> Which is more valuable?

Which is more valuable?

Posted at: 2015-04-14 
Me and my dad are rebuilding a 1969 250cc bsa. And we don't know if to restore it to its original condition or to modify it into a cafe racer style bike. What is the best choice?? So yeah.

If it was to be modified would it be worth more or less?

We are in California if that helps and the bike only needs to be painted and built to be in good contion

Depends on how much you wish to pay either way.

Search around (not just Calif.) to see what the bike is worth both ways. You can find a few pieces and parts if you dig hard enough, eBay an okay place but there are forums for both sides of the coin, which call do you on a coin-toss?

Fully restored the bike could fetch a little more than you've put into it but it needs to be very exact to an original or buyers shine it off. But on the other side of the coin a crafted cafe could bring in more without a lot of hassle.

If you hold onto it for a couple decades MAYBE BSA will get bought out (hahaha) and it'll be worth what an old Indian bike is going for.

There are hundreds of Starfires and similar around in immaculate condition created by professional restorers. You would have to be exceptional to make any serious money on the restoration (and that will require a heavy outlay for chrome, paint, parts etc.).

Many collectors would rather have an original, unrestored example in their collection. If your bike has original, good quality bodywork and tanks and the engine is a runner (even with faded paint and oily patina) it would be worth more (in terms of the profit) than a well-restored model – anything less than concourse would be marked down.

At least a cafe racer could be anything you want in terms of parts and will have some value as a seller to a wider riding public – again think of profit. You might sell a restored bike for more cash but you will have to spend a lot in order to get there.

The BSA's are classic bikes and should be restored back to original if anything at all is done to them . These are really great bikes all of them . Any value would be in the original bike.

A bike is worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

With a restored model, you are appealing to someone who owned one as a kid. Those kids are now in their 60's. Even so, I'm only seeing asking prices of between $2500 and $3500 for really nice restorations. Sometimes you can get lucky.

With a one-off, you will have to find that one buyer who just has to have your bike and has the money to buy it. With an impressive build, you can hit some higher dollars.

If modified it would be worth less. In period 250 BSA's were never really modified as cafe racers.

Worth much more if you restore it. My oldest brother used to bring home BSAs and Nortons in boxes and rebuilt them. Had he chopped them or did anything less than a full restoration, he wouldn't have been able to sell them for even 25% of what he got for them.

Neither will get you much money...

Don't have my NADA guide handy, but I believe they are around $3,000 in excellent condition.

What is your restoration budget? Do you have all the parts? Have sources for cables, chrome, paint, etc?

I'd fix it as close to stock and ride it.

It depends in my opinion. If it is a rare bike, it is probably best to contact a historian or something and ask him about restring it. Some rare bikes are best left alone for display purposes, others are best to rebuild for riding.

You really need to ask a BSA expert, California is a good place to find them.

it will be worth more money if restored. it may be more fun to ride if you make a café racer out of it. I say restore it