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“To Restore Or Not To Restore” That is the question

February 14, 2014 by millsco
This article is not intended to be a lesson in Shakespeare. I have enough of a problem with new English much less trying to tackle old English with Wherefore art thou Moto Morino.” Although, maybe this is a lesson in Shakespeare after all. Now before all you tough guys tune me out, please give me a chance to explain: Girls like a tough guy who can Google a few quotes. (Not that I know personally though).
Shakespeare did say something about the motorcycling hobby as it is today. He said: “God has given you one face and you make yourself another.” Now, consider an interesting thing going on at the high end motorcycle auctions: The original unrestored bikes are starting to bring higher money than the bikes that have been meticulously over restored. So on some bikes you got to “keep the face.”
Shakespeare also said about bikes: “We know what you are, but know not what we may be.” So it seems that keeping the original bike that we know is better most of the time than taking a chance on what a restore may be?
Now, I say most of the time this is working. I saw a restored 1969 H1 Kawasaki 500 go for $21,000.00 where a nasty one might bring $2500.00. That first year model was looking good to me. My better (more obsessed Kawasaki triple friends) told me there were later parts on the bike and that it wasn’t right for the year. A Kawasaki purest would never be interested in a bike like that, but don’t tell that to the European and Japanese bidders. Nobody seemed to care on this one because the paint was so striking. I think Shakespeare did say something about paint. “False face must hide what the false heart doth Know.” Not sure what that means but it doesn’t sound good. So campers let this be a lesson to you. Keep it original unless it is an H1 or a Widow Maker that was trashed back in the day and then left in the rain for 30 years by a 17 year old who spent the early 70’s trying to impress all the 12 year olds on their Honda 50’s.
There is a part two to this story. I have a friend who was always getting into some type of trouble. The type of trouble will remain unsaid to protect the guilty. He finally found that if he went to the garage after dinner and on weekends to restore nasty bikes that he didn’t have to do the things away from the house that caused some financial, medical and emotional challenges. So, he kept himself safe in the garage with Willy Nelson and his nasty bikes that he turned into works of art. Not they were not always period correct or correct for any period….period. But they sure look and run nice and they make a lot of people happy with a good looking and running vintage bike that would have gone to the junk recycling yard. Hey I have one.
So there is a place for everything in this hobby and if people are riding and happy with their motorcycles then how can that be wrong?…
KAWASAKI H1 500 1971
About the author: 
Miller’s Motorcycles is dedicated to antique, vintage, classic motorcycles and parts born before 1970. We specialize in Japanese vintage bikes.

To Restore Or Not To Restore” That is the question

February 13, 2014


by rel=”author”>Marc Miller

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