Buying and Restoring a Classic Motorcycle

Robin Low
5 min readSep 22, 2023

The cost of an old motorcycle usually depends on a few things — the rarity of the motorcycle, condition of the motorcycle and the age of the motorcycle.

Age and rarity goes along to drive up the cost. The older the motorcycle, the more expensive it is (when it is above 35 years old). Generally, the price of a motorcycle goes up around 50% every 5 years (depending on bike type, rarity, etc)

So it can be a good investment to own and maintain a classic motorcycle. In terms of condition, a restored motorcycle can cost a lot more than a “project bike”. However, if you really love that motorcycle and would like to own it and do it up yourself, getting a project bike is a good way to learn more about the bike.

Recently I’ve been working on a BMW K100RS. The K100RS, also known as the flying brick is a reliable workhorse. At 987cc, it is fast enough to keep up with the modern vehicles on the highway, and have enough braking power to be using the motorcycle as a touring bike.

To me, getting a “running bike” is very important as it means that at the core, you have something that is working. The K100RS that I got was running well, smooth engine and pretty quick on acceleration. The suspension was a little old and rusty and there were quite a bit of rusty parts.

It came at a decent price. Not very cheap as the motorcycle was great mechanically, and not very expensive because of physical flaws. It had a tank cover, and I was not particularly worried as the BMW K100RS has an aluminum tank and as expected, there was a huge dent in the tank when the tank cover was off.

Generally, stickers, tank covers and other covers are used to cover up flaws when one is selling the bike, and just expect the worst when it is all covered up.

Before you purchase a motorcycle, the general research should be on the spare parts on the motorcycle. Are the parts still widely available. Are there new parts…

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Robin Low

Author, Traveler, Innovator. Focuses on Social Impact and Innovation.