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Discussion Starter #1
So I bought an old bike thinking like cars parts would be a plenty.



Apparently I was wrong. Even a battery needs to be special ordered FML.


Anyone else want to rant or rave?
 

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The internet is your friend when it comes to hunting rare Bike parts...
I gotta 65 & 66 Sportster, I goto the XL sportster forums for help...
What "Old Bike" are you looking for parts for???
Dennis
 

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So I bought an old bike thinking like cars parts would be a plenty.



Apparently I was wrong. Even a battery needs to be special ordered FML.


Anyone else want to rant or rave?
You've discovered the vintage restoration pitfall.

But there's old bikes that were only made for a year or a few years and didn't sell well, and there's old bikes that were made for decades and have tons out there, and the experience will be quite different.

It's wise to do your homework before committing to a restoration project, and if you are going to take on a rare specimen, spend more $$ to get one that is complete. Those niggling spare parts will add up, and a NOS exhaust can easily cost more than you paid for the bike in the first place.

This is where the concept of "resto-mod" can save you. I personally wouldn't get caught up in a concours quality restoration of a machine that does not have collector interest.

Let me guess. Is your bike a 1988 VT800C?

The internet is your friend when it comes to hunting rare Bike parts...
I gotta 65 & 66 Sportster, I goto the XL sportster forums for help...
Out of all of the marques, I think the HDs are the BEST for aftermarket spare parts availability, not to mention Harley parts comprise 4/5 of what I see laid out at the local swaps. I got an '81 Ironhead myself that I'm gonna fix up real soon. Thinking about putting a kicker on it, cause it's electric start only.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
You've discovered the vintage restoration pitfall.

But there's old bikes that were only made for a year or a few years and didn't sell well, and there's old bikes that were made for decades and have tons out there, and the experience will be quite different.

It's wise to do your homework before committing to a restoration project, and if you are going to take on a rare specimen, spend more $$ to get one that is complete. Those niggling spare parts will add up, and a NOS exhaust can easily cost more than you paid for the bike in the first place.

This is where the concept of "resto-mod" can save you. I personally wouldn't get caught up in a concours quality restoration of a machine that does not have collector interest.

Let me guess. Is your bike a 1988 VT800C?



Out of all of the marques, I think the HDs are the BEST for aftermarket spare parts availability, not to mention Harley parts comprise 4/5 of what I see laid out at the local swaps. I got an '81 Ironhead myself that I'm gonna fix up real soon. Thinking about putting a kicker on it, cause it's electric start only.
85 shadow 500
 

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84 VT500C retro bobber
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I have an 84 vt500c and have had absolutely no problems finding anything I have needed. However, I do not get caught up in whats "correct " and only care what will work. My bike is far from stock and the vt500 will never be a high dollar collector bike so maybe my criteria is different.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The internet is your friend when it comes to hunting rare Bike parts...
I gotta 65 & 66 Sportster, I goto the XL sportster forums for help...
What "Old Bike" are you looking for parts for???
Dennis
Only an 85 5oovt could not find battery. Nor the signal relay, also had to source a brake assembly from a crashed bike
 

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85 shadow 500
See how lucky you are!? The VT500C was made 3 times longer than the VT800C!

If I was looking for parts for that machine, I'd dig into the parts list, and get the specific Honda number of the component or assembly I needed. Then I would start searching the parts lists of other contemporary and earlier and later models, the other smaller and larger Shadows, the Magnas, whatever else might have shared the parts I needed, and especially the models that had bigger sales figures. Template:Honda motorcycles (1980s) - Wikipedia
Certainly many components would have been shared across multiple models.

Folks who have them, seem to like those 500 Shadows. In fact, some folks say that Honda has never made a 500 that turned out any less than very good.
 

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2007 VT750DC Spirit “chopper”
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the vt500 will never be a high dollar collector bike so maybe my criteria is different.
Eh, depends on how much you love em. They may not be collectible within reason but they can definitely be collected and now is probably the time to buy and hold or buy and enjoy.

This flawless 3200 mile VT500 sold for a mere $2200.

 

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2002, Shadow Spirit 1100
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Only an 85 5oovt could not find battery. Nor the signal relay, also had to source a brake assembly from a crashed bike
Pull up a battery web site like Battery Stuff.com. You can put battery dimensions, amps and see which side the terminals are on. You can use that info and find a battery that will work. Some AGM batteries are much smaller so you can fit it in place and then cushion around it to hold the battery in place and secure.
 

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Didn’t bother replacing with the ‘T’-shaped battery in my ‘83 750 with the same. I just grabbed a regular battery from a local place that had the same terminal setup, and it was sized just right that it sits in the upper part of the battery holder.
 

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Didn’t bother replacing with the ‘T’-shaped battery in my ‘83 750 with the same. I just grabbed a regular battery from a local place that had the same terminal setup, and it was sized just right that it sits in the upper part of the battery holder.
My 96 Shadow Ace 1100 came to me with a standard battery like you describe. But I noticed that it's rated around 11 amp-hours, whereas the OEM "T shaped" battery is rated 16. I'm not sure I'm willing to give up 1/3 of my capacity, on a bike that has no kick starter and that I expect to take cross country. The "T Shaped" battery doesn't seem that hard to get or expensive. Even the name brand Yuasa is under $90.
 

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1995 VT1100C2
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My 96 Shadow Ace 1100 came to me with a standard battery like you describe. But I noticed that it's rated around 11 amp-hours, whereas the OEM "T shaped" battery is rated 16. I'm not sure I'm willing to give up 1/3 of my capacity, on a bike that has no kick starter and that I expect to take cross country. The "T Shaped" battery doesn't seem that hard to get or expensive.
My problem with the "T" has been that even with a quality smart charger, the battery lasted 2-3 years. FInally in 2012 a battery supplier recommended a non-"T" AGM-type battery. When I mentioned it only had 11aH rather than 16aH in the spec I was told unless I am running a heavy load or the engine is really out of tune or I leave the lights/ignition on for more than an hour it shouldn't matter since the starting CCA 210 is the same and more than the spec battery.

So I bought the battery for $50. and its been great for 8 years. The bike is stored 6 months and now, with NO charger, it starts every spring.
 

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8 years? For as inexpensive as they are, I’ll be happy with half of that! Yeah, the AmpHours come into play if you lost your charging system in the middle of nowhere, or were ever needing to crank it a long time to get it started. Plus what GdB just said. I thought about getting a Yuasa battery, but I’ll see if I can even get and keep this thing running first.
 

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2002, Shadow Spirit 1100
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My problem with the "T" has been that even with a quality smart charger, the battery lasted 2-3 years. FInally in 2012 a battery supplier recommended a non-"T" AGM-type battery. When I mentioned it only had 11aH rather than 16aH in the spec I was told unless I am running a heavy load or the engine is really out of tune or I leave the lights/ignition on for more than an hour it shouldn't matter since the starting CCA 210 is the same and more than the spec battery.

So I bought the battery for $50. and its been great for 8 years. The bike is stored 6 months and now, with NO charger, it starts every spring.
I got a lower amp AGM battery as you did but on another bike and that battery has powered the bike fine and has outlasted about 6 of the previous proper sized batteries and like you, it was 1/2 the price. If I recall correctly, my Spirit AGM battery was the correct size.
 

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1995 VT1100C2
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...AmpHours come into play if you lost your charging system in the middle of nowhere...
If you lose your charging system in the middle of nowhere, by the time you notice, neither 11aH nor 16aH will likely be able to start the engine. My guess is a typical Shadow ie headlight, tailight, ignition draw is about 8aH so if your lights dim, dont stop the engine.

As mentioned the possible advantage of higher aH is if you leave your key on / headlight on but the only time I did that, (5aH draw) I had a "T"16aH battery and after 4 hours required a boost to start, a 20 minute ride and a boost again.
 

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2015 Shadow Aero, 1972 Triumph 650 Tiger
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I just finished rebuilding my 1972 Triumph Tiger and parts availability was tremendous But hell, it was a Triumph.
 

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If you lose your charging system in the middle of nowhere, by the time you notice, neither 11aH nor 16aH will likely be able to start the engine. My guess is a typical Shadow ie headlight, tailight, ignition draw is about 8aH so if your lights dim, dont stop the engine.

As mentioned the possible advantage of higher aH is if you leave your key on / headlight on but the only time I did that, (5aH draw) I had a "T"16aH battery and after 4 hours required a boost to start, a 20 minute ride and a boost again.
I like to modify my electric systems with a cut off switch for the headlight, or all the lights if it's not too much trouble. On my kick start bikes this gives a lot of lattitude to use a battery that is going bad.

With an electric start bike or even one with EFI you are going to have difficulty starting with the 10.4 or so volts you end up with when a cell goes bad. My Royal Enfield, which has EFI, can barely manage it, but it's iffy, like starting a magneto ignition engine. The ECU refuses to do its thing if the voltage isn't above a certain level. Being able to get the lighting out of the picture helps a lot in these situations. And sometimes I just want to be able to do stealth mode. Straight pipes won't help you much there.
 

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I have not looked for a while but doesn't the starter button interrupt the headlight circuit so the headlight is not a drain when starting?
I have heard of this in some models, but in a lot of older bikes, headlight comes on with ignition on. The really old ones from before laws started being passed in the 1970s regarding daylight use of headlights, would control headlight with ignition switch positions, or with separate switches. Those old style ignition switches can still be purchased.

Even today, how the machines come from the factory may vary by the country they are intended to be sold in. The laws requiring manufacturers to idiot proof daylight use of headlights doesn't apply everywhere.

Suppressing headlight during starting only wouldn't achieve my purpose. You'd be surprised how far you can ride without a working charging system, if you are running only your ignition. I'd much rather get off the highway with no lights, than be stuck on the highway with no lights.

Of course, with an EFI, there's quite a bit more power consumed with the ECU and fuel pump. It will be interesting to quantify all the different loads, one of these days. My commuter bike is setup with a three way light switch, -OFF position allows the brake lights and indicators only, -PARK adds the tail light and small cowl lights next to the headlight, useful if you need to be on the side of the road at night, -HEADLIGHT adds the headlight. If I can manage a setup like this on my Shadow, I will.
 

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If you lose your charging system in the middle of nowhere, by the time you notice, neither 11aH nor 16aH will likely be able to start the engine. My guess is a typical Shadow ie headlight, tailight, ignition draw is about 8aH so if your lights dim, dont stop the engine.

As mentioned the possible advantage of higher aH is if you leave your key on / headlight on but the only time I did that, (5aH draw) I had a "T"16aH battery and after 4 hours required a boost to start, a 20 minute ride and a boost again.
I was thinking that, since your charging system was gone, the bigger battery would run the bike longer before it finally ran out of power to trigger the coils. But, like you said, with a good battery, that would still take a while...
 
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