No limit

10730810_10152461846425922_1438165477758357529_nEveryone knows that buying an old bike and doing all the work yourself is a trap. Sure, you get it cheap and save a lot of money on simple stuff like service and such but unless you’re really good at hardware, you’re in for a treat. For example, let’s say that you have some electrical issues to sort out. A professional might solve that in a few hours while you put 40 hours or more looking at the bike, testing, reading on different sites. That’s a lot of hours… On the other hand, those hours are, at least to me, a way of relaxing and give me far more pleasure than working my day job the same amount of time. 

The other thing that will cost you money is parts. A lot of them. It’s so easy to start thinking that you’re just going to update the levers from really old, rusty ones to new (but cheap) eBay race levers. When that’s done, the old brake cylinder doesn’t really match the look, does it? You might as well replace the clipons with a bar, right? Oh, it looks so much better now but the brake lines don’t fit anymore. A pair of steel bound ones are absolutely necessary. While you’re at it, it’s best to buy a new, cooler looking panel, a new headlight and new turn signals with LED. And so it begins…

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy doing this. At least that’s what I keep telling myself when looking at transaction summary. No, just kidding,  I enjoy this and I like making my bike unique. It’s my own version of motorcycle university where I can do things without worrying too much about the results because the bike wasn’t that expensive to begin with. But sometime the line has to be drawn. There is a limit to how much money you should put into an old bike before you give up and buy a newer one. Thing is, I don’t know where that limit is.

My engine has around 75 000 kilometers on it, but it is a Honda engine with its legendary robustness so with a bit of maintenance I count on getting many more out of it. The power, like 85 bhp, is more than enough, the chassi is pretty ugly but solid as a rock and makes the bike handle like a dream. So in that sense I don’t really need to upgrade. Sure, a newer bike with fuel injection will be smoother, more efficient and so on, but am I really looking for that or for a riding experience?

I am currently thinking of buying either a cheap Chinese instrument cluster from eBay or invest in a more expensive, but probably more well built Acewell to clean up the look of my street fighter build. I already have a Chinese speedometer that shows speed but not exactly the one I’m travelling at. I am also thinking of changing sprockets to gain torque, sacrificing top speed. Not that I need to ride over 200 km/h anyways. It’s like I’m at this crossroads. I either put in a lot more money but get a really cool bike that I’ve created or I buy something closer to that bobber I really dream about. Choices, choices…