On this page I'll describe what I do to the bikes in a full restoration. On some bikes I don't do everything, as they may not need it. As an example, if one of the tires on the bike is still 80% tread and not at all weathercracked or damaged, I may reuse it. But nearly all of my full restorations do get everything on this page.
There are a few "ground rules" when I take on a project...
Take a look at the photos below for some good representations of what gets done to most of the bikes. These photos are from numerous different bikes, they don't represent any one particular bike. I'm just using a nice photo of the particular situation being discussed from my "stockpile" of resto photos.
In most instances the bikes I do have an integrated frame/body. The pressed steel body panels ARE the frame. There are other items that can be considered Body, though, like footpegs or skid plate, fenders, taillamp housing, etc. Those are discussed here.
The first three pictures show a typical frame and body components (all from the S65) right after media blasting. Almost too pretty to paint, aren't they! <g>
The last picture shows a good representation of what goes on in a full resto from the body perpective. You can see the fuel tank, fuel tank shield/cover, fork tubes, taillamp housing, footpegs, battery box, just absolutely everything has been stripped out of the bike and been media blasted and repainted. You can also see the seat latches and hinges, the exhaust lower heatshield, the airbox, etc.The fenders are shown upside down with the undercoating I always apply.
I media blast the undersides of the fenders to remove any rust then undercoat them, both to help prevent recurrence of corrosion and to provide protection against stone pecks. The undercoating of the fenders is an example of one of the things I do to go beyond what the factory provided. I want these bikes to last a long time, and if I can make an improvement that doesn't detract from the functionality or appearance of the bike (like undercoating the fenders), I do it. Another example: sometimes if the fuel tank shows a fair amount of corrosion inside, I will (of course) clean up that corrosion, but then I will use Kreem or a similar fuel tank rust treatment/liner product to stop the rust and also to coat the inside of the tank to prevent further problems.
Also shown in the last picture is a cake pan full of rubber parts. All rubber parts that are in good condition are cleaned and have a special rubber protectant (no, not Armor-All!) applied to them to keep them supple and rejuvenate the rubber. Of course most of the time a lot of the rubber parts need to be replaced on these old bikes...they just get old and cracked and are too far gone to reuse.
Every bike I do gets a complete carb cleaning and rebuild. All of them get new gaskets/seals, and some of them also get new needles, jets and floats etc. as required. I soak all the parts in a specialized carb cleaning solution, and also use other methods to restore the carb bodies to like-new looking condition. The last 3 photos are good examples of what they look like when done.
Lots of times the control levers and pedals can be reused. They often require some refurbishment, but will work just fine and just need some spiffing up to look nice. Cables, well, that depends. Sometimes the ones on the bike are good and can be lubed and have the exterior sheath cleaned up and rejuvenated, or sometimes they are marginal (or obviously bad) and get replaced. It depends on the situation. If it's a survivor bike and I want to try to keep the original cables I will as best as possible. If it's a complete resto, it'll get all-new cables all the way around. Cables really depend on the situation. I keep older cables that are in good shape and will reuse them on a survivor that needs just that one particular cable replaced.
Don't really have any photos to show of control lever or cable refurbishment.
I go through the entire wiring harness and carefully inspect for problems and make quality repairs as needed. In the first photo you can see an ignition switch that has had wiring eaten by mice. In the second picture the switch has been repaired by soldering on new pieces of wire and using shrinkwrap to properly seal the new connections. The next four pictures show an entire CT70 wiring harness and a couple details of its installation in the frame. Nearly all the bikes also get a brand new battery and battery retaining strap as well. The batteries aren't too expensive, and they're also nearly always ruined when I get the bikes.
Switches are always disassembled and cleaned to give good electrical contact and good "action".
The engine and trans are nearly always gone completely through on my bikes. I often find that there is something wrong with the engine such that SOME sort of replacement needs to be done, like, say, new piston rings or valves or something like that, and by the time that you get into the engine far enough to do that work it's silly not to spend the extra time and money to just go through everything else while you're there. Engine work generally involves new piston and rings, piston pin and clips, cylinder honing, new valves and valve seals, valve lapping, new cam drive chain, and new clutch discs. The trans is pretty bulletproof on the small Hondas, and I very rarely see problems with them. I do always inspect them, though. Same with cranks...other than the S65 crank bearing, I've never seen a crank worn or failed where it needed attention.
Engines of course also always get complete new gasket sets, new spark plugs, new points and condenser, all that. The engine is, after all, the heart of the bike, so I make darn sure they're right.
Not a lot to say about exhaust, really, other than nearly all the bikes are missing the spark arrestor/baffle, which owners take out thinking they'll get more power (they don't). Of course I always replace those. Also, the exhaust sometimes rusts out right where the heat shield clamp packing meets up to the pipe. Sometimes they're repairable, sometimes not. Depends on the bike and the situation. If I can make a nice repair and the bike doesn't necessarily need a complete new exhaust, that's what I do. Otherwise, the exhaust gets replaced. I also of course always replace the exhaust gasket to the head and also the heatshield packings.
I always replace fork seals and fork oil, and also always repack the steering stem with fresh grease and clean up the steering balls on every bike. Some bikes get new shocks, some get the originals, depending on what the bike "deserves" and it's intended usage. If it's a survivor bike, of course I just clean up the originals, but if I'm doing a complete resto I'll usually replace them.
Brakes always get a top priority from me, since stopping is at least as important as "going"...actually moreso in my mind! Anyway, brakes always get the 100% top treatment, and wheel bearings are also checked while I'm in there. Tires are often replaced unless they're in really primo condition; tubes get replaced no matter what. Wheels also are blasted and repainted with a nice warm original-style silver color. Chains and sprockets are also nearly always 100% replacement items. They're not too expensive, and they're absolutely critical to the bike working properly. Breaking a chain out in the middle of nowhere or on your vacation holiday weekend in the summer's a lousy thing to happen, so I don't let it...I replace the chain and sprockets.
There's a few other things not mentioned elsewhere I wanted to cover as well.
Fasteners: all nuts and bolts are usually wire-wheeled or similar to bring them back to a nice, clean look. I don't replate them as in most instances I like them to age back to a nice natural patina. There are of course exceptions, like engine case screws that need to be bright and shiny like they "should" be, or other fasteners that are "beauty" fasteners. Basically anything that you see right away or are very evident (like, say, wheel flange bolts on a CT70) I'll replace, but other fasteners are simply cleaned up and left "natural".
Plastics: anything plastic like taillamp lenses, turn signal lenses, battery box covers, etc. are all buffed on a machine wheel specially made for plastic with a plastic compound. It won't perform miracles, but in 99.5% of the cases where a lens is worth salvaging, it'll bring back that nice original shine and gloss.
Corrosion Resistance: all items that need some corrosion resistance, such as axles, swingarm pivot bolts, etc., are given a light coating of BelRay waterproof grease. That's my favorite grease for corrosion resistance and also for things like wheel bearings, speedo drive gears, and steering stem bearings.