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so i dont know much about old triumphs or old bikes in general but i came across a 78 bonneville 750 that has been modded for vintage racing. it has parts from several different models and years and looks awesome. because it is a race bike the seller told me that it has no lights so all that would need to be wired. also it does not currently run. in his as he says its been sitting for about 3 years and was told the head gasket is bad. I chewed him down to $2000 from $3000. Is it worth this? Should I just forget about it. thank you in advance
 

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You might want to post this same question on the "Classic and Vintage" page where they deal more with older bikes. Good luck!
 

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I've had some vintage project bikes and I will tell you it's expensive and especially if you don't know exactly what you are doing. I clearly did not. Take that $2000 and double it and then remember you will still have an OLD motorcycle. For me the new stuff makes a lot more sense. I'll tell you another part in this. The dealer I bought my Triumph from has told me he does everything in his power to stay away from the vintage stuff. For the right guy its fine. For the average guy I think not. My opinion from some experience with older Honda Goldwings.
 

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Vintage racing could flat track or GP. Regardless, be sure the engine was thrashed hard and is probably pretty well worn inside. I'd also bet it has no charging system whatsoever and runs a total loss ignition. Neither is something you want on a street bike.

Don't let the cosmetics of a racing bike win your heart. It's like the gorgeous girl with the twisted mind. You'll never get her to be right without lots of money spent on doctors and drugs. Same goes for an old thrashed racebike.

Plus you said it's a bitsa, meaning made from parts of other bikes. Another reason to shy away from it.

There are plenty of Oil In Frame (OIF) Triumphs out there, with low miles, in anywhere from good to great shape that are ready to ride and will cost you a lot less than it will to get that old nag in street riding and running condition.

That bike is a big unknown or a pig in poke to use an old saying. It may have some neat race parts like Cerianni forks and some other vintage stuff, but unless you are looking for those parts to build a specific type of bike, they are not really of value to you.

Unless you are a die hard restorer or want to become one, the general rule is spend a little more and buy the better bike. You will save money in the long run.

I respectfully disagree that the old bikes are more trouble than they are worth. Most of us own them because we enjoy wrenching as much as riding. I suspect many of us also own one modern bike for the push the button and ride feature. But most of the problems with these older bikes are well known and fixed have been developed. Set it and forget it electronic ignitions, good batteries, new wiring harnesses, engine mods make them very reliable. Yeah, they may leak a little, but who doesn't?

My personal opinion, aside from a hand made alum GP tank, vintage racing forks or other rare and expensive goodies, it's a $500 bike.

Go to Craig's List and search around your area, upstate NY and New England. You will be surprise how many OIF Triumphs are for sale. Many are in original condition.

regards,
Rob
 

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Welcome to the forum.

Sorry to say, this potential sale is as nebulous as one could possibly be, as noted by others.

In many cases, guys will buy them, spend a bunch of money, then end up taking a loss after never being able to finish.

Tell you what, go ahead and buy it, then sell it to me for $500. I'll be saving you at least 2 years of your life!

hee hee

I hate to encourage people to do dumb things, but I've DEFINITELY heard of worse life mistakes than buying a cool old bike and getting it running with the help of friends.

This stuff isn't rocket science, you have all the help you need right here on this forum.
 
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