you are right, old bikes are a money pits. buy the time i dump the money to get this thing running good i could a bought a fairly decent EFI bike from the pas 10 years. however, the newer bikes lack the character and style of the old school stuff. TBH I sold my 99 katana a few years back and i sold a 09 FZ6R, I wasn't looking for another bike until this as offered to me. i guess you can say the urge for being on two wheels never goes away. So I couldn't let this go. I had to have it..I know EXACTLY why shops don't work on old bikes; It's nearly impossible to make any profit from doing so. I recently resurrected two Suzuki's that had been left outside under a tarp for 5 years and 2 years, respectively-a Katana 750 (5 years) and a DR 650 (2 years). Neither had any service record and both had hacked and burnt wiring harnesses as well as clogged fuel systems. The Kat had been wrecked and needed an entire front end rebuild/replace. The DR 's wiring looked like a bird's nest and all the new wiring was of one color. If a shop were to take on such a project, the owner would owe more than the bike's worth on storage alone, waiting on parts, substituting used parts where new parts are either unavailable or exorbitantly-priced. And then a shop would send it out with some form of a repair warranty. It's a bottomless pit to toss money into and a fool's errand to expect any return. I did favors for two friends, one of which who was about to go to divorce court over the derelict bike under the tarp by the tree in his backyard. If I were doing this as an actual moneymaking venture, both friends would owe me more than the bike's worth. the guy with the DR said I should go into biz buying old hulks and bringing them back to life. I doubt that would have been his opinion if he had to pay me what a shop would need to charge to do the same thing.
My first bike ever was a 1974 Yamaha DT-175. And the reason why I became involved doing my own repairs was because the Yamaha dealership in my hometown overcharged me for replacing the piston and rings.
In my opinion, motorcycle technicians nowadays are not familiar or interested in working with older bikes. Now bikes get plugged into a computer to diagnose problems, like Slorg442 said.
Southern Illinois, close to St. Louis, Mo. Barber is a day ride (531 miles) from here. The Museum may only be second to the National Motorcycle Museum of Great Britain.