There is an old saying; ‘The road to hell is paved with good intentions,’ rarely has this been better applied than in the world of motorcycle restoration. Or, more accurately the world of ‘non-restoration.’ Let me explain:
In the corner of many a bikers’ garage, shed, outbuilding or even occasionally garden lies a forlorn motorcycle. Generally speaking, the poor thing has been there a while. In the case of the ones abandoned in a garden they may even be beginning to disappear into the foliage.
Yamaha DT175. Shivering like an abandoned puppy.
It could be the bike they ran as a kid and never sold. Or a bike that they just fell out of love with and stopped riding. Possibly the thing had developed a minor issue or broken down and they never got around to sorting it out. Sometimes it is a bike that once belonged to a now deceased relative. Now they cannot bring themselves to do anything with it. Every bike under a cover, acquiring a layer of dust in barn or gradually becoming one with the hedge has a back story.
This my FZ600. It only languished for a few moths, before it sprung back to life. But it has been dormant with it’s new owner since 2009!
If you ask the owner about selling the bike to you as you really like it, always fancied running one or just want a project to keep yourself busy, the answer is often the same:
‘I’m going to do it up…one day’
Ok, fair enough you think. Old father (or mother) time continues to tick by. The dust thickens, the tyres go flat, mice set up home in the airbox or the vines tighten their grip.
Many Years Later
A few years later you bump into them again and ask, ‘Did you ever sell that bike?’ or ‘How did you get on renovating that old Yamaha?’
All too often the reply that comes back is ‘No, but I will get around to it one day’
This process gets repeated a couple of times. Meanwhile the poor old bike is gradually turning to dust. The mice from the airbox have bred about 200,000 little friends and you can no longer see where the hedge stops and the bike starts.
Tomorrow Never Comes
Eventually the owner of the bike has to move house, get’s threatened with divorce, or even tragically occasionally passes away themselves. The bike then gets disposed of and sometimes there is a happy ending eventually. We saw this recently with the example of the VF500 restoration we featured
All too often though the poor old bike gets carted off to motorcycle heaven. One day never came…
Words and Pictures: Tony Donnelly