Of course all throughout my 1965 Mustang build I have to be buying and selling things. The idea has been to buy something, fix it up and then sell it for more than my purchase price and fix up costs. It usually starts when I have a little bit of cash and I go out on Craigslist and start looking at things that I can buy low, fix easily and sell quickly although I rarely find one that hits all three of those.
So the project I recently got into is a 1999 Honda CBR600F4. It is a bright red sport bike. I paid just $750 for it. It was advertised as running. The downside was that it needed all new fairings (the plastic body pieces) as well as some other things like a handle bar. Basically, the backstory of the bike was that the owner was riding along way too fast around a curve in the road and he set the bike down on its side. He broke his leg as well as all of the plastics on the bike, the handle bar and a few other small items. I went to the guy’s house with my driver (my dad) and our 5×10 utility trailer. I looked at the bike and it looked a lot worse then I had expected but I decided that I could still make money with it.
This is difficult because you have to figure out really fast what the expected costs are and what it will look like when you are done with it. With that mental picture you then have to figure what it will sell for in the end. I prepare by looking on Craigslist at similar bikes and get an idea of sale prices for bikes. Then I look on sites to find parts for the things I either know are broke or are items that I might have to replace because of its age or other things. I figured with a cost of $750 that there was some room to buy the parts I needed and sell it for more. I also have to allow for that part or two I ‘forgot’ about and I have to make it worth my time.
So I bought the bike and my dad and I loaded up the bike and went home. We stopped along the way to make a small video. When I got it home I got right to work. I tore the bike all apart. Basically I just tore it down and cleaned every little piece. The reason I did this was to make the bike look fresh. There were lots of little things that I cleaned. Its not like I changed how each piece looked necessarily but when I put it all back together it looked less worn. And that’s basically what you have to do when you flip things, that’s the main point, to make the item look less used and more valuable. Which in the end will make you more money — unless I forgot something. With the money that I make I’ll take some of it and buy something for the Mustang and use the rest for the next, yet unknown project. Now back to the bike.
I ordered a ton of parts for the bike all from ebay. I got an entire fairing kit, from China, of course. If I were to have bought the fairings here at a dealership the whole kit would cost about $2,400. There is little chance I could sell the bike at a price to cover that. I ended up paying just shy of $700. I also bought some new brackets, a handle bar, mirror block off plates and a nice LED smoked tail light. I think the hardest part in putting the bike together was the fitment. I had a lot of trouble getting the pieces to fit together. I think it might have had something to do with the pieces costing $700. Nonetheless I got them all to fit with a lot of filing. I had to buy a ton of new nuts and bolts too to get it to come together. Even then, the extra work was sure worth the savings of $1,700 on parts.
I think my favorite part about this project, as well as all of my other ones, is the riding. I really enjoy testing the stuff out. It makes me feel like I can actually afford something so awesome. And while I can — I mean I do own it and everything — I think of it as a tool to be used to reach my goal with the Mustang. I don’t see why other people can’t do what I do. It’s not like I’m a rocket scientist (not yet at least but people would save so much money if they just did work themselves. Of course, I’m happy to do the work and get the fruits of my labor.