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skunkbait 02-23-2014 06:25 AM

Revive an old Bike
How to Revive an Old Motorcycle: Save Money on Gas/Fuel! Cheap Ride!

This link is to a piece I did a few years ago for It is very basic, but makes for a good starting place for those who are new to wrenching on two-wheelers. It is certainly not specific to fuel economy (as a couple of bikes in the pictures are horribly inneficient), but it shows that just about any literate person can rescue an unwanted motorbike, and save a few bucks at the same time.

user removed 02-23-2014 09:01 AM

I've done a few and I'm always looking for another. My last and best purchase was a 2004 Suzuki GN250 for $650 and it needed nothing other than cosmetic repairs. Getting an old bike running and rideable can be cheap. Bringing an old bike up to safe operating conditions can get expensive. I have an 89 Suzuki GS500E in my garage that needs tires, a chain and sprockets. I've ridden it 1000 miles but the tires are 17 years old and the GZ250 is my keeper.


skunkbait 02-24-2014 01:24 AM

Good point Old Mechanic! It's fine to put around on a clunker, but if you want to ride in traffic, or at highway speeds, safety is a greater issue. Decent tires and brakes are a must at 65 mph.

I wouldn't endorse this kind of behaviour, but I had a cousin who rode a bike for a couple years with dry rotting tires, no brakes, no lights, no clutch lever, and a truck battery on the back rack (because his charging system was shot). It worked fine on country back roads, but stop and go traffic situations were a little more difficult

beatr911 02-24-2014 02:25 PM

Evaluating the bike properly during shopping is crucial.

Learning how to do the work on the most common expenses like tires, chain/sprockets and cleansing the fuel system will save the most money. Thrifty online shopping saves the next most.

It's not for everyone, and it takes work to find an owner that is not too proud of the bike. For those persistent enough, have great deal making skills, and mechanical ability it can be a source of profit and save alot of bikes from the recycle heap.

I finally found a neglected, forlorn Chinese (unpronouceable name) 250 V-twin cloned from the Yamaha Virago 250. Advertised for $500, it ended up with several more minor issues when I looked at it. Costing out the issues to him I wound up spending $160 for the bike, three days of work and $85 dollars on parts to get it rideable.

It's not pretty but it now rides very well. While not aesthetically or mechanically perfect, it is safe and carries my butt to work and back reliably and cheaply, yes, even on the freeway.

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