Used Cars

Looking For a New Project? 7 DIY Steps to Motorcycle Restoration

By Daisy Emah-Emah Posted: 02/16/2022

Looking for a new hobby?  Try motorcycle restoration!


You should note that this hobby can be time-consuming and may eat into your bank balance a little bit. Luckily patience is key and you can land awesome motorcycle deals on a wholesale auction – it’s a win-win situation!


If you have no mechanical experience we recommend having a mechanic guide you throughout the process.


You don’t wanna be stuck with a messed-up project now, do you?



Motorcycle restoration – especially as a newbie can be rather complicated. That is why we’ve put together this guide to help you uncomplicate the process. 


This guide doesn’t eliminate the need for a mechanic’s assistance but you can never go wrong with the right information.


Now let’s delve into the restoration process…


What Are The  Motorcycle Restoration Steps?

1. Planning and Budgeting

Before you unscrew the first bolt, you need to make a plan and budget for your project. You don’t want to have an abandoned project because you missed this step. Set a structure and a workflow of the project. 


Make a checklist of the tools and parts you will need and how much you will need to purchase them. Make a budget of all the expenses and plan for mishaps or emergencies. Try to purchase authentic parts and tools to avoid future issues. 



2. Location for Restoration

The location of your project is an important aspect of the restoration process. You will need enough workspace to stip and dismantle the bike. The space should be wide enough to contain the tools and parts you will need for your project. 


Your workspace also needs to have a proper light setup or you’d be toast looking for missing parts and bolts. Good lighting will help you see tiny cracks and dents that may be overlooked. 


3. Get Enough Tools

Get enough tools and the right tools for the job. Having the right tools will make your work efficient and save time. Get all the tools you need to save you time and stress of running to get new tools during the restoration process. 



4. Label Bolts and Wires

Label the wires and bolts as you strip the bike. This will be useful when you are fixing the parts back together. You dont want to use the wrong bolt or connect the wrong wires that could cause problems in the future. Use plastic bags to help the labeling easier and more detailed. It will save you time and frustration. 


5. Video & Picture Documentation of the Process

As you dismantle and strip off the motorcycle, take lots of pictures, videos and document the entire process. These pictures will be useful when putting the bike back together. 


You will also have documented evidence of the process for future references in case of new projects which equals more income for you. Documenting the process gives you a sense of fulfillment when you see the before and after motorcycle restoration process.


6. Restoration Process

For this process, you will be stripping, cleaning, replacing, and rebuilding parts of the motorcycle. Pay extra attention to the parts below:



– Battery and Electricals

Check the battery voltage and terminals. Ensure that it is properly charged and the terminals are functioning properly. If this is not the case, have the battery replaced. Once your battery is top-notch, check the electrical system of the motorbike. 


Turn on the ignition, check the lighting system and the signals. If the light is dim, clean the bulbs or have them replaced. Check the bike’s dashboard and make sure it is properly illuminated. 


If the bulbs are fine but not lighting properly – it may be a wiring issue. If you are not familiar with the wiring system, request the help of an electrician. 


– Carburetor and Gas Tank

If you are restoring an old bike, chances are the carburetor is rusted or blocked. This affects the fuel delivery of the bike. Clean out the blockage or have the carburetor replaced if it is not working. Clean the gas tank as well and treat the rust using mild acid.  Also, check the jets and gaskets and have them replaced. 


– Replace Spark plugs

Check the spark plugs for the bile. If you cant access the spark terminal to the plugs that are dirty, have them replaced. This will get the fuel system and ignition working perfectly. 


– Chain and Sprockets

Check out the chain for any rust or worn-out parts or areas that are overstretched. The chain is an important part of your motorbike, they have to be shiny and stiff. If the chain is worn outdoor rusted have it replaced as this can be dangerous. Check the teeth of the sprocket, have them replaced if they are not sharp or worn out. 


– Wheels/Tires Replacement

Check the tires and make sure they are in good condition. Clear the dirt around and look for cracks, wear, punctures in the tube, and have them fixed or replaced. The wheels should not be out of shape or have dents – if they do, have them replaced. 


Check the manufacturer’s manual for the recommended tire fit for your motorcycle. 


– Check brakes & Shocks

Access the brakes, brake pads, and shocks. Replace worn-out parts. Drain out the old brake fluids and refill with new fluids.  


– Check and Replace Oil

Oil helps in lubricating the different components in the bike. Replace oil and oil filter as well. Check your manufacturer’s manual or have your mechanic recommend the best oil for your bike. 


– Engine Rebuild

If you have to rebuild the engine, it is recommended you bring a professional mechanic on board. 


– Paint Job

Give your bike a paint job using the desired color of your choice. 


7. Customization/Personal Touch

This is probably the most fun part of the motorcycle restoration process. Add your personal touch to and customize to your taste. You can pick out handlebars and grip that suit you – either the very high or low handlebars.  


Also, customize the frame, and give it a shine. Add an upholsterer of any color of your choice to your seat. You can also add protective gears to your bike such as side plates to cover the battery and air filter. 


However, you want your bike to look this is the perfect opportunity to let your creative streak go wild.


Further Reading

  1. Simple Car Auction Guide to Buying Salvage Cars at an Auction 
  2. How to choose a Salvage Auction Motorcycles for sale and What to Look for at a Motorcycle Salvage Auction? 
  3. Why Buy Salvage Motorcycles and Where Find Salvage Title Motorcycles for Sale? 
  4. How Do I Make the Most Out of a Motorcycle Auction? 


Final Notes!

We recommend you reach out to a professional mechanic or an expert in motorcycle restoration before you start ripping parts apart. Get a list of professionals you may need to contact for support in your area and share your project goal. 



If you are looking to purchase a salvage motorcycle for your restoration project, we have got you covered! Auto Auction Mall has an inventory of over 150k clean, salvage, and other title vehicles. All you need to do is sign up here for free and have access to our dealer-only auction. 


Easy Peasy!


Sign up now and start bidding!