Good bike to build for a novice
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Good bike to build for a novice

This is a discussion on Good bike to build for a novice within the Project Builds forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; Hello all, I'm new to the forum. I joined because I really want to restore/cafe a bike, but I'm having a hard time deciding what ...

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  1. #1
    Junior Member stevo1000's Avatar
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    Good bike to build for a novice

    Hello all,

    I'm new to the forum. I joined because I really want to restore/cafe a bike, but I'm having a hard time deciding what bike. My mechanical skills are novice at best but I'm excited at the prospect of learning new skills and building a bike.

    I'm looking at mainly Hondas because they seem to be the easiest to find parts for. I'm thinking about a '77 cb400f, but I'm not sure if the 4 cylinder will be too much for my first project being that I'm not that mechanically advanced. So I don't know if I should dive into the in-line 4 or stick to a twin for now (I really like the cl350). I've been riding on the street for about 8 years (2003 SV1000s) and still love it. I do basic things myself (oil, brakes, chain/sprockets) but that's mainly it.

    Any recommendations would be much appreciated. Any models/years to specifically stay away from on any of the Hondas?

    Thanks,
    Steve

  2. #2
    Senior Member jaguar's Avatar
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    Just buy a bike and ride said bike.
    dont make work for the sake of work.

    stop all ideas of a cafe racer, project, build, making it your own or any of that bullshit.
    just keeping an old bike running and learning to ride are enough work for you.
    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

  3. #3
    Banned Witworth's Avatar
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    Forget Hondas, they are old and crusty. Find a GS550 or GS750 and just make it work like the best lightly modified stock bike you can. 400F's are sexy, but after riding a SV1000 you will wonder why you bothered when you ride one. 400F's were good back in the day, they are no longer very good and being over forty years old will not make them better like old fine wine.

    Forget "project", think fixing up a stock old bike to work very well. It is an important focus, and point to make.

    -hic.

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  5. #4
    Senior Member hillsy's Avatar
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    Guys - he already has a bike. A pretty good bike, in fact.

    He wants a project.

    I'd say you're thinking the right way by choosing a bike that has a good aftermarket. Honda CB's generally have a strong aftermarket due to their sheer numbers.

    The twins are a bit easier to work on - and being that they have 2 of most things instead of 4 means they are cheaper to do engine re-builds on.

    Get yourself a running bike though - nothing will destroy your enthusiasm quicker than buying a bunch of boxes and not knowing where to start. With a running bike you are 80% there from the get go.

  6. #5
    Senior Member hillsy's Avatar
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    Oh yeah - don't get a CM, CX or Hawk. They're universally hated and have pretty much no aftermarket.

  7. #6
    Senior Member jaguar's Avatar
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    Yes it is nice that he has a morpdern bike.
    But I have seen to many novice mechanics take on to much to soon with vintage bikes.

    find one that is 100% stock and running well.
    try and keep it that way.
    after a while you will identify weaknesses in the bike.
    figure out a way to improve those areas and do that.
    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

  8. #7
    Senior Member Joep7's Avatar
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    A 350 is going to be boooooring after riding a 1000. Maybe consider buying a well running two stroke. Fun project bikes, made for shorter trips and fast enough to not be a buzz kill. Plus...they are very simple. Avoid the desire to heavily customize and just keep it running for a while. Plenty of maintenance on a stroker.

  9. #8
    Senior Member parkwood60's Avatar
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    Kawasaki 2 stroke triple?

  10. #9
    Senior Member Joep7's Avatar
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    I was more thinking an Rd

  11. #10
    Junior Member stevo1000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hillsy View Post
    Oh yeah - don't get a CM, CX or Hawk. They're universally hated and have pretty much no aftermarket.

    Thanks! Good to know, I was looking at a hawk.
    Yeah I figured a twin would be easier so I'll try to stick to that. Does anyone know of any cb350 years to stay away from?

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