What's the best airhead for a cafe project?

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by Sox Fan, Jan 9, 2010.

  1. Sox Fan

    Sox Fan SoxFan

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    Is there an ideal airhead for cafe racer projects? I am drawn to the R90/6 models based on engine size and looks.

    Curious if there are logical pros/cons regarding the best models to cafe out.
    #1
  2. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

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    Oh....man.... :scratch


    You could spend alot of time looking at every cafe'd boxer on the interwebs, and find reasons for doing it like "they" did every time....

    cafe'd /5's? check.
    [​IMG]


    cafe'd slash 6 and 7? check.
    [​IMG]


    cafe'd 80ST's? check.
    [​IMG]


    cafe'd R65's? check.
    [​IMG]


    cafe'd 80g/s's? check.....
    [​IMG]

    R80 monolever? yes, even that....check out fellow ADV'r MIOB's beauty:
    [​IMG]




    and so on.





    90/6? ... great choice! go for it!
    #2
  3. CurlyMike

    CurlyMike Formerly SaddleSoar

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    They are really all great and all have their pluses I think.

    /5. Has the speedo /tach in the backet which creates a great clean look on the bars. Kick start, what is more retro than that. No master cylinder to mess with.

    /6. Nice. Love the 750 and the 900. Dont like the speedo cluster¬ówould do a Vapor or Trailtech. Big tank doesnt scream cafe to me. More like retro.

    /7. I like the tanks the best for cafe. Same issue with speedo.

    It really depends on a couple of factors that YOU have to answer. What brakes do you want on the front and rear without going crazy modifying a bike. Kick start wanted. You can always put a 4 speed in a /7 but rarely done. What do you desiring for speedo/tach. Tank. Wheels, do you want spokes, mags or snowflakes. Carbs a big deal to you 32 or 40s.

    I am starting a cafe project right now. Starting with a 80/7. First because it was soooo cheap. Low miles. Has Lester mags that I wanted. Planning on doing some radical stuff. Trying to decide whether a Vapor or TrailTech would be best or a /5 bucket and do a new combo speedo in its hole. Or even just a GPS that I remove all of the time.

    So I guess my point is that there are some many little factors that depend on personal preference that only you can really answer the question. Just my 3 cents I am sure you get many more opinion and thoughts.
    #3
  4. Sox Fan

    Sox Fan SoxFan

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    Great points - the kick start and clean look of the front on the /5s is intriguing. I think i read your thread on your project - blue one, correct? Good luck!
    #4
  5. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

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    Put a /5 bucket on your /6, as jtwind did on his R65:
    [​IMG]




    Or do something really custom:
    [​IMG]
    #5
  6. mykill

    mykill odd

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    Is all of them.
    Any engine that floats your boat. R65 swingarm, Brembo F/E. Speedo's don't belong, after all you are building a barely road legal racebike if you are doing it right.
    #6
  7. MIOB

    MIOB Long timer

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    I agree. Any of them, whatever you like.

    The blue mono in Pbeckm's post is mine. I chose for the mono because I wanted a less=more bike. It has one rear shock less ;). I also fitted it with a kickstarter by the way.

    There's a dedicated BMW caferacerthread on this forum. Just go through the pages and see what you like.
    #7
  8. Pigford

    Pigford British

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    Do it properly - get an old Brit Iron... :evil
    #8
  9. jtwind

    jtwind Wisconsin Airhead

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    Bob,that's a r65, not a /6. I built that and then Craig Chwala of Chicago bought it from me and has done a nice and interesting job finishing it up. Not much like a r65 anymore, I think he put a r90s motor in it.

    As far as which airhead to build a cafe out of, I think I would base it on which tank I wanted to put on it. That is if you are going to use a stock BMW tank. The later frames are stiffer and better handling, though you can mod the old ones for good or at least better handling. It all sort of depends on how much you are going to do to it. If you have extensive work in mind it really doesn't matter much.
    #9
  10. kixtand

    kixtand Long timer

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    The only recommendation I would have is to stay away from the R65 bikes, simply because there is not much interchangeability w/ the other Airheads.

    If I was going to pick one it would probably be a /7 or later twin shock. The frame has been beefed up at this point, they are possibly easier to come by at a reasonable price, and, as was already mentioned, I think the stock tanks look very nice.

    I took a /5 and made it into a race/cafe bike, but that was just because I had one available at the time that was a prime candidate. Here is a few pics of the end result:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And a few detailed pics:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And what I started with:

    [​IMG]

    Good luck--

    kix
    #10
  11. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

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    Hi jeff: oops.... sorry about that... I KNEW that, I just hadn't thought about it quite yet.... went back and fixed it...! Still one of my favorite rider's-view, with the clean triple and the /5 bucket and the alloy tank.....'s :thumb
    #11
  12. jtwind

    jtwind Wisconsin Airhead

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    Evan Wilcox made that tank for me, back when you only had to wait 6-7 months. I had the r65 tach in the headlight bucket and used a Sigma bike speedo for mph. The r65 had those nice proper upper triple clamps and Craig went one step further and had the built in handlebar clamps machined off.
    #12
  13. Sox Fan

    Sox Fan SoxFan

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    Wow - very nice ride. I like the color.
    #13
  14. CurlyMike

    CurlyMike Formerly SaddleSoar

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    A Brit bike would be fine, if you really didnt want to ride it very far, and you had plenty of mates with trucks to bring your stranded butt home all of the time....:hide
    #14
  15. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

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    Gotta admit, there is something just so veddy proper about it, makes it almost worthwhile when you can gaze at something like this whilst you await the aforementioned friends and trucks....

    [​IMG]

    'course another alternative is to take the classic brit vertical twin look, and apply some japanese engineering, and have the best of both worlds:
    [​IMG]




    :wave

    In the end, what is good is that we can each take our own bike and interpret the application of "cafe" as we see fit....in other words, ymmv


    :rayof
    #15
  16. Sox Fan

    Sox Fan SoxFan

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    Oh my - motorcycle pornography that is! I need a minute to myself......:lol3
    #16