and perform well together. The simplest way of doing so is by performing a simple oil change.

Begin by draining your bike’s engine of any residue oil. Once the machine has been leeched of any lubricants add new motor oil to it and it should easily do the trick. To ensure that the oil change goes well, we recommend coupling it with a new oil filter (not mandatory but highly recommended).

Apart from these items, you should also consider investing in a new chain, new brakes, and, of course, a fresh set of tires. All the items mentioned on this list are relatively inexpensive so you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank.

And there you have it, our definitive guide to a simple bike restoration project. Once you’ve successfully restored your bike, fancy showing the professionals your work? We at Classic Cycles Ltd are massive bike enthusiasts and would love to see your efforts.

Furthermore, we also offer top-notch vintage motorcycle restoration services that will help overcome any and all shortcomings in your approach and make your bike as safe as it can be!

Don’t worry about being judged, we’re incredibly friendly professionals and love seeing people taking an active interest in their bikes. So, if you ever need a professional’s opinion on the matter, get in touch with us! We would love to restore your bike to its former glory!