A di­a­mond in the rough

Re­visit the racer built to beat Du­cati Find­ing a tidy older bike that won’t drive you nuts, needs care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion NEXT WEEK Why ser­vice his­to­ries aren’t al­ways what they seem.

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Buying & Selling -

I’ve come across two deal­er­ships re­cently that re­serve the right to refuse to work on older bikes. One spec­i­fied a cut-off age of 10 years. I think this de­serves wider at­ten­tion be­cause if peo­ple want a cheap bike then they tend to look at some­thing older.

For ev­ery care­ful owner a bike has had, there’s an­other whose tool­kit con­sisted of a ham­mer and noth­ing else. You would not be­lieve the dam­age peo­ple like this can do. Mashed screw heads, stripped threads and dam­aged com­po­nents.

Then there are those who in­sist on us­ing non-stan­dard fas­ten­ers. This in­fu­ri­ates me be­cause I look at a com­po­nent I’m fa­mil­iar with, reach for the 12mm ring span­ner, and find they’ve re­placed the nut with a 13mm headed item. Then they have re­placed one bolt with some­thing allen-headed. Con­stantly chang­ing tools around takes time.

Next there are non-orig­i­nal com­po­nents. I’ve noth­ing against pat­tern parts, if they’re of good qual­ity and made with mod­ern CNC tool­ing. A lot of replica parts are as good or even bet­ter than OE ones now. No, this is the use of parts that orig­i­nally be­longed to a com­pletely dif­fer­ent mo­tor­cy­cle al­to­gether. Carbs, brakes, sus­pen­sion units, switchgear and clocks are all favourites.

This is why deal­ers don’t like old bikes. They can do the work but it takes much longer and then the cus­tomer screams: “Five hun­dred quid for a chain and sprocket set and new pads?”, not re­al­is­ing that it’s taken five hours to get the old bits off be­cause some­one spot-welded the gear­box sprocket onto the out­put shaft!

Never buy a used bike with­out a knowl­edge­able mate along­side - the ex­tra ex­pense of buy­ing a slight duf­fer is of­ten hid­den.

If in doubt, take along an ex­pert mate when you view a bike


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