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It’s incredibly rewarding to restore a motorcycle. It’s a project that only a few dare to embark on which is unfortunate because it’s a lot more simple than people would expect. It’s possible to wonder how long it will take to finish such a project if you decide to go ahead with it. I’ve been able to add up the time it has taken me to restore my project motorcycles.
What is the average time it takes to repair a motorcycle? With some experience, expect it to take 300 – 350 hours or about 3 months to restore a motorcycle which includes a few hours every day plus most of the day on Saturdays. For those with no experience, it will take 400-450hrs or about five months. That includes a few hours each day plus most of Saturdays.
It is important to think about how much time it takes for a motorcycle to be restored. If you don’t spend a few hours each day on your project, it will take longer. I’ve learned several ways about how to manage my time wisely and have amazing outcomes with my motorcycles.
How to Optimize Your Time while Restoring a Motorbike
Your time is precious and you probably want to make sure you don’t waste any time while restoring your motorcycle. It’s really easy to waste time on a project like this, especially when you don’t know what to do next. A lot of that wasted time is just sitting there thinking, we’re here to help you save that precious time!
It is important to keep track of your time and create a to-do/to-do list each week. Maybe you could take a look at your motorcycle on Sunday evenings or during lunch breaks and list the things you would like to achieve that week.
Consider your daily list and continue adding to it throughout the day. Don’t forget to include more than you think you can do in a week. That way if you do get everything done that you hoped to do you won’t be sitting around wondering what to do next. Instead of going to multiple stores, make a list of the things you need and then buy them all together.
Make a picture of how you would like your motorcycle to look. The picture can be mounted on your garage wall, on the bathroom mirror, on your nightstand or as your phone background. This will help you to remember your goal and motivate you.
You should take many pictures when disassembling your motorcycle. Label wires and place bolts in baggies. This will save you a lot of time later. There’s nothing more frustrating than when you’re putting your motorcycle back together and have no idea where parts go.
A friend of mine bought a motorcycle for $1,000. He took it apart without taking photos or labeling the wires and became so frustrated that he sold it all to me for $200. It was finished and I sold it for $5,000.
Keep your tools clean and organized. When you’re done working on your motorcycle for the day, save yourself the headache and place your tools in their designated spots, and clean them while you’re at it. They may appear to be convenient, saving you time. However, if your kids want to move the tools around or your roommate needs a tool, it could prove costly. “borrows” You will never see it again. Here are my top recommendations for motorcycle restoration tools.
Talk to your family members and other household members about how much time you intend to spend on your motorcycle. You should declare that you will use the garage or driveway at a specific time. Assuming these household members are respectful, you won’t run into any troubles with claiming space to work in.
Communicate to your spouse or partner that you’ll be working in the garage for certain hours, and then stick to those hours and not more. That way they won’t get frustrated with the time you’re spending away from them (speaking from experience here).
Register for online forums that are specific to your motorcycle. It is a great place to look at what people are discussing, common issues, and how they have fixed them. This gives you a trusted platform that you can refer to for help and answers. It is possible that there are other owners in your area who would be willing to assist you with your project.
You can find more useful tips to restore a motorcycle that will help you save time in my article here.
A video series has been created that shows you how to fix a motorcycle from the beginning to the end. Within this series includes hard to tackle components such as carb rebuilds, body work, and electrical as well as tips and tricks you won’t find anywhere else online. Click here for more information if you’re interested in rebuilding your dream motorcycle!
How to Get Out of a rut
If you are working on a project motorcycle, there will be times you’ll get stuck and not know what to do next and/or not know how to solve an issue with the motorcycle. Don’t lose hope just yet. This happens to every motorcycle restorer. Before you take your motorcycle to a mechanic, there are some things you can do.
There are many resources on the internet that can help you fix your bike. YouTube is a great place to get hands-on tips and fixes. You can find forums that are specific to your motorcycle, as well. The internet was the first thing I used to help me restore my first motorcycle. It is also what I use for all of my current projects. It’s possible to find surprising answers by doing a little research.
You can call a friend to come look at the bike. They don’t necessarily need to be mechanically inclined (though it may help if they are). Talk to them about the issue you’re having with the motorcycle and why you are stuck. Often times when you’re talking it out to an actual person, it gives you a different perspective and can help you find a possible solution.
Sometimes, a mechanic shop can offer solutions by calling you. Explain to them what you’re stuck with. Motorcycle enthusiasts have a tendency to support each other in tough situations. If you’re lucky, you might talk to a motorcycle enthusiast and get his/her opinion about the issue.
If you’ve tried all of these and still can’t seem to find the solution to the problem you’re having on your motorcycle restoration, you’ll need to take it to a mechanic. It’s best to do it slowly. Get a professional to diagnose it. If you are able to fix it yourself, If you are unable to do it yourself, ask them if they can help. If it’s still over your head, have them fix it for you. Many shops and mechanics will offer a free diagnosis.
What problems require a professional?
Don’t feel too bad when you have to take your motorcycle to a mechanic. I’ve had to take all of my motorcycles to a mechanic for one reason or another. You will most likely take your motorcycle in at minimum once.
There are a few things that need to be done to a motorcycle when you’re restoring it that require specialty tools that you probably don’t have. These include replacing tire mounts and head gaskets, valve replacements as well as engine rebuilds, front fork rebuilds and installing electronic ignitions. Sometimes the specialty tools are so expensive that it isn’t economical to buy them and do the work yourself, just take it in.
There are other problems that you shouldn’t get yourself into unless you absolutely know what you’re doing (but chances are if you’re reading this, you probably don’t know exactly what you’re doing).
These problems can include replacing pistons or piston rings, replacing valves or any other aspect of an engine rebuild.
Without the proper knowledge and experience, it is possible to damage your engine or move the wrong part. Seek professional help on your motorcycle when it’s appropriate.
How Much Will It Cost to Repair a Motorcycle
Now that you have an idea of the time it’ll take to restore a motorcycle, you’re probably wondering how much money you’ll need to complete the project. It’s always a good idea to know how you will be funding your project and where the money is coming from.
If you plan to do the upgrades and rebuild yourself, expect to spend $700 – $1,000 in addition to the purchase of your motorcycle. I’ve restored over a dozen motorcycles and this is the average I’ve spent on all of mine. Here are my top motorcycle upgrades.
If you’re restoring a motorcycle, chances are it’s an older bike. Older motorcycles are cheaper to repair and easier to find parts online. It’s so much fun to ride up on a motorcycle that looks new. People are often surprised when you tell them what year it is. “1969”. For more information on the cost of restoring a motorcycle, see my article here.
Can you finance a motorcycle? There are many ways to finance a motorcycle. There are three options for financing a motorcycle: a bank loan and a dealer loan. You will need to meet certain conditions such as your age and mileage. If you are looking to purchase an old motorcycle that doesn’t meet the bank’s standards, you may be able to use money from a personal loan.
Which is the best season to buy a motorcycle in? From the autumn/autumn into early winter, it is the best time of year to purchase a bike. This is true for both private sellers and dealerships. Private sellers want their summer toys back and dealerships need to make sales during slow months.