Cafe Racers For Tall Guys
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Cafe Racers For Tall Guys

This is a discussion on Cafe Racers For Tall Guys within the General forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; I'm a noob, feel free to flame. I will try and keep my questions specific, and have read through the FAQ! I'm a 6'6 guy ...

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Thread: Cafe Racers For Tall Guys

  1. #1
    Junior Member oakfield's Avatar
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    Cafe Racers For Tall Guys

    I'm a noob, feel free to flame. I will try and keep my questions specific, and have read through the FAQ!

    I'm a 6'6 guy looking at getting in to the cafe racer scene, and have been riding for a few (6?) years. My first bike was an 87 Yamaha Virago, but it was MUCH to small and has since departed. Recently it has been an 07 Suzuki SV650S, but that is now also gone due to financial issues.

    I love the look of the classic cafe racers, and was hoping to do a conversion over the next year or so. My motorcycle mechanical experience is rather limited, but I do most work on my car (and Audi A4, not an easy vehicle to figure out) and learn quickly.

    My problem, as the title states, is finding a bike suitable to my size. Being 6.5 feet tall, I feel rather cramped on most sport bikes. I've come to accept that I will never be as comfortable as most, but the riding is worth it. From my research so far, it's looking like the following may be suitable bikes to start with:

    Suzuki GS1000/750
    Honda CB1100F/900F/750F
    (late 70s - early 80s for all)

    Does anyone have any insight, or suggestions as to a larger bike I could begin with? Any help is very much appreciated!

  2. #2
    RJB
    RJB is offline
    Senior Member RJB's Avatar
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    Shouldn't have said "cafe scene"...
    1973 CB350G
    2002 Ninja 500r
    I would agree with you, but then we would both be wrong.

  3. #3
    Senior Member DubleR's Avatar
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    One of the fellas, Geeto67, is like 9' tall or something and he's got a CB750 that he rides a lot (among 20-30 other bikes of various sizes). Your inseam will also help some of the guys here form an opinion.

    And welcome!
    220, 221 whatever it takes.

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    Junior Member oakfield's Avatar
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    Haha, and so it begins. Thanks for the heads up.

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    Senior Member DubleR's Avatar
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    quote:Originally posted by RJB

    Shouldn't have said "cafe scene"...
    Learn that quick.
    220, 221 whatever it takes.

  7. #6
    Junior Member oakfield's Avatar
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    quote:Originally posted by DubleR

    One of the fellas, Geeto67, is like 9' tall or something and he's got a CB750 that he rides a lot (among 20-30 other bikes of various sizes). Your inseam will also help some of the guys here form an opinion.

    And welcome!
    Thanks DubleR! My inseam is a 36 I believe, I haven't been measured in a few years.

  8. #7
    Junior Member oakfield's Avatar
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    quote:Originally posted by DubleR

    quote:Originally posted by RJB

    Shouldn't have said "cafe scene"...
    Learn that quick.
    Lesson learned.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    I do not know this "Scene" and "Style" you speak of....maybe we just don't hang out in the same gay bars. I really don't have time to tell you how damaged your motorcycle world view is, all I can tell you is turn off discovery channel and start hanging out in bike shops in the real world.



    that being said - I am 6'5" 34" inseam (long bodied, long arms). My daily ride (before I decided to put more miles on the ducati) is a 1977 GS750 that I modified to "tall man" specs. Basically the mod was fitting a set of 14.5" cb900F aftermarket shocks (Vipex is the brand -no longer in business) to raise the rear up. I like it but it isn't for everybody and you have to be a real man to lift the bike off the side stand.

    here are a few pics of the bike (in the background of the last two pics):





    you don't have to raise the bike for it to be comfortable, I just happened to really like it on this bike and I used to use it for a lot of two up riding. This bike happens to handle like a dream.

    I have had some lowered bikes as well, they handle like shit but one is a drag bike and the other now belongs to my brother who is no where as tall as me.

    This is my kz900:



    as far as bikes go it is the size of a freight train. the lowering doesn't really make it worse for tall riders, the peg position-seat-bar relation does. On this bike is isn't terrible for street riding, the problem is I don't ride it on the street and it really needs rearsets for the way I do ride it (1/4 mile at a time).


    This is my ducati:



    funny thing about ducati's - they are designed for apes. If you have freakishly long arms and short legs this bike is made for you. I love it but my other tall friends.....ahem...Derby....positvely hate it. It is an extremely agressive riding position. Another friend, buckets, has a 2007 with the lowered pegs and raised bars and he seems to like it a lot. Guzzi's are the same way - short legs and long arms my 1980 lemans has a great position for me, too bad the motor is fucked:


    I have ridden a lot of SOHC bikes over the years, some pics of the ones I have owned/still own below:




    and ol' blue:
    http://www.motorcycleclassics.com/mo...nda-cb750.aspx


    Let me be blunt, the SOHC is fine as a solo mount for a tall guy. But anything else it gets cramped. And you will kinda look like a bear riding a tricycle but not as bad as something like a T500.


    This is my old cb750F. Configured for my shorter than me brother:

    http://www.vinmoto.org/gallery/d/385...right_side.jpg

    Let me start by saying the seat is a horrible idea. I can live with it but someone taller or with longer legs is gonna hate it. a lot.


    Forget what you think you know about cafe racers, checker boards, reliving the 60's or what have you. Your place is in the halycon days of the superbike wars of the early 1980s. All the bikes that will fit you and you will enjoy riding are from that era. Google wes cooley, freddie spencer cb750F, and Eddie Lawson and you'll see what I am talking about fast. These bikes have their own following, and were the cafe racers I grew up with, not this ton up fish and chips cheerio bullshit.

    That being said the bikes I suggest are as follows:

    cb750/900/1100F (F model supersports only! no K,L or C bikes)
    KZ900/1000/Z1R (again no LTDs or any other chopper looking crap)
    GS750/1000/1100 (no G models - basically if it looks like a factory chopper stay away - you want bench seats)
    Any tonti framed guzzi (lemans, T3, 1000s, etc)
    860GT and GTS ducati
    GPZ900/1100 (think top gun)
    VF1000F or VF1000R (even the 750 is ok, no 500s though)
    1986-87 ZX1000R ninja (750 is ok if you can find one)
    1986-87 GSXR1100 (750 is ok if you can afford one)

    Basically you want to stay away from anything under 750ccs. The exception is usually a two stroke and the GPZ550 kawasaki which is huge for a 550. The kawasaki h1 500 from 73-76 is pretty big as well (if you can afford the 750 h2 even better).

    Sportsters are kind of hit or miss. even though the XLCR is a long bike the riding position generally sucks. it is best you avoid it althogether.
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    oh, and buy stock in the company that makes bar end mirrors. They are the only mirrors I use because the are the only mirrors that don't give me a clear view of my shoulders and nothing else.
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.

  11. #10
    Senior Member tabby's Avatar
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    I hope others chime in, all snarky comments aside. UJMs from the late 70s to early 80s tended to have long inseams. Suzuki GS models {absolutely no "L" models}, Honda CB "F" models, Kawasaki KZ and GPZ models {no "LTDs} would be a good place to start. You would actually have to sit on them to make a final judgement. Also, if you found one where the fit was close, but not quite, the final fit could be done with seat and peg alterations. Although some here bemoan use of the term "cafe", I don't care a whit. Now, as a general rule, these bikes tend to get modded towards their "Superbike" counterparts. Google Suzuki GS1000S or Kawasaki GPZ1100 for an OEM interpretation.
    Cafe?? Superbike?? Whatever floats yer boat, so long as what you create functions really well.
    Aging fart on a soon to be antique. 86 GSXR750, 883 Cosworth kit, head milled .015, 5 angle valve job, Yosh Stg 2 cams and spring kit, Extrudehone porting, Mikuni RS38s, Hindle exhaust, Falicon crank work, Carrillo rods, 17\" Dymag wheels, EBC rotors and pads, SS lines, Ohlins shock, \"Ti\" rear spring, Raceteched forks, 127 rwhp, 10.82 @ 130.7 in the 1/4. Not the bestest or fastest, but pretty frikkin tough.

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