Author Topic: 500 lives again  (Read 919 times)

Offline masonmart

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500 lives again
« on: December 18, 2018, 10:18:26 PM »
I bought a project bike  to keep me busy in retirement but, as a complete numpty, I bought the worst possible bike to restore, a big bore 605cc engine in a Dresda lightweight frame which had obviously been binned with damaged casings, bent forks, etc. A completely non-standard bike with mainly no parts available. I had wonderful help from Dave and Russell at Dresda but I abandoned it once the cost had flown past £8k, accelerating and with no end in sight. At that time it looked good but I'd rebuilt the engine and there were things I wasn't sure I'd done OK. I couldn't get the right shell bearing sizes and this may have caused the engine to be hard to turn over, the clutch rod had snapped and it was hard to operate which I think was just heavy springs. I may have also put the wrong O-ring seals on the cylinder studs on the basis that they were all that was left in the kit rather than the correct ones. I've decided to try to finish it now with help from Dresda on the basis of the challenge and that it could also be a tasty bike in the end and pretty special.

The bike has inherent worth in parts especially the Dresda frame, big bore engine, beautiful wheels, new clocks, etc., that is cut my losses and get as much value as I can from the bits at a loss of maybe £4k The other options are to keep on going as a project and get it good which means the current £8k plus maybe £2k to finish it and then what? The other option is to just have it as a permanent project and get nothing back from it. Would appreciate any thoughts on this.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2019, 06:55:41 PM by masonmart »

Offline Bryanj

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Re: My 500 lives again
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2018, 10:42:41 PM »
As they say on mastermind "youve started so you should finish" no project ever returns what it cost so you might as well enjoy it

Offline Moorey

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Re: My 500 lives again
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2018, 10:54:07 PM »
Onwards at the very least you will have something special at the end. Most projects tend to cost far more than is first thought.

Offline Nurse Julie

  • 1973 CB750 UK K2.1977 CB550/4 Mongrel Brat. 1978 CB400/4.
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Re: My 500 lives again
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2018, 11:23:59 PM »
You need to make sure the engine is built correctly and fit for purpose if you decide to carry on. What else would you do with your days........I would see it through to the bitter end.
Im a Nurse, trust me, this won't hurt.....much !!!

LINK TO MY CB400/4 ENGINE STRIP / ASSESSMENT AND REBUILD...NOW COMPLETE
http://www.sohc.co.uk/index.php/topic,14049.msg112691/topicseen.html#new

Offline Johnwebley

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Re: My 500 lives again
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2018, 11:24:58 PM »
We mostly do this for fun.
We know the cost can be horrific. My little 125 YAM cost over  £4k.
So carry on.
When restoring old bikes.the best way to become a millionaire.


Is start with  2 million. And you will soon be down to one

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lifelong motorcycle rider,and fan

Offline masonmart

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Re: My 500 lives again
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2018, 12:23:43 AM »
Thanks guys, I realise there is only one answer.

Offline Laverda120

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Re: My 500 lives again
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2018, 11:07:54 AM »
I built my Triton at Dave's workshop back in the early noughties. It was by far the most expensive bike I have ever built at over £10k. Original estimate was £5.5k but of course the costs just spiral as you have found out and especially when it comes to engine work. When you start a restoration or a build you look at things on the bike prior to striping it down and think 'that will do, it's OK to keep'  but when you have fitted all the new bling the old bits look awful so you buy new to keep the standard up! I built my Triton over three years so at least I was able to spread the cost.
Like most people on here though, we restore and build bikes for the love of doing it and the pride in bringing an old clunker back to life. I've never met anyone who has restored a bike and made any money from doing it (unless it was a Brough, Vincent etc). Now I'm retired I would be bored brainless if I hadn't built my garage to restore bikes and to indulge in my real passion whilst listening to music..... absolute bliss 😊👍.
My advice would be to finish your build and enjoy doing it. Don't think of it as a money pit, you already know it is and you can't go backwards. If you sell it now you'll kick yourself every time you see a restored bike. Dave is a great guy and full of knowledge but keep a lid on the spending.
To quote Winston Churchill, When you think you are going through hell, keep going ✌️.
Good luck and please post some pictures of how it is now and future progress.
1976 Honda 400/4
1977 Honda 400/4
1981 Honda CB250RSA
1977 Rickman Honda CR750
1999 Honda VFR 800FX
1955 750 Dresda Triton
1978 Moto Morini 350 Sport
1982 Laverda 120 Jota
1924 Triumph 550SD
2012 Stanley Battery Drill

Offline Bryanj

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Re: My 500 lives again
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2018, 11:48:57 AM »
I know Horsham is a trek to Gloucester but i would happily redo your engine for just the cost of any bits used as i have done more of these engines than i care to remember.

Offline Moorey

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Re: My 500 lives again
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2018, 02:17:32 PM »
I know Horsham is a trek to Gloucester but i would happily redo your engine for just the cost of any bits used as i have done more of these engines than i care to remember.

Offers certainly don't come any better than that.  :) :)

Offline Nurse Julie

  • 1973 CB750 UK K2.1977 CB550/4 Mongrel Brat. 1978 CB400/4.
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Re: My 500 lives again
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2018, 02:57:47 PM »
I know Horsham is a trek to Gloucester but i would happily redo your engine for just the cost of any bits used as i have done more of these engines than i care to remember.
Blimey, what a lovely offer and gesture Bryan......Stay where you are Bryan, I'm loading the big box trailer up now with all the engines we have here that need building for customers, i will supply all the parts too 😀😀😀😀
Im a Nurse, trust me, this won't hurt.....much !!!

LINK TO MY CB400/4 ENGINE STRIP / ASSESSMENT AND REBUILD...NOW COMPLETE
http://www.sohc.co.uk/index.php/topic,14049.msg112691/topicseen.html#new

Offline matthewmosse

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Re: My 500 lives again
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2018, 03:07:50 PM »
A few ways to go with restorations, one is to bring it right the way to good as new in every detail, I try to keep bikes ( or any other bit of machinery, I've done more lathes than bikes recently ) broadly original and keep the aged look. I vastly prefer the second approach. It gives you an every day useable result and I can actually afford it. In their day my 500/4s and other machines have been about the hardest worked examples of their marque I could find examples of, and boy was it fun, the cb500/4 commuted through 6 inches of snow on the deck, several winters on the Trott, our series 2 landrover ran haybalers and tedders off the rear PTO, got into the landrover magazine on 2 counts, rear pro use very rare, and the engine was about the only regular use example known to the club at that time. No way would I have used a restored example like that on either count. Same with my lathes, everything gets cleaned and oiled, checked and fixed, but the paint is touched up and allowed to mellow back to old looking patina, those old machines attract as much attention at our local classic machinery rally as the fully restored exhibits, even if they feature as non exhibits in the car park.
Got a 500/4 with rust and a sidecar and loadsa bits. nice and original and been round the clock

Offline Bryanj

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Re: My 500 lives again
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2018, 03:48:04 PM »
Julie, as long as they are 500/550 and going into Dresda frames no problem but you have to just nip into Coningsby and borrow me a Merlin27 to play with as well!!!

Offline Nurse Julie

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Re: My 500 lives again
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2018, 03:56:34 PM »
Julie, as long as they are 500/550 and going into Dresda frames no problem but you have to just nip into Coningsby and borrow me a Merlin27 to play with as well!!!
Oh poo, nothing here from a Dresda frame !!!. Anything with a Merlin in it is all tucked up warm, dry and safe for the winter in the hangers Bryan. Plenty of Typhoons etc flying around until tomorrow, then no flying from Coningsby, except for the QRA (quick reaction alerts) till well in to the New Year as all on Holidays.
Im a Nurse, trust me, this won't hurt.....much !!!

LINK TO MY CB400/4 ENGINE STRIP / ASSESSMENT AND REBUILD...NOW COMPLETE
http://www.sohc.co.uk/index.php/topic,14049.msg112691/topicseen.html#new

Offline Bryanj

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Re: My 500 lives again
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2018, 03:59:19 PM »
Masonmart, there are several things that are a normal must fit to an old 500 and with the 605 probably even more important and i dont know if you did. E.G.  primary chain c/w damper rubbers; cam chain and possibly tensioner+cushion; crank seals(others can be done without spliting cases) etc etc. But as i have owned several even twindiscing one in 76 and have at least 6ish in project form to include no 36 again one more engine is an easy add on mate.

Offline masonmart

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Re: My 500 lives again
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2018, 11:07:23 AM »
I built my Triton at Dave's workshop back in the early noughties. It was by far the most expensive bike I have ever built at over £10k. Original estimate was £5.5k but of course the costs just spiral as you have found out and especially when it comes to engine work. When you start a restoration or a build you look at things on the bike prior to striping it down and think 'that will do, it's OK to keep'  but when you have fitted all the new bling the old bits look awful so you buy new to keep the standard up! I built my Triton over three years so at least I was able to spread the cost.
Like most people on here though, we restore and build bikes for the love of doing it and the pride in bringing an old clunker back to life. I've never met anyone who has restored a bike and made any money from doing it (unless it was a Brough, Vincent etc). Now I'm retired I would be bored brainless if I hadn't built my garage to restore bikes and to indulge in my real passion whilst listening to music..... absolute bliss 😊👍.
My advice would be to finish your build and enjoy doing it. Don't think of it as a money pit, you already know it is and you can't go backwards. If you sell it now you'll kick yourself every time you see a restored bike. Dave is a great guy and full of knowledge but keep a lid on the spending.
To quote Winston Churchill, When you think you are going through hell, keep going ✌️.
Good luck and please post some pictures of how it is now and future progress.

You're right of course and thanks for the positivity. This is a picture of where I'd got to before stopping. The rear shocks aren't the final ones.