Jon likes to spend his winters hibernating in the garage (or erm, kitchen) restoring an old shitter...
Rebuilding a wreck is a voyage of discovery. It can be a rocky journey, but the rewards are worth the suffering. Even if you abandon the whole thing and are left with a pile of rusty parts you will have learned more about how your bike works than you ever knew before.
Selecting a suitable project bike is easy. Get something that interests you and that you would love to have in your garage for the rest of your life. You will spend more than the bike is worth, so selling it after doesn't make sense.
Good starter project bikes are the classic RDs, air or liquid cooled, old scooters such as Lambrettas or Vespas or how about an X7? They are all basic machines with simple motors and lots of specialists still selling bits as well as scrap yards.
The best route to finding your bike is a mate of a mate who has one in the back of his garage, which hasn't moved for umpteen years. Offer him a pittance to take it off his hands. I got my RD350 Ratbike like this, for £200! Failing that try eBay, look in the back of papers or call a few breakers. Don't rush out and buy the first one, it's a longterm project.
A running bike that is really tatty is the best buy. At least you know it should run when you've finished. Don't worry about paintwork or dents in the tank, you'll be getting it repainted. But if possible make sure the plastics are all there. In old bikes plastic panels are a nightmare to get hold of, and expensive. The motor's electrics are a bastard to sort out so check for a spark.
Continue the winter bike project guide
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