Archive for November 6th, 2012

November 6, 2012

Scientia potentia est

Knowledge is Power! When embarking on the restoration odyssey gleaning as much information as possible  about your particular moto is one of the most pleasurable. Well before bloodied knuckles, cursing screams and emptying coffers turn ‘The Project’ into a seemingly unendurable rout, amassing the history, details, period test articles, manuals is a great way to start learning about your machine.

Advertising is a good start: how did the team in the boardroom want to sell the ‘bikes? Fun, functionality? Or just those sleek, sweet lines of a steed of speed?

Remember this was modern design of it’s day! Features that put it above and beyond of the competition (bar a Vincent Black Lightning of course…). Love those illustrations, which were for the most part direct traced renderings of photographs.

“And Lo, it came to pass…”

Better get yerself a decent shelf-full of manuals which illustrate in line and photo how to both dismantle the machine and then put ‘er back together without leaving so much as a nut or bolt out. The Haynes book is legend as a well organised tome which presents a blow-by-blow account of the major sections of a motorcycle: engine, gearbox, chassis, suspension, wheels, and electrics.

A ‘Bible’ it seems, but more of a concise survey of the model; well worth a peruse to understand a bikes development. When did the rigid frame give up for a swing arm? What years have the smart nacelle headlight shroud? What colour was applied in what year?

Of course noting is a substitute for an Owners Instruction Manual, Workshop Manual and Replacement Parts Book. These are essential for the devoted restoree…  … we hope you haven’t given up yet! Has the parts been delegated to a corner of the garage yet? Don’t lose heart, the fun hasn’t even started yet!

One of the most important things you DO need at this point in the game is an inspiration, a vision of your goal.  Good photos of your model abound on the ‘Web for this. But one better thing would be to look at a bike ‘in the flesh’; look it over, take your own photos; if you could even ride it (if the devoted owner lets you) that’ll give you a faster pulse and the energy to forge ahead…