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Old 11-25-2012, 10:17 PM   #1
Steve G. OP
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Cafe Racers,,,,WTF??

So, I originally welcomed the new 'cafe racer' fad with much relief. Yes, relief that is was a signal that the chopper fad was crawling back under it's rock where it belongs. But as we all see this fad develop, with magazines comminted to this new thing, I've come to the realization that I'm now done with it.
I'm done with the hacksawed and asbestos wrapped exhaust. I'm done with the cheap clips ons, the cheesy upholstered bumpstop seats. No fenders.
What I'm most pissed about is the stupid prices they're asking for these clatter traps. Guys taking perfectly nice looking 400-4 SS Hondas and doing their own version of a cafe, then asking double what a 400-4 is worth. Guys selling 1/2 finished cafe's of 78 Honda 750's for 5K+!!! And getting it!!!

Rant over.
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:22 PM   #2
ViperJustin
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I agree with you. But I don't think the chopper thing is completely done. Every other Harley here has 18" ape hangers and they all look like douche bags.
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:10 AM   #3
Cowboy Don
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When I think of all the Honda CB's (350, 500, 550 & 750) I mildly modified to suit my riding style back in the 90's, I think I was closer to true cafe racers than the modern interpretation. All I usually did was clubman or clipon bars, rearsets fabricated out of bits and pieces, some sort of modified exhaust with reverse megas, along with all unecessary weight discarded. The idea was to make them easier to get round the twisties quickly, with style as a secondary feature, which usually just happened as a by-product of what I'd already done.
Tire choice was for function. When I see a cafe racer with Firestones I cringe, those things are terrible. As soon as you fit a set of those, you're telling the world you've built your bike for show, not go. Everyone's entitled to express themselves with their bikes, but damn, some nice bikes are being ruined in the process.

I don't mind choppers, just not OCC theme shit or wide-ass rear tires, I like the original style, but much prefer bobbers.

It's a shame that all these bikes are being butchered, frames being cut up etc., but what can you do. When the fad is over, there'll be some cheap bikes on the market hopefully. They'll just need a bit more work to get roadworthy again.
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:02 AM   #4
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Stock standard airheads are going to be worth a bunch in the future
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Old 12-07-2013, 07:23 AM   #5
GBen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowboy Don View Post
It's a shame that all these bikes are being butchered, frames being cut up etc., but what can you do. When the fad is over, there'll be some cheap bikes on the market hopefully. They'll just need a bit more work to get roadworthy again.
If you look at the bikes from the 50s and 60s, the ones that are worth the most are the ones that are intact as they were used in the 50s and 60s. An unmolested old bike, or one that was modified for performance etc. by it's original owner is very hard to come across.

Starting in the late 1980s, motorcycling became a mainstream pop phenomena and fashion trend in the USA. Before that the only people into old bikes where those that had a real history with them.

All the shit people have cut and pasted together starting about 25 years ago as participation in fashion trends will never have the value or history of what was done before.

The smart people have always tried to preserve real history rather than rip-off and slather themselves with it's aesthetics in the vain hope that some of it's credibility will soak into their petty hollow selves.
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Old 12-07-2013, 07:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GBen View Post
If you look at the bikes from the 50s and 60s, the ones that are worth the most are the ones that are intact as they were used in the 50s and 60s. An unmolested old bike, or one that was modified for performance etc. by it's original owner is very hard to come across.

Starting in the late 1980s, motorcycling became a mainstream pop phenomena and fashion trend in the USA. Before that the only people into old bikes where those that had a real history with them.

All the shit people have cut and pasted together starting about 25 years ago as participation in fashion trends will never have the value or history of what was done before.

The smart people have always tried to preserve real history rather than rip-off and slather themselves with it's aesthetics in the vain hope that some of it's credibility will soak into their petty hollow selves.
People have been modifying their bikes since the first motorcycles back in the 1920s and 1930s. Real riders don't buy a bike as an investment and they could care less what it will be worth in 50 years. They bought their bikes as transportation and they have always modified them to suit their particular needs and they repaired them often with whatever parts they had access to.
When I look at photos of BMWs in America in the 1960s, almost every one had hideous after market fairings added to them because these bikes were the street cruisers of their time and not collectibles. These days almost all of those fairings have been removed and those bikes have been restored to Euro trim with low bars and solo seats even though they never came that way in America. My point is that people buy bikes to ride and some choose to keep them original to maintain their value, but others have always modified them. This is not a new trend that started in the 80s. Just watch the movie Easy Rider to see how Americans love to "destroy" stock motorcycles!
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:34 AM   #7
Lomax
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I just got this yesterday. I think I will chop off the fenders and sub frame, put on a solo seat and Ape hangers. maybe some orange metallic paint and a Harley fat rear wheel. remove the mufflers and probably do a 10" over front end.

JK: Just wanted to make you cringe.




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Old 12-07-2013, 12:35 PM   #8
Steve G. OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lomax View Post
I just got this yesterday. I think I will chop off the fenders and sub frame, put on a solo seat and Ape hangers. maybe some orange metallic paint and a Harley fat rear wheel. remove the mufflers and probably do a 10" over front end.

JK: Just wanted to make you cringe.




Marc

Lol, good one.
Don't forget, once you've done all that "personalization", that you adopt the illusion that you've increased its value 1000%.
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Old 12-08-2013, 05:47 AM   #9
dxamet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lomax View Post
I just got this yesterday. I think I will chop off the fenders and sub frame, put on a solo seat and Ape hangers. maybe some orange metallic paint and a Harley fat rear wheel. remove the mufflers and probably do a 10" over front end.

JK: Just wanted to make you cringe.




Marc
Funny, I drove this 30 years ago, it was a damn fast chopper at that time.



grtz,
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Old 12-08-2013, 08:51 AM   #10
GBen
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Originally Posted by bill42 View Post
This is not a new trend that started in the 80s. !
I never said it was, but there is never any shortage of people that see what they want to see instead of what is actually there.....
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:14 AM   #11
gravityisnotmyfriend
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IMHO, taking a vintage bike and cafe'ing it is pointless. I own a '71 350 so I am a member of a board dedicated to these parallel twin bikes. I see so many people destroying these perfectly good bikes. For what?

Back in the day, you stripped all the excess weight, and re-positioned the handlebars and footpegs for maximum tuck. This could get you the most speed out of your bike and the cafe racer was born. But there is nothing you can do to a Honda CB 350 to make it compete with a 250 ninja. You want speed? Buy a fucking sport bike -any modern sport bike - and you'll have more performance and handling then you'll every get out of an old honda.

So what? You're doing it for the style? Cafe racers were never about style. They were about performance. Those clipons make the poor bike look sad. Like a dog with droopy ears. Most of the cheap cafe mods actually decrease the performance. I've seen people replace the stock airboxes with cheap pod filters, then actually have to jet down to get their bike to run right due to decreased airflow through the carbs.


I agree. This cafe resurgence is pretty sad.
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:32 AM   #12
Harry94025
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gravityisnotmyfriend View Post
IMHO, taking a vintage bike and cafe'ing it is pointless. I own a '71 350 so I am a member of a board dedicated to these parallel twin bikes. I see so many people destroying these perfectly good bikes. For what?

Back in the day, you stripped all the excess weight, and re-positioned the handlebars and footpegs for maximum tuck. This could get you the most speed out of your bike and the cafe racer was born. But there is nothing you can do to a Honda CB 350 to make it compete with a 250 ninja. You want speed? Buy a fucking sport bike -any modern sport bike - and you'll have more performance and handling then you'll every get out of an old honda.

So what? You're doing it for the style? Cafe racers were never about style. They were about performance. Those clipons make the poor bike look sad. Like a dog with droopy ears. Most of the cheap cafe mods actually decrease the performance. I've seen people replace the stock airboxes with cheap pod filters, then actually have to jet down to get their bike to run right due to decreased airflow through the carbs.


I agree. This cafe resurgence is pretty sad.
I built this up in the late 70's, sold it a couple of years ago...

http://i855.photobucket.com/albums/a...ctures2029.jpg
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:17 AM   #13
DesmoDog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gravityisnotmyfriend View Post
IMHO, taking a vintage bike and cafe'ing it is pointless.
I think to most this passes as a vintage bike:



I think to many this would be considered "cafe'ing it":



You'd rather I would have restored the Monza Jr?


Really?
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:53 AM   #14
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Cute -

......but looks 95% standard
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Old 11-26-2012, 03:03 PM   #15
Harry94025
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Cute -

......but looks 95% standard
Thanks for showing the photo; my Photobucket account was not working well... The bike had a few mods - Magura handlebars (short, with 1" rise), air forks (no springs), Muholland shocks, Dunstall rearsets, J&R 2 into 1 exhaust, K&N air filters, automotive ignition coils, SL350 rear fender and "350" stickers, Lucas tail light, removed fender struts, red lacquer paint job...

Harry
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