Essex , VT
HOW TO GRADE AND EVALUATE A MOTORCYCLE
The VJEMC and the “Comprehensive Vintage Motorcycle Price Guide” use a six-level grading scale to determine value of a vintage motorcycle. By using this scale, you should be able to make a reasonably accurate assessment of the condition and value of any motorcycle in your collection or for sale. We recommend that you consult with experts in the field if questions arise, and recommend certification by such firms as the Vintage Motorcycle Certification System (VMCS) for major purchases to be assured the bike you are purchasing meets these criteria. The VMCS can be found at major vintage events where the VJEMC is present, such as Vintage Days at Mid-Ohio, the Barber Vintage Festival, most major auctions, and the huge International Vintage Motorcycle Show and Swap Meet held each year in Wisconsin. The VMCS can be reached at 877-853-6210.
CONDITION 1-PERFECT/NEW- New, unused motorcycles or perfect restorations
It should be noted that there are almost no condition 1 motorcycles on the road. These are bikes that would have just left the showroom floor, or have been restored to showroom condition with proper factory specifications. Everything runs and operates perfectly. These are bikes that are rarely ridden, and often will be show winners. Many people save these bikes in climate-controlled rooms or museums as investment pieces or works of art. Note that in relationship to this price guide, there are often differences in prices between a condition 1 original bike and a condition 1 restored bike, related to the demand and rarity. This is a factor that must be taken into consideration when purchasing a condition 1 motorcycle.
Without close examination, many condition 2 motorcycles may appear as condition 1. It may be a bike that is ridden, but usually for limited miles. It may be a well-restored bike, or a well-preserved original. There is almost no wear, or very minimal wear, on these motorcycles.
CONDITION 3-VERY GOOD
Most bikes that are seen on the road are in condition 3 or condition 4. They are operable original bikes, or perhaps older restorations that have some wear. It may look good as you gaze at it in a parking lot, but as you get closer, you may see paint nicks or light fading; wear on the plastic, rubber, or leather parts; or light dulling of the chrome. All components of the bike are in working order.
This is a basic, useable motorcycle. This can be an original, well-used model, or a restoration that has been ridden, and has begun to deteriorate. This bike may need some minor work, but most of the systems should function. Even from a distance, it is obvious that there are chips and fading in the paint, small dents, rust, poor chrome, or other areas of the motorcycle that need attention. Again, it is important to note that most motorcycles on the road would grade out as condition 3 or condition 4.
This is a motorcycle that needs close to a full restoration. It may or may not be running, but is in better shape than a condition 6 motorcycle. These bikes usually have all of the original parts, or the parts may be available from the owners if they have modified the bike and have not discarded the original equipment. It has rust, faded or scratched paint, pitted or dull chrome, but not throughout the entire bike. This is a bike that would be considered as a good base for a restoration and would not present the restorer with a huge chore to find parts and supplies.
These bikes are not running. They may be missing parts, may have been wrecked, and are in poor shape throughout, with faded and scratched paint, lots of rust, badly pitted or rusted chrome, tears in seats, cracked plastic and leather, worn or torn rubber pieces, and other problems. These bikes are usually good for parts to be used on other restorations, but can also be in the form of a complete bike in bad shape.
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Essex , VT