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Discussion Starter #1
Whats goin on. I have been a fan of Cafe Racer style motorcycles for some time. Now I am thinking of building one. The problem is ... What is a good/best bike to start with, want somethin with some good power, but still a small package. Would an older Honda Cb be good.
I have seen Godfathers Cafe Racer and I love it. So help me out.

Pics would be great, thanks in advance.
 

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I'm a fan of cafe racers as well. The CB is a good starting point. If not BSA, Triumph and Norton are all good platforms. If you have $20k, you could buy the new Norton cafe racer. It's got Ohlins all around with all the other new technology as well. It's also American made now. I'll try to find some links later for you to look at.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks man I have seen those, and if I had that money I would have one for sure that or the retro Ducati. Trying to use minimal money, without goin overbaord. Thinkin an older CB would be about the best. What is an BSA?
 

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mercutio80 said:
I've heard BSA stands for "Bastard Stopped Again."

That's got to be a joke, of course.
A joke, but altogether too truthful, if you ask a BSA owner.

They were snarly, fast, hard to control, and rode roughly, but they were the open class superbikes of the day, along with the big twin Nortons and Triumphs. And like the rest of the old Brit bikes, they're notoriously unreliable.

I'd still love one someday... but I like the Ariels better than the BSAs. Velocettes are nice, too...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ya I dont know what it is about the old Cafe Racer style bikes that I like so much. I am going to look at an Older CB 550 I think it is after work so I may have a new winter project. If any body has any projects goin on post up lets see works in progress.
 

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Resident Freak
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BSA - Birmingham Small Arms

They still make scopes, if not firearms as well, but motorcycles are a thing of the past.

If you want a small cafe bike on a budget, get a Honda CB 400F Supersport, put a set of Clubmans on it and go. That bike was a cafe bike from the get-go, and they have quite a collector following, so you will never lose money on the deal.

If you're on a budget and/or you're not a wrench, stay away from the Brits. They cost a bit to build and require regular maintenance.

Edit: Bradsbikes.net usually has a couple of nice CB 400s for sale. The exhaust header on that particular bike has to be the most beautiful exhaust ever made. Ever.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Drifter thanks for the info. Man if I could I would like to have one of them Norton Cammandos like you have now that is a beautiful bike.
 

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I love Cafe' style bikes!
Here are a few sites:
www.clubmanracing.com
www.ace-cafe-london.com
Also find the Royal Enfield site and order their parts book as it has a few Cafe' parts in it.

The CB series Hondas would be the least expensive way to get in to a cafe' style bike,unless you already have a bike which was my case. The Honda I-4 engines would give you alot more power. I prefer the look of the inline twins,but then again you can't ride looks.

Edited to add:
The Yamaha 650 twins are most likely the 2nd most modified older bikes. They made gobs of them and they're relatively cheap to buy. Parts can still be had for them as well. I've seen these bikes turned into choppers,flat tracker style street bikes and Cafe style bikes.
They have quite a following for an older bike. It didn't do any one thing particulary well,but did lots of things good enough.

Another cool bike is the Yamaha SRX 250/400/600.
I don't know anything about these bikes other than they are single cylinder 4 strokes with a sporting style nature.
I think they were supossed be like some sort of Ducati style single wanna be for the masses.
They didn't sell very well around my part of the country at all and I haven't see one on the street for years.

The Kawasaki 2-cycle triple cyclinder bikes make awsome Cafe' bikes,but they are are pretty radical if you uncork them. Stock they are somewhat managable,but what's the fun in that?

This is the mock-up of my Hodaka Ace 100.
I"m not positive,but I'm pretty sure that when I go out buzz bombing the local roads next year it will be the only Hodaka on the road for hundreds(thousands?) of miles around.




 

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Eurofag
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I think the original Cafe racers were hybrids, and they came out of the early 60's 'Rocker' scene in England. The most 'famous', or popular (I think !) was a Triton, which was a Triumph engine in a Norton Featherbed frame, the Triumph twin was generally the most powerful engine at the time, and the Featherbed frame has gone down in folklore as an all time classic. There were others, like Norvins (Norton frame/Vincent engine), and there are Tribsa's (Triumph/BSA).

Anyway, if anyone's interested, here's a couple of links ... :)

http://www.ace-cafe-london.com/f2_2.htm

http://www.vintagebike.co.uk/Bike Directories/Hybrid Bikes/Hybrid Bikes Index.htm

i
 

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jim schmidt said:
For classic styling with better reliability, look for a Yami XS650. It's a solid upright twin and they can be had for about a grand.
ahh yes, a Jap Triumph, had one years ago, and unfortunately it was better than my old 650 Bonneville. oh well.
:)
 

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coolatula said:
I love Cafe' style bikes!

This is the mock-up of my Hodaka Ace 100.
I"m not positive,but I'm pretty sure that when I go out buzz bombing the local roads next year it will be the only Hodaka on the road for hundreds(thousands?) of miles around.
Coolabula,

Didn't that used to be a dirt bike? A friend of mine in Washington state has one with the full chromed tank in exc. shape.
 

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Well, hasn't this thread brought out the old farts!

I spend time in Asia and it's cool to see little 150cc bikes tricked out and turned into Kaffe-Racers over there (and they rip)!

I really really really want one of these!!!!!
Rickman Metisse
 

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hmmm...I am having a hard time finding specifics for a 71 bonneville. I don't know much about them at all, but my dad has one.
 

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King of the Hopeless
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If you want something more modern, why don't you get a mid 80's sportbike that has been cosmetically damaged and put a solo seat and a single or double headlight on it. You get a modern cafe racer that handles, is more reliable than anything you build and won't cost a boatload. I think that I am going to do a project on an FZR600 like that.

Obviously, since I love my S4 I dig that no fairing racebike look. I just don't want to rack it up on a trackday, so I think I am going to build somthing that won't have me crying if I do.

Regards.
 

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Just Bob,

Yes, It's an 1974 100 cc Ace on/off road model with a 5spd. trans. It has about 12 H.P. stock,but I hope with some work to get that up to about 18-20 h.p..
It should weigh in at around 175lb. in full street trim.

The little Hodakas were very light,but held up well to racing. The were competitive in just about any and every type of racing.
A man named Harry Taylor aboard a modified Ace 100 won the 100cc Sportsman class at the 1968 Daytona road race.

I remember as a teenager seeing a pic in a mag of a Rickman Honda and I thought it was the most awesome bike I'd ever seen. And said to my self that one day I would buy one. Little did I know how rare Rickmans were/are. I wonder what one in mint cond. would sell for at auction now?

On the subject of old race bikes there is a company out now that is pretty much hand making the old Matchless 50 bikes. I remember seeing their web sight about a year ago.
Theses bikes are truely works of art and I think they were going for around $20,000 a pop. Steep price,but you know what they say about boys and the price of their toys!
 
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