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I have a cb750 chopper that was built, i assume, by a shop, because of the quality in the build and parts used. it was titled as assembled in 1976, and on my girder front end, is what I would assume to be a bates headlight, because of the time it was built, I dont know if there were repops already, i will get a picture to you guys tonight.

i'm selling off the cb750 chop because of my trump purchase, but if it's a real bates I might as well toss it on the trump, it's in great shape, even though I do like the aris light.

sorry if this is a redundant question to you guys, at 20, this world of British bikes is a little overwhelming on my own, after only working on cb750's and xs650's
 

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Bates did not make headlights. The headlights that bates sold were made by KD. The way to identify them.... on the top, below the high beam indicator (red) is a stamping that said "KD 869" and on the second line "SAE M67" for the side mount and "SAE M1" (or M7, it's hard to tell) for the bottom mount light, at least on the ones I have. The ones sold by Bates had a gold oval sticker above (in front of) the high beam indicator that said "BATES" Other people besides Bates sold the same headlight, and a lot of the Bates lights had the sticker removed.

Back in the day, where I came up, it would have been considered uncool to leave that Bates sticker on the light. Building a show bike, guys would take a Bates seat and not only peel the label off, but disassemble the seat and have the base chromed, or painted to match the bike and maybe pinstriped. Guys would even take a razor blade and cut the red "Levi" tab of their jeans and rip off the leather label between the belt loops. And every part that said "Harley-Davidson" on the bike had to go.

The KD is a good quality light, and better yet, if the sealed beam in it has the word "motorcycle" cast into the glass. You could use a car sealed beam of the same size by cutting another notch in the inner mounting ring, but the "motorcycle" one was less prone to vibration failure,
 

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Kind of bike newbie question here but...

If I'm at a swap meet and I see anything with Bates on it for a decent price should I pick it up?
 

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I have a cb750 chopper that was built, i assume, by a shop, because of the quality in the build and parts used. it was titled as assembled in 1976, and on my girder front end, is what I would assume to be a bates headlight, because of the time it was built, I dont know if there were repops already, i will get a picture to you guys tonight.

i'm selling off the cb750 chop because of my trump purchase, but if it's a real bates I might as well toss it on the trump, it's in great shape, even though I do like the aris light.

sorry if this is a redundant question to you guys, at 20, this world of British bikes is a little overwhelming on my own, after only working on cb750's and xs650's
Leave the headlight on the bike, Kd / Bates buckets are common, how many do you want me to send you? Try not to get stuck on brand names, use what YOU think looks good.
Tombat
 

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Kind of bike newbie question here but...

If I'm at a swap meet and I see anything with Bates on it for a decent price should I pick it up?
Can you use the item? Are you just speculating? What is a "decent" price? If you don't need a part, don't know anyone who can use it and the price is what you feel is "right" then pick it up and save it for future use / trade stock etc./ hang it on the wall of your garage, do whatever makes you happy since this is supposed to be a fun hobby.
Tombat
 

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I don't get this whole fetish over Bates stuff. It was typical aftermarket junk in the 70's and no big deal (except for their leathers were cool) but this whole thing has just gotten ridicules. There's nothing creative or especially cool about bolt on parts, even if they say "Bates".

I see in 50 years a future where people will be bragging about the fucking "patina" on the "Hypercharger they scored".
 

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Well, you learn something every day.

When I worked in vintage clothes stores in the 80s I always wondered why so many 'Big E' Levis jackets and jeans had the tabs cut off!

Bates did not make headlights. The headlights that bates sold were made by KD. The way to identify them.... on the top, below the high beam indicator (red) is a stamping that said "KD 869" and on the second line "SAE M67" for the side mount and "SAE M1" (or M7, it's hard to tell) for the bottom mount light, at least on the ones I have. The ones sold by Bates had a gold oval sticker above (in front of) the high beam indicator that said "BATES" Other people besides Bates sold the same headlight, and a lot of the Bates lights had the sticker removed.

Back in the day, where I came up, it would have been considered uncool to leave that Bates sticker on the light. Building a show bike, guys would take a Bates seat and not only peel the label off, but disassemble the seat and have the base chromed, or painted to match the bike and maybe pinstriped. Guys would even take a razor blade and cut the red "Levi" tab of their jeans and rip off the leather label between the belt loops. And every part that said "Harley-Davidson" on the bike had to go.

The KD is a good quality light, and better yet, if the sealed beam in it has the word "motorcycle" cast into the glass. You could use a car sealed beam of the same size by cutting another notch in the inner mounting ring, but the "motorcycle" one was less prone to vibration failure,
 

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Leave the headlight on the bike, Kd / Bates buckets are common, how many do you want me to send you? Try not to get stuck on brand names, use what YOU think looks good.
Tombat
I could not agree more. The only reason it is worth identifying is if you are really selling it. If it looks cool, keep it. Thanks to all the Bates hipsters .... i now associate the name BATES with overpriced.
 

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The "Bates" lights changed through time. The earliest ones had no red hi beam indicator light. That would be pre 1955 I think. Fifties, Sixties and early seventies lights had a fine sturdy mounting bracket riveted to the bottom. Those are the collectible ones.
And they always had a stainless ring to hold the sealed beam.
If your headlight has a blue hi beam indicator throw it in the trash - those were the cheap Custom Chrome copies.
 

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The "Bates" lights changed through time. The earliest ones had no red hi beam indicator light. That would be pre 1955 I think. Fifties, Sixties and early seventies lights had a fine sturdy mounting bracket riveted to the bottom. Those are the collectible ones.
And they always had a stainless ring to hold the sealed beam.
If your headlight has a blue hi beam indicator throw it in the trash - those were the cheap Custom Chrome copies.
I think this is the answer to the question.I do alot of flea markets and run a cross Bates stuff from time to time.Some think it's gold.To others,it's just a n old headlight (or not so old).I liked the style long before the trend.
 

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I bought a brand new / still in box sidemount last year for $20. The numbers are exactly as M.O.Ther described. When I get around to using it the first thing I'll do is remove the sticker. I don't care for the labels on parts.

-Craig
 
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