Ideas for an old/cheap cafe racer rebuild - Speedzilla Motorcycle Message Forums
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-27-2007, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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Ideas for an old/cheap cafe racer rebuild

I'm looking for an old bike to do a cafe racer style rebuild on. it will mainly be a commuter bike so reliability is a concern. Its a short 10 mile trip for work so overall comfort can be sacrificed to make it look pretty cool. I was thinking about an older cb750 or gpz550. Any ideas from you guys?


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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-27-2007, 07:05 PM
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Suzuki GS1100E

Cheap, comfortable, reliable (for a 25 year old bike), and bulletproof. Engine parts are still easily available.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-27-2007, 07:19 PM
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Honda CBs are plentiful, easy to work on and have great community support. A BMW Slash 6 would also fit the bill and a Guzzi could also work well.

However, I might look to something newer and spend your time and money making it look cool. $5k would get you a 2004 or 5 Triuph Bonneville. You could then start pulling off parts until it looked cool.

"Cafe Racing is mainly a matter of taste. It is an atavistic mentality, a peculiar mix of low style, high speed, pure dumbness, and overweening commitment to the Cafe Life and all its dangerous pleasures... I am a Cafe Racer myself, on some days - and it is one of my finest addictions." - Hunter S. Thomson
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-27-2007, 07:34 PM
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750 or 550 honda, only issue is the carbs are hard to keep synched. You might check out the 350's or the 4 cylinder 400f. Maybe a late model Triumph Tiger even. I've had a CB750 and Tiger750, and I liked the brit bike a lot..

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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-27-2007, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sburns2421 View Post
Suzuki GS1100E

Cheap, comfortable, reliable (for a 25 year old bike), and bulletproof. Engine parts are still easily available.
That's the ticket.........Wes Cooley Rep

Seize today.............live richer tomorrow!!
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-27-2007, 08:04 PM
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In my opinion the CB750s are a great platform to build a "Cafe Racer" from. Parts (and complete bikes) are easy to come by, they are super reliable, simple to work on and pre 80s' rides are pretty good looking bikes. The link below is to a guy in SoCal that builds em' out off his garage. He's kinda Kookie but has some good ideas and gets bank for his "retro-racers".

cb750cafe.com - custom cafe racers
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-27-2007, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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thats what I'm talking about!!!


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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-27-2007, 09:29 PM
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-28-2007, 01:55 AM
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CycleExchange makes a dual carb / manifold setup for the CB750 that's supposedly the sh!t. I've heard good things about it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Multitard View Post
750 or 550 honda, only issue is the carbs are hard to keep synched.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-28-2007, 03:24 AM
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all the inspiration you'll ever need!

cb750cafe.com - custom cafe racers
awesome site....now you've got me thinking...
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-28-2007, 04:58 AM
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-28-2007, 05:18 AM
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Here is some more inspiration.

The Cafe Racer Photo Album

And my last "Cafe Bike" not much of a racer.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-28-2007, 11:43 AM
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these old 2 stroke Kawasakis are fun. i had a kh400 triple for my 1st street bike. this one is not cheap but it's very nice.
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-28-2007, 12:50 PM
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There is a company out of France who sells conversion kits for Triumphs
800 Racer Mecatwin




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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-28-2007, 06:32 PM
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I happened upon a Moto Guzzi 850 Lemans mk1 this summer for 2k. I have about 300 in it now with a complete brake rebuild, carb rebuild, ignition all set, oil change. This bike rocks, what a wonderful ride.

I'm taking it the next step with full fork rebuild including dampers. I need to test the rear shocks but they feel very firm with good damping yet.

Has the factory clipons and little quarter fairing yet. Amazing brakes for a 1977 bike. Dual piston Brembos all round with large iron rotors.

This is going to be a very sweet bike when completed. If you want a real serious road burner you could look at that big zook, but a bike like the Goose is just so damned nice and really works very well.

MY TOYS
2001 Ducati 'Il Mostro Cromo'
2001 Honda XR650L Dual Sport
1994 Harley Davidson Heritage
1978 Honda CB750K w/side car
1977 Moto Guzzi 850 LeMans Mk1
1976 Honda CB750K original
1973 Norton 850 Commando
1965 Honda 305 Dream restored
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1973 Honda Z50 rebuilt
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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-28-2007, 06:40 PM
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holy sh*t batman, that mecatwin is hot.
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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-28-2007, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
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There is a company out of France who sells conversion kits for Triumphs
800 Racer Mecatwin




I think i need to be alone.....pass me some tissues
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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-28-2007, 10:50 PM
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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-28-2007, 10:58 PM
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My vote's in for the Yamaha XS650. If you're looking for the "Brit-Bike" look, you can't beat the parallel twin Yam engine. Easy to find parts for, easy to work on. Hey, I'm a girl and I've restored (ok, partially restored ) a '75 by myself using a Haynes manual and some very helpful online forums. CB750s are good too as long as you don't mind the inline four look. Faster too!

Just my :twocents

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'75 Yamaha XS650 cafe racer Triumph look-a-like
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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-28-2007, 11:44 PM
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Those of you who have built or own one of the above mentioned bikes please post pictures for the rest of us, thank you.
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