Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 23

Thread: Where to begin?

Hybrid View

Previous Post Previous Post   Next Post Next Post
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    13

    Default Where to begin?

    Hello everyone, I am 26 and recently became very interested in the antique motorcycle world. I have been into old cars for a while, and love using them out in the world. I drove my 1930 Model A from California to Texas last year (was on my way moving to Tennessee but got in a bad accident in Austin.) Anyway, I am about to jump into the market and try to build up a bike, and even though I've looked at a million pictures of bikes I love, I'm not sure what type of power plant I should start with. I'd like something relatively cheap, with a good amount of available old/new parts, and I don't mind the idea of starting with just an engine. In fact, I'd prefer to build the frame and tank, as it would be a fun project for me. Any ideas of which direction I should go for finding a good power plant to start with? I would prefer something chain drive, and even though I think the twins look amazing, I'm sure a single would be the more economical way to go. Thanks in advance, I look forward to any input!

    -Sean in Tennessee

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Lamoille County, Vermont
    Posts
    1,147

    Default

    Great 'first' antique bike is a Harley W-model 45. Flathead parts are plentiful, inexpensive, simple to work on... and the bikes are really pretty gorgeous when all done!

    But long ago, a friend of mine gave me good advice when buying old cars or bikes... or starting on restorations: Buy something that appeals to you... buy something that is beautiful to you. Because you can fix anything but ugly...

    Cheers and best of luck. You will find a lot of great help and advice here. And a lot of enablers ;-)

    Sirhr

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    154

    Default

    I would suggest you take a trip down to Barber Vintage Days next month. You can see the museum and vintage days and get a idea of what is out there and it is only a few hours south of you. There staff is on hand and the people who do restorations there to also answer questions. You can also go into the shop areas.
    Jim D

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    St. Paul Minnesota
    Posts
    31

    Default

    Are you thinking you'll try to replicate the frame/tank from whatever engine you find? Or just going to create your own style? I'm new to the Antique motorcycles other than the 70's and 80's Japanese bikes (if you can call them "Antiques" that is). I look forward to seeing your project.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    England
    Posts
    1,298

    Default

    Don't knock those Japanese bikes. There are a lot of them out there and they are an inexpensive way to get into the old bike hobby. Having said that, the Harley 45 is a common starting point for antiques and many members' first old bike. There are G motors out there from Servicars which would probably be the lowest cost entry point. There are a couple of long 'build' threads on this forum showing what you might be getting into in terms of practicality. And don't forget Wheels Through Time museum in Maggie Valley NC if you really need to be inspired!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    S.E.N.Y. State American side of Hudson River
    Posts
    473

    Default

    We have an event here in Northwest N.J. that is called "Strange Days". Most of the attendees are in their 20s and early 30s. What they accomplish with minimal investment is amazing. They use anything they can get their hands on. Yamaha 650 twins seem to be a very sought after powerplant. Triumphs, Nortons, BSAs, Hondas, really anything that is economical and they can get their hands on to start with. You can look up them online and see what they do. It shows you there is a lot of talent out there that is untapped or unknown to us. It reminds me of when Panheads were a couple hundred bucks.
    D. A. Bagin #3166 AKA Panheadzz 440 48chief W/sidecar 57fl 57flh 58fl 66m-50 68flh 70xlh

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    St. Paul Minnesota
    Posts
    31

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Motorbikebruno View Post
    Are you thinking you'll try to replicate the frame/tank from whatever engine you find? Or just going to create your own style? I'm new to the Antique motorcycles other than the 70's and 80's Japanese bikes (if you can call them "Antiques" that is). I look forward to seeing your project.
    Whoa gents, settle down. I ONLY own Japanese bikes due to the fact that I can afford them and customize them or bring them back to original without breaking the bank. I think you are taking my comment negatively. I was simply implying that I don't consider them Antiques, since I fix them every day for people. You can see some on my facebook page if you'd like (just had a nice CB750 with original orange come in, and then a 74' CB750 chop from back in the day!) www.facebook.com/motorbikebrunos I really didn't mean to ruffle any feathers with the comment.

    With all of that said, I too have been lusting for something I consider Antique and pre 1960, so I'm very interested in the original poster's request and project. I can't wait to see what you find OnlyBackRoads!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    13

    Default

    Thanks for the replies guys! I started looking into the Harley 45's and they look like they'd be really fun bikes.

    I definitely plan to go down to the Barber Vintage event, I don't if I will be able to keep from drooling in public though...

    This post was specifically for information on a good antique engine to use in terms of parts availability, although I am severely attracted to bikes from the late teens and early twenties (particularly the Indian PowerPlus.) I figured I'd buy an engine/transmission, and build my own frame and tank around it. I'd like something all original but it seemed like getting just the power plant would be best to start with money-wise. Plus I really like making frames and tanks.

    One thing I plan to do is take a Honda 125 engine and build a teens/twenties loop style frame around it, and ride it across the country. Eventually I'd like to do the Cannonball run, but I need to get a lot more experience and expendable income for the real pre-16 (or 17?) stuff.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Georgetown TX
    Posts
    196

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Onlybackroads View Post
    Hello everyone, I am 26 and recently became very interested in the antique motorcycle world.

    -Sean in Tennessee
    Welcome Sean...
    You are gust of fresh air on this Forum! I doubt anyone in the 11,000 members of the AMCA would not tell you that in the earliest years of their entering the sport, we all started out with whatever parts we could afford and built our own motorcycle from there. I suggest you Google "Hand Built Show, and also Revival Cycles", both of Austin TX. Last year in it's second year over 20,000+ people your age attended this show. On display were 75+ "hand built" motorcycles built by younger 20/30-something aged enthusiasts. Every imaginable power plant, front end, frame, and format imaginable was on display. Might help you get inspired? Get back on this Forum whenever you need assistance. There is a wealth of knowledge, experience and we older enthusiasts do know where the piles of parts are. I also encourage you to contact The Confederate Chapter of the AMCA in TN. For probably $15 0r $20 you can join their Chapter and meet many members near you who will help your cause. The Cherokee Chapter of the AMCA here in TX/OK have a large number of 20/30-something aged members that we constantly help get into the sport.
    Last edited by stevekleincustom; 09-17-2015 at 10:49 AM. Reason: Fat Finger Typo's
    Steve Klein
    Collector . Conservator . Enthusiast
    American Pre-teens - 1965
    AMCA Member 12176
    Cherokee Chapter President, Editor
    www.CherokeeAMCA.org
    Steve@SteveKlein.com
    Georgetown, TX USA

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    13

    Default

    Steve, I'm not sure if I met you or not at the Pate swap meet this year, but I was the guy dressed up in 20's clothes pushing around a tribute Harley motorized bike that I built and was selling. That was a great show you guys put on!

    As for the flathead V8 you guys were talking about, I saw one of those bikes at the Coker museum in Chattanooga, amazing!

    I just recently joined the Music City chapter in Nashville, but I had to leave for a month as soon as I joined so I have yet to get to know folks in the club. Can't wait to get home at the end of this month and head down to Barber!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •