How Much Should You Spend on a Classic Motorcycle?

How Much Should You Spend on a Classic Motorcycle

How Much Should You Spend on a Classic Motorcycle?

Back in February 2014, we looked at what factors may help you determine the market value of a classic car, either for selling or for buying purposes. Hemmings Collector Car Marketplace provides a very specific guide to use when doing so, but what if you are looking to buy a classic motorcycle instead of a car?

Determining the value of a vintage or classic motorcycle can be tricky, but it’s an important part of your buying process, especially since your classic motorcycle insurance policy will be affected by this value. Experts recommend having a professional motorcycle appraisal done, but motorsport expert John Glimmerveen offers the following basic factors that affect the value of your bike.

Pricing trends.  The market value of the bike you are looking to purchase may be decreasing. It’s important to do your research online and through other resources for your specific classic motorcycle to determine if it is in fact decreasing in value, remaining stable, or increasing.

Repair costs. Will it cost you more to make repairs than it will to buy the bike? If those repairs won’t raise the value to a profitable amount, the bike not be worth the purchase. This will vary though on whether you are looking to get the bike into riding shape or make it museum quality, which brings us to the next factor.

Purpose. If the purchase is being made as an investment, and you intend to restore it, you may be willing to pay a little more than if you were to purchase for riding pleasure only. When it comes to rare motorcycles, enthusiasts are usually quick to buy if it looks good, but if you are buying it to ride, the mechanical functionality is much more important than its looks.

Rarity. How many are on the market?

At Condon Skelly, we know how exciting it can be to buy a classic motorcycle or start a collection of antique vehicles. We’ve been helping our customers protect their classics with affordable, industry-leading classic motorcycle insurance coverage since 1967. We’re a group of collectors, enthusiasts, and professionals who specialize in insuring all types of collector vehicles. For more information, please contact us today at (866) 291-5694.

Classic Motorcycles: The History of Board Track Racing

Classic Motorcycles: The History of Board Track Racing

Classic Motorcycles: The History of Board Track Racing

If you are an avid antique motorcycle fan, you’ve likely heard of the popular motorsport, Board Track Racing. Prevalent in the U.S. during the 1910s and 1920s, this event was a competition that took place on circular or oval race courses with surfaces composed of wooden planks. The reason for the use of these board tracks were in part because they were not expensive to construct. Unfortunately, they did lack durability, and because of this they required a great deal of maintenance to remain in use. Most tracks only lasted for three years before being abandoned.

Due to the lack of safely built tracks, called motordromes, the sport of Board Track Racing was a risky one. Riders were able to reach speeds of more than 100 miles an hour, meaning that when a crash happened, it was devastating. Crashes weren’t rare either; riders who went down faced being pelted with splinters from the boards and often times spectators were injured as well. Some crashes were even fatal.

Despite all this, people flocked to the races at board tracks from Denver, to Milwaukee, to Long Island. By the mid-1920s, however, the novelty of the sport began to wear off and it was losing its appeal. Newspapers had begun to refer to motordromes as “murderdromes,” and local governments even starting closing some of the tracks. Race officials and the motorcycle manufacturers that sponsored racing teams tried to implement safety measures, but it didn’t help. By the early 1930s, Board Track Racing became obsolete.

At Condon Skelly, we appreciate the history behind antique and classic motorcycles, trucks, and cars. Since 1967, we’ve been helping our customers protect their classics with affordable, industry-leading insurance coverage. We’re a group of collectors, enthusiasts, and professionals who specialize in insuring all types of collector vehicles. Please contact us today to learn more at 800.257.9496. 

Collector Motorcycle Insurance: The Triumph Tiger Cub

Collector Motorcycle Insurance The Triumph Tiger Cub

Collector Motorcycle Insurance: The Triumph Tiger Cub

Back in December 2013, we explored the evolution of the Triumph Bonneville classic motorcycle. While the Bonneville is an iconic antique vehicle, it’s not the only Triumph with fame. Intended to be a bike that served as an antidote to the fog of British two-stroke engines smoking up the streets, the T20 Tiger Cub was a bike that capitalized on the appeal of Triumph’s established muscle machines, the 498cc Speed Twin, Tiger 100, and 649cc Thunderbird. Unlike these bikes though, the Tiger Cub was lightweight with a commuter appeal.

The tiger cub was known for being a small motorcycle. Introduced in 1954 and in production for a little over a decade, the 200cc T20 Tiger Cub was designed by Edward Turner and launched at the Earls Court show in November 1953. The Tiger Cub competed well against the other small-capacity motorcycles of the time, such as those using Villiers two-stroke engines.

The earlier version of the Cub, derived from the 150cc Triumph T15 Terrier (1953-1956) with the same frame and forks, used the aforementioned bike’s plunger rear suspension frame. In 1957, this was updated to a more modern pattern of a rear-swinging arm with twin suspension units.

Even with its iconic nature, the Tiger Cub had its drawbacks. For example, in the earlier bikes the plain bearing big ends were prone to failure if the engine was revved hard before the oil was warm. A better oil pump was fitted in 1961, and the Cub received a complete new bottom end in 1962, which fixed that problem. The Cub also saw ignition problems during this time, but that too was fixed by 1963.

Although the Tiger Cub made many improvements throughout its existence, it’s development was somewhat short lived. Triumph ceased production of the Tiger Cub in 1968. The last model made was the T20 Super Cub.

No matter what type of classic or vintage motorcycle you own, we can insure it at Condon Skelly. Your vehicle will fall into the antique category if it is completely original and at least 25 years old. We insure many different types of antique cars, trucks, and motorcycles so we’ll be able to craft the perfect policy for your vehicle. Please contact us at (866) 291-5694 for more information today!