I've been lurking in this group for a couple of days now, finally getting my nerve up to do a first posting, and have been following the thread about reproduction parts with a lot of interest. Quick background: I come from the vintage motorcycle hobby, British primarily (die hard Triumph rider) who picked up a late 70's Raleigh Gran Sport at the last British motorcycle show I attended. First time back on a bike in 28 years, and loving it. Ex-bicycle mechanic, put me through college and grad school in the 70's.
>From what I've been: a. able to follow in this forum and, b. been seeing on eBay; getting used or NOS parts for a bicycle don't seem to be much of a problem at present. Otherwise, holding to an attitude of "original or don't bother" would be resulting in a lot of partially finished bicycles hanging in display from shop walls. Either that, or there's very little premium in this hobby to have that restored bicycle actually running down the road on an every weekend basis.
As time goes on and more old bicycles are restored, that stock of NOS and excellent used parts are going to dry up, at which point you're going to be dealing with reproductions whether you like it or not - or just not have the bike running.
In the vintage motorcycle hobby, we don't worry about reproduction parts per se as we realize they're inevitable. We worry about the accuracy and quality of said parts, often checking point of origin for a part (ex: British made parts are always best, Taiwan usually next, India or some third world county is only used if it's your only chance to get the bike back on the road). And with the exception of some "trailer queen" lovers (who are looked down at by the rest of the participants in a given show), there's a subtle pressure to actually have your motorcycle running and preferably ridden to the show. And, at sale time whether the motorcycle has been rebuilt with all NOS, all reproduction, or a combination of the two rarely comes up.
George R. "Syke" Paczolt Montpelier, VA
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