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Novice looking for info on the skills I need to build cafe's

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Thread: Novice looking for info on the skills I need to build cafe's

  1. #1
    Junior Member Sanzarelli's Avatar
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    Question Novice looking for info on the skills I need to build cafe's

    Hey everyone!

    I'm looking to start the LONG process of learning to build my own cafe racers, top to bottom. I own a '81 Honda CM400T that's currently in 100 pieces which I rode and took apart for about two years before it ended up in it's current state. I got a bit ambitious with my modifications right before I moved to New York City. I'm relatively comfortable taking everything on that bike except the engine apart on my own- even if it's not wise for me to do so. I plan to pick up a KTM 390 Duke to hold me over in the city til I can move somewhere with a garage, but in the meantime, I'd like to take classes to teach me what I need to disassemble, repair, and modify bikes into cafe racers.

    I'd like to be clear that I have zero training on anything related to what I am looking to do. I know that this process will likely take several years, and is unlikely to make me money. I am ok with that. I am doing this because in my few years of riding my bike, I've realized there's nothing I'd rather spend my time doing than taking bike's apart, improving them and putting them back together.

    What I'm really asking is if anyone knows of specific classes I should take or skills I should gain. I know I need to learn welding, engine repair, electrical, painting and upholstery (though the last two are not priorities as I could outsource those at first). As an engineer, I found that I use about 5% of what was taught to me in college in my current position. I am trying to avoid wasting my time on classes that cannot really be applied to what I am looking to do. Are classes provided at local community colleges sufficient for what I need? Would these classes be more than I need to know or not enough?

    For example, I know I need to learn to weld, but is there a specific type (MIG, TIG etc.) that I should look to concentrate on? I welding a frame something that can be learned in a reasonable amount of time or will it take 10 years to learn to weld something as important as a frame together?

    I am new to this forum and this is my first post. I expect criticism, but I am willing to put in the time to learn what I need to. I am just here to figure out what I need to learn from people who already do this. Thanks guys and gals.
    Last edited by Sanzarelli; 07-14-2016 at 09:46 AM. Reason: obvious confusion and sarcasm

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    Senior Member Andyshep's Avatar
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    No one on here builds cafe racers.

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    Ews
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    Senior Member Ews's Avatar
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    I build crap boxes and slap a cafe racer logo on them. Does that count?
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    Senior Member nic579's Avatar
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    BOCES not as cheap as it used to be but if you fit the correct demographics the State or Fed will pay your way.

    Local to me they do Motorcycle Repair, Auto Body, and Welding.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=boce...s=lf:1,lf_ui:2
    pwalo and Sanzarelli like this.

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    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanzarelli View Post
    Hey everyone!

    I'm looking to start the LONG process of learning to build my own cafe's, top to bottom.
    Well I figure you would need to be a mason with a background in construction. I mean bricklaying is it's own art. Plus interior design as well as a functional understanding of restaurant space design. I mean its a lot.

    still I think some of the best cafe's happen organically and reflect the owner/operators sense of unique flair:

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    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
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    Senior Member Ichiban Moto's Avatar
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    no, no.. he means café bikes ...silly peeps

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    Senior Member Ichiban Moto's Avatar
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    wait... I'm totally building one of these

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    Andyshep, Geeto67 and jaguar like this.

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    Senior Member TrialsRider's Avatar
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    Money. It takes lots and lots o money, if you have enough of that stuff you don't need anything else.

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    Senior Member jaguar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ichiban moto View Post
    wait... I'm totally building one of these

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    do it!
    I am Derby\'s Bitch


    Some times things come around that are so singularly inept it gives you a whole new appreciation for the ept

  11. #10
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    Ok here is the non joke answer...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sanzarelli View Post
    I own a '81 Honda CM400T that's currently in 100 pieces which I rode and took apart for about two years before it ended up in it's current state. I got a bit ambitious with my modifications right before I moved to New York City. I'm relatively comfortable taking everything on that bike except the engine apart on my own- even if it's not wise for me to do so.
    Sell it. It's a cheap commuter bike that isn't worth putting time into it at all. There are way more interesting bikes for cheap, just dump that project for whatever you can get for it and walk away.

    I plan to pick up a KTM 390 Duke to hold me over in the city til I can move somewhere with a garage, but in the meantime, I'd like to take classes to teach me what I need to disassemble, repair, and modify bikes into cafe's.
    Call them racers. It makes you sound like less of a dickhead. There are ways to deal with a moto life in NYC, I did it almost all my life (I moved to ohio in 2013) and ways to get into a garage for less than you think. Sign up for the NYCvinmoto email list would be a first smart move, and get to know everyone in that largely brooklyn based community. It helps.


    What I'm really asking is if anyone knows of specific classes I should take or skills I should gain. I know I need to learn welding, engine repair, electrical, painting and upholstery (though the last two are not priorities as I could outsource those at first). As an engineer, I found that I use about 5% of what was taught to me in college in my current position. I am trying to avoid wasting my time on classes that cannot really be applied to what I am looking to do. Are classes provided at local community colleges sufficient for what I need? Would these classes be more than I need to know or not enough?
    How old are you? I am guessing you are not in high school anymore so BOCES is kind of out. I mean you can go back but it's a process. Do you want real training? to make a career out of this? I have to be honest It might be best to actually go to a trade school to learn what you want to learn. WyoTech would be my first stop since there are a lot of high profile graduates doing some amazing things.
    WyoTech | Mechanic Repair Training | Auto, Body, Diesel, Motorcycle, Marine

    UTI is another one I see advertised a lot
    Universal Technical Institute (UTI) | Technical Education Trade School

    Keep in mind these are schools training people for a real career, so they are going to take it seriously.

    The best mechanics I have ever seen though have been trained as aircraft mechanics (A&P licensed). It teaches basic metal fabrication plus complex systems and covers way more than an automotive or motorcycle course would cover because...well...the stakes are higher if you are a bad airplane mechanic.
    Last edited by Geeto67; 07-14-2016 at 09:53 AM.
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
    - Samuel Beckett
    A tool is just an opportunity with a handle
    - Kevin Kelly

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