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 Good bike to make in to a cafe racer??

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Tezzler



Posts : 1
Join date : 2011-06-04

PostSubject: Good bike to make in to a cafe racer??   Sat Jun 04, 2011 10:49 am

Hi all, I've recently got the bug for cafe racers and want to build my own, what is a good bike to do the project on?. I'm looking at something around a 500cc and it'll probably be a jap model, I love the British bikes but they are way to expensive for what I'm looking at moneywise.

Cheers Tez.
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pauliexjr

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Location : Livingston

PostSubject: Re: Good bike to make in to a cafe racer??   Sat Jun 04, 2011 7:02 pm

Hi Taz and welcome. Good cafe racer? The sky's the limit bud, really depends on your budget. Virtually any 2-4 cylinder Jap, have a look at the older things like the Kawasaki Zephyr, Yamaha XS500, Honda CB400/500/550. Google 'cafe racer' for some inspiration, but whatever you do, enjoy and keep us posted!
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FlatRacer



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Join date : 2010-10-24
Location : London

PostSubject: Cafe Racer potential donor   Mon Jun 06, 2011 11:48 am

Or you could always go for a BMW R65, they are plentiful, cheap and reliable. Good handling, good brakes and easy to maintain.

SR500 is also a good choice but surprisingly thin on the ground in good condition.

Four cylinder Jap bikes look good and could be a good basis but mechanicals can be a bit more daunting for the novice restorer/modifier.

Always view the bike you are interested beforehand, don't use beer goggles on eBay, plenty of lemons and dogs out there with hidden bodges, waiting for the gullible, Bit of spit and Solvol and it will be back on the road? Yeah, right!

All the best with your hunt, keep us posted.
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Frizieyaya

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Location : North Yorkshire

PostSubject: Re: Good bike to make in to a cafe racer??   Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:41 pm

Hi Tez, I'm pretty new to this too but have always liked the whole Cafe Racer ethos. My local cafe is Squires on Sherburn in Elmet, N yorks and I've seen many a nice looking CR there which inspired my build from this....

http://i21.servimg.com/u/f21/16/61/76/80/my_bik10.jpg

To this...

http://i21.servimg.com/u/f21/16/61/76/80/imag0012.jpg

Yes, it's a Virago and though I may have broken some rules (I'm new to this he says in his defence), it's brilliant and loads of fun to ride. It gets loads of attention at the cafe bar.

So really, from what I've read and from the comments I've had, the world is your oyster mate. Take a look around, Google 'Cafe Racer' images and get some ideas.

Good luck!

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pauliexjr

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PostSubject: Re: Good bike to make in to a cafe racer??   Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:53 pm

Frizieyaya wrote:

http://i21.servimg.com/u/f21/16/61/76/80/imag0012.jpg
That is a stonking looking piece of kit! Welcome to the nut house. Nice thing about cafe racers, there is no formal requirement for membership and there is no standard size, creed or final product to be measured by, it's whatever meets your budget and floats your boat!
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FlatRacer



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PostSubject: Cafe Racer donor   Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:32 am

That's the thing with Cafe Racers, there's no pre-defined ideas or dogmas, your imagination is the limit.

The Virago certainly is an unusual choice but has the right ingredients:

- V twin engine
- twin shocks
- old style frame geometry
- wire wheels
- most important, cheap to buy and maintain and not rare enough to upset the purists.

With a bit of thought it could make a nice Cafe Racer and the engines are quite torquey and pleasant to ride.

Send us more pics!
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Frizieyaya

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PostSubject: Re: Good bike to make in to a cafe racer??   Mon Jun 27, 2011 6:57 am

Well, thanks for the comments guys, like I say, I'm pretty happy with her. As requested, I've added some more pics...





Tez,

Have you decided on a donor?
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devonrider



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Join date : 2011-05-12

PostSubject: Re: Good bike to make in to a cafe racer??   Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:08 pm

I would suggest the Yamaha SR500 as a good base.
I just spent some time in Japan and you should see what they do with them.
They have a cult following out there and you could source a lot of parts.


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pauliexjr

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PostSubject: Re: Good bike to make in to a cafe racer??   Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:43 pm

devonrider wrote:
I would suggest the Yamaha SR500 as a good base.
I just spent some time in Japan and you should see what they do with them.
They have a cult following out there and you could source a lot of parts.



Nice, spoked wheels, drum brakes, traditional twin engine, clip ons, megas, that looks really retro! Back to my earlier comment on "What is a cafe racer?" this embodies the spirit of the era, budget bike turned into a street racer, really, really like the look of that (now, where's that Used Bike Mag??)
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devonrider



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PostSubject: Re: Good bike to make in to a cafe racer??   Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:27 pm

pauliexjr wrote:

traditional twin engine

Actually no, it's a single but that takes nothing away from it's Cafe suitability.
As I said, I was recently in Japan and if you want to see some great Cafe Racers, go to Ueno near Tokyo to what was "Bike City"
I say, was, because most of it's gone now and there are only a handful of bike shops remaining from what was a thriving area the size of a small town comprising nothing but bike / clothing and accessory shops.
Such a shame.
The shops remaining are small and specialised but very interesting.
I saw the most amazing Cafe racers there last trip, ranging from a CG125 to a Kawasaki Z1R, and everything in between.


Worth a trip

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pauliexjr

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PostSubject: Re: Good bike to make in to a cafe racer??   Sat Jul 09, 2011 8:01 pm

Never knew they were a single, still a nice looking bike.

Puts me in mind of the (original, not curry flavoured) Royal Enfield 250 Continental GT, pretty wee bike, shame that like most British manufacturers they never realised a verically split crankcase was an oil leak waiting to happen, hence the nickname Royal Oilfield!
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