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restoration project


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im in the market for a classic bike to restore. i found a 1966 ducati scrambler that is in barn find conditon. the carb and air filter is missing, the engine is freely moving, gas tank has little rust and one small dent, battery, points mounting plate and points and the chain. other than that the bike is complete and in pretty good condion for the find. i can get the bike for under $1,000. but i have a few questions.

how hard will the parts be to find? and how hard would you estimate the restoration to be? im looking for a challange but nothing that will cost me a fortune or stump me and force me to sell the bike

thanks

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It depends on how original you want it to be. The Italian bikes can be a real PITA for finding parts......especially one as old as the one in question. It could very well cost you a fortune as well.

I would recommend getting started on Googling places for old Duck parts; not just the ones that are obviously missing, but count on having to buy all the rubber parts as well. If you're savvy, you may be able to cross reference non-existent OEM items with something equivalent or close enough.

I'm currently embarking on a rebuild of the engine on my '74 Suzuki GT250, and many crucial seals and bearings are unavailable.

I recently finished a '59 Triumph, and there are places out there where one can find pretty much everything one might need, but some of it is wicked expensive, and unfortunately one is often forced to buy crappy reproduction parts too. I couldn't even imagine having to go through that w/ an Italian bike. My experience has been that even recent models can be excruciatingly difficult to find parts for...........but that was many years ago.

I was given a '93 Husky w/ a siezed crank. These bikes were assembled in Italy by Cagiva, with Swedish parts from a factory to be shut down. Long story short, a piston and rod for the bike took 1 month and $900 to get. If I hadn't been given the bike, I would've parted it out. If I'm lucky I might end up with something costing only 50% more than it's worth...........but I do find it soooo sexy.

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thats what i was worried about.. i love ducati bikes but the parts are so expensive and hard to find.

i also found a 73' honda 500 that had been turned into a cafe racer, pretty seet looking bike that needed the wiring figured out and some clutch tuning. current bid wis round $800. its not exactly a restoration project but something that would be usefull to me, seeing how i will be going to college in the next few years.

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I dunno, I hate to be anything close to a dream-squasher, but it's very easy to end up w/ a white elephant, especially in a situation where you'll be going to school and may or may not have the money to do things properly.

It may however be worth picking up if you like it that much and slowly acquire parts w/ the intention of leaving the project somewhat idle until you're positioned to do it right.

My recommendation would be to find something easy/cheap to maintain and get parts for. I think the college-guy-with-the-cool-bike is a cruel Hollywood joke and/or a very very rare exception.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had a 250 Ducati Scrambler a few years ago. I wish I still had the bike, it was beautiful and had such a great sound. Also it was very easy to work on. the Desmos Diucatis are a pain, but the 250 singles are not that hard to work on. I would love to have another someday.

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After redoing my Z1 I can say that the more you can do yourself the faster and cheaper it will get done. Buying a zinc plating kit I was able to save a small fortune on hardware. Speaking of which, the hardware (nuts, bolts, clips, etc) WILL cost a small fortune if you have to buy that stuff. I used an arsenal of pneumatic tools, wire wheels, wire brushes, steel wool, sand paper, numerous polishing compounds and liquids, rust removers, degreasers, paints and finishes. Instead of swapping out aged pieces I refurbed them. I'm talking about buffing 6mm hardware even lock washers. To make the bike worth some money you need to retain as much originality as you can. Again, this comes back to the hardware thing. For my Z1, I did replace some of the hardware with stuff from Lowes but I kept the originals and have them saved in case I ever do a concours resto. I have at most a grand into the resto on my bike. Some things I just could not save like the rims and spokes. That was where most of my money was for. There was quite a bit of rust on things like the rear fender that I was able to clean up. You have to be patient, and even as bad as a part is you have to at least TRY to bring it back. I posted alot of info in my thread about painting the body parts and frame. To find parts and info you should join a forum or club that's into those bikes.

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