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End of an era ?

Recently there was some discussion about a Norton 16H for sale in a bad condition and for a firm price.
We were wondering about the cost of restauration and the (im)possibility of finding parts.
Now, I know it's not 1974 anymore, the year I bought my first bike, an M20, but i've noticed that all decent British bikes are almost impossible to find these days.
You can't go out buy a wreck and rebuilt it, anymore. Or start off with a bare frame and collect whatever you need.
For newcomers, young people or -if I may say so- "the common man" British bikes are out of reach or at least very difficult to find.
Where I live (in NL, so not in the UK - the land of plenty) Triumph pre-units, Norton dominators ect simply no longer come up for sale. You just won't find one anymore, no matter how much you want to.
The same for parts, good original and affordable parts are no longer around.
I thougt that as time goes by, collections would come up for sale, but so far there is no sign of that.
I'm afraid to sell any bike myself, knowing it can't be replaced.

On this website we are a relatively small community, holding on, but I'm afraid we are at the end of an era...
(or a I just a grumpy old man, living in the past !! :upside_down_face: )

Re: End of an era ?

I am a bit more hopeful (or possible naive) in that what was an aspirational bike when I was a teenager say, a Bonneville or an A10 isn't what a teenager will aspire to own and restore in the future, say, a Fireblade or GSXR750 or a ZX10.

So, my theory is that as the oldies peg it more of these bikes will come on the market at more reasonable prices.

The downside is that we will all be dead:upside_down_face:

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Re: End of an era ?

I don't think its quite that bad yet, when I started on Military motorcycles there were less replica parts and it was quite difficult to find bits even then.

Now more people are returning early machines to an early spec so some later parts like pannier equipment aren't needed by everyone.

There is a much greater knowledge of the subject with some good books and reprint manuals available to all.

As to the future, there is the question of what will happen when petrol cars are no longer made, but that is some way off and steam enthusiasts can still get coal so probably it won't be impossible.


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Re: End of an era ?

Hi Mike,

I can imagine your feelings about today compared to the past. I also find it difficult to accept the fact that some parts or motorcycles are harder to get. However, I think the days have gone where old WW2 bikes were simply thrown away and that doesn't make me sad. In recent years the knowledge about WW2 and their bikes has grown highly and still does, so more and more owners are looking for parts to make their own bike 'correct.' Market prices are a matter of offer and demand, that has never changed. What I see changing is that collections don't grow the way they used to do because of availability. It's a matter of patience.
There are still enough WW2 bikes for sale that are ridable. You can decide if you want to restore it or just ride it. 'Out of reach' is a personal situation that is different for everybody so I can't judge, but if you walk the non standard routes there still are many treasures to find, also in the Netherlands. You just have to share your wishes.


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Re: End of an era ?

I'm holding out hope.
I'm about to aquire a bunch of buggered bits. Frame, engine, gearbox, chaincase. 2 wheels that maybe if i'm lucky can salvage some of the hubs. See how I go. Girder has be lengthened... ugh...why do people do that, but again, not sure what I'll do there. Ultimately, I think we are lucking today in the 'Internet' age, we have so much more access to parts than ever before! Not to mention the good ol' Indian's are helping out with new repro parts. Bless them.

Fingers crossed for me... This is my first 'basket' project, but have a couple of other complete bikes that i just love. Nothing better than riding a bit of history.

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