So I've done a lot of polishing....


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El Taco
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Location: Alamogordo, New Mexico
Motorcycle: 1977 GL1000

So I've done a lot of polishing....

Postby El Taco » Fri Apr 19, 2013 7:20 pm



And I see myself doing a great deal more. I decided to start tearing down the original engine from my 77 GL1000, and suddenly I have a pile of parts to polish and swap. This all started with the stator cover, as I'm going to swap it for the kick start option. I'd say it's not quite half way finished at this point. I've already polished the breaker case, and got a start on the tach drive and fuel pump. I noticed the coolant transfer tubes on top of the block will take a polish, and I plan on doing everything from the water neck back.

So I've been wondering, does this increase the value of the part in particular? Does it affect the overall value of the motorcycle? Does anyone really care? I looked just at valve covers on ebay the other day, and there are a ton of them. Most of them are rough and crusty, and range in price from about $10 to $50 each. I've got a set of NOS valve covers for GL1100 in boxes, are they even worth the effort to sell?

At the moment I'm polishing for personal satisfaction, and as a result my bike is super clean so far. When I'm done, I'll have three extra engines worth of parts, should I part out or just pile somewhere? Would it be worth the effort to polish items like belt covers, valve covers, intakes, front and rear covers, (water pump and stator, respectively) and such?
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littlebeaver
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Re: So I've done a lot of polishing....

Postby littlebeaver » Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:02 pm

Those of us that have polished before know what you have gone through, it takes time...Patience and lots of work, I did go as far as you did because I was wanting to ride that sucker man,,,I polished what I could see and that was it..You take alot of pride in what you do...

Mac_Musick
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Re: So I've done a lot of polishing....

Postby Mac_Musick » Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:11 pm

Those parts in the photos look fantastic! In my opinion polished parts will fetch a much higher price than grody or unpolished parts. Bradshaw over at ngwclub.com has a price list for polished parts.
Mac from Durango CO
1985 Goldwing GL1200I project
1984 Nighthawk CB650SC daily rider
I have been riding Hondas since 1964. My first bike was. 1962 250 Scrambler CL72 I have owned two Valkyries, a VTX1800R, a Naked 1982 GL1100 and half a dozen non Hondas.

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wjnfirearms
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Re: So I've done a lot of polishing....

Postby wjnfirearms » Sat Apr 20, 2013 6:11 am

It does look great. Well done.

Whether old parts are more valuable or not refinished depends largely on what they are, how old, and how rare. Some things defined as antique can be ruined value wise by reconditioning them. Others, not. An antique bike could be made much less valuable if it is refinished. If it is a driver, the opposite could be true. The same holds true with guns, furniture, etc. I have some experience in this realm.

As to NOS (new old stock) parts and accessories, they are most always worth more than old and crusty, especially if the original packaging is intact. I've seen NOS parts for old cars and bikes go for big bucks especially depending how rare they are and how big the demand is.

If the value of anything old is a concern, it would behoove you to research the particular item before you start any refurbishing project. Sometimes patina is worth more than shine.
Member, Patriot Guard Riders, Blue Knights LEMC, PA VII

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El Taco
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Re: So I've done a lot of polishing....

Postby El Taco » Sat Apr 20, 2013 3:53 pm

Oh, I understand. My 1964 Epiphone Coronet has a patina that only age can produce, and it would be sacrilege to refinish it. Just like it would be ridiculous to blue a Model 92 38-40 from 1902. This is the reason I raise the issue. I'd like to hear from actual GW owners as to what they'd like to see. I see sets of valve covers for over $100, would anyone consider paying that much?

I get the idea that nobody wants the super crusted ten dollar valve cover, and the fifty dollar polished cover may never sell. Seems like there's a lot of pie in the sky pricing on this stuff. Given the amount of patina available, and how cheap it is, is it worth shipping, much less pulling and posting?

Let's say I polished all this stuff, would anyone even want it?

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El Taco
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Re: So I've done a lot of polishing....

Postby El Taco » Sat Apr 20, 2013 4:40 pm

[quote="littlebeaver"]Those of us that have polished before know what you have gone through, it takes time...Patience and lots of work, I did go as far as you did because I was wanting to ride that sucker man,,,I polished what I could see and that was it..You take a lot of pride in what you do...[/quote]


I just realized that you said you polished everything you could see. I've already gone far beyond what we can see on the bike. The backsides of the intakes are mirror polished, the casting marks all removed. Everything is smooth. Last night I ground all of the ridges and marks from the thermostat housing, and as far as I can tell, you can't see it at all under the carbs. Temp sensor and fan switch are brass, once I test them, they'll get polished. Totally invisible on the bike. I'm still working on the stator cover, polishing even underneath, where I'm sure nobody will ever see it.

I'm considering slacking on it. When I start on a part, I like to finish it. I can't be satisfied until every unnecessary ridge and mark is shaved. I end up with hours in all the tight corners until I have a finish that passes my own standards, long after I've said I was going to skimp in said areas.

You're absolutely right though, I do it because I want it to look like that. I want the difference between my bike and one that's clean enough to be those hours involved with each and every piece I was willing to work. It's that idea that drives me to put hours into all those places nobody will ever see. Even if I may never see those places again, I'll know they're smooth and polished.

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wjnfirearms
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Re: So I've done a lot of polishing....

Postby wjnfirearms » Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:33 pm

I've seen much out there in a lot of categories that the owner thinks is gold and wants high $$ for it. Unless it is rare and/or in demand big time, they never see it. Just look at how many high buck things go unsold on eBay and elsewhere. It's soooo nice to dream.

Both when I was dabbling in antiques with my ex wife's family or when I sold classic car parts along with what I still tell people when they call me about how much their old gun is worth, I still stick to the same old familiar rap.

You can look in the guide books and get appraisals on whatever you want. No matter what anyone says whatever it might be is worth, nothing is worth more than anyone is willing to pay for it. Bottom line.

And to answer your question, if I were looking for chrome or brushed parts for my bike or car, I'd rather buy polished and nice ones than ones that looked like they came right out of the scrapyard. I wouldn't overpay for them, however. Pay somewhat more, probably. Overpay, absolutely not. You can command a bit more for them just based on condition and if you intend to sell in the future, especially through the same venue, you will develop a better reputation for the quality of what you sell.
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El Taco
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Re: So I've done a lot of polishing....

Postby El Taco » Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:51 pm

Establishing a value is proving difficult. There are a lot of high priced items on ebay, and I'm sure they never sell. Also, this is more or less a one time deal. When I run out of parts, I'll be left with my finished bike and the spare parts I wish to keep. I have no desire to establish a reputation as a vendor of polished parts, as the process is monotonous and the profit surely minimal.

For example, my stator cover will have around forty hours in it by the time it's done. I've got about two thirds of the paint off, maybe one third finished, and I'm about twelve hours in. There are numerous fine details to go. Of course, this is a painted part, it was never intended to be polished, and as such, is not anything near smooth when the paint comes off. In telling you all of this, I've effectively talked myself out of ever trying to polish a stator cover for sale.

In fact, I believe I'll just polish my own stuff, and liquidate the pile of "78 specific" parts that I have, but will never use. The more I think about it, the more hassle it seems to present.




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