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Thread: Present Availability Of OLD Single Cylinder Engines?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Headingley Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    427

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    Quote Originally Posted by exeric View Post
    Jack, I believe a pre-'20 single is the way to go as twins are often twice the headache. Unfortunately, when twins became more popular (circa 1911) the singles became less popular. Even worse (for a collector) pre-1918 singles (last year for H-D 30.50" single) can be very pricey, and get exponentially more expense the earlier you go. I think John gave good advice about early Triumph, and British singles as they are generally less expensive than American bikes, but truly beautifully built machines.
    Eric, don't forget that HD made a limited amount of 30.50's from 1930 until 1934. I have a 30 and a 34 and they are easily forgotten. I agree with the Indian single as everything is easily available. However even though the numbers were over 30,00 say in 1913, only 10% were singles.
    Ross

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
    Posts
    3,804

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    Harley's 1930s vintage 30.50" singles were very good looking bikes, but they are rather scarce. The only ones I've come across, that were reasonably priced, were also incomplete and looking to be missing the rarest parts. . . . But, what isn't rare these days?
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Blighty
    Posts
    237

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    This obviously depends on a few variables such as how deep your pockets are and if you have your heart set on a particular marque or if you only want American iron but I was looking at some recent auction results and saw this:

    https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/24877/lot/409/

    This is an absolute bargain. In fact if I could go back in time a couple of weeks I would have bought it. It goes to show though that you can get a decent pre 1920 bike for not too much if you don't mind it needing a bit of work. (and I mean a bit, it doesn't look too bad to me). OK you are on the other side of the pond to this one but there must be similar stuff coming up in the USA.

    By way of comparison here is another one (although a bit older one) currently for sale. OK the year (pre-1915 makes the second one worth more but I am not sure that it makes it 3 times the cost.

    http://www.andybuysbikes.com/bikeshtml/6799bsa.html#

    John
    Last edited by TechNoir; 09-11-2018 at 01:42 PM.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Florida Between Weeki Wachee & Saint Petersburg
    Posts
    75

    Thumbs up

    TechNoir and friends,

    These sure are beauties, and as has been pointed out,
    the '18 is at a very, very attractive price!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Jack

  5. #15
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    NH
    Posts
    443

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    Jack-

    My only advice is to buy complete bike. Forget the price. If you start with even a HD or Indian engine, your search for the rest is a challenge. For other marques, very, very difficult.

    And there is so little out there, you can pout off for a cheaper one and never find it. If you want an early single to ride, get a complete one. Even if you have to restore , you will have it all. The frame, forks, linkages, controls, smalls, etc will take time to acquire or make.
    Dan Margolien
    Yankee Chapter National Meet August 3/4 2018 NEW LOCATION at the TERRYVILLE FAIRGROUNDS, Terryville CT http://www.bing.com/local?lid=YN873x...ir&FORM=SNAPST
    Yankeechapter.org
    pocketvalve@gmail.com
    JD enthusiasts: http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/harleyjd/

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
    Posts
    3,804

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    Jack, Dan Margolein gives excellent advice. I have done many bikes that started with minimum content, but maximum headaches. I do enjoy the process, and have discovered that persistence, money, and patience will see you to a conclusion; but why go through that grief? I recently bought a 1966 Honda, Black Bomber, which is a bike I have been lusting after. I was fortunate to find one that is absolutely complete, albeit, rough, and neglected. The fact that all those weird little bits are there has made a positive experience of this project because I am not at all familiar with Hondas, and being able to see the actual part (damaged as it may be), and where it goes will save me money, and wasted time.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Florida Between Weeki Wachee & Saint Petersburg
    Posts
    75

    Lightbulb

    Dan & Eric,

    There is no doubt that your thoughts on acquiring a complete example, to
    have the best start in the process of ownership, would be the smoothest road!
    Jack

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