Whether you’re a casual collector or a real motorcycle aficionado, you probably turn your head whenever you catch a glimpse of a vintage or classic motorbike. One day, you might even own one yourself. Anything that has gone past the 20-year mark is already considered a bit of an artefact. As such, any vintage bike deserves the utmost care.
It doesn’t matter if you plan on taking the historic bike on a joyride or just have it displayed, proper maintenance is not just an afterthought. Give a vintage bike the treatment it deserves using this essential guide.
1. Do your homework
Before anything else, you will need to learn a lot about the specific make and model you own. Manufacturers set their own standards when it comes to designing and manufacturing their motorcycles, so make sure you do ample research about yours and the features that they were able to roll out. This should give you a good idea on how best to maintain these features and keep your motorbike in tip-top shape.
2. Search for manuals
The most useful resource you can have for fixing or maintaining an old bike is their original manual, if you can find them. If your vintage bike is really vintage, you might have some difficulty tracking one down. However, it’s worth the effort to get one. This should give you all the more reason to search online for manuals that can help you avoid making any costly errors on a vintage beauty.
3. Consider a thorough check-up
You just can’t rely on your gut to know if you’re going the right way in terms of maintaining a vintage bike. When in doubt, you might want to consider bringing the vehicle to someone who has experience working on vintage models. A thorough check up is in order if you’re planning to detect any aesthetic or performance issues worth correcting. Through the right professional, you should be able to save a ton of money and keep your motorbike from further deterioration.
Restorations can be expensive, especially if you’re looking at motorbikes that have been around during the 1950s such as the Ariel Leader or the Moto Guzzi Cardelino. The secret here is effective motorcycle detailing. Consider giving the bike a brand new finish by applying a new coat of wax. You might also want to keep the rims shiny and replace worn out leather with more durable material – all this without sacrificing the overall vintage look and feel of the bike.
5. Know where to get your parts
Much of the challenge to maintaining a vintage bike is knowing where to get parts. Luckily, a quick Google search will yield numerous online stores selling replica parts, if not original ones. Either way, it makes for an easier way to keep the bike in good condition just in case the crankshaft fails or if the brakes have become worn out.
Vintage motorbikes are a beauty to behold, but they are also a mess when it comes down to maintaining them. With these tips in mind, you can rest easy knowing that it’s possible to pamper an oldie but goodie.