3 Things You Must Need When Owning A Classic British Motorcycle

When it comes to classic motorcycles, vintage British motorcycles are by far the most popular and sought after motorcycles by collectors and enthusiasts alike. Although they are the most sought after, they are sometimes not the most "user friendly" and affordable depending on your mechanical and financial state. Vintage British motorcycles can be complicated at times so we put this top 3 list of things you will need when owning a vintage British motorcycle. You will find that all 3 are intertwined together.


Money Vector

#1 Money

-Keeping an old Triumph, BSA, or any vintage British motorcycle on the road requires parts and maintenance. Old British motorcycles retain there value very well, but many do not realize that parts and maintenance can be very expensive. Without funds or money, your project can be on stall.
-For those attempting a rebuild on a "budget", you may want to reconsider your strategy. Yes everyone wants to save money, but saving money does not mean you have to skimp out on quality parts and components. As we all know, high quality parts can be expensive, if you want to do it right (the first time) you have to invest in the best parts.


#2 Patience

-You can have all the money in the world but if you do not have patience then your better off riding a modern bike. British motorcycles require a lot of attention periodically such as carb tweaking, tuning, various adjustments, etc.
-Depending on what year and model you have, some parts can be very difficult to locate. Its not uncommon to have a project on hold while you search for a part. Some restorations can take years to complete, Ive seen it and know that first hand.
-Spending the time researching and reading on parts and the mechanical side of things also play a big role. Ever since the doors closed at the factory, history and information have slowly been diminished over time. Often times you can't find all the answers in a workshop manual or book. 





#3 Tools

-Having the proper tools is a via when owning a Classic British motorcycle, regardless if you have a mechanic that does your work. At some point, you will have to work on the bike yourself. British bikes have MANY different thread forms and fasteners. You could find CEI, Whitworth, American, Metric, British Standard, BSF, BSW, BA, and plenty more all on one bike!
-For the DIY guys and gals, invest in the correct tools even if you decide that 1 vintage British motorcycle is enough for you. It makes the job a lot cleaner, easier, and faster when you have the correct tools handy.


  • JC

    I thought of one to add to the list of “must haves.” You must have one or more relatively convenient local experts on your brand & model of classic British bike – unless you happen to be that expert for your local area. Even then, knowing other local experts to cross-reference questions, solutions, tips, etc. is invaluable. No book or manual will have all the answers to what often goes wrong with a classic British motorcycle, and the local experts usually also have direct experience with various parts suppliers (both good and not so good) and brands of replacement parts.

  • Larry McDonald


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