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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not sure about the time and place to start this and I'm pretty certain there's a thread about this somewhere...

I've always loved old Hondas. It's been one of my many dreams to own one and finally the oportunity came.

Wich one...? Has to be a 2 cylinder, because if anything goes wrong, to rebuild 2 is cheaper than to rebuikd 4. By chance and without knowing anything about this specific model, I ended up f... up and buying a too expensive 1978 CB500T off the UK ebay. Engine seized, not bad frame, electrics and chrome but the engine was full of water for over 20 years.

Now the question comes: How reasonable is it to spend hard earned money on a dream that's not going to be worth 1/3 when it's finished...?

Bikes and bits in Europe are a lot more expensive than the US, and here in the UK things are not as bad as in other parts of Europe, but that has a lot to do with currency.

I've spent the last 3 months trying to get the bike ridable to enjoy at least 1 week of dry riding ( here "sometimes" rains) and I've spent so far the equivalent to 3000$ BECAUSE most parts I needed are not available anymore, so I had to buy 1 more engine and 2 complete bikes... Yes, I know :geek: it's not worth half that, now.

So where is the border between reasonable and stupid , in this specific case?
 

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For the Prince of Siam, 3000 in any currency is probably not a problem. For the greeter at your local Walmart (sorry, whatever the local department store is in your neighborhood) it may be a bit much.

Neither really matters as the only party with a vote is you. If you acquired or created something you're pleased with then it was probably worth it, if nothing else, then for the education you got along the way.

Enjoy.
 

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If I had a million dollars
(If I had a million dollars)
I'd buy you a house
(I would buy you a house)
If I had a million dollars
(If I had a million dollars)
I'd buy you furniture for your house
(Maybe a nice chesterfield or an ottoman)
And if I had a million dollars
(If I had a million dollars)
Well, I'd buy you a K-Car
(A nice Reliant automobile)
If I had a million dollars I'd buy your love

If I had a million dollars
I'd build a tree fort in our yard
If I had million dollars
You could help, it wouldn't be that hard
If I had million dollars
Maybe we could put like a little tiny fridge in there somewhere
You know, we could just go up there and hang out
Like open the fridge and stuff
There would already be laid out foods for us
Like little pre-wrapped sausages and things

They have pre-wrapped sausages but they don't have pre-wrapped bacon
Well, can you blame 'em
Uh, yeah

If I had a million dollars
(If I had a million dollars)
Well, I'd buy you a fur coat
(But not a real fur coat that's cruel)
And if I had a million dollars
(If I had a million dollars)
Well, I'd buy you an exotic pet
(Yep, like a llama or an emu)
And if I had a million dollars
(If I had a a million dollars)
Well, I'd buy you John Merrick's remains
(Ooh, all them crazy elephant bones)
And If I had a million dollars I'd buy your love

If I had a million dollars
We wouldn't have to walk to the store
If I had a million dollars
Now, we'd take a limousine 'cause it costs more
If I had a million dollars
We wouldn't have to eat Kraft Dinner
But we would eat Kraft Dinner
Of course we would, we’d just eat more
And buy really expensive ketchups with it
That’s right, all the fanciest ke... dijon ketchups!
Mmmmmm, Mmmm-Hmmm

If I had a million dollars
(If I had a million dollars)
Well, I'd buy you a green dress
(But not a real green dress, that's cruel)
And if I had a million dollars
(If I had a million dollars)
Well, I'd buy you some art
(A Picasso or a Garfunkel)
If I had a million dollars
(If I had a million dollars)
Well, I'd buy you a monkey
(Haven't you always wanted a monkey)

If I had a million dollars
I’d buy your love

If I had a million dollars, If I had a million dollars
If I had a million dollars, If I had a million dollars
If I had a million dollars
I'd be rich
 

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My bike cost $400 to buy. I spent $500 on parts, and need some more. It will be worth more than its retail value once I get it back on the road (to me at least)
 

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Hmmm so far I have spent:
1200 for the bike
Bout 500 on parts
So far 120 on outsourcing labor
Still more to do but mostly I have all I need to finish. Now I just need time and some cooler weather!!
 

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I cut and pasted what I littered Aarons project tread with:

I am actually scared of summing up what I've put into my 450. I still have all reciepts in a pile on my desk. I got my bike with an MOT for $1700 (they are more expensive here in Europe) and was planning to put in another $500 and a lot of work to have a reliable and good looking bike to enjoy this summer. If I make a fast estimation in my head the bike has so far cost me over $3500 and I know if I sum up all the reciepts it will be even more.

The reason I bought this bike was that the PO told me that the engine was rebuilt and it ran and sounded really good. When the head gasket blew last fall and I opened it up I got a shock.
It was totally worn out so I'm in way over my head on this one. I've now got a really good looking chassi standing out in the yard and an engine in bits with a broken crank in the basment.

But hey, when you are in the middle of the Atlantic ocean you can't stop swimming.

/Ronny

EDIT:
I must point out that despite these problems I absolutely love my 450. I'ts kind of like an abusive relationship. She hurts me and I always seams come back for more.
 

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I think I'm around $700 into it, but not sure. Thought it might be a good time to do the numbers. I started with a $500 budget, but I know I've gone over that. This doesn't include any manuals, wiring diagrams, tools, cans of paint, or penetrates(wd-40's, pb blaster's) that I've had to buy and will have to buy as I go.

I started off with a 1981 Suzuki GS450 with a seized engine, that I was about to chop, but was approached with a trade for a 1968-9 cl450. Needless to say I traded him!

Project 1968-9 CL450 Bike, Missing frontend, but runs. Local Traded a seized gs4500 & $100
1973 CB Disc brake, Forks and trees. From a Honda salvage yard here locally$100
1972 CB750 19'' front wheel. ebay $40 extra and for sale
1970 CB 450 front axle. ebay$15 extra and for sale
1976 CB750 parts bike with title. Craigslist Local$80, used the forks, front wheel, front rear tires(metzler), speedo, rear disc brake master cylinder and mounting bracket on my build, and sold the frame/ title for $50 and the Rear rotor, hub, and sprocket for $40 so I made $10 on the deal.
New Bronze swing arm bushings CPX$38
New Grips, bar ends Local Bike Shop$25
Net stock petcock from Honda $50
New shock nutz & bolts and Lock nut for pivot bolt. Local $6
2 Used K&N pod filters, Used MX bars, Used Italian Moped tank . Same guy as the 750$40
Bobber seat pan Ebay $41
Front and Rear Turn signals From MNellis $10 shipping
Mount and Balance rear tire off 750 $60

Out subtotal: Roughly $730
Parts sold: $90
Running Total: $640

I've still got the controls and wiring to go so we will see if I can stay under the $700 mark, but I'm not holding my breath.

You can add another 150 bucks for beer on top of this, but that is on another tab!

I hope this gives you a rough idea of what you might be getting yourself into, good luck and have fun!
 

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SteelB12 said:
My bike cost $400 to buy. I spent $500 on parts, and need some more. It will be worth more than its retail value once I get it back on the road (to me at least)
Wow....did the 400 dollar bike you bought need:

new tires ?
chain ?
Battery ?
Oil change ?
Air filter ?

With it going to be worth more that retail (what's that?) and only having spent 500 bucks, it must have been in great condition to start with !

I found one of those once. Someonone who didn't know what they had and didn't care, just wanted it out of their garage. I got it for 400.
 

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scarfacehugo said:
..........So where is the border between reasonable and stupid , in this specific case?
Depends on what you're wanting out of this. I've spent 3k on restoring a bike, I've spent way more than that, and that's not including my own labor hours which would almost certainly double those numbers since i do most of the work myself.

And, I've never sold a bike and made a big profit; I've made a few hundred and lost a few hundred. Did I really loose ? Of course not, because what I wanted was to ride the old bikes again, let my old friends get a chance to ride them too, and go to shows to show them off. That has always been more than enough profit for me.

It's a hobbie for me, just for fun. And I've had loads of fun restoring many bikes to all levels of retoration.

Having said that, if you're in to restoring a bike to make a finanical profit, forget it. Doing it to have fun will be far more profitable. You think you've spent money ? Take a long look at the next Harley, Goldwing, BMW that passes you by.
 

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I ended up spending a LOT more than I originally anticipated. Its just that over time I eventually said "hey I NEED this" and splurged on parts here and there and here is the breakdown:

$900 - Bike Purchased
$200 - misc NOS parts
$50 - paint/cleaning solutions
$100 - mufflers
$200 - tuneup
$300 - engine rebuild
$400 - professional tuneup
$300 - parts bike
$300 - powdercoat work
$80 - new battery
$100 - new ignition system
$280 - new seat
$100 - new lighting

And mind you, these are the costs that I can remember off the top of my head!

Like many have said, you do not start a project like this to flip for profit. I think that I could sell my bike for MAYBE 1.5-2k. This project is one that I think I will continue to update for many more years and I don't think I will ever sell it.
 

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Sometimes its best not to put a dollar value on a hobby :lol: I'm certain I have spent more on my 360 resto than any man alive, but its about the journey and not the destination right? Unless of course you receipt all your regrets.

To bring my bike hobbys into perspective I compare them to my music hobbys. I have spent countless thousands of dollars over the years gigging in bands that lost money every time we toured or played locally. And what do I have to show for it?....fuzzy memories and cheap independent recordings that I hate to listen to. Where as, everything I've put into my bikes is still sitting in the garage waiting for me to reap the rewards whenever I chose to turn the key. But this analogy only relates to people that aren't trying to flip a profit on a bike resto (or are actually in a good band :lol: ).
 

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leethal said:
.... I have spent countless thousands of dollars over the years gigging in bands that lost money every time we toured or played locally. And what do I have to show for it?.
Harleys and Bands - the best way to turn cash into noise.
 

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Scarfacehugo, I'm based in Taunton, here in the UK. I have a 500T motor which I will be opening soon to assess whether it has any potential and I also have a 450 frame. It sounds like you may have a ton of parts leftover when you're done, would you want to sell anything? If so I might be in the market. (providing people start building houses again and I can earn some wedge)
 

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I've spent $719.59 so far on my project. CB500T that needs titling, chain, tires, front brakes, plugs, wires, seat, etc. I think I can get it on the road and respectable looking for under $1500.

Time will tell.
 

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The Mini-Bobber in the " viewtopic.php?f=5&t=5224 " topic cost less than $500 including the titled bike, new tank, junkyard KX60 for forks and wheels, new bates headlight, new taillight assembly, new battery, new tires and about 8 rattlecans of paint......
 

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I don't want to $ay what my project ha$ co$t me $o far (I'll never be 'done')...
But there is a joke around my house that every part, bolt and nut has cost me over $100 each in one way or another...
The other day I said I needed new plugs and the old lady said "there goes another $100!". :lol:
The most expensive part of my bike is my stupid mistakes.
The most valuable asset to my bike is this forum.
My bike pays for its self every time I ride her out the garage (almost every day). :cool:
Somehow the ride makes it worth every penny...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
grego said:
Scarfacehugo, I'm based in Taunton, here in the UK. I have a 500T motor which I will be opening soon to assess whether it has any potential and I also have a 450 frame. It sounds like you may have a ton of parts leftover when you're done, would you want to sell anything? If so I might be in the market. (providing people start building houses again and I can earn some wedge)
No problem at all Grego! Just contact me with the stuff you might need. [email protected]


For someone who asked where I got my engine stand, I had to make it, of course, but like everything else, it looks better in the picture :D

Well, silly me to try to mix money with dreams, but at least now I know how much more expensive it is to rebuild a bike in Europe, specially if you grow cash in your back garden... I guess I'll have to move to the US then.

I'll probably keep this one for 40 or 50 years to try to get half my money back... :mrgreen:
 

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Hi hugo,

I figured that you probably just wound up building the stand. I cannot find one anywhere and I am now to the point where I need to start tearing into the engine. I will have to figure out something that will work for me.
 

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I paid £1400 for my 450 and was well pleased, even though I knew it wanted engine work.
I have since bought 2 500 engines and a complete cb500T and still need quite a lot more, concourse it will never be.
I've given up keeping a tally cos I know it would frighten me.
Do I regret it, not one bit.
PS anybody know if a triumph unit 650 engine will fit a 500t frame (might be a good way of using up a load of bits)
 
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