Cologne Motorcycles in classic design are in vogue. But historic machines are also in demand. What interested parties should bear in mind when buying these old treasures.
Rumbling single-cylinder or purring four-cylinder. A lot of chrome. Little plastic. Historic motorcycles still have their appeal today. But as beautiful as the old sheet metal looks, very few two-wheeled oldies can be driven without any problems.
And there are also other things to consider. Thorsten Rechtien recommends taking an expert along for the inspection who is familiar with the model or with classic machines. For the expert at Tüv Rheinland, the overall impression is what counts, i.E. The condition of the machine: "Flash rust or small rust spots are not bad, but a warped frame, a defective engine or missing parts are."
Rather no total conversions?
Historic two-wheelers do not have typical weak points, but long periods of disuse can lead to defects in the carburetor, tires, wheels, brakes and fuel tank. In contrast to classic cars with four wheels, a stamped maintenance booklet is less decisive for buying a classic bike: "Prospective buyers should rather look at the environment of the seller and pay attention to how the machine has been cared for, maintained, rebuilt or restored, says Klaus Herder. Moderate patina is more in demand than over-restoration.
"Is the machine original?? Or is that indifferent to the prospective buyer?", says the editor of the magazine "Motorrad Further aspects. For modified machines, some parts such as tanks or fairing parts may no longer be available for purchase.
Rechtin would refrain from total conversions, as it reduces the value in the event of a resale. "But if the original parts are included with the purchase, there's nothing to be said against a rebuild. Provided that all technical changes are registered."
According to Tüv Rheinland, what counts for a possible classic car appraisal is that the vehicle is in as original a condition as possible or that it has contemporary accessories. Owners can apply for a value appraisal independently of the registration as a classic car.
Bring a flashlight for inspection
With historical machines a look with the flashlight into the tank is absolutely important. If it rusts from the inside, it can damage the carburetor and engine via the fuel. Old, hardened, porous and cracked tires should be exchanged directly. A test drive is essential. Rechtin sees a big difference in the handling of historic machines: "Old machines often have weak drum brakes. Pilots should therefore be careful on the road and take into account the contemporary technical condition in the driving behavior."
Prospective buyers should be aware that historic machines are not comparable with current motorcycles in terms of assistance systems and braking performance. With current tires and maintained brake pilots on machines of the 1970s or 1980s do not drive however unsafely, so Oliver Runschke. The ADAC press spokesman for motor sports and classic cars advises to consider before buying exactly how you want to use the machine: whether for a long tour or only for short trips at the weekend.
A little unreasonableness
Old motorcycles are per se somewhat unreasonable. "It is also about the fact that owners are already pleased in the garage about the sight of their desire motorcycle", says Klaus Herder. "If prospective customers dream of a Honda CB 750 Four, they should also buy this model and not the smaller machine", says the editor of the magazine "Motorrad.
"Driving pleasure is mostly provided by machines from the 1970s onwards. With the Japanese superbikes, motorcycles became sportier, and with current tires, they still ride well today,", says Klaus Herder. Models such as Honda CB 750 Four, Kawasaki 750 H2 or Suzuki GT 750 are no longer an insider tip and therefore relatively expensive.
Classic machines from 1950 onwards from NSU, Horex or DKW are becoming cheaper because demand is falling due to the target group. For a NSU Max there are enough spare parts. Machines are already available for around 4000 Euro. British café racers such as AJS, Matchless or Triumph are more expensive and the supply of spare parts is somewhat more difficult. BMW full-swing models such as the R 60 (from 1955) offer a good chassis and an extensive parts supply. But the boxer models cost mostly over 10.000 euros. The GDR single-cylinder two-stroke MZ ES 175 (from 1957). ES 250s are still relatively inexpensive. "Underestimated models today are the BMW R 45 and R 65 from 1978 onwards, both of which run well and reliably with current tires, and don't cost much to run.", says Herder. But machines from the 1980s such as the Yamaha XS 400, Honda CX 500 or the two-stroke Yamaha RD 250 and RD 350 also offer a lot of riding fun for comparatively little money. The K series from BMW built from 1983 as K 100 or K 75 can be found in good condition for little money. The sports bike K1, moderately successful in its active time, is somewhat more expensive, he says.
In the opinion of the expert, Harley-Davidson Sportsters from 1985 are just as interesting as the MZ/MuZ 660 Scorpion with Yamaha engine of the early 1990s. The motorcycles built from 1991 on Trident 750/900, Trophy 900/1200, Daytona 750/1000 or early Sprint and Tiger (from 1993 on) of the British brand Triumph are meanwhile almost 30 years old and a tip for upcoming classics. But also the tube frame models of the US company Buell (from 1997) like the S1, S3, M2 or X1 are according to Herder great motorcycles.
How to continue after the purchase should be determined beforehand
With extensive research on the Internet, at clubs or in reference books about the respective model, differences can be quickly identified. "Before making a purchase, prospective buyers should read up on the machine thoroughly and ask clubs or forums for tips", says Herder.
Decisive for the later purchase would be a dry storage space in a garage or hall. Temperature fluctuations like under a carport can damage an old machine. "For the most part, technical understanding and a flair for engineering is all that is needed to operate a historic motorcycle", says Herder.