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Fair price for a 1974 motor with only 100 miles?

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Fair price for a 1974 motor with only 100 miles?

Postby Commandodave » Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:25 pm

i have a spare motor from a 1974 Roadster that was totaled back in the day when the front end came apart at speed and the Norton flipped end for end. The motorcycle had accumulated roughly 100 miles on the odometer when the accident happened. I came across the wreck in a barn back in the late 70s and the motor has been in mt garage ever since. Now I have a friend who wants to buy it. What is a fair price for this motor? We want to stay friends when this deal is done!

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Re: Fair price for a 1974 motor with only 100 miles?

Postby dave M » Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:08 am

Given that the motor has sat around so long it will have to be stripped and rebuilt again before putting it in a bike, although one would hope that upon inspection many major components might still be within specification. I would say it is worth $500 to $1,000 .

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Re: Fair price for a 1974 motor with only 100 miles?

Postby grandpaul » Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:44 am

I have sold several engines (Triumph, Norton & BSA) needing overhaul for $1,000 with all of the core parts serviceable.

If he's a friend, maybe offer it to him for a couple hundred less, or let him talk you down from there.

Personally, if it had it's initial run-in, and didn't have frozen pistons, I would think it would be worth significantly more, but a shrewd buyer would claim it needed to be at least partially disassembled, cleaned & re-lubed, and re-assembled before running; and, he would be justified.
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Re: Fair price for a 1974 motor with only 100 miles?

Postby norton73 » Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:11 am

As part of a deal about five years ago I got a wrecked 74 850 with a bent frame and missing front end. Milage was unknown because the instruments were missing too.
I ended up selling the motor to a friend for $800. He had Brian Slark tear it apart and replace rings and seals, lap the valves, and look it over.
He was happy because it got his bike back on the road and I got rid of a door stop that I was tripping over.
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Re: Fair price for a 1974 motor with only 100 miles?

Postby worntorn » Thu Mar 16, 2017 4:26 pm

It would bring a lot more than $800 on ebay. I would volunteer that eBay is "The market" since almost anyone can buy or sell on it and the sales volume is great.
I recently followed one complete 850 eBay engine . I bid up to $1200 but it sold for $1650. That was an engine with unknown mileage, not one with 100 miles. The hundred mile engine factor is worth something, perhaps quite a bit. The unknown eBay 850 might have had worn out cam and camfollowers, crank, bores, valves, guides, oil pump, cracked head and so on. The 100 mile engine should be in fine shape. The difference from a worst case unknown engine to a hundred mile ( stored well, not locked) is actually thousands of $ but the market won't see it quite that way.
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Re: Fair price for a 1974 motor with only 100 miles?

Postby dave M » Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:41 pm

The engine has been in Commandodave's garage since the 1970s, a lot can happen to an engine in that time depending on the environment in the garage itself, you would have to assume that it needed at least a strip and an inspection before being pressed into service. I myself would take it down to the crank including cleaning out the sludge trap, as the chap who rebuilt the engine is unknown, people can claim everything from a set of rings to a new timing cover gasket is a rebuilt engine, but if you didn't do it yourself or if the builder isn't someone who knows Nortons who knows what you might find?

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Re: Fair price for a 1974 motor with only 100 miles?

Postby worntorn » Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:25 pm

I agree Dave, stripping it down is best. Chances are it won't require much more than gaskets for reassembly if the 100 mile info is correct.
If I understand correctly this is not a rebuilt engine rather it is an original engine that only clocked 100 miles before an accident sidelined it.
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Re: Fair price for a 1974 motor with only 100 miles?

Postby gortnipper » Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:02 pm

valves sitting open for 40 years = new springs = rusty bore = complete tear down.
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Re: Fair price for a 1974 motor with only 100 miles?

Postby worntorn » Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:17 pm

Which reminds me- just the RH10 heads in unknown condition routinely go for about $450.

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Re: Fair price for a 1974 motor with only 100 miles?

Postby Commandodave » Sun Mar 19, 2017 2:03 pm

The motor was free when I removed it from the bent frame circa 1983. At the time I sprayed the bores with light oil and turned it over a time or two before reinstalling the plugs. The plastic floats in the carbs were still bone white, not yellowed from petrol.

I stripped the top end circa 1990 and split the cases. I did not disassemble the crank nor remove the rods. The bores, pistons, etc looked brand new. I reassembled it with the bolts tight, but not torqued down. Again, a little oil in the bores and a turn or two.

My garage is heated and air conditioned.

It looks like $1000 would be a fair value between friends. After all, I traded a 250 Puch (Sears) for the Commando. (The Puch was running!) I still have the gearbox and number plate from the frame that would be an adder to the motor price. The bent frame is out in the shed. It looks like the rear loop is the only damage to it.

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Re: Fair price for a 1974 motor with only 100 miles?

Postby worntorn » Sun Mar 19, 2017 9:17 pm

If for some reason your friend does not want it at that price, I would happily buy it from you.

Since you have the trans and frame, it's kind of a shame to break it up. It would be worth repairing the frame, finding a front end plus the other parts needed and making a bike out of it again. I think it could go much further than 100 miles this time around!


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