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Stick_Man
3rd December 2010, 08:09
Just wondering how long it took you and what the cost savings were . . .

fdny37
3rd December 2010, 08:18
That's a tough question to answer, first off it depends on how far you want to go with it and it what direction. Do you want to just slap it together and ride or do you want to restore? There are a lot of variables here, does the engine need to be rebuilt and so on. Anyway I would guess a couple of grand depending on what type of shape the parts are in.

jharback
3rd December 2010, 08:22
A basket case? Saving money?
:roflblack:roflblack:roflblack

RGT
3rd December 2010, 08:24
I got my first Sportster this summer as a basket case, it was missing fenders, oil tank, and the cam cover and some small stuff. I paid $800. It is together now and painted, waiting for a crankcase vent valve and a front inner tube and I got start taking it out in the neighborhood. It was actually easier for me to buy a basket case as I did not have much time in the states and wanted to ship it in pieces to South Africa. This site has been great at helping figure out how it all went together, which as this is my first one was incredibly helpful as I did not have the benefit of having taken it apart, I am into the bike for just about $2000 and I have a had a great time putting it together and painting it, it is certainly not a show bike but looks good and hopefully will be a good ride. I could have spent less money if I had not had been in the states and could have shopped around more for parts....I would do it again. the bottom end checked out ok as did the valves, I put in new wrist pin bushings and rings and gave the cylinders a 10 sec crosshatching as the bores looked recently done and the pistons showed very little use(the bike had been pulled apart as it had broken 3rd gear, it came with the new gears and the case had been repaired....

Monte03
3rd December 2010, 08:44
Just wondering how long it took you and what the cost savings were . . .

StickMan,
Unless you are radically changing the Bike with alot of Non Stock goodies I would start with preparing your Frame and Swing Arm, get them painted, then address the Motor (most of your costs will be there), once that Motor is placed into a nice freshly painted frame you are halfway home, you will see and feel the end result, these days Guys are staying away from expensive Chrome, Clear Cad plating is half the costs as is powder coating, my 69 CH sucked up 3 grand like it was an afternoon drink.. Keep the faith and have fun with it...

SCchopper
3rd December 2010, 08:51
Starting out with a basket-case is like buying a only a portion of a Harley. It may be cheaper in the short-term, but by the time you've completed the build, it may cost more than the complete bike, that you didn't buy. I suggest, that when you search parts on ebay, you filter results according to price. Some cheap parts aren't worth the shipping charges alone, so be cautious. Avoid parts "made in China", if you know what I mean? Consider the basket-case as financing a bike with parts as payments toward a running bike. The faster you finish, the sooner you will ride. You can hack away at the finish-line, at your own leasure, taking as much time as you need. In essence, this is the most budget minded way to go. You may start out cheaper with the initial purchase price, but a running Harley is going to cost money to get on the road.

aciddeath
3rd December 2010, 08:58
starting off with a basket is 9/10 NOT cheaper than buying a runner in my experience you are married to the bike but then it's built and more or less totally new and hopefully totally custom (every single part is the part YOU want)

you certainly don't "save" money when you buy a basket though
you 'save' money by finding a hot deal on good parts that arent roached out (or even better, running!)

SCchopper
3rd December 2010, 09:07
A fullly running bike is another person's idea of their bike, if they've customized it. If you can find a stocker, you have to ask yourself if that's what you really want? If not, then you can consider the cost to change it, and add that to the considered value. A basket-case, when finished, will be your vision. A lot of these parts are no longer made by Harley. Finding the best parts for the least amount of money is the ONLY way to come out ahead, wallet-wise. A bike that is EXACTLY what you want to ride is PRICELESS!! (compliments of Master Card).

aciddeath
3rd December 2010, 09:52
what I meant to convey in my post was that a basket, in the end, will more than likely end up costing you more because you building part by part

where as if you scored a good deal on a runner with all the major parts you wanted (frame,trans, mill,etc) you would likely spend less modifying it to your needs. Then again if you had a garage full of lathe, mill, tig, compressor, et. al this really doesn't apply


This is definitely one of those discussions that relies heavily on the experience, patience, ability and tool capacity of the individual building (or mod) the bike.. and how good of deals you can find!

The way I like to look at it... if you have a dream to build a bike (and you have one you ride already), you gotta follow it even if all you have is a screwdriver and putty knife. If you have a dream to ride a bike (and you don't have one already) you should probably buy one that runs


I am coming up on 2 years for my pan now (I have a 79xlh that as a daily).. I am married to the pan and will likely never get what I put into it but that wasn't my intention when I started. When I'm finished I'm going to have a 'brand new' pan (chop) in a 48 wishbone (and not a motor/trans that I'm unsure of mechanically because I will have laid hands on every piece).

Food for thought.

ron521
3rd December 2010, 09:59
I've not had a basket Harley Davidson, but my first non-Japanese bike was a BSA 250 in boxes. Figured out how to put it together, but turned out it wasn't a very great bike even together and running.

Agreed that most people are unlikely to save money on a basket case, and unlikely to make any money when you later resell it.

Trailer parks are simply FULL of "project" bikes (and cars) that the Earl and Randy's of the world begin, but never finish.

drhach
3rd December 2010, 12:02
You should buy a basket case if:
You like to tinker
The bike is rare and you are likely ot find it at all let alone in parts.
You were going to recreate it in some major custom way regardless of condition
You are a masochist

You should not buy a basket case if:
You want to save money
You want to save time
You don't like setbacks and hang-ups


My bike "nickel and dimes" me and it runs. I can't imagine what a pile of parts would cost in the end. I've done a couple of basket cases. Doing it even remotely right is expensive and very labor intensive. You can always half-ass it, but then you end up with a piece of crap that you end selling because you hate it.

fergerburger
3rd December 2010, 13:27
here ya go...900 dollar basket...put about 1,000 into it not including 100's of hours of labor
http://i700.photobucket.com/albums/ww7/0degreesf/lil_rigid/DSCN1214.jpg

drhach
3rd December 2010, 14:46
here ya go...900 dollar basket...put about 1,000 into it not including 100's of hours of labor
http://i700.photobucket.com/albums/ww7/0degreesf/lil_rigid/DSCN1214.jpg

Let;s see....

$900 Purchase price
$1000 for materials

Labor, well, let's assume that you will work cheap ($10/hour) and cap it at 100 hours

$1000 for labor

Total price $2900

That's about the going rate for a runner of that vintage. Naturally your time may be more or less valuable :smoke

MDT
3rd December 2010, 16:32
Both my bikes were baskets, but that was 30 some years ago.
I guess one advantage to building from a basket is when something goes wrong, you only need to look in the mirror to see whose fault it is.

jonnybravo
3rd December 2010, 17:18
jharback is on it, that being said the knowledge I have gained I would nt trade for anything, the money ...DONT ASK DONT TELL ...

jonnybravo
3rd December 2010, 17:20
here ya go...900 dollar basket...put about 1,000 into it not including 100's of hours of labor
http://i700.photobucket.com/albums/ww7/0degreesf/lil_rigid/DSCN1214.jpg

MADE UR OWN BRAKE ROD EH, i HAD TO DO MINE JUST LIKE THAT ...

flathead45
3rd December 2010, 17:22
initial costs to get a running, driving sporty from a basketcase...

not counting post start up repairs, or down the road repairs, just the cost to get a harley under my ass.

1700 for the bike, complete, cases blown.
900 for a shop to weld and machine the cases and replace blown gears
700 for custom paint to make it perdy
100 to reupholster the seat pan
300 for tires
I'll say about 1000 for incidentals like oils, tools bought just to complete bike, sand paper, paint for other parts, etc, etc....

or about 3700 to get me rollin...but that doesn't count my hours of labor, the years of waiting for stuff to get done (well about 1 1/2 years lol) and the stuff I had to fix that probably wouldn't have gone south on a new bike.

I won't say it was cheaper per say, but I can't get credit so it was the only way for my to have a harley.

flathead45
3rd December 2010, 17:28
Let;s see....

$900 Purchase price
$1000 for materials

Labor, well, let's assume that you will work cheap ($10/hour) and cap it at 100 hours

$1000 for labor

Total price $2900

That's about the going rate for a runner of that vintage. Naturally your time may be more or less valuable :smoke
100 hour cap???? you built your bike in 2 1/2 weeks ? ( counting 40 hour work weeks) I'm at more like 1000 hours or about a month or two of labor on my bike :smoke

russzx6
3rd December 2010, 18:37
Beware the missing parts in a basket. ...it may look like it all there, and the seller may claim its all there....but in the end when your looking through the boxes searching for bits that the po's kid nicked its a pain in the @ss!!

fergerburger
3rd December 2010, 19:00
hey flatty,
I started in early February and finished in late March.....fired it up in April. I had saved up parts and scraps for more than a year before I started the build. So who knows how much time.

Probably about 500 hours...and the bike aint hacked...it is solid and runs like a top. welds are superior and fabrication was done by hand with a torch and hammer.

MDT
3rd December 2010, 19:35
I will add something here:
There ain't nothing like riding something you built from a pile of nuts and bolts. NOTHING!
In fact it's my signature.

Ferrous Head
3rd December 2010, 19:53
I build ALL of my bikes from parts, basket cases, WHY. It's the only way to fly.

Is it cheaper ? YES. As long as your carefull about what you buy.
Does it take long ? Depends on you, but yeah, it can take years and years.
Is it worth it ? Depends on you.

If it's the journey for you, then yes it is. If you just want to ride a bike, then no.

I doubt very much that I could afford to buy my 66CH as it is now. People would be looking for $20,000 + for this bike here in Australia - if you could find one. I have around 5 grand in it.

NO ONE builds the kind of bikes I build here in Australia. Or maybe anywhere else in the world. That's why I love basket cases.

cajun1957a
3rd December 2010, 19:54
My basket case started out in a milk crate. Everything was apart and in pretty sad condition. I wanted a harley. I didnt care what it looked like but i wanted one. My big mistake or enlightenment is when one day i put a brand new part on it. That was the beginning and its still continuing. I have replaced or rebuilt just about every part on that bike. The original parts I started with are gone with the exception of the cases and cylinders. It never ended, more and more and more new shiny parts. Some OEM and some import but it is mine and done the way i wanted to do it. Took me three years and lots and lots of dollars, but its one of a kind and i dont care what others think or say about what i did to it. As Elvis once sang..............."I did it my way". Hail to the king baby.

randy

76 sporty
3rd December 2010, 20:01
mine started as a bike in a box and it took me about 4 months and almost 3000 to put it together

rivethog
3rd December 2010, 21:00
Most of the bikes I've owned started out as basket cases. I have never been able to save up the $$$$$ to buy a running bike, but I have always been able to get enough money together to buy parts periodically. It's like a "payment plan". I also like building/working on them. Hell, my last bike started out as an empty place on my shop floor, I just bought parts when I could afford them and built a bike from scratch. Drove it to Sturgis this year. Over 4,000mi with no breakdowns.

Stick_Man
3rd December 2010, 21:01
My basket case started out in a milk crate. Everything was apart and in pretty sad condition. I wanted a harley. I didnt care what it looked like but i wanted one. My big mistake or enlightenment is when one day i put a brand new part on it. That was the beginning and its still continuing. I have replaced or rebuilt just about every part on that bike. The original parts I started with are gone with the exception of the cases and cylinders. It never ended, more and more and more new shiny parts. Some OEM and some import but it is mine and done the way i wanted to do it. Took me three years and lots and lots of dollars, but its one of a kind and i dont care what others think or say about what i did to it. As Elvis once sang..............."I did it my way". Hail to the king baby.

randy

are u thinking of frank sinatra. anyway, i just bought this '81 last year. maybe I should give the tools a little break + the bank account. Although I wouldn't dream of plopping down 3500 for another running MC; when I barely got to ride mine 1000 miles and it already 30 degrees (Fahren.) out; that's why i'm trying to cheap out on a basket. it doesn't look like it's in the cards however

to be honest I doubt it would be anohter IH. even though I have spares and know the MC by now; i just don't get the point of having 2 of the same anything. Trucks, MCs, guitars etc

Derek43WLC
3rd December 2010, 21:17
Just wondering how long it took you and what the cost savings were . . .

[B]The term " Basket case" depends...again...back to Forrest Gump..
....box of chocotates (thats not right spell't butyou get the message..., you never know...what you"l get inside,
(man, that, is my famous saying .. :)
Do you want to bike... be proud? ...of what you've done?
Or, do you want an Evo.. :)[
Bro, it'S a feeling, shake maybe ,rattle, but always roll! I've had 'bout 6 since my early riding days..they grow on you!
I have 3 different HD's but the fast, nimb sucker, always, my '73 Irinhead...have push the '83, still in the shop

Best of luck, and if you decide, remember, tool and patience :)

Dee/B]

sonnydaze
3rd December 2010, 21:43
ive built 2 sportster basket cases and i wrecked basket case road king . all were bought for next to nothing and built for way less than i could buy running one , but im not new to harleys and can tear one down to bare frame and split cases and put it all back together in about 40 man hours ( worst part to me is wiring )

Derek43WLC
3rd December 2010, 21:58
[B]The term " Basket case" depends...again...back to Forrest Gump..
....box of chocotates (thats not right spell't butyou get the message..., you never know...what you"l get inside,
(man, that, is my famous saying .. :)
Do you want to bike... be proud? ...of what you've done?
Or, do you want an Evo.. :)[
Bro, it'S a feeling, shake maybe ,rattle, but always roll! I've had 'bout 6 since my early riding days..they grow on you!
I have 3 different HD's but the fast, nimb sucker, always, my '73 Irinhead...have push the '83, still in the shop

Best of luck, and if you decide, remember, tool and patience :)

Dee/B]

...simply...you godd'a like it...are you in...it a ton a fun, sweet trip's..
...and the chicks dig'it :wonderlan

sporty01
3rd December 2010, 22:02
my 66 was a total basket case. engine was disassembled and in two separate milk crates everything that could be taken off or apart had been.some things were missing.had extras of others by the time i rebuilt and reassembled the engine, painted frame,fenders tank, polished what could be polished powder coated what couldnt.added new tires and plenty of other things im sure ive forgotten im about 4500 in including the 600 i spent for the basket case. but i know that bike every nut and bolt and its the color i wanted and all that. so to me it was worth it . the wife on the other hand thinks otherwise. lol

drhach
3rd December 2010, 22:22
You know, in spite of all that I've said, I've been eying a set of bare cases from a 68 XLCH on ebay. Also, two of my last four bikes came to me in crates. So.....I guess I am a masochist after all.

cajun1957a
4th December 2010, 06:49
StickMan:

Elvis recorded that song June 22 2007 and was released in October, a few weeks after his death and yes Sinatra did it his way too.

GA_Ironhead
4th December 2010, 07:17
that's why i'm trying to cheap out on a basket.

Cheap out and basket is an oxymoron. Baskets will have issues, which is how it probably got to be a basket in the first place. Throw missing parts into the mix and it just increases the expense.

Look at your '81 as an example - it was poorly maintained by the POs and it's now requiring a good bit of work and parts replacement by you to get it back in proper working order. There isn't a magic answer to mechanical dependability; someone has had to have maintained the bike well, which is why paying premium money for a well maintained running bike is worth the extra expense. Unless someone is willing to right the wrongs of POs with your time and money, they need to learn how to identify the mechanical condition of a bike and separate the wheat from the chaff.

Bikes can be built for "free", if you've got enough parts: http://www.ironheadcycle.com/pages/howto1.htm

bertandernie
4th December 2010, 07:33
I've not had a basket Harley Davidson, but my first non-Japanese bike was a BSA 250 in boxes. Figured out how to put it together, but turned out it wasn't a very great bike even together and running.

Agreed that most people are unlikely to save money on a basket case, and unlikely to make any money when you later resell it.

Trailer parks are simply FULL of "project" bikes (and cars) that the Earl and Randy's of the world begin, but never finish.

+1 on the trailer park finds, Iíve found amazing condition vintage cars in parks around here. Sunday drives in the country have turned up some interesting finds. Having the wife with me seems to put people at ease when knocking on doors. Usually park finds are in better condition than the country. Cars and Bikes sitting in overgrown yards and fields donít age well, whereas most of the trailer parks finds are usually parked on concrete surfaces or in the case of bikes, in the shed or on the porch.

bobsmanstuff
4th December 2010, 08:15
I just finished a 68 basket a couple of months ago. This is my first sportster. Over the past 30 years I always rode pans or shovels and they were all baskets. For the most part it was easier than shelling out a lot of cash or taking loans.
When you build your own out of a basket your not buying an off the shelf bike that anyone can buy.. First I took everything I knew I wasn't going to use and sold them on line and then took that money and bought the parts I wanted.
It took me a few months to finish but it's the way I had envisioned it.Out of pocket I have about $5000. into including what I paid for it. Putting them together with an idea in your head of what you want it to be is half the fun.
http://http://xlforum.net/photopost/watermark.php?file=58842

the cowboy way
4th December 2010, 10:55
when ya start with a basket
and finish it
you will know exatly what ya have
it will be what you want
the color you like

I have bought 4 of em
it started when I wanted to go drag racin
now its tryin to sell parts and make a buck

to me its all FUN FUN FUN

tr7dan
4th December 2010, 10:57
Although I've yet to renovate my first Sportster (which is waiting quietly in the wings for my attention) I have restored a few other bikes.... but only one was a basket case, and that was my 1954 G80S Matchless. It had been dismantled and was left rusting in carboard boxes in the corner of a friends garage for a couple of years before I rescued it.

Seen here loosely assembled for the pictures.....


http://i54.tinypic.com/jiyn0x.jpg >>> http://i55.tinypic.com/vx1c1t.jpg



......and after renovation.



> http://i55.tinypic.com/2r6fqfn.jpg >>>>> http://i52.tinypic.com/2dm8aq8.jpg


As there were so many parts missing or unuseable I decided to rebuild it as a competition replica rather than the standard road going utilitarian machine it originally was.


The problem with a basket is if the myriad of tiny clips, brackets, oddball fasteners, etc. get lost or misplaced they can be a nightmare to find - on the other hand it does give you real 'product familiarisation' .... you'll know the whole damn machine inside out down to the last screw.

Dan

the cowboy way
4th December 2010, 11:05
Just wondering how long it took you and what the cost savings were . . .

It took me about 8 monthe 3 of witch was searching for a rear brake caliper
I rode it without a rear brake around the nieborhood for 3 months

basket case 1976 IH $600
basketcase 1980 IH $625
to complete 1st bike $3,000 total

mparks
4th December 2010, 21:33
You should buy a basket case if:
You like to tinker
The bike is rare and you are likely ot find it at all let alone in parts.
You were going to recreate it in some major custom way regardless of condition
You are a masochist

You should not buy a basket case if:
You want to save money
You want to save time
You don't like setbacks and hang-ups


My bike "nickel and dimes" me and it runs. I can't imagine what a pile of parts would cost in the end. I've done a couple of basket cases. Doing it even remotely right is expensive and very labor intensive. You can always half-ass it, but then you end up with a piece of crap that you end selling because you hate it.

ditto what he said,twice!