Scott Red­mond be­gins his ‘Break­ing Bad’ se­ries.

Classic Motorcycle Mechanics - - CONTENTS -

In the first of a new se­ries, we look at real-world spares prices. First up, Scot­tie buys a Blade that’s worth more than the sum of its parts…

With cer­tain mo­tor­cy­cles ris­ing in price there’s a knock-on ef­fect fur­ther down the line for used parts from to­mor­row’s clas­sics. It’s pretty ob­vi­ous re­ally why the older cer­tain parts from clas­sics get, the more ex­pen­sive they be­come. The Fireblade fam­ily con­tains a Blade for ev­ery bud­get. The 1992 RR-N is the sought af­ter one; it’s the first of the breed and it’s al­ready an es­tab­lished mod­ern clas­sic. The Ur­ban Tiger model is hot on its heels, but af­ter that there are still bar­gain mod­els if you want a carb-blade. This N-reg RR-T came my way from a chap who’d bought it to con­vert into a track day bike, he quickly re­alised that he’d bought the wrong mo­tor­cy­cle for his needs. We all do it! The bike had been seized last year be­cause the owner had no in­sur­ance. Mak­ing his case worse was the fact that he’d taken the time and ef­fort to find ex­actly the same model to clone! With a fake plate at­tached he’d rid­den his Blade around il­le­gally un­til the boys in blue caught him and took him to court and his Honda away from him. The bike was then sold on to a dealer and that’s where my man had pur­chased it, com­plete with its orig­i­nal ID. I paid £800 for it, but de­spite look­ing in a rea­son­able con­di­tion, it had plenty of ev­i­dence of hav­ing had a tough ex­is­tence. The nasty bits were a bodged on car­bon can that mated poorly to the bodged up down­pipes. The body­work was a mix of bat­tered pan­els, but the top fair­ing was pretty tidy. The bike started and ran fine… I tried flip­ping it on within the trade, but the neg­a­tives far out­weighed the lim­ited pos­i­tives. I didn’t even try to ad­ver­tise it com­plete, I knew it would at­tract too many mess-me-abouters and I knew it was worth more in parts. I started by nib­bling away the easy to re­move parts; a bit here and a bit there in be­tween the other things that I do on a daily ba­sis. Imag­ine my sur­prise when I pulled back £75 for the nasty stumpy si­lencer. Next up was £100 for the set of clocks; what helped them sell other than the fact they were in good or­der was that they had a mph speedo, sold not too sur­pris­ingly to a guy with one sport­ing km/h items. With the front brake mas­ter cylin­der, Goodridge

braided lines and fresh look­ing calipers next to be posted off I had by now re­couped just over £300 with­out any se­ri­ous ef­fort. I opted to ping my parts on var­i­ous Face­book sell­ing pages. This al­lows me to of­fer parts cheaper than sell­ing via ebay, sim­ply be­cause there’s zilch fees at­tached. Next up I took the af­ter­mar­ket rear hug­ger off, and also re­moved the fair­ing. The low­ers were pretty poor, and only one fair­ing mid­dle panel was worth ad­ver­tis­ing. The top cowl though was the prize here. Other than a few re­ally light marks on the widest parts it was more than pre­sentable, and ready to fit. Re­mov­ing the head­lamp can of­ten break away the frag­ile mount­ing lugs, but nev­er­the­less us­ing my favourite Phillips screw­driver I set about the task of lib­er­at­ing the lamp. Re­sult! No bro­ken parts, and also with the fox-eye lamp in my hands I could see it hadn’t seen any re­pairs, even bet­ter it was a Uk-spec/ dip­ping item. Back to Face­book with two new ad­verts and within a few hours I had re­cov­ered an­other £250 from my £800 out­lay. I could’ve got more for the top fair­ing with hind­sight, but at £125 I wasn’t be­ing greedy. The head­lamp was push­ing the bound­aries: I have never got £125 for any used head­light be­fore. It wasn’t all good, some parts like the CDI, coils, and reg­u­la­tor failed to get any biters, a pointer to the fact 90s electrics just don’t go wrong, if they do (yup, Honda reg/rec­ti­fiers) there’s no short­age of cheap used parts on­line. Next up was to get the carbs off. The fact they were com­ing from a run­ning bike would add some value: an­other £125 came back within a few days or ad­ver­tis­ing them. I was now in touch­ing dis­tance of re­coup­ing my £800 and I still had a stack of parts to sell. A good look at the rolling chas­sis re­vealed a few flaws. The ill-fit­ting si­lencer had badly gouged the swingarm, the orig­i­nal shock was in poor con­di­tion cos­met­i­cally and the forks had been pol­ished in the past. On the plus side it had tyres that still had the bob­bles on! I had by now got my start­ing money back, and was show­ing a mod­est profit, with other bikes com­ing and go­ing in my garage the Blade got pushed be­hind the shed. We all know that this is never a good thing. Then by chance I had a chat with a fel­low trader who was af­ter some stock and a light bulb ap­peared over my head: “I’ve got a cheapy Blade project!” He ar­rived, took a look and gave me £500! In re­turn I chucked in those manky fair­ing pan­els and kept the fuel tank for my RR-W daily rider! The scores on the doors at the end of the day re­vealed I had re­turned just un­der £700 in profit in my £800 out­lay!

RR-T/VS: great bikes for the money.

Body­work gone but no-one wants that 16in front!

Of­ten the first thing dinged in a spill...

Gouges in the ally re­move £s!

Nor­mally bul­let­proof.

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