View Full Version : 32 Flathead RL
07-11-2003, 12:46 AM
I am new to your forum.
I have come across a 1932 Flathead model RL which has been in a barn for apx. 45 years. My nephew says it has all original parts and runs. My question is, what is this bike worth ? It needs some minor work to make it safe to ride. The guy wants $ 5,000 for the bike.
Should I buy it ? Am I a fool not to, as I understand it would cost around 10-15,000 to restore. I might be interested in offers.
07-11-2003, 11:13 AM
Buy it - join the club - have some fun! Keep origional paint/parts.
07-11-2003, 12:03 PM
Thanks for the input, but I really need to know if I am spending too much for this bike. I really need this input to convince my wife.
07-11-2003, 04:32 PM
It is very difficult to make assessments sight unseen. Have you ever done a flat head (H-D) restoration before? If not -pass it on. Money well spent to get it done properly.
I believe this is a total oil loss engine. Can you live with that? Some guys don't like it when riding. You could rebuild the engine, ride it, and worry about the cosmetic stuff later. This would show progress.
Anyone else have some comments? Carl? Cotton? A mechanical perspective?
Some photos would be nice. Was it tarped? Sitting up-right? Half buried?
07-11-2003, 05:59 PM
Tough bike to restore if it is "Not all there" 1st year RL some very unique parts to it. price is right if there if paper (title) is there. Be careful and do your research as to what the bike is supposed to be about barns can be moist and usually what comes out can be pretty rotten, (not only the bike but the story behind it) can you get pictures of it? they would help all of us. If it is the real deal, and you have trouble convincing your wife, mine won't care! email me at email@example.com
07-12-2003, 01:33 AM
Thanks for all of the input. The bike was given to to my nephews friend by the family after both the mother and father died. My nephews friend was told by the s he could have anything in the barn. Now the bike is only 2 minutes from my house in the guys garage. The bike is pretty dusty and dirty, but I think a degrease and wash job would clean it up quite a bit. The gas tank is red, it has a leather cowl / covering on the front of the bike which is fairly deteriorated. I think the bike had a windshield, due to the frame with no glass. The headlight has a crack but still is funtional according to my nephew. The bike was in a barn in Hollitster, CA. It gets pretty hot there if you know where I am talking about. I don't know at this time if the bike was covered up with a tarp. I will ask the guy.
Is 5,000 dollars too much to pay for this year ? I want to make the bike functional and safe to ride around locally, but do not have the time to restore.
Once again, all and any input would be very welcome.
Almost forgot, there may also be a Panhead somewhere in the barn too. I might be willling to trade this bike if I purchased it for a vintage Pan.
07-14-2003, 12:41 AM
Go and negotiate a price you feel comfortable with. You will be VERY happy with your purchase. Yes -restoration costs money. It can be done at many different levels of quality, which are reflective of price.
A left and right side shot would be nice. Can you email me something? I'll post it for you. Then we can get down to the nitty-gritty and other folks can jump in with comments.
07-14-2003, 09:46 AM
Place an ad in Walneck's. Try sell the machine before you buy it, as described, for 6 grand. See if you get any calls. Are you going to ride the machine or buy it as an investment? The WL owners and "wanters" pool is not as deep as the Pan pool. You mentioned Hollister, so you must be from Calif. You might be able to putt around the Ventura County back roads, but forget about riding a 45 on the freeway. A 45 won't push against a headwind. You will never get the "King of The Highway" feel from a 45. Find out the year of that Pan. If it's a '58 or '59, your better off wranglin' for that one and leave the 45 for a 45 fan. You'd get 5 or 9 grand invested in it, which would be OK, except if it didn't sell you'd be stuck with a back road rider, that would soon enough leave you wanting for more horsepower.
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