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Is it me?

Discussion in 'Access Norton Pub' started by Sport75073, Jun 7, 2018.

  1. Sport75073

    Sport75073

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2016
    I get so frustrated with people. When I see an advertisement suggesting a total nut and bolt restoration, I expect it to be correct. I'm no rivet counter but would not expect to find oriental copies nor Republic of India Gas tanks. Flanged wheels, as eye appealing as they are, are not expected on a "restored" Norton motorcycle. Yes, I know their are exceptions.
    Same goes for Automobiles. Dont you just love the ad that says;
    All original, new paint, new interior, new glass, seats, tires and shocks. New motor and tranny with LSD. Really? I understand things wear out and rubber perishes but still.

    Last fall, I purchased a 1973 Interstate, "Restored to the highest of standards" read the ad. "Immaculate condition"."Essentially a new motorcycle".

    The Interstate was in Colorado and I live in NY so I went with the sellers word and photos. When it arrived, the bike was everything that the photos showed - shiny, polished, .... a real "looker".

    That said, closer inspection gave me serious concern.

    "Highest of standards" and "immaculate" do not seem accurate in my estimation.

    When a bike is represented as being restored to the highest of standards, it shouldn't have missing parts, Asian copies, or obviously used parts on it.

    For example:
    I was more than surprised to find no side stand as the advertisement did not mention its absence. The center stand bangs against the frame and has dented the LH muffler. The fork lock had no keys and was so loose in the triple tree it almost fell out!
    The bike would not run without full choke prompting me to open up the Amals. I found a #3 slide on the right and a #3.5 on the left,105 needle jets and 200 mains. Stock 850's call for 106 needles and 260 mains with matching 3.5 slides.
    The rear mount on the oil tank had broken off and the battery had movement due to its smaller size. The speedometer needle swings wildly. Either the drive unit, cable, or the meter itself will require repair or replacement. The tachometer is working. Silver paint is bubbling on the side of the head! The bike has a Roadster rear gas tank mount instead of the Interstate mount. As a result, the gas tank rubs against the frame.
    The gas tank appears to be an India made after-market replica. The paint shows many chips leaving me to wonder how long ago it was painted. The red coating inside concerns me as I have no idea what it is or how resilient it will be. Missing also, are the thick and thin rubbers that distance the tank from the top of the frame tube.
    Seat to frame rubbers are missing. The rear fender is used and scratched.The tail light lens was cracked and repaired with glue! Emgo copies of the turn signals are on the bike. Lucas is available.
    Original tanks are out there too. ....I know, I have bought them! Lucas lenses are available! I question why so little effort was made to accurately finish this restoration. To represent this restoration as one of the "highest of standards" with missing, Asian, and used parts is simply wrong and inaccurate.
    My greatest concerns are details I cannot readily see or evaluate. Although the engine and transmission were rebuilt, I have no way to verify what was (or was not) done.
    Most of the items are being fixed but this situation is disappointing to me.
    I bought this bike with the belief that work had been done to the highest standard.......I cannot possibly agree.

    Sorry to rant on and on but Damn, I am upset about this!
    Anytime I ever sold a bike, (without exception) the first person to look... bought!
    I guess its me.
     
    Tags:
  2. ashman

    ashman

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    A total nut and bolt restoration really don't mean it's been done using complete orginal parts from the bike or the parts made from other countries other than where they were orginaly came from, there is always a risk buying sight unseen and putting your trust in other people you don't know, I do understand where you are coming from and have been burned by putting my trust in people, it also depends on how much you payed for it.
    Paying top $$$ for something that is not what it was discribed then you could have a reasond to get your money back but it be a hard fight to win.
    If it was decribed as Concourse condition and you got it and it wasn't then it be a different story you have a good case.
    Putting it right will mean time and money that you didn't expect but like I say not everyone is honest.
    Good luck with what ever happens, did you complain to the seller at all about your concerns and if so what was his reply.

    Ashley
     
  3. o0norton0o

    o0norton0o

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2015
    It's not you... I'm the same way. I think my commando is worth a lot, but only because of my emotional attachment. I wouldn't ever say it's "restored to the highest standards". The condition of the amals on your bike is most troubling to me. Either the seller is a bold liar or completely clueless about amals... (a lot of people don't have a clue about them and wouldn't even know there are different size slide bodies, much less needles, and jets)

    I really think at the "restored to the highest standards" quality, the restorer has to have a reputation for that quality. He can't claim that on his first norton restoration, because norton restoration and mechanical configurations have a long learning curve and there's no doubt that having a very experienced Norton restorer as your seller increases the odds that the bike you get is what the seller says it is...

    I'd make a list of the stuff that's wrong or missing and send the seller a message about the bikes issues and see what sort of response you get...
     
  4. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    I would never buy a bike 'sight unseen'.
     
  5. ntst8

    ntst8 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    When i bought my 16H sight unseen it was supposed to be an "older restoration", they were half right - when it arrived it was definitely "older". It's only money as they say, my kids would only waste it if i didn't.
     
  6. Sport75073

    Sport75073

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2016
    I contacted the seller and he sent, a sidestand (RGM) with fittings (too small a diameter bolt sleeve btw), oil tank (needs restoration), (1) 3.5 Amal premier slide, Emgo fork lock, interstate tank mount, rubbers, and fiberglass interstate tank. Will not supply lenses, blinkers, speedometer, or jets. Yesterday, I noticed oil dripping from the points cover (sigh). Yes, the seal behind the points plate is leaking. Where does it end? Pazon ignition installed.
    At 11K, I really expected a more thorough job with attention to detail. Couple that with the seller formerly owning the Bonneville shop in Colorado. I would expect his resources for obtaining correct parts would far outweigh my resources yet I was able to source a steel tank, Lucas and Smiths. Also, as a member of the industry, he should be acutely aware of what constitutes a restoration to the highest of standards.
     
  7. Triton Thrasher

    Triton Thrasher

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    If you don’t know what sales talk is, you should give the used motor transport market a wide berth.
     
  8. ashman

    ashman

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    Its the old story, you have beem ripped off, you have been taken for a ride my friend, just plain and simple, not seeing the bike before buying and he knows that he will now just give you the run around, maybe why he no longer owns the Bonneville shop, if hes done this to you how many others out there have had the same treatment, sometimes it takes years before the word gets around about a bad dealer or most of the time the word don't get around at all about a bad business, once money has been handed over its never going to end well for the buyer.
    Buyer beware is all I can say, full restoration is just words and a lot of good people have been caught out so you won't be the first one.

    Ashley
     
  9. ashman

    ashman

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    Well you now know what you got so the good thing about this is you be able to fix it up to what you expected, yes it might cost a bit more but it will be yours, its something that will be from now on tinkering, its all part of owning a Norton there will always be something to do as well as riding it get it right and ride it and enjoy your time with your new old Norton.

    Ashley
     
  10. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    It is extremely rare to see an old bike which is correct in every detail. I actually look for them when I attend the races at Phillip Island. The last time I went there I saw a Velocette Clubman which was perfect in every detail. Do people actually believe that the owners of such bikes will really sell them ?
     
  11. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    If you went around every bike wrecking business in America, you might find a few bikes which could be a good starting point for a restoration - that would probably be the extent of it. Unless you are a coffin-chaser.
     
  12. ludwig

    ludwig

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    How much did you pay for it ?

    99% of all bikes and cars can not be "restored to the highest standards " for their market value .
    I 've been in the classic car market for many years , and I know that in restoration work , short cuts have to be made , or you will loose money big time .
    All those reality tv 'restorations' are fake .
    It is a very expensive and time consuming business .
    Now I only do it as a hobby .
    Currenty restoring a '66 Mustang convertible .
    Here are 3 pics of just one tiny part of the car (hood latch ) :

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]



    Do you think I can make a profit when selling the finished car ..?
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2018
  13. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2013
    I can only imagine how stunning that’s gonna look when it’s finished Ludwig!

    What colour red is it gonna be??
     
  14. ludwig

    ludwig

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    A slighly redder version of candy apple .
    ( not painted yet ..)

    The '65 convertible on the left will be vintage burgundy .


    [​IMG]
     
    Deets55 and ashman like this.
  15. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2013
    I see... the ‘other one’ will be burgundy will it...?

    One for weekdays and one for the weekend... ?

    You’re just showing off now...
     
  16. ludwig

    ludwig

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    No , they are left overs from a past life .
    I have to finish the '66 , but the '65 will only get a cosmetic workover .
    Then they will have to go .
    I have other toys that I like better ..
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2018 at 3:40 PM
  17. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2013
    Fairy Nuff Ludwig. Kinda seems a shame to be putting so much care and attention into something only to sell it on. But whoever buys it from you will certainly be happy I guess!
     
  18. kommando

    kommando

    Joined:
    May 7, 2005
    Kinda seems a shame to be putting so much care and attention into something only to sell it on.

    Which takes us back to the very start of the thread, Ludwig is doing a restoration, the original seller of the bike Sport bought just did enough for it to sell at a profit. Ludwig will no doubt not get his money back but his is the one to buy, you can only tell the difference by visiting and looking hard. You will never be able to see inside the engine but clues like the indicator lenses, loose steering lock would be major alarms sounding that the internals are suspect.
     
    Fast Eddie likes this.
  19. o0norton0o

    o0norton0o

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2015
    The whole Mecum auction business model is based on builders doing complete restorations of the highest quality FOR SALE, so that sort of thing isn't rare at all. "Sport75073" can only hope that the engine in his commando is good inspite of the obvious "lipstick on a pig" treatment the Bonnieville shop gave his bike. The different sized inner slide bodies blows my mind. That bike couldn't have run well at all in that condition, meaning the seller had the balls to sell a poorly running bike as "highest quality restoration" for $11,000. That's not "sales talk" in my book. I think that's criminal behavior. I don't see being honorable as a fault, so being dishonest to other people would be my flaw, not theirs.
     
  20. Sport75073

    Sport75073

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2016
    Thank you oONortonOo. I appreciate and agree with your and others comments. Yes, I know I have been deceived. All I had hoped for was an honest deal. Had you, Ludwig, or Ashley offered a bike for sale, that would have been the one to buy. I don't mind tinkering however, for the price, I should be riding not wrenching. My fault for not viewing it ahead of time but difficult as it was 1800 miles away. I once sold a 1970 BSA Lightning to a fellow from San Francisco. He was a United pilot and deadheaded to NY to see my bike. I picked him up at the airport and took him to see it. We negotiated a deal over dinner and the next morning he flew back to California. One of the more pleasant transactions I have ever been involved with. This one....not so much.
     

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