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Ever Saved a Motorcycle from the Scrap Heap? Answered

I come across old unloved bikes alot. Somebody got all excited and bought a real beauty. After a couple of years, the newness wore off, and the old bike spent 20 years in the barn rusting away. Lots of times these old 2wheelers can be had for the asking, or at least for scrapyard prices. I love to save these old bikes from certain destruction at the hands of weather/recyclers/inexperienced tinkerers. I'm working on an ible about salvaging these old machines. Anybody else out there ever saved a classic/junker from the elements (or even worse, the crusher)? Any tricks you know for bringing one of these would-be stallions back to life?


yes i want it them or what ever you have please give me a call at 951-665-9501 thank u my name is guy

Picked this up yesterday, was my dad's bike in college and has been rotting away in a barn since '75. This is a terrible cell phone pic but I will be documenting the whole process of getting it running. Hopefully, I will also document the process of converting it to a small cafe racer. In the background you can see my other rescue-project bike, a 1972 Harley M65S (aka Leggero) that I am doing for my wife.

Taking them over to a friends house to work on them though, so my wife (or homeowners association) doesn't have me killed


Yep. a '72 CB175. I plan on switching the pipes with the ones from a CL175 and converting it to a cafe racer inspired bike.

My youngest boy is looking to make a small displacement CB cafe racer. Let me know how yours goes!

Happy New Year to you! Been sidetracked! Need to be more productive in the new year!!

Will Do!! Visiting friends up north and it looks like I am getting a CL175 as well that needs much less work.

Do show us when you're done.


Will do. Plan to document the whole process.

I've got 2 I'm working on now, one I am likely selling. I was recently given a 1970 Harley Davidson M65S by Aermacchi and am fixing up my dad's 1972 CB175 to become my daily rider, will likely mod that one with a DIY fiberglass cafe seat, clip ons, etc. At the very least it is getting de-badged and de-branded and a nice coats of black satin paint once de-rustified.

AWESOME!!!! the Honda will make a good rider. Plus the parts are still fairly available. Be very kind to the old Aermacchi. I'd keep it as original as possible, as some of them are worth a bit. I have a '70-something Harley-Aermacchi X-90. It's obviously just a "toy", but still lots of fun.

Spent the morning pressure washing the aermachhi. The electrolytic rust removal doesn't seem to be working on the tank though, perhaps because it is a 2 stroke the tank is coated with the oil? Tried rinsed it with paint thiner this morning, so we will see.

My oldest son has experimented with the electrolytic route, and had mixed results. I would strongly suspect the old 2 stroke oil is the problem. Did the paint thinner help? You might could get some sort of "etching" solvent to strip it out. IIRC, there is a special solvent that is packaged with "Kreem". Kreem is an epoxy-like liner that you pour in your tank to coat it, ultimately covering the rust and any pinholes in the tank. If you try that stuff follow the instructions EXACTLY. I've done a tank successfully, but I've seen several that were done poorly- leaving the tank less useful than before! Also, Kreem seems a bit expensive.

No luck with the paint thinner, got most of the rust with pennies and soapy water (and a pressure washer). One of my best friends is a hot rodder, she uses MEK on the tanks for her cars and then some sort of sealant like Kreem and has enough of both left over form other projects for me to use on both of mine.

That's lucky! My son works on building/restoring small planes. On the older ones they use something like Kreem. I hope he has some left over soon! I need to coat an Aermacchi X-90 and a '79 Ironhead tank, and my youngest son needs it for an old Honda XL 125. Let me know what finally works best for you! (Also, there is a solution that is used to prep old guns for re-blueing. I've used it on an old shotgun and it worked very well, but once again, it seemed almost prohibitively expensive.)

hey where can i find one i live in the middle of a bunch of dairy farms.

Hard to say. But back in the 70's a lot of farm folks had dirt bikes. I'd just put the word out that you're looking for a project. But, next time you travel (vacation, etc), you might check old bike shops and junkyards along your route. Or buy a bike off ebay/craigslist in the area your visiting.

well im going to Nebraska this summer

If you're taking a truck to Nebraska, I'd check ebay/craigslist for bikes for sale along my route (or not too far out of the way). Most folks will gladly hold a bike for a month or so, as long as you pay up front (or at least make a deposit).

ya my buddy and i are taking his Dotson truck up and bringing back his new F250

Sounds like a prime opportunity to make a bike-gathering road trip. Just google used bike shops along the route, and bikes for sale on ebay along the route, and pick 'em up as you go. It's a little harder in unfamiliar territory, but $300-$600 should get you a salvageable bike or two or three. My youngest son bought a '73 Kawasaki for $100 off ebay. With a new spark plug, a carb cleaning, and fresh gas it was up and going in no time. He had a pretty spectacular crash yesterday, fortunately it was on grass and not on the road.

I've got a friend who just developed about a square foot of roadrash the other day. His GSXR 750 doesn't look so good either.

ya mine was on an old dirt bike and i messed up the electric starter pretty good

Fortunately, my kids have kept their crashing-business on the dirt. Aside from one incident with a barbwire fence, they walked away pretty unscathed.

i am curriently saveing a old 1983 moped i found it in a junk yard and got it for 75 bucks and i thought it would be a learn as you go experience (iv never done something like that before) it is a great bike it an old batavus regency any outher moped restorers out there plz contact me with tips and tricks.

Have a look at this. Most everything would also apply to a moped. I've only done a few mopeds, but if you have any specific questions, I'd be glad to help.

Have you made any progress with the moped? What kind is it?

That's awesome. I might do that to my sister's old moped!

and im useing as much found and recycled material to

That's cool. There's a website: ratbike.com , those guys do some crazy stuff with all kinds of bikes and mopeds. If you get stuck on something, let me know. I have a lot of miscellaneous parts laying around.

Nah, my dad only lets me pick up bicycles...but some day.....some day....

That's the way it starts. A Huffy today, a Harley tomorrow!

I used to pick up those electric scooters, and now he lets me pick up gas powered ones (its the small kid things)

Ive had:

  • 18 bicycles
  • 4 electric scooters (One died of age, one we picked up ACTUALLY EXPLODED, the other two worked for a while, but I guess they were thrown out for a reason...)
  • two gas scooters (one was a hopeless case the other we have yet to work on)

Also, theres a gas powered one close to my house, I'm hoping my mom will let me take it (she says theres enough bikes and crap at home!)

Me and my father have never, never boughten anything with a motor in it new, but then again dad can fix pretty much anything. We saved 2 Yamaha xs650's (1 sold) 1 Honda 900 (the first super bike) 1 CAN-AM 250 (Out of commission) 2 Honda Cubs (sold) 1 Honda Odyssey (running) 1 suzuki rv-125 (running) and two small 50cc kids bike. (both sold)

BTW, we've currently added another open toped odyssey , and a Yamaha Yr1 to our list

Oooh, Post some pics of the Odyssey! My kids are thinking about building their own.

LOL! But for some sick reason I've always wanted one of those!

I have some of the red one on here, Here you go


Cool! Hey, We'd certainly like to have you in the Scooter Trash Group. I'm sure your experiences would really add to thecommunity!

Does a river count? If so I got two chav scooters and a 125 Learner scooter... The chav-a-trons went for 50 quid each after some quick fixing... I honestly have no idea what happened to the 125, I know it took a long time to get the centrifugal clutch going again... it was in the workyard... maybe I let skippy have it in the end...

Just seeing the words "chav scooters" and "chav-a-trons" has already got me chuckling, even though I have no idea what the heck a chav scooter is. Got any pics? :)