By Shannon Aikau and Ryan Evans
Shannon: What’s up everybody? This is Shop Talk with Shannon (Aikau).
Shannon: Today we’re talking about survivor bikes.
Ryan: Shannon and I, we’re huge fans of survivor bikes. They’re done in the traditional ways and they have a lot of the old school traditional appeal to them, that by today’s standards it’s actually difficult to get.
Shannon: Yeah, like 100 gallons of bondo.
Ryan: (Chuckles) But there are some things to look for when getting or buying a survivor bike. It’s not enough to just get it running and put it on the road. There are things you want to look for.
Shannon: This bike came in pretty smooth.
Ryan: And this was a survivor.
Shannon: You didn’t see a lot of this “nice” repair work that I’m going to have to do. (running his hand across some questionable welds)
Ryan: The technology back then, it was torch welded and a lot of brazing. Not safe by today’s standards.
Ryan: Again, if you get a survivor and you truly want to refurbish it and make it safe… First things first, if the tin is still good, save the tin, save the paint on the tin. But please, get the frame stripped and see what’s underneath there, and what needs to be addressed.
Shannon: But see a lot of the times, they’re not buying it that way. It’s fully dressed, probably not running, estate sale bike and you’re just taking a chance on it.
Ryan: I know.
Shannon: But if you’re going to tear it down, this is some of the stuff that you’re going to see. It’s pretty haggard.
Ryan: A lot of stick welding, a lot of torch welding and a lot of brazing.
Shannon: It’s scary, but it’s not.
Ryan: The important part, the rake on it. Someone got down on that.
Shannon: They boxed it up. I’m not too sure what these ridges are back here. That kind of looks like muffler tubing maybe, muffler pipe? I don’t know.
Ryan: There’s a lot of places on the old frames where people cut off old brackets and they’re not real careful about the integrity of the tubing, so they grind really thick and really deep.
Shannon: And they knew they were going to put a lot of bondo on here, so they didn’t care what it looked like at this point.
Ryan: Exactly, but still you want a safe frame, that is everything.
Shannon: You like this piece right here? This fix? (pointing at one of the brackets)
Shannon: But we’re going to get this thing back into shape, it’s going to be a lot of work, but you’ve got time to bondo, right?
Ryan: Yeah, hey we’re restoring, we’re keeping history you know, keeping it alive.
Shannon: Alright guys, have a good day. Aloha.