Cafe Racers,,,,WTF??

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by Steve G., Nov 25, 2012.

  1. gnuse

    gnuse Ride to Fly

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    275
    Location:
    Dahlonega
    No need for me to mess with my bike. Honda, in another of their unpopular marketing designs, provided me with a really cool bike. The only thing I notice that they missed on is that it doesn't leak oil. :D[​IMG]
    #61
  2. concours

    concours WFO for 41 years

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    5,441
    Location:
    Kensington, NH USA
    It's a new era we live in... modifications are done simply for the sake of change. Thousands are spent on fluff that adds nothing to the performance of bikes, cars, etc. Don't try applying logic, you can't. At least when we used to put Mickey Thompson N50-15 tires on our jscked up muscle cars, it was to emulate the drag cars of the day. :lol3

    As for the low grade turds we see posing as cafe racers... it's lot's of fun to pass them on the inside on a stone stock vintage!:freaky

    And the really well made cafe racers are $20,000 wonders!
    #62
  3. R85/8

    R85/8 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    282
    Location:
    Highlands Scotland
    Then it will be a custom bike, not a cafe racer.

    And there's nothing wrong with that.
    #63
  4. Bigfeet428

    Bigfeet428 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Oddometer:
    71
    I love those bikes! Honda made a perfect retro bike........ about 20 years to soon.
    #64
  5. hbkramer

    hbkramer Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    377
    Location:
    Eastern Pa - Center of the Universe
    Well, a cafe build and its origins are directly tied to a persons choice of underwear:

    For the blessed,the tighty whities become way too restrictive, and they want to let things breathe,and experience freedom.

    For the mentally challenged,they want to let their ass (and briefs)hang out so everyone can see their underwear -untastefull ,period!
    For the boxer crowd ,its a matter of reliving days gone by,or creating the days that never were.

    For the new brief generation that are neither briefs nor boxers,but a machienation of the two,its just uter confusion,and frustration .
    and For thoes that go naked, its just the ultimate expression of total freedom.

    Here is my underwear:

    https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-...AAAAAAAMs/s89O90BbUKw/s268-c/R100SSAvonLynx02
    #65
  6. Starkmojo

    Starkmojo Chief Totberry

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    667
    Location:
    Where the valley rises up to the shifting mountain
    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. :freaky

    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 -->:D 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:

    [​IMG]

    I turned it into this.. eventually I added bar ends and a kerker 4-1 but I cannot find the photo of that ...
    [​IMG]

    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 :evil

    So when I started going places that the 750 just didnt want to go, I started on this project:

    [​IMG]



    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:




    [​IMG]


    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.
    #66
  7. Lomax

    Lomax Nanu-Nanu Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Oddometer:
    9,395
    Location:
    Westminster Colorado
    I agree, Cafe' Racers WTF: who would own one of those pieces of crap?

    DOH! :lol3

    [​IMG]

    Marc
    #67
  8. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2004
    Oddometer:
    7,402
    Location:
    West is the Best

    My original post pointed out the new trend in taking perfectly great looking bikes and ratting them out. I'm all for 'factory' cafe's, heck I own a Laverda Jota, and had a M.G. V11 Sport, one the real Mcoy, the later a retro on an old classic cafe, the V7 Sport.

    Your bike would not fall into the category I'm flaming. Although your model is a great bike,,,,it can be considered the ultimate example of a sheep dressed up like a wolf, and there's nothing wrong with that.
    #68
  9. bill42

    bill42 Old-School BMWs

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    377
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    No matter what some people do, another person is going to hate it somewhere along the line. Personally I think the OP doesn't hate Café Racers. He states that he likes factory built retro café racers! To me those are OK but I get much more of a thrill building my own from some old ugly bag of bolts. I like seeing original custom bikes rather than some company's version that is replicated over and over again. I guess if I was a woman I would hate to show up to a party to see another girl in my same fancy red dress!
    I think what the OP doesn't like is plain old lazy bad design- when people who have no aesthetic sense slap some parts on a bike and think that they made it into a better performing bike or better looking bike. In my own opinion, I think more than 3/4 of these guys actually do screw up their bikes and wind up with something that looks worse and performs worse than stock. This is human nature. Most people are stooopid. Most have bad fashion sense. For that I am glad! Because they make me look good. ;-)

    I am a relatively novice builder with not much experience and no welding skills. I was able to turn this 100% boring and heavy (but shiny) bike:

    [​IMG]


    Into this:

    [​IMG]



    I started with the big heavy highway cruiser because those are very easy to find and they are thousands of dollars cheaper than an equivalent naked bike of the same year. (I paid $2800 for that 1981 red BMW R100RT)
    I found the bike heavy and cumbersome to ride. My transformed café-ed bike however is a blast to ride. My friend wanted his own café racer after seeing mine, so he sold his very fast Triumph sport bike that he was bored of riding and he bought a new Thruxton:

    [​IMG]



    Surprisingly our two bikes which are 32 years apart perform almost exactly the same! By the way he loves riding his much less powerful Thruxton better than his sport bike. He says these bikes make you feel like you are going way faster than you really are. My conclusion is this fad isn't going away. People will always like raw, unsophisticated naked bikes. It is a genre that is here to stay. Maybe they don't have to be called Café Racers. Frankly I have no desire to be connected to the brits of the 1950s. But the name stuck and I like this style of bike, so I go along with the crowd and call them Café Racers.
    #69
  10. steveWFL

    steveWFL Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,397
    Location:
    Tampa

    Beautiful [​IMG]
    #70
  11. Speed King

    Speed King Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,653
    Location:
    Omaha
    I've said this before but great job on that Beemer. Really dig that bike. My Guzzi:

    [​IMG]
    #71
  12. bill42

    bill42 Old-School BMWs

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    377
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Well damn, that Guzzi is a whole 'nother order of magnitude higher than my cheap-build Beemer! Bikes like yours are a the ones that I aspire to. So thanks!
    #72
  13. JonnyCash

    JonnyCash turd polisher

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,658
    Location:
    Midcoast, Maine
    Speedking, can you tell me the story on those mufflers? My Bubs fell apart and I'm currently running some cheap EMGOs, but I definitely noticed a loss in power when I put them on. Those are exactly what I'd like to have on my T3.
    #73
  14. Lomax

    Lomax Nanu-Nanu Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Oddometer:
    9,395
    Location:
    Westminster Colorado
    They look like Mistral's to me but Speedking knows for sure. :clap

    Marc
    #74
  15. Speed King

    Speed King Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,653
    Location:
    Omaha
    Yes, they are Mistrals.
    #75
  16. JonnyCash

    JonnyCash turd polisher

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,658
    Location:
    Midcoast, Maine
    Thanks!
    #76
  17. WitchCityBallabio

    WitchCityBallabio Guzzi weirdo

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    947
    Location:
    Salem, Massachusetts

    Gorgeous job. Guzzi's make the best Cafe's. The mechanical bits all up in your face. :)

    I built ours as a sort of rideable Cafe. Inspired by the HT Moto bikes. The upside is that my wife can ride it for 5-600 miles without too much pain and suffering. It's sort of a Cafe/Roadster hybrid.

    And by the way....much lighter and faster than the donor G5 it started life as.

    Here it is at Barber at the Guzzi celebration a couple of years ago.

    [​IMG]
    #77
  18. Mandello

    Mandello Guzzista

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    162
    Location:
    Miami
    That is a great G5 transformation, love it but doesn't belong in the w.t.f. cafe thread....

    Now, THIS is a wtf cafe (CB 450):

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #78
  19. orangebear

    orangebear Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,295
    Location:
    dumfrie scotland
    Need to sort out the tank and the sub frame / seat
    #79
  20. Loudo

    Loudo Pithy

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    188
    Location:
    Seattle-ish
    Very nicely done. Bravo.

    Front tire is mounted backwards. I did the same thing on my CB77 but I'm too lazy to change it. For now.
    #80