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Old 11-26-2012, 09:25 PM   #16
Scrivens
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ikonoklass View Post
I heard one builder talk about how the bike was useless at anything but race speed
Depends on what it was. I know from bitter experience that a lot of really worked over Brit bikes were next to useless on anything other than a track or a deserted road. Race cams and big carbs = no idle and a power band between 5 and 7000rpm; the only way to ride them is fast, because the engines don't do slow. 55hp will get you over the ton easily, but speed is of course relative, these days...

The amusing things is that many of the "new" cafe bikes were originally viewed as dorky basic transport items back in the day, so it's a bit like painting race stripes on your mum's runabout.
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:44 PM   #17
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When I got my CB it was missing a lot of parts, had broken rings, bent valves, cracked tank and rust. Motor # did not match frame # so no reason to try and go stock. Here is my art work. Engine is stock except for electronic ignition and filter pods. Carbs are originals with stock jetting. Runs great and fun around town bike. Does get attention too.

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Old 11-26-2012, 10:01 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by gravityisnotmyfriend View Post
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.
I've had plenty of modern bikes, and I've got a number of vintage bikes at the moment. Honestly, the modern bikes bore me. Taking my modern Triumph Speed Triple around a 35mph turn at 70mph makes me yawn. Fighting my '69 Suzuki T500 around the same corner at 50mph is thrilling and fun. That's why I labour for hours and hours to modify/improve/fix my old bikes... they are much more fun to ride

About a month ago I went riding on my '69 Honda 350. I was riding with a Honda 919, Ducati 916, '88 BMW GS and a 2000ish BMW K1200. We took a fairly 'technical' road and the GS rider and I had to wait more than 20 minutes on the other side for the others to catch up. I still need to modify my pegs to that I don't grind them off.


Quote:
Originally Posted by High Country Herb View Post
I disagree.

Saving every last vintage motorcycle is like designating every old building as "historical". Eventually you're going to run out of room and steel. The reality is that every bike will eventually be melted down and re-cycled; maybe in 5 years, maybe in 500. The whole point of the motorcycle is to have fun with it. Ape hangers or clip-ons; if it brings more people to motorcycling we all win from motorcycle friendly laws, more aftermarket support, etc. Sure, they charge way more than I would pay, but I don't care what they spend their money on.

For instance: What's wrong with cutting up an 80's dual sport to create something fun?
Best post I've read in a while. I couldn't agree more.
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:32 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Jnich77 View Post
Ummm.. you do realize that the "New Cafe Racer Fad" started in England in the 1950's...lol.

For sure. That's why I emphasized the "new cafe fad".
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:17 AM   #20
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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 11-27-2012, 08:39 AM   #21
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Lemme clarify my position a bit. Seems to have set off a few people.

The thing that pisses me off about the "cafe" movement is the people that buy a bike and slap on emgo pods, clip-ons, rearsets, and shorty pipes and call it a cafe racer.

I've told countless people the same thing when they are looking to modify a vintage bike - or any bike for that matter. Do what moves you - but find out what moves you first.

If you just got a CB350 - get it running first. Get it reliable. Then, ride the damn thing. Ride it until you get to know it. Find out what you don't like and change it. Make it yours. But, just slapping on parts out of a catalog because that's what everyone else is doing makes me just shake my head.


I have a 350 and I know that it will never be worth the money it'd take to restore it to factory original. Not in my lifetime. There's too many of them in far better shape to bother with a full restoration. And, it's not that I care that people are chopping up vintage bikes - it's the reasoning behind it.

I am following my own advice. I got my 350 running and have been driving the snot out of it. I put on taller bars because I'm 6'5" and they are more comfortable. I didn't want to bother with troubleshooting all the fried electrical, so I ripped it all out and added just enough to make it street legal. So, it's a minimalistic in town commuter and is a blast to ride. I've only been riding it for about 2 years, and I'm probably not done modifying to my tastes. But, I am learning what I like and don't like about it and that's what I'll be modifying.

Or, maybe I'm just an asshole and should stop caring what other people do with their rides.
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:49 AM   #22
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Don't worry too much - if the trend continues, in a couple years all the cafe racers will be replaced with street trackers.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:04 AM   #23
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At least they are being ridden; no bike should be left to rot away behind somebody's garage.

But it is sad to see a fine old motorcycle, hacked, cut and chopped into something that isn't even practical to ride. But that's just my opinion.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:27 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gravityisnotmyfriend View Post
Lemme clarify my position a bit. Seems to have set off a few people.
...snip...
I am following my own advice. I got my 350 running and have been driving the snot out of it. I put on taller bars because I'm 6'5" and they are more comfortable. I didn't want to bother with troubleshooting all the fried electrical, so I ripped it all out and added just enough to make it street legal. So, it's a minimalistic in town commuter and is a blast to ride. I've only been riding it for about 2 years, and I'm probably not done modifying to my tastes. But, I am learning what I like and don't like about it and that's what I'll be modifying.

Or, maybe I'm just an asshole and should stop caring what other people do with their rides.
eh... /shrug

Glad you clarified, the previous 'get a modern bike to go fast' is a far more naive statement than your latest post.

Enjoy your 350! I'm 6'3' and found that clip-ons and rear sets worked very well until I was in my mid-thirties and I could no longer do 300 mile days in that position.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:31 AM   #25
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Since as a friend used to say "He's cool , he's been to California ."I will now predict the next fad.

Cafe Racers has been done over and over. Soon to run it's course. And be back 10 years later.

Street Trackers, pretty much the same deal.

So , what's next ?

Scramblers You read here first.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:56 AM   #26
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I agree that the current café racer fad is as painful as the waning chopper revival. But let me be clear it's the FAD I object to, NOT skilled craftsmen modifying motorcycles, even if their resultant creations are more extreme and less functional than I like. What really boils my cabbage is when neophyte know-nothings make crappy, unsafe modifications to substandard bikes on the cheap and expect others to laud their their work as being on a par with what all those skilled craftsmen have produced.

Clueless hacks are out there building stupid crap in every style, including extended-wheelbase drag bikes, board track replicas and dualsport-conversion street bikes. The key difference is that there's not a trendy show on TV bringing those styles to the general public's consciousness...yet.

Just wait until "Adventure Bike Build-Off" comes to the History of Scientific Travel Channel.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:06 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by bk brkr baker View Post
So , what's next ?

Scramblers You read here first.
Hmmm. Very possibly, but I'm waiting for the Digger fad.



Not really all that different from a chopper or a bobber, but with just that little bit of drag bike and boadtrack influence thrown in. Just different enough that John Q. Public can learn the term and prompy mis-apply it to every otherwise-stock Japanese crapbox with a solo seat, struts, no front brake, new bars and gaudy paint.

Don't get me wrong, I can dig the Sportster diggers that Arlen Ness did back in the 1970s. Even though I'd never want one, I can appreciate the innovative, out-of-the-box creativity they represented. But there's a big difference between being a pioneer and imitative me-too-ism.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:28 AM   #28
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:45 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by killfile View Post
eh... /shrug

Glad you clarified, the previous 'get a modern bike to go fast' is a far more naive statement than your latest post.

Enjoy your 350! I'm 6'3' and found that clip-ons and rear sets worked very well until I was in my mid-thirties and I could no longer do 300 mile days in that position.
It seems you misunderstood - or maybe I wasn't clear. I didn't mean that you couldn't go fast on a vintage bike. I meant that if your only goal was to go fast - there is no way to do it that is easier and cheaper than to just buy a modern bike. It's the motivation behind the cafe trend that bugs me.

Oh, and there are no 300 mile days for me and my 350. I've got my cruiser for that. I've done a few 100 mile trips on the 350. And it does fine. But, I have the most fun on twisty 55 mph back roads with it.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:46 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Tanshanomi View Post
But let me be clear it's the FAD I object to, NOT skilled craftsmen modifying motorcycles, even if their resultant creations are more extreme and less functional than I like. What really boils my cabbage is when neophyte know-nothings make crappy, unsafe modifications to substandard bikes on the cheap and expect others to laud their their work as being on a par with what all those skilled craftsmen have produced.
This.

My thoughts exactly.
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