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Should I paint my '78 XS1100 before selling it?

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  • Should I paint my '78 XS1100 before selling it?

    My brother in law (BIL) and I bought an XS1100 last winter from the original owner to fix up and sell. At the time it wasn't running as it sat for 10+ years. We rebuilt carbs, put on new tires, etc and now it runs great.

    I love the bike, it is a beast, but we did plan to sell it and I enjoyed fixing it up so wouldn't mind doing it again with another bike (maybe another XS1100).

    The paint is in decent shape but a fair amount of scratches where tank meets seat as well as where sissy bar use to go.
    The exhaust, fenders, etc are in really nice shape.

    So, question is, is it worth it to paint? That is, how much will it add to the resale value? Or do collectors prefer original paint?
    Note if we paint it we plan to go with original color.

    My BIL owns a auto body shop and is very meticulous so the quality of the paint job will be top notch. The only cost to paint will be the paint itself and our (really his) time.

    Thanks
    Steve

    Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    I would just touch up the paint, at most. Trying to get correct pin stripe tape, etc just isn't worth the problems, or return for the time and money. Your BIL should be able to match paint, and then clear coat the area, buff, and done.
    Ray Matteis
    KE6NHG
    XS1100 E '78 (winter project)
    XS1100 SF Bob Jones worked on it!

    Comment


    • #3
      You can’t help but look at the top of the tank while riding. I painted my 79 about year after new, all Black. Really like the color. Paint is such a personal thing.

      maybe offer to paint it as part of the sale price? Jeff
      Jeff Korn
      Original Owner 79XS1100 E
      Yamaha Warrior has come and gone

      Comment


      • #4
        Steve,

        I'm with Ray and Jeff on this. Painting is too subjective and it may or may not add any value to the bike.

        Paint the tank then you loose the gold pinstripe which is a complication to replicate. Then the painted tank doesn't match the faded side covers, faded tail piece of seat accent strip.

        It is easy to start down the Rabbit Hole on these things. If you were going to keep the bike and enjoy riding that maybe would be different.

        I'd first figure out the $$ Price Range you plan to both $ Ask and $ Take when you sell it.
        What $$ you may get of course depends on what a buyer / lookers may want. Maybe better price or more marketable just the way it is?

        Plus I see what appears to be 40 year old original brake lines. Again subjective as to what any buyer is planning to do with a new to them bike.

        Jeff
        78' XS1100 E
        78' XS1100 E
        78' XS1100 E

        '73 Norton 850 Commando
        '99 Triumph Sprint ST
        '02 G-Wing GL1800

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks everyone for your thoughts so far. I should have mentioned if we paint, it will be all the plastics and we'll redo the pinstriping as well. My BIL does a lot of that work and believes it will be fairly easy (for him) to do. He has won car shows before so really knows what he is doing.

          I am not sure on pricing yet, I see NADA in VG condition is $3700 but I don't know how accurate that is. I think painting and some cleanup and it would be close to VG condition, otherwise good drops it to around $2k. So if painting raises the price up $1k or more, it might be worth it. But that is a big IF.

          - Steve

          Comment


          • #6
            There are a bunch of comments on .club of how inaccurate NADA price is for XS1100's.

            For me as it sits I'd go say $1,500. If it was painted probably about the same, but lets say $1,750.
            I've got three nice E's that are real LD runners that are nice but I seriously doubt if I could sell any one of them for more than $2K.
            One of them has very expensive new paint and stripping and is in excellent condition. Still $2K

            So again, subjective. If you want to do more you maybe better off upgrading to SS brake lines. Or paint it just because you can, but not expecting much difference in marketing and selling the bike to a new owner. Unless you have a buyer lined up and agreed to price with new paint as Jeff mentioned.

            Jeff
            Last edited by JeffH; 09-02-2021, 03:05 PM.
            78' XS1100 E
            78' XS1100 E
            78' XS1100 E

            '73 Norton 850 Commando
            '99 Triumph Sprint ST
            '02 G-Wing GL1800

            Comment


            • #7
              In the immortal words of Mr. Rogers, "I like you just the way you are!". IMHO, originality is the way to go. There is value in a vehicle that hasn't been altered drastically from original in the eyes of a true aficionado. Unless you are going to enjoy and appreciate the cosmetic changes yourself, leave it alone. A little wear/tear/patina is a good thing. As already mentioned, mechanical improvements, I think, are more valuable. To try and keep my 80G as original as possible, as an example, I ordered my SS brake lines in black - nice performance improvement without standing out. From what I can see in your picture, the bike looks pretty sweet already!
              Own - 1980 XS1100G (one owner-me)
              Owned - 1976 XS750D
              Owned - (unknown year) XS650
              (+ too many Yammies/Hondas to mention)

              Comment


              • #8
                These bikes will sell for whatever someone wants to pay for them. However, it always depends on what that person is looking for. Meaning are they buying it because they want to keep it original or do they want to cut it up to build a cafe out of it. Test the market. Set your price and see what happens. If you were planning on keeping the bike I would say by all means paint it. That is paint it back to the way it was when it left the factory.
                2 - 80 LGs bought one new
                81 LH
                02 FXSTB Nighttrain
                Jim

                Comment


                • #9
                  Very tempting to paint it, but I think I'd leave it original. Not too much $$ value to be gained, I believe. One possibility, if the new owner is not happy with how it looks, tell him he can have it painted by your BIL.
                  79 F
                  Previously owned: (among others)
                  1969 Harley- Davidson Rapido 125 (Aermacchi)
                  1967 Suzuki X6 Hustler
                  1973 Suzuki TM 125
                  1979 XS1100 F
                  2005 Kaw. Vulcan VN800
                  1991 BMW K75

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    As stated not a bike many are looking to purchase. I purchased mine to kept. I am of the opinion that this generation looks at these bikes as outdated. They are not interested in the engineering that was put into bike, has to have today's styling. This bike if new today would not sell. I have seen at dealer same retro style not sell for over 2 years. These bikes are not listed as a bike to own. But I love mine.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by steve112112 View Post
                      My brother in law (BIL) and I bought an XS1100 last winter from the original owner to fix up and sell. At the time it wasn't running as it sat for 10+ years. We rebuilt carbs, put on new tires, etc and now it runs great.

                      I love the bike, it is a beast, but we did plan to sell it and I enjoyed fixing it up so wouldn't mind doing it again with another bike (maybe another XS1100).

                      The paint is in decent shape but a fair amount of scratches where tank meets seat as well as where sissy bar use to go.
                      The exhaust, fenders, etc are in really nice shape.

                      So, question is, is it worth it to paint? That is, how much will it add to the resale value? Or do collectors prefer original paint?
                      Note if we paint it we plan to go with original color.

                      My BIL owns a auto body shop and is very meticulous so the quality of the paint job will be top notch. The only cost to paint will be the paint itself and our (really his) time.

                      Thanks
                      Steve

                      Click image for larger version

Name:	xs1100.jpg
Views:	205
Size:	151.3 KB
ID:	866371
                      I would only paint it if I was keeping it. But hey, what do I know?
                      I know you'd never recoup the costs and some guys just ain't as finicky about the stuff you mention and just want a sound machine-looks being secondary.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The thing is over 40 yrs old. Everyone expects a re-paint long before this. The new paint will get you more bucks. There are a few purists out there that advocate the original paint but these bikes were made by the thousands and have next to no importance to people in this day and age. The average guy who knows these from new is 65 yrs old. How many of them are you going to sell too? Paint it and sell it all bright and shiny to the next fellow who may love these old girls as we do. Once any part of the bike is not completely stock, you lose it's originality which can never be recovered. Unless a bike on here is absolutely stock and in show room shape it is not worth the big bucks so many think it is.
                        2-79 XS1100 SF
                        2-78 XS1100 E Best bike Ever
                        80 XS 1100 SG Big bore kit but not fully running yet.
                        Couple of more parts bikes of which 2 more will live!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          True, an XS1100 has limited value. As compared to a KZ1000 or a GS1000, it's a bargain and a great old motorcycle. A good paint job costs $800 to $1500 typically. That's a tough number to get back. If you can do it yourself and do a good job, that could be another story. Do a poor job and it's worth less than if you had left it alone. If you're keeping it for long term enjoyment, then it doesn't matter, does it.
                          Marty (in Mississippi)
                          XS1100SG
                          XS650SK

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The Jet said it all. I don't know where everyone is, and values vary by location of course, but these are really not the sought after and getting less and less so as the years go by and the old guys who loved them have moved on.

                            I can point to you to several in my area over the last couple of months I have seen for sale, all were chopped up piles of poo, no idea what they finally sold for if they did sell. A bad paint job is like a bad first date...can be a deal breaker.
                            Current Daily Rides / Projects

                            1979 Yamaha XS1100F (since 2015)...Project
                            1980 Suzuki GS850G (since 2012)
                            1979 Kawasaki KZ400B (since 2013)

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