This is a discussion on Help-A-N00b (pretty much like a charity) within the General forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; Hey, I'm a n00b here and was asking for a little help in choosing a motorcycle. I am interest in 1970's Hondas. I love the ...
Hey, I'm a n00b here and was asking for a little help in choosing a motorcycle. I am interest in 1970's Hondas. I love the look of a classic cafe racer over a new "superbike" any day. I plan to slowly turn the bike into a cafe racer (on a college kids budget haha). I want something that would be fun to buzz around a college town and to make the occasional 100 mile trek from college to home. I want something fun and pretty reliable but has a little bit of power to get up and go. This will be my first motorcycle but I am pretty mechanically inclined and am sure i will be surrounded by gear heads in college too. Thank you in advance for any suggestions or help that you can provide. Also tieing into the charity subject, all given advice can be considered a tax write off. haha.
1979 Yamaha XS650 Special
Thanks Joe. Any specific reasons for those two over anything else? Any specifics you are taking into account? Things you feel that i would want?
honda cb500 to 550 inline fours are pretty dead-nuts reliable, you can cafe them easy, and there always is one or two for sale locally for $1500 running with a title. also they can do 100 mile trips easy and you won't be overly fatigued. welcome to the forum.
id stay away from the 500. only made a few years. just as good a bike. will go and go. but parts arent as easy to get. they handle alot better than the 550, but dont have the power. look for a pre 77 550. most of all of the pre77 parts are interchangable. 77-78 they changed a few things and alot of the body parts and electrical were different. for only those 2 years. i still cant find a nice nos or original seat for my 77 k model. it was only a one year design. the 78 was different from that too. but they are all still nice reliable bikes. and dont let tex scare you....you can get a real nice 550/4 k/f bike for 1500. definite nice runners for under 1k.
ive always been partial to the suzuki gs' as they, at least to me, were the beginings of the modern superbikes. (gsxr) like kz's and cbf's. but the gs750 is another real reliable generic bike that loans itself to a sporty ride, but has enough power for 2 up riding. and it will run down the expressway all day long. look for a late 70's model. 77, 78. i have a buddy who has a gorgeous blue and white one.
the down side to the 550 is they dont have the power you need to haul say, your 150+lb girlfriend and you around with decent oomph. now if shes under say 135....ya got it made.but ive found that hauling bigger passengers isnt fun on the 550. the gs will do it.
Thanks again Joe and Tex. I love the lines of the CB550, but the extra power of the GS750 does sound nice. I mean with the CB the phrase "No fat chicks" might actually come into play haha, but more important than that it may eliminate most of my buddies from being passangers. But this in mind, i may be installing a single seat so it wouldnt really matter. I do have another question though, if i bought a metal single seat pan would the rear bump be strong enough for a person for a short ride? Also I was just hunting around and saw a CB650 near me for under 1K. What do you know about the CB650?
Edited by - ZouLou on Aug 07 2007 11:30:31 PM
in my opinion the cb650's blow. i'll let geeto handle this rant, i got other fish to fry.....
no giving buddies rides! fuck them if they don't have a bike. tell them to hoof it or find some other homo to schlep them and their shit to and fro!
i'm partial to the cb500/4 cause it was the first bike i owned that i actually could ride cause it always started (never by a italian basket case as your first bike....). joe's probably right with the advise he gave over 550 to 500's, but i think he is a homo, so fuck him too!
only nice thing about joe's bike are the tommaselli clubmans and the totally awesome 4 into 4 exhaust i gave him that he had on for a new york minute and then callously threw away....ungrateful fucker!
man, i'm in some mood today. something is sure in that chicory coffee!
cb500s and pre 77 cb550Ks are pretty much the same bike. Don't knwo what problems you had getting parts for yours joe but the chassis are identical.
The only think a cb650 is good for is plucking the motor and sticking it in a cb500-550 frame. (no offense JB) but the cb650 is like that fat chick you would't fuck with Tex's dick and Joe pushing.
Do a search on this board, there have been plenty of times I have recommended bikes to people.
If you are really jonesing for a honda, you can't beat a SOHC cb750. As reliable as and predictable as chris farley's heart attack, practically made of stone it is so tough. You can get everything you need for it parts wise (including cafe parts) and the later bikes 1/8th of the earlier bikes and most of the parts swap over (except those orphan 77-78Ks)
I like the 77-79 GS750, I own one. It is hella durable too, some stator issues but every old bike is going to have some stupid issue or another.
kz650s and kz900s/1000s are also good bikes (a little pricey for the early ones).
you are a college kid, do yourself a favor...buy a finished bike and just ride it. YOu will spend too much time doing beer bongs and chasing tail for it to be worth it working on anything. Plus you are probably transient right now. Got no money, wait till after college and buy a decent bike with the earnings of your first job. If you really want it to happen it will happen.
fuck your friends, ride solo. just tell them to meet you places.
i totally agree with the "buy it done" motto.. or as close to done as you can get.. spend the extra time and money getting something that someone has already made good.. they always sell at a loss.. and you will spend more time riding and less time fucking with dumb shit on the side of a dorm
Thanks all the help guys. I think tex woke up on the wrong side of the bed today haha. I do the the fuck the friends idea haha its my bike and I'll ride it by myself. BUt one thing u suggested was the cb750 over the 550. I just wanted to know about your comparison of the two. I have read that they are both dead nuts reliable and all but i read that the 550 was a tighter, better handling bike. What's your 2 cents on that? Also on the thing of buying it done. That does sound like a good idea but I think it might drive me nuts haha. I am going into mechanical engineering and just absolutly love tinkering on stuff.