All You Need To Know About Vintage Motorcycles

 The Good And The Bad Of Owning Vintage

There is nothing cooler than breezing down the road on a vintage bike. The vintage motorcycle culture is growing, and people are catching on to these beautiful creations. They may cost a little more to maintain, and no, they might not be as zippy as the newer models, but vintage bikes are where it’s at.

Whether you cruise, enduro, or cross-country ride with your motorcycle, vintage bikes have a way of turning heads. I have done research on some types of vintage bikes and the advantages and disadvantages of owning them. From motorcycle insurance information, to parts and labor, let’s see what owning vintage is all about.

Types

What are the best vintage motorcycles?

  1. Triumph Scrambler- For those who love enduro, this bike has a sleek look and 856 cc’s.
  2. Motto Guzzi V7 Special- For those who love touring, this bike holds 5.7 gallons and has 750 cc’s.
  3. Honda Rebel- For those who can’t spend a ton, but still want that vintage style. This bike is inspired by the 1970’s and has 234 cc’s.
  4. Indian Chief- Talk about vintage! First build in 1947, this bike is a classic. With a 1200 cc engine, it can easily hit 85 mph. This is a very popular collectors bike.
  5. Vespa– This vintage scooter has quite the following. This scooter was first manufactured in Italy in 1946 and continues to be a favorite among riders.

Insurance

How much insurance do I need for a vintage motorcycle?

To find the right cheap motorcycle insurance, you need to do some research. There are state minimums and most of the time you will need to be covered for at least bodily injury liability and property damage. This means that if you are in an accident, only the other party involved will be covered. You and your vintage bike will be out of luck. However, you can choose to have collision coverage which will insure you and your bike and get you back out on the road as soon as possible.

Here are a few other coverage options you might want to consider. Comprehensive coverage will insure you for other types of damages and theft. Depending on how much riding you will do on your bike, towing is always a great option. You don’t want to be stranded on the side of the road! Another realistic insurance coverage choice is Uninsured Motorist coverage. Some people choose (illegally) to not have insurance. When these people hit you, you will still want to be covered.

Not all insurance companies offer policies for vintage bikes. You will want to know which ones do!

Repair

What will my classic motorcycle cost to repair?

There are definitely some things that can go wrong when your bike is older than you are! Let’s take a look at what those are and how much they might cost you.

Most common problems:

  • Oil Leaks- depending on where the oil leak is, what type of bike you own, and how bad the leak is, you could spend anywhere from $150 to $1200 to repair the leak.
  • Rust forming in the fuel tank- this can be fixed yourself by cleaning out the rust. You can also prevent rust by keeping your tank full and fresh.
  • Vacuum leak- this will make your bike run lean which can decrease engine performance. To diagnose this problem is about $100 and to fix the problem is about another $100. The depends on the bike and shop you are going to.
  • Carburetor issues- this is a big deal and with most vintage bikes the carburetor will need to be replaced at some point. This could cost anywhere from $500-$800.
  • Leaky fork oil seals- oil leaks anywhere are bad. This could effect your suspension and can be unsafe to ride. You are looking at $300 plus for this repair.

Clubs

Where can I ride my vintage bike in the United States?

The Antique Motorcycle Club Of America is a nice place to start when looking for like-minded riders. They have a list of local rides and meet-ups, as well as Chapters all across the country.

There is at least one vintage motorcycle club in each state. It seems people everywhere are into these old-fashioned bikes. Some great events going on around the country are:

  • The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota brings together more than half a million riders. This is one of the largest in the nation.
  • Daytona Bike Week in Florida is another large rally and takes place in March
  • Rolling Thunder is the annual ride for freedom which happens over Memorial Day weekend in Washington D.C.
  • Bikes, Blues and BBQs is held in Arkansas over the last week of September and is a great time!
  • Love Ride is located in Glendale, California in October. Riders get to ride 40 miles for charity with Grandmaster Jay Leno!
  • Laconia Motorcycle Week in New Hampshire is a fun East Coast get together for some of the oldest motorcycle rallies in the country.
  • Myrtle Beach Bike Week on Carolina’s coast, brings together many bikers as they ride 80 miles together.

Vintage Is Back

How do I get hooked on classic motorcycles?

Vintage motorcycles have style and a unique sense of history attached to them. It may make insurance shopping a little harder. You may have to deal with an oil leak on your driveway from time to time. But the satisfaction of being part of something like the vintage bike club is pretty great.

Maybe you will stick with your current bike, or maybe you will want to get a second vintage bike. Maybe motorcycles are just a dream you have for “one day”. Either way, the motorcycle community stretches far and wide and accepts anyone who loves bikes.

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