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quote:Just lookin to throw some clip ons and a seat on to ride it around during the summer
These are the comments that usually the locals (including myself) use to justify verbally ass raping you with a pitchfork on the board. But since you filled out your bio, and have been more or less receptive to what we have to say, we'll go easy on you. That picture of the cb500 honda you posted up is just fucking awful.

It is not that we are against easy or cheap bikes, I have met most of the people here and they do a good job of pinching a penny till Abe squeaks. However, there is a certain philosophy behind motorcycles that seems to be ingrained in every newbie's head that is actually contrary to the functional ethos behind why most of us gravitate toward cafe bikes in the first place. So lets go over a few things in hopes that we can help you build a good bike rather than a shit bike.

#1: Cafe bikes are not style bikes. If you want to just look cool, the chopper end of the spectrum handles that department, and form over function rules that land. Not thathey re not functional choppers but the style of bike is built around an ethos of style. What makes a cafe bike cool, even look cool, is that it is built with a purpose. Nearly every mod on a cafe bike should contribute to the bike's overally performance as a bike, not as an object d'art, since that is the essence of a cafe bike. If I told you you could have a bike that looks sporty but handled like a bag of shit - would you buy it?

#2: You need to stop seeing bikes as a collection of parts. A bike is a collection of systems that work to accomplish a goal. Too many people throw a set of cheap bars and a seat at a bike and then all they are left with is a torture rack of a bike that they don't enjoy and that sits on a street corner, molding under a tarp, awaiting sanitation to pick it up. Parts by them selves do not make a cafe bike. This weekend I worked the motorcycle show at the javitz center. When ever the conversation turned to motorcycle bars, or cafe racers I asked the same question "What tires the bars, the seat and the foot pegs all together? I asked roughly 50 people this question, 1 person got it right. The most common wrong answer was "The frame", followed by "the engine", and "they all attach with bolts". The correct answer was "The rider" the handlebars, the seat, and the foot pegs have no direct connection to each other except for the rider. As such, in building your bike you need to think about them as a system, and any changes you make you will need to figure out how to compensate for somewhere else. Once you readjust your thinking, you will start to see how you can really have fun, not just moding your bike, but riding it as well. The $15 clubman, garbage seat, stock pegs combo doesn't fly around here, it is sloppy and the sign of a hack.

#3: don't be afraid to ask questions, and don't be afraid to build a bike for you. Just want a stocker, round town run about? fine. want to just change bars? ok. But understand the principles behind these parts. The part that relates to rider position is ergonomics, suspension technology is widely studied and there is a lot of info out there, and there are even little tricks you can do to your engine to hop it up once you understand how it works. But you will never understand this if you don't ask. Be thankful that you live in an age where you can get this info from the internet and enthusiasts, instead of white trash slimeball bike shops where the mechanics throw wrenches at you when you screw up, or life threatening trial and error. round here, you do something stupid we let you know. If you really want this you will come back with a bruised ego and a little more courage (or at least attitude), if you are just a style maven visiting our hobby for a while, then good riddance.



Yes you do get more bike for your money outside the city, espically VT and Maine, but the number of bike choices can be slim sometimes. Lucky for you there are a number of people on this board from VT also. Also, there are a lot of bikes that have message boards devoted specifically to their brand. SOHC4.net is for SOHC hondas, thegsresources.com handles GS suzukis, etc....cruise their classifieds. you will find something you like.
 

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this is totally not the Geeto I know.

WHO ARE YOU??

;)

EDIT:

By the way, I've also fixed up a 500T, let me know if you have questions.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
hah damn Geeto. I totally respect and appreciate your comments. The main reason why I dont want to get myself into a full rebuilt project is space. I have NONE. I will be working on the sidewalk, and bringing parts into my apartment that need cleaning or work. I feel that I am totally capable of a full restore, but its just not an option right now. I have rebuilt machines before (bridgeport milling machine, south bend lathe, etc.), just not motorcycles. I will keep an eye out on those sites you mentioned, maybe something will show up.
 

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The CB650 would not be a bad place to start especially given the no work place scenario. If it is the standard 650 not the custom, I think it would work fine with straight bolt on parts except for the rearsets. I would go with clip-ons, 4-1 pipe (Mac works ok to start with), tires (Bridgestone BT45 in stock sizes), Shocks (Progressives), Seat( I would reshape the stock foam and recover), etc. It should be a pretty good project.

Ken
 

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I think the XS650 was made untill '82? Mine was a '81. as for points, The '80 on XS's had electronic ignition, no points for you to mess with. They are fun to ride too!
 

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Cafe bikes aren't style bikes? BS on that. They're all about style, one form or another. Whether its a stripped down rat or a Carpy special, there's a 'style' that makes people think a bike is a 'cafe racer'.

That picture of the 4cylinder with the tent... not a bad bike, but if you actually want to ride it, put a real seat on it. Is that just the fucking seatpan? And mufflers, it needs mufflers. And those pipes will drag everywhere.

Ok, that bike is crap.
 

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unga - yeah but it is their functionality that dictates their style. Sure Paint and seat shape is usually an aesthetic choice, but outside of that there isn't a whole lot that isnt influenced by improving the bike in some way. So I guess the proper wy to say it is they are not style over substance bikes.

That cb650 isn't bad looking, really nice shape. It is a little too clean to just cut up and bash (espically with stock paint in nice shape). If it were me and I was going to ride this thing around brooklyn, I would put a set of superbike bend bars on it with some bars ends and take off the back rack. Just because it is NYC I would keep the crash bar (keeps the bike nice when the dumbasses back into it and knock it over).
 

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Discussion Starter #31
yeah, just not sure how accurate the NADA value is on these old bikes compared to what they will actually go for in NYC
 

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being in NYC usually adds about $200-$300 to the price of old bikes that are under $2k (basically the nyc convenience cost is 20%). The NADA guide is based on reported sales amount for the purpose of taxes and registration so it isn't always accurate but it tends to be close (it is the national average after all). Sometimes it is behind the curve, sometimes ahead, with bikes under $2K it is usually spot on. If he sells in April-may-June that price may even re-inflate back to $1500.

If you think you can get it for $1000, bring cash and negotiate. show him the NADA value, it might help your case. Also point out that the economy is in the shitter. Hey It looks like a $1000 bike to me but what do I know, I haven't seen it in person. During the summer the bare minimum for a bike no matter how bad it is is $1000 as long as it runs and drives.

If you don't like it, or feel you are compromising, go look for something else.
 

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scott, that is the works swap meet stuff. I've seen that cb750, it is too much for him, espically working on the street.
 

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scott, that is the works swap meet stuff. I've seen that cb750, it is too much for him, espically working on the street.
 
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