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This is a discussion on Hello from San Francisco within the General forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; I'm new to the forum so, hello! I'm looking for a new project to build a beast of a cafe racer with a large engine, ...

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  1. #1
    Junior Member CG2000's Avatar
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    Hello from San Francisco

    I'm new to the forum so, hello!

    I'm looking for a new project to build a beast of a cafe racer with a large engine, 750cc plus. I'm tentatively considering a GL1100 Goldwing as a starting place, which may sound ridiculous, but there are a few nice looking projects out there using them as a base.

    So +750cc bikes ... what can you recommend?
    Last edited by CG2000; 09-14-2014 at 01:35 AM. Reason: found a garage

  2. #2
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    A Goldwing is a dumb place to start because to do it right costs a fortune and requires a tremendous amount of fab work. Google Randak's GL1000 endurance racer, which is pretty much the only wing I have ever seen done properly.

    if you want over 1000cc fours, you are pretty much in superbike territory. Gs1000, kz900/1000, cb900f, etc and those are not good bikes for that "droopy bar" look (which is the gayest shit I have heard today mate).

    Cafe/street/road racers are not choppers, you don't build one for the look you build one for the riding experience. If you want that old Brit bike look, buy an old Brit bike.

    Honestly, I don't know what your budget is but if you live in SF, and want a 1000cc bike you need a guzzi tonti frame. Spend real dosh for a reasonably nice runner and then build a lemans I replica out of it.
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member TrialsRider's Avatar
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    I can understand the attraction to picking up a GL1000 as a project bike seeing as there are plenty of them available cheap. I think all the old guys that toured on 4 cylinder wings either moved on to the 6's or died.

    Your KTM450 :I That would make a far more interesting cafe racer.
    droopy bars and all.


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  5. #4
    Banned Witworth's Avatar
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    Being a designer, is not the same as being a builder. If Andee Warhol designed a sport vehicle, it would have had a Vespa front end and a 250cc VW Bug rear end.

    The crusty Brits who built café racers back in the day 'nder the 'rches, were 'enry and 'rthur with 'ah 'ammer. Not a grad with autocad. Reality, not a really sharp pencil.

    A café racer is about going around corners fast and making the bike lighter. Rule a GoldWing out on both counts. Have you ever ridden one of the old horrors? Whispering death that feels like two wheeled car? "Droopy bars" on a GW is about the dumbest choice for levering a leaden pig around the swervery, that you could make. After riding a Ducati, you will plunge into a corner at speed , and a little voice inside your head will become a big voice: "what the hell am I doing riding this pig into the fast corner of no return? ". Forget the droopy bar nonsense on anything that weights over 180kg.

    There are far better bikes to throw time and cash at than a GoldWing. SR500's, GS Suzukis of all sizes. Even a CX500 café makes perfect sense after canvassing the notion of a GoldWing: and that's saying something.

    Go to a race track to see old crusty racer bikes for design inspiration, not Tripebuns or Ike'sEXIT website.

    If you want a café racer GoldWing, go and get a 1st gen V-max instead. It would save you all the trouble in making a slow bad heavy bike into a fast good heavy bike. They are good fast heavy bikes to begin with. Like Dirty Harry said: " Are you man enough, punk?" . That statement relates more to riding a V-max than you ever know.
    Last edited by Witworth; 06-05-2014 at 01:34 PM.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    this is Randaak's endurance racer:

    Name:  6036d1395179106-gl-racer-seen-advrider-equally-cool-stupid-rc003_large.jpg
Views: 3198
Size:  95.0 KB

    if you aren't building this you are wasting your time.

    I've posted this before too:
    View topic - The Goldwing in Endurance racing.....the true story. ? NGW Club

    notice that in order to take a GL1000 endurance racing they had to remake everything but the engine.

    You are looking at thousands upon thousands of dollars to get anywhere close to either of these bikes.

    if this is your idea of a GL cafe racer:

    Name:  supercharged_honda_gl1000.jpg
Views: 34279
Size:  573.5 KB

    then you should save us both time and find another hobby. The bike is a failure, very pretty but also very useless. There is a guy here in Columbus with a BRG 4 cyl GL with checkerboards, union jacks on the valve covers, "droopy" bars, bumstop seat. He runs the "ton up" nights and at his own show people laugh at him behind his back (mosly old guys who remember when a cafe racer was an old performance bike and not a punchline). Then again the bike smokes like it was on fire and he obviously spent a decent amount on paint and finishing but little else. I'm sure he is a nice guy but let's be honest - don't be that guy.
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
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  7. #6
    Junior Member CG2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geeto67 View Post
    A Goldwing is a dumb place to start because to do it right costs a fortune and requires a tremendous amount of fab work. Google Randak's GL1000 endurance racer, which is pretty much the only wing I have ever seen done properly.

    if you want over 1000cc fours, you are pretty much in superbike territory. Gs1000, kz900/1000, cb900f, etc and those are not good bikes for that "droopy bar" look (which is the gayest shit I have heard today mate).

    Cafe/street/road racers are not choppers, you don't build one for the look you build one for the riding experience. If you want that old Brit bike look, buy an old Brit bike.

    Honestly, I don't know what your budget is but if you live in SF, and want a 1000cc bike you need a guzzi tonti frame. Spend real dosh for a reasonably nice runner and then build a lemans I replica out of it.

    Fair enough, thanks for the advice, I'll dump the GL1100 idea then. I just picked up a 1976 CB750 F for $500 in fair condition (my budget is pretty modest). Maybe not the prefect cafe racer candidate but I'll give it a shot. Can't wait to get some of those droopy bars on it.
    Last edited by CG2000; 06-16-2014 at 01:27 PM.

  8. #7
    Senior Member kenessex's Avatar
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    A 67 CB750F is really rare. I am sure it must have great collector value, so if you find one snap it up fast.
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  9. #8
    Senior Member TrialsRider's Avatar
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    I have a question about riding in San Francisco ?:I
    can you get really big air riding up and down those steep hills like in the movies, or would the local cops frown on something like that ?

  10. #9
    Junior Member CG2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Witworth View Post
    Being a designer, is not the same as being a builder. If Andee Warhol designed a sport vehicle, it would have had a Vespa front end and a 250cc VW Bug rear end.

    The crusty Brits who built café racers back in the day 'nder the 'rches, were 'enry and 'rthur with 'ah 'ammer. Not a grad with autocad. Reality, not a really sharp pencil.

    A café racer is about going around corners fast and making the bike lighter. Rule a GoldWing out on both counts. Have you ever ridden one of the old horrors? Whispering death that feels like two wheeled car? "Droopy bars" on a GW is about the dumbest choice for levering a leaden pig around the swervery, that you could make. After riding a Ducati, you will plunge into a corner at speed , and a little voice inside your head will become a big voice: "what the hell am I doing riding this pig into the fast corner of no return? ". Forget the droopy bar nonsense on anything that weights over 180kg.

    There are far better bikes to throw time and cash at than a GoldWing. SR500's, GS Suzukis of all sizes. Even a CX500 café makes perfect sense after canvassing the notion of a GoldWing: and that's saying something.

    Go to a race track to see old crusty racer bikes for design inspiration, not Tripebuns or Ike'sEXIT website.

    If you want a café racer GoldWing, go and get a 1st gen V-max instead. It would save you all the trouble in making a slow bad heavy bike into a fast good heavy bike. They are good fast heavy bikes to begin with. Like Dirty Harry said: " Are you man enough, punk?" . That statement relates more to riding a V-max than you ever know.
    Witworth, thanks for the advice on the bikes, you make a lot of sense on that front. I'm dumping the terrible Goldwing idea. Sounds like you have a grudge against grads with CAD skills though. Who do you think designed all the shit you use everyday? Some grads with cad skills can build, some can't. Some without either can build and some can't. And I think Any Warhol was pretty busy being a great artist. You know, I'd not be surprised to discover he wasn't a good MMA fighter. Maybe I'm missing your points!?

  11. #10
    Junior Member CG2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenessex View Post
    A 67 CB750F is really rare. I am sure it must have great collector value, so if you find one snap it up fast.
    Sorry, typo, it's a 1976, not 67! Not quite as rare?

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