Author Topic: Building bikes from bits: what stops us?  (Read 2421 times)

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Offline cardan

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Building bikes from bits: what stops us?
« on: 23 Jan 2013 at 10:12 »

Greetings all,

I was interested to see an early Douglas rolling chassis (c1916) go around a couple of times on eBay without attracting a bid. The remains looked fairly solid, and comprised frame, front fork, wheels and front mudguard, and the opening bid asked was $A999.

Now if this was a TS from the 1920s I can understand why buyers would stay away. There is currently pretty good value in restored vintage Douglases, and buying a running bike is a pretty good option.

But here in Australia (where the bike was advertised), the 1916 model has a significant advantage over the post-WW1 TS. Our veteran era runs up to 1918 (compared with 1914 in the UK), so a 1916 Douglas is a "veteran". OK - performance- and fun-wise there's not much difference between a 1916 model and a TS, but we have National Veteran Rallies every two years and a Douglas is an ideal way to participate. I'd guess a restored veteran Douglas is worth significantly more than a restored TS.

So back to the rolling chassis. Based on ebay prices for the different parts - forks and the two wheels would likely top $999 - the price wasn't too high. Add to that the fact that the frame, fork, wheels and guard likely come from the same motorcycle. Should we, as a group of motorcycle enthusiasts, be restoring bikes from starts like this?

What do people think? Too hard? Too expensive? Too much time wasted? Not enough parts left? Not enough expert help available? Or would it be good fun to collect the missing bits and bring another Douglas back to life?