‘57 R50 Question

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Re: ‘57 R50 Question

Post by jimkav »

1st thing nephew and I noticed were 1/2 hub and sport fender.
Looks like off R68
Bikes in Elyria Ohio former home of Penton/Honda

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Re: ‘57 R50 Question

Post by CWRoady »

I purchased a 1955 R50 two years ago for considerably more $$. It looked great, but wasn't. Malmac isn't far off from my experience. I enjoyed the project, but it was not a cheap endeavor. Mine needed so many things not readily visible or obvious ... from the mechanicals (bearings, slingers, valves, top end, all seals, final drive, suspension, etc) to frame straightening to new wiring looms .. this is not to build a show winner, just a reliable, fun, vintage bike I could confidently enjoy.

The price on yours looks appealing to me and I would definitely be interested if in your shoes .. just trying to help you have your eyes open if you jump in.
1955 R50 / 1973 R75/5 / 2015 RT
Yard Art 1968 +/- Hodaka & SACHS

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Re: ‘57 R50 Question

Post by cwf »

Well, you asked for figures, so I'll give you mine. I bought a 50/2, no details except from a deceased estate, it kicked over and the gears selected. I bought it for $6500, shipped to UK, two years ago.

I looked it over and the motor, gearbox and final drive seemed OK, so I didn't touch them except to replace the rubbers, drop the sump pan and clear out the goo. New coil, bulbs (LED), exhausts and silencers (stainless), tyres, battery, air filter, Earles forks needed straightening, so about $3000 more.

I've done about 4000 miles, 60mph max but accelerate hard and it goes well. I'm not after showroom finish. I used Uli's in Germany for spares, who were quick and efficient. Took about six months, little bit most days.

So that turned out well and I bought a 1946 R 35, which turned out to be a collection of parts from the workshop floor, assembled to resemble a near-complete bike - a different prospect, more expensive but in this case, the fun is in the journey, what you learn and the people you meet.


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Re: ‘57 R50 Question

Post by Arlo »

Thanks Charlie, I like to hear success stories like that.
(Your story too, CWRoady - although not the outcome I'm sure you hoped for.)
Jimkav - it does look like that. The current owner (son) said his dad put on a different front fork to increase clearance. The original one comes with this bike - including all manuals and everything else since dad bought it new.

I think I'm going to ride my RT1200 up there tonight and take a look at it. Son said it has compression, gears shift and the last time dad rode it the gears shifted as expected. Always a gamble with vintage bikes, but is there anything outside of the normal once-over that I should pay attention to?

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Re: ‘57 R50 Question

Post by Daves79x »

I'd take $3500 cash, tell him it's all you had, take it or leave it. He'll take it. Then you'll be starting at a better place than most.


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Re: ‘57 R50 Question Answer

Post by Tinkertimejeff »

It all depends on how bad you want it and how bad the current owner wants to move it along. I think I sunk about 10 times the original price tag into this '55 R 50 when I finally got around to doing it. The bike was a ridder when I got it but it was just not right. A "Redneck Resto", spray paint aluminum, kinda Dover White paint it was basically a parts bike. Plan on $12,000 to buy the bike and make it a mostly correct rider, toss out the $3500 offer but be ready to go the distance if its the bike you want and it checks out as mostly correct. If you need a vintage bike that's all there, mostly correct and ready to ride you should keep looking but expect to pay about the same when its all said and done. Keep in mind, there are a lot of "Bitsa Bikes" out there just waiting to get dumped on unsuspecting and uninformed new owners. A "Bitsa Bike" is a collection of parts (frame, motor, transmission...) mostly correct for the era bike but are not original to that bike and sometimes in really poor condition.
Do the homework.
55 R50 2.JPG
55 R50 1.JPG
really small 1.JPG

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Re: ‘57 R50 Question

Post by kingcowie »

Hey guys,
i have two R50/2 1962 and 1964, bought both for $14k.
The first one i wanted to get looking really sweet and it would have cost me $8k now, the second i run as original patina cost me $3k.

Job list
all wheel bearings replacement
steering bearing replacement
All oil changes
rebuild petcock
rebuild all carbs
clean tank
Changing drive boot
inspect and maintain front and rear shocks
drop sump
new exhausts
etc etc

But the issue i now face is that i need to rebuild the engines to get the slingers clean, and this is the unknown cost.

The other part i find is that in the first two years there alot of things that bed down from riding and then are a lot of things that come up and need to be repaired.

For example.
coil and condenser
gearbox lets goes in first
smoke appearing on one exhaust.

I think it is very difficult to budget for what it would cost for you to get it running. But the first question, do you want original or concourse. And then riding the bike will start to expose rocks and you need to be patient and be willing to spend $200 on a new coil for example. Rebuild the carbies again, change out the throttle cables, chase down electrical issues, replace key circuit board.

I enjoy all that stuff but it does appear to be never ending when you do it as a hobby and every week i work on them. And it does cost.....

All dollars are in Asutralian.

I do say , i have learnt a heap and love the journey and it continues

Wollongong, Australia
Tooo many projects —— oh well
53 R25/3 Project
57 R26 Project
62 R50/2 Restored
64 R50/2 Project
67 R69S Original
71 R75/5 Original
77 R100RS Project

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Re: ‘57 R50 Question

Post by Arlo »

I love and appreciate all the feedback and shared experiences. It’s very helpful. I’ll probably go look at the bike this Friday, but still unsure. The more past forum topics I read, the more I realize my abilities to work on and pay for ongoing troubleshooting might not be where I want to be at the moment. I could get this bike cheap, but after a cleanup I’d have to take to someone for a deep diagnose to start.

I’m really enjoying this site and all of the related topics.
Tinkertimejeff, that green ‘55 is stunning!

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Re: ‘57 R50 Question

Post by 808Airhead »

Yes! Jeff, that bike looks TERRIFIC!!! LOVE the color and painted rims. Looks super vintage and classy. To Arlo, BE READY TO REBUILD THE WHOLE GODDAM THING!! :lol: :lol: Easily 10K+, to do it justice, even with you doing a lot of the work yourself. Paint,parts,crankshafts,etc. get $$$$ and you will end up with a rather pedestrian in performance, but beautiful machine. The R50 costs the same as a R60-69S to restore pretty much,so that is another consideration. Good luck!
Thomas M.
R69s - R60/2 - R67/2 - R51/3

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Re: ‘57 R50 Question

Post by Wynand »

I believe you are over analyzing and trying to predict the future.

The bike seems to be fair value, regardless what the future hold.

Just buy the bike, the rest will fall in place. And you cannot put a pricetag on cruzing down the street.

I do one or two checks on value and then commit or not.
R50, R60/6, R90s

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