Top 4 Motorcycle Restoration Tips

Restoring a motorcycle can be a long process that demands dedication, precision and organization, along with basic mechanical skills. Whether this is your first restoration project or you are an old pro, there are certain aspects of the process that make things go easier. Doing things the wrong way during a motorcycle restoration project can lead to lost parts, longer time to completion and increased stress and frustration.

Here are the top 4 motorcycle restoration tips that you can follow to ensure that the project won’t be overwhelming and you’ll be riding a newly restored motorcycle in no time.

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Tip #1. Do the Research

You’ll need to gather all the information possible about the make and model of the motorcycle you’ve chosen to restore. Know what parts you’ll need to order as well as the best places to get them. For hard-to-find parts, do the research on viable alternatives. Websites are a good resource, as are motorcycle restoration forums and blogs that specialize in identifying and locating parts for classic bikes. If you can’t find the actual parts you need, it’s important to have a good idea about alternate parts

 Tip #2. Prepare your workspace

Make sure the place you’ve set up has plenty of space for you to work when disassembling and then reassembling the motorcycle. The space should have a large, solid floor and adequate ventilation and lighting. To protect the surface from oil, put down thick drop cloths or at least a pan, to catch drips. Your space should also have plenty of high-quality tools and a way to safely organize and store them. If your workspace is in a common area, like a driveway or parking lot, make sure you can gather everything up and secure it so others won’t disturb things.

Tip #3. Part storage and organization

As you disassemble the bike, it won’t take long before the whole space is filled with parts that you won’t remember exactly where they go. The potential for parts to go missing is higher if the space is being used for other things. Keep a digital camera handy to you can snap pictures of parts in place and disassembled, for later use to remind you of how thing were set up originally. It’s also a good idea to bag loose parts and label the bags to reduce frustration during reassembly.

Tip #4. Learn the Tricks from the Experts

There are dozens of tricks and money-saving things you can do to your motorcycle when restoring it and if you don’t learn from the experts, you’ll waste time and money. Examples of money-saving tips include rubbing petroleum jelly on faded plastic to restore its look and feel and taking rust off with a rag soaked in WD-40 and steel wool. Oven cleaner works well to get burned-on rubber or nylon off of the exhaust pipe.

Restoring a motorcycle is definitely achievable by the average mechanic with basic tools, and the rewards and benefits are enormous. Whether you’re restoring the motorcycle for someone else or you’re going to keep it for yourself as a labor of love, there are few things more thrilling than riding on a motorcycle that you’ve restored to reflect your personality and give you the freedom to ride.

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