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Cafe racer build first bike, advice on getting started and choosing/ sourcing a bike

5658 Views 51 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  3364
I'm looking for advice on which bike to chose for my first build and my first bike. I am currently 6'2" and age 15 so looking to be 6'4" most likely, i need help for advice on which kind of models i should be looking for on the market which would fit me for when i can ride and will suit as a good first project cafe bike.

My budget is under £1000 for the base price of the bike ideally under £800, i'm looking at the 70s/ early 80s bikes like the first gen suzuki gsx750, aswell as yamaha xs series, kawasaki z series. I was wondering if you had any advice on specifically which models i should be looking out for within budget that i would also be able to work on, and where i could find a bike in the UK ideally in east anglia or nearby. Also if you have any other advice for me on where to start in relationship with a build it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks :)
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Thanks for the help, would I be right in saying generally though I would need a bigger bike suitable as Ill be a fairly big guy or otherwise what kind of size generally would you say is enough to be fun to ride and have enough power. Is there anything to look out for when trying out different bikes for size? The UK riding laws i believe are at 16 you can ride 50cc 17 up to 125cc and 19 you can ride any bike under 96bhp restricted to 36bhp which is the a2 licence, at 21 if you've ridden for 3 years prior or 24 you can ride any unrestricted bike. Thanks for the help it's good to see an active community.
Okay thanks for the advice, to reword my aim, what i want to build upon my mechanical knowledge and learn to a greater extent the workings of motorcycles, and to finish with a bike that i can certainly call my own that i have gone to work on and built my self. Cafe racers specifically i was drawn to because of the originality of the bikes in that any classic bike that has been made into one its very own and reflects the builder. Essentially to me the attraction of these bikes are that they a showcase an accumulation of the builder's mechanical and creative prowess. I am set on the goal of building my own bike, personally a fairly modern factory built 125cc is not what i am looking for and therefore i could not see my self committing the money i have earned to one. In regards to "tear drop shaped tank" i understand how this should be worded better, and will warrant bad responses to my initial post thanks for the feedback.
i understand what you mean, and how would say its best to find the medium between art project and functionality, personally i would not daily a bike and am into the aesthetic of the bikes but certainly respect that its a machine and its pointless to compromise it in order for looks
so its the best to buy a bike strip it down and make it work the best it possibly can? so tune it and clean everything and make it work smoothly before making any alterations to aesthetic
Cheers for clearing up on that on procedure of how to diagnose problems and the best way to go about a build.
To me riding is the secondary interest in bikes and the mechanics and engineering side is the greater interest to me.
To answer those who were posting so, frankly yes my interest isnt into riding the thing at the moment probably because i cant ride and havent experienced riding before. But yet isnt just as a vainity project to show off, i am looking for a project that i can learn how to restore and rebuild im looking to gain knowledge and i thought the best way to do that and gain the most experience is through a cafe build, because then you also learn skills such as welding as well as being a creative process, in addition to what you would gain from a more modern bike.
Okay, i'm beginning to understand the comments on getting a 125cc, are there other bikes i should be looking out for as well as the cg125 or cb125, i would still like to find something simple to work on and i cant see myself going along the lines of getting a sport bike looking 125cc so vintage would still be my preference. Again the size is going to be a bit of an issue for me so any suggestions id be greatful for
Yes i understand, i think its not legally possible to restrict even a 200cc to meet the 125cc requirements and has to be 125cc stock and not more than 11kw in order to ride at 17. Otherwise the next bracket is age 19 when you can restrict any bike up to 96bhp down in which case i would probably be getting a 500cc plus
I have seen a suzuki 125gt for sale and seems like it would be a good bike to start on, it is 2 stroke though is that something to be advised against in a first bike?
That sounds like it would possibly be a good choice then, its a twin and they seem to be at the upper bound for what you can legally ride in the uk. I just need to find out how well it would fit is the only major problem, what are the best ways of knowing whether a bike fits?
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