Cafe Racer Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello all, I am new to this site, decided I should join, as I am building a cb650 cafe bike. It started with a free 1981 cb650 custom, that was really really ugly. After ripping it apart i realized that the frame (RC05) is no good for the cafe style. I bought a 79 cb650 frame(RC03) with title, and started the rebuild on this. I have a blog for pictures and info:

cb650cafe.wordpress.com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,303 Posts
why didn't you buy a cb500/550 frame? your cb650 bolts to that as well and there is way more aftermarket support for the cb500/550 than the 650.

Also, the cb650 frame in general is just shit. it may not have the pressed steel backbone of the earlier bikes but it was not setup as a performance bike. people race cb550s and 500s, haven't seen a 650 on a race track ever.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,778 Posts
There was a guy that used to race a CB650 in the early 80's in the midwest. It went ok, I seem to remember him finishing well but not winning. I don't remember who it was, but it may come to me. I think the 650 will be ok as a cafe, but there are better choices for a race bike.

Ken
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Geeto67:
I have absolutely no plans on racing, I am just building a cool looking cafe-styled cb street bike.
Gosh this being my first post I didn't think I would get such negative response... I guess we will see how sweet this bike will be when I am finished.

-cb650cafe

1979 cb650
1972 xl250
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,778 Posts
Don't worry about Geeto being negative, he just comes across that way on the interwebs, in person he can be a dick, too. However, he will also help you out with parts and info, if he can. He is also right, in that the CB650 frame is the worst of the lot as far as what your engine will fit in. But for your intended purposes, it should just be fine.

What are your plans?

Ken
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
So what is it that makes the 650 frame so bad? The 1979, which is drastically different than the rest of the years, seems to have almost the same geometry as the 550 frame...
I actually locally traded the original seat and sissybar for the 79 frame, with a colorado title, so that worked out well for me.

Anyways, I plan on getting a nice cafe seat, and attempting to relocate the battery and wires into the hump. I was going to get some longer cb750 rear shocks to raise the rear end a bit. The tank is also from a 76 cb750 I believe.. I found some perfect wire wheels for it at a local junyard for $250. Once I have the bike built the way I want it, it will be taken apart for powdercoating and paint. So far I have spent less than $400 on it...



This is what it looked like when I first got it... sooo ugly
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,778 Posts
Sounds like a good plan, to me. I suspect the spoke wheels will require some spacer work in order to fit, unless they are from a 650, too. The tank looks like it might be from a CB550F, but I am not sure. The 650 frame was somewhat heavier than the CB500 frame which was the lightest of all.

Ken
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
So yeah, the wheels that I found are from a 650, so they should fit perfect. I am still looking for a petcock, and yeah i have seen a couple of 550 tanks that look exactly like mine, maybe thats what it is. I am going to get this bike all put together and running/driving well, then take it all apart to powdercoat frame, and paint the tank and new seat. Then bead-blast the engine, and fabricate my own taillight. I am hoping to get some custom mufflers welded onto the original header pipes, which aren't in bad shape...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Nice work, cb650cafe. I also own an 81 and want to find a frame to pretty much swap everything into, and get a nice cafe tank and seat.

Geeto67:
Is this pretty straight forward, or does it require a lot of modification and customization to fit everything?
I am pretty new to motorcycle, and I want to know what kind of shit I am getting myself into.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I'm pretty sure the 650 engine will mount up to the 70s 550 frame, as long as you have the 550 mounts to go with it...
Dont know about the cb500 frame
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
So this has been a slow process over the holidays and the new year…. I need to buy a lot of parts and funds have been pretty low. I decided to start fabricating things myself…

Picked up a petcock for a 77 cb550f, and its too small, although it does have the coarse threads needed… I picked up an air hose attachment at lowes, and ground down the thing about half an inch so it would fit above the engine nice… not pretty, but functional.

I also decided that I would build the seat myself based on this DIY page, pretty neat…

http://home.brisnet.org.au/~jmiller/leinfam/seat.html

I will be using the rear section of the original gas tank, I just hope that I can blast off all the inside rust without putting a hole in the thing.. haha it hasnt been opened in 12 years.
The tank with cut lines before fabrication….


The tank with cut lines before fabrication…. I think I got a nice shape going with this thing…. the teardrop shape is lending itself well to a rear fairing…

-cb650cafe

1979 cb650 project
1972 xl250
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
So yesterday I got some good work done. Hacked off the seat lock and ground it down, frame is a little cleaner, also installed the battery box in a new spot, not relocating it under the seat anymore.. still wondering if I should get stock side covers, or fab some myself…

I also took off the headlight ears and cut off the blinker mounts, then flipped them and switched sides, they are a couple inches lower, also bent back the guage mounts to lower them.

installed the gas tank, and removed the auto fuel shutoff on the carbs, connected the gas directly…


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
So yesterday I got some good work done. Hacked off the seat lock and ground it down, frame is a little cleaner, also installed the battery box in a new spot, not relocating it under the seat anymore.. still wondering if I should get stock side covers, or fab some myself…

I also took off the headlight ears and cut off the blinker mounts, then flipped them and switched sides, they are a couple inches lower, also bent back the guage mounts to lower them.

installed the gas tank, and removed the auto fuel shutoff on the carbs, connected the gas directly…


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Hello all, just wanted to update my thread here...
after spending so much time on this site in the last couple months, I have learned a lot from everyone...
When I first posted I had a very inexperienced outlook on what a cafe racer is, and now, although still building my first bike, I have come to terms with the fact that this is not the best bike for the project, but I am in too far to stop now..haha
so I am redefining what my plans are for this bike, so that we are all on the same page

1. So I am getting some spoke wheels eventually, I am hoping a cb500 18" rear will work with spacers, and a cb750 19" front wheel.

2. some 1980ish cb750f rear shocks, which are about 1" longer...

3. cb750 front forks, to replace the crappy stock leading axle ones.. at 35mm they should fit the stock trees

4. some Raask rearsets, I know they are pricey, but I dont own a welder..

5. Still planning on fabbing my own seat...

6. 4 into 1 exhaust, also pricey, but well worth it.. plus the stock custom headers are blocking the kickstand!

7. Some nice tires, custom taillight, and bolting on a rear frame loop...

8. Then once its riding perfect and I have made whatever needed adjustments to suspension, I will break the whole thing down, sandblast and powdercoat the frame, and some other small parts. and paint the tank, front fender, and rear fairing...
maybe a custom guage setup in the future...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,586 Posts
Just slap it back together with some checkers and clubmans, sell it to some hipster for too much $$$ and find a better platform to cafe.

You know it makes sense...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
yeah, idk about the checkers...
but the TX500 i just picked up has much more potential than this bike, without switching up just about every part.
the TX will be my main bike, the cb650 is ok, but not something I will be keeping and riding forever...
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top