Of art critics acting like bikers. . .
And here is me unable to not post. . . guess that means I am no better than the rest of you.
So here is my take- dont like cafe bikes- DONT BUILD ONE. Think you have a better idea? Go to it! show us all up.
On design points- just because it is not as fast as a "blah blah blah" 1000 doesnt make it "not a cafe racer" bikes are raced in classes and my 450 from 1975 (ok not exactly but we will get to that in a second) is not going to beat a bike built 20 or 30 years later. It doesnt have to... you know what it has to do- it has to make me happy. Not your, or you, or you in the corner. Bikes are a PITA by their very nature. They are loud ungainly handgins that shoot us out into a world filled with 6 ton metal boxes trying to kill us all. We wrap our legs around the pulsing heart of them and feel the adrenalin shootiing through us; People who dont ride dont get it (my wife certainly doesnt get it)... My motorcycle has to make me smile wide enough to catch hummingbirds in my damn teeth like this -->
and when I get a bike thats what I do to it. I make it my bike. I know what I like- small, tight, neat. so when I got my 750:
I turned it into this.. eventually I added bar ends and a kerker 4-1 but I cannot find the photo of that ...
Not exactly cafe, but using some cafe motifs certainly. I was going to repaint it, but that orange just grew on me. Also the chica dug it
So when I started going places that the 750 just didnt want to go, I started on this project:
I continued with my favored motifs- smaller turn signals and tail light, etc. This bike was a total and i bought it for 200. Its a CB500T with a 450 motor and scrambler pipes- I call it a "CL500" because it makes the purists cringe. Why the scrambler pipes? BECAUSE THEY MAKE ME SMILE DAMMIT! Even as I curse them when they get in the way of shit I just love the way they look . Pure and simple. Same wit the the Drag bars. Hell ay 6'6" I could use some risers. . . but they dont make me happy.
How does it run you ask? Well the carbs still need jetting, (mikuni VW 32s as the slides on the stock carbs were pitted.) but it goes fast enough to kill me, narrow enough to slip between cars and light enough to pick the back end up and pull it over when I park to close to someone. Itll turn tight enough to drag the centre stand and shower sparks on bystanders. How fast? I really dont know because when your riding like that in traffic you dont spend a lot of time looking at the speedo.
The old motor never rain, but I suspect that the 450 makes it lighter and gives adequate HP. The breaks are good for the age (particularly the front disk, the rear drum will keep the bike stopping straight if you dont lay on it too hard). Shocks again OK for the age, but with modern tires? Awesome. those are Kenda 80/20s and they work great BTW. I wouldnt go play in the mud with those things but for dirt roads they are the bomb.
So what should I have done "restored" the notoriously unreliable 500 motor? let it get scrapped because I couldnt afford to redo it "correctly"
All told I am less than 2K into that bike. My newer bike just cost me that this year in repair bills.. . So what the best deal? I mean t he TDM is great and has way more room (and Panniers that will hold a case of beer), but for getting around town fun? CL500 wins. On longer trips the TDM is the way to go. But either way I dont do stuff to my bike based on the aesthetic principles of others. I would never dream of owning a cruiser- but if the rider is smiling, then I guess its the bike for him.
Hell it even makes me smile when it isnt working, see here:
I will cop to one pet peeve.. when fat guys like me talk about shaving weight off their bikes.. I can take 10lbs off my bike in two weeks bu hitting the gym every day. and 20 in 6 weeks- tryin doing that with a smaller battery or no fenders.