Author Topic: THINGS TO LOOK FOR WHEN PURCHASING A BRIDGESTONE by Michael Wieland  (Read 5087 times)

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Offline Richard Clark BS parts

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Editors Note:  This article was written by Michael Weiland as a guide for the 350 GTR purchase, but it also applies  to Bridgestones in general:

1.   BATTERY BOX AREA: Check for modifications to utilize the wrong size battery. The GTR used an odd sized battery that was probably hard to get your hands on back in the day before the internet, so it’s inevitable that mods were made in that area to go riding for the day. For the correct size battery I used one from part number YT5AL and it fit just a little snug but no mods required.

2.   REAR BRAKE PEDAL: Check stop and spring catch to make sure it isn’t broke off or bent as you will want to repair this before powder coating.

3.   ENGINE CASES: Check for cracks or damage, especially in the area of the rubber frame mounts. If ridden long with bad rubber mounts cases will get chewed up in these areas. Not a huge problem to fix but will add cost and time to the project.

4.   CHAIN GUARD: Check for cracks or missing. This is a hard item to find in decent useable condition.

5.   CHROME PARTS: Inspect well for excessive pitting. If you have to add Acid Copper to your chroming process later to smooth out the pits it will add a lot of extra weight/cost and may cause some items not to fit properly.

6.   ENGINE: Check to see if it is froze up. The problem here is these cylinders are cast aluminum with chrome bores and hard to find if damaged. Check exhaust flange area for cracks or repairs as I have seen this area welded from being hit to hard trying to remove the cylinder. These bores can be repaired by Nicasil plating for about two hundred per cylinder if no welding is required to repair gouges in the aluminum bore. I recommend US Chrome Corporation of Wisconsin for this work, they included cleaning the cylinders aluminum finish in the price and they really looked good.

7.   FRAME: Check the frame for major rust or cracks. If frame rust is bad enough when you blast it for powder coating there will be pits, I’m not sure how you can repair them before power coating. In this case for a smooth finish I would consider conventional painting where you can smooth out the pits with body filler prior to painting. Check the neck and front down tubes for straightness. This bike was designed for right or left side brake/shifter set-up, make sure the tabs for left side brake have not been removed from frame.

8.   WHEEL HUBS: Check the front and rear for wear in the area of the spokes exiting the hubs, as this can be caused from riding with loose spokes. Check area around rear sprocket for damage from bad rubber dampers.

9.   GAS TANK: Check for dents as the entire tank requires chroming prior to painting and you don’t want dents. The good thing is the outer shell of the tank is pretty thick to resist denting. The inner or under side of these tanks are thinner so pin holes can be a problem. This can be fixed utilizing a liner AFTER the chroming process has been done. Part of the chroming process is to remove all the rust from the tank, that usually gets the inside cleaned out for you. For tanks that don’t need re-chroming just need the inside cleaned I recommend EVAP-O-RUST from Harbor Freight this is an Eviro friendly product that won’t damage paint like harsh chemicals and works really good for removing rust. I don’t shy away from rusted tanks anymore. Before chroming the tank run a bead of weld around where the petcock stub comes thru the tank as this is a weak point in the design, it can spin loose from over tightening the pet cock nut.

10.   INJECTION OIL TANK: Look on the backside in the area where it mounts to the frame if you see oil it’s most likely cracked around the mounting points. In any case test it for leaks prior to painting.

11.   FINAL NOTE: A lot of the items mentioned above are not to scare someone away from a project it’s just better to know what you’re getting yourself into before you start. I personally prefer restoring a bike that looks impossible to fix as I get more satisfaction knowing I saved a classic piece of history from distinction. The problem with my way of thinking is if you’re doing it to make money “FOR GET IT” you can buy a restored bike for a lot less. GOOD LUCK let’s get started!

See Michael Weilands Gallery section for many photos of his restoration and more articles written by Michael himself.  Linked below:;su=user;cat=39;u=490

Many thanks to Michael Weiland for this article
« Last Edit: December 11, 2010, 10:19:49 AM by Richard Clark BS parts »
Richard  Clark, Owner and provider of this site
New Albany IN


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« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2020, 09:34:59 AM »
Hi i have just got a 200 cc bridgestone with upswept exhaust do you know of any parts in the uk ?



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