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Hello, caferacer.net

This is a discussion on Hello, caferacer.net within the General forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; Hello everyone, came across your website and thought I would join, and perhaps receive some meaningful feedback. The newbie sticky didnt have anything about a ...

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  1. #1
    Junior Member ellevehc's Avatar
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    Hello, caferacer.net

    Hello everyone, came across your website and thought I would join, and perhaps receive some meaningful feedback. The newbie sticky didnt have anything about a newbie section to post in, so I thought I would post in here. To confirm, yes, gmail does send it to the spam folder...

    I have been wanting to get back into the motorcycling world. I miss it. I used to have an 06 Katana, but had to sell it when I moved some years ago. It was an interesting bike, in case anyone is curious. A bit on the heavy side, but I learned a lot on it. It was my first bike.

    Reason I am here is because although I want to get back into the hobby, I do not want to go the sport bike route. It just wasnt for me. My friends that helped me get the Katana (a group that had ties with a salvage yard, it was a totaled bike that I built back up) were not exactly the type of riders that I was. The more people I met with sportbikes, the more I realized that I would rather ride on my own. It was much more enjoyable, and much less stressful this way.

    So after searching around for a few weeks for something that I believe I would enjoy, I started to come across the small cc Hondas. They seemed cheap, relatively easy to work on, and parts availability was moderate for the CB350 models.

    Of course, nowadays, simply googling CB350 brings up an array of what I soon learned were "cafe" bikes... I kept calling them dirt track bikes... I got weird looks. But hey, they reminded me of dirt track cars! (I daily a chevelle)

    I started to like them more and more! They are very clean to me. Nothing extra. Pure bike. So I thought I would perhaps invest in something similar. Either way I am going to get something old and cheap. Might as well get something with future potential.

    So here is the plan, currently:

    Buy a CB/CL350 in moderate condition. (I do not want anything higher than a 350. I also prefer 2 carbs vs 4. It makes it seem more ... parsimonious.) I dont need power.

    Restore it to daily running conditions.

    Ride it for a good while (several months) in stock form to catch any kinks, problems, general issues.

    During the riding time I hope to gather info about stripping it (from you guys) and remodeling it such that it improves the bikes overall efficiency/performance. I dont really care about the looks. Although, after doing some reading and looking around, seems like doing what needs to be done performance and weight reduction wise makes it look more cafe racer like anyway. Go figure right?!?

    Then after I have gathered ALL of the necessary/recommended parts for the strip/rebuild (not counting what I run into while tearing it down lol...There is always something...Like stripped Holley fuel bowl threads [xx(] ) I will go ahead and start working on it.

    Mechanically... I know what I am doing. I have rebuilt a good number of small block chevy engines, chevy rear ends, lost count of how many carbs (holley, edlebrock, qjets...btw qjets are awesome), and a variety of other things including overall performance build ups. Except forced induction, I have not done much with that. I also tune carb/distributor setups, so if any of you guys needs some info on sbc or bbc tuning hit me up! I guarantee to make it run better...Always...Sometimes itll cost $10 for a recurve kit... But always. Point is, I am confident an old Honda bike wont give me much trouble.

    Now for some financial questions...
    Is it possible to get a moderately well running CB/CL350 for <1000? I have a feeling yes, but I do not know the range though. I am sure you are all well informed.

    When scoping out the bikes, what are the deal breakers? Are there any infamous problems that are often over looked? Where are the common rust spots? etc etc. What would YOU look for when buying one?

    When getting parts... I have the patience to save up and wait for the better part. I would rather not ghetto rig... But that will come later.


    Anyway, this is getting lengthier than I intended. Hopefully you guys get the idea. I am sure there are questions to be answered. So ask, and I shall answer.

  2. #2
    Senior Member kerosene's Avatar
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    welcome. I wish all the "new" guys were as sensible as you are. You must have even read old new guy threads to come up with such a text book post - I mean

    quoteuring the riding time I hope to gather info about stripping it (from you guys) and remodeling it such that it improves the bikes overall efficiency/performance. I dont really care about the looks. Although, after doing some reading and looking around, seems like doing what needs to be done performance and weight reduction wise makes it look more cafe racer like anyway. Go figure right?!?
    Just giving you shit. You do have a pretty good plan. And dirt tracker is not an inaccurate term. And in fact for general all round bike a tracker makes much more sense than cafe racer. Road racer ergonomics suck in daily traffic.

    About the price point: It depends on your location and level of rush etc. you didn't put your location in your profile (bad boy, put your 1st name and location in there). But generally yes $1000 is resonable price for a ok running bike that needs some basic tooling around done (tires maybe etc.). Unfortunately the popularity of the cafe racers has made some think that any cb350 is an amazing bar find worth $2500 and if they wash it and swap handle bars its a custom racer worth $4500 .

    So you might be a little bit optimistic but not off by a magnitude. Often paying extra $500 means $1000 worth less work needed eventually.... Of course assuming both are decent deals. Basically don't pay too much but don't keep the 'as cheap as possible' as a goal.


    -

  3. #3
    Senior Member TheGreg's Avatar
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    take a compression gauge with you when you go to look at a bike.
    ask me about my ADD or pie or my cat. a dog. i have a bike. Do you like TV? i saw a rock. hi.

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  5. #4
    Senior Member JPellegrino's Avatar
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    Welcome.
    "Its amazing what can be done when you don't know you can't do it" Bill Anderson

  6. #5
    Junior Member ellevehc's Avatar
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    quote:Originally posted by kerosene

    welcome. I wish all the "new" guys were as sensible as you are. You must have even read old new guy threads to come up with such a text book post - I mean

    quoteuring the riding time I hope to gather info about stripping it (from you guys) and remodeling it such that it improves the bikes overall efficiency/performance. I dont really care about the looks. Although, after doing some reading and looking around, seems like doing what needs to be done performance and weight reduction wise makes it look more cafe racer like anyway. Go figure right?!?
    Just giving you shit. You do have a pretty good plan. And dirt tracker is not an inaccurate term. And in fact for general all round bike a tracker makes much more sense than cafe racer. Road racer ergonomics suck in daily traffic.

    About the price point: It depends on your location and level of rush etc. you didn't put your location in your profile (bad boy, put your 1st name and location in there). But generally yes $1000 is resonable price for a ok running bike that needs some basic tooling around done (tires maybe etc.). Unfortunately the popularity of the cafe racers has made some think that any cb350 is an amazing bar find worth $2500 and if they wash it and swap handle bars its a custom racer worth $4500 .

    So you might be a little bit optimistic but not off by a magnitude. Often paying extra $500 means $1000 worth less work needed eventually.... Of course assuming both are decent deals. Basically don't pay too much but don't keep the 'as cheap as possible' as a goal.


    Yeah I will have to take care of that.

    I am in the Seattle area. Craigslist usually pops up with a bike or two every couple weeks. I have run across a few of the 4500 examples... I have also missed several 500-1000 opportunities because I was still on the fence.

    Compression gauge is vital. Leak down tests can be... interesting. Noted.

    The more I think about it the more I want to do a rugged stripped bike. Maybe even go as far as running mild enduro tires... and run some dirt trails... and...and... and I really just need to get a stocker right now and worry about that later.

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