It's not that the look can't be acheived, it's just that in order to do it you will have to strip all the bodywork off the frame and begin making your own. With SOHC cb750s, there are people already truning these into 60's brit style cafers so the parts, like fiberglass and aluminum tanks and seats, are already available. Keep in mind this stuff has a hefty price to it. I really like the DOHC cb750F, it is a really fun bike and a good example of the late 70's early 80's cafe racer style before race replicas kinda killed the cafe bike movement.
Here are my recomendations for cafe bikes and some notes - see if this helps:
- SOHC honda cb750K 1969-1976. The bike was basically unchanged in it's entire run (77-78 have the same motor but different bodywork/frame). Already styled to look like a bonneville's fat younger brother, and dead nuts reliable. Dick Mann winning the daytona 200 on one in 1969 doesn't hurt the rep either. Huge aftermarket for these bikes (one of the biggest for any of the 70's jap bikes) that you can build a chopper, cafe, race replica or anything you want. Plus there were so many built you can grab them cheap. Check my posts around this site for a link containing lots of links to cafe parts sources. One of my personal favorite bikes. www.sohc4.us
- Kawasaki triple h-series (1969-1976). With a rep of being the baddest mofo on the planet the 750 and 500 two strokes are an awsome starting point. The early 500s copied the brit bike look, but really have a unique design to them, the 69-70 espically. The later bikes are more common and cheaper, plus the 73-76 stock tank looks like most factory works tanks when stripped of the decals and paired with a fiberglass seat. The 750s are pricey but they are bad mofo's with street modified bikes claiming 100+ rwhp. One look at scrambler73's cafe 750 in a 500 frame from kawasaki triples worldwide and I think you wil be hooked:
- Suzuki t500. Suzuki in the 70's decided to copy the commando and stuff a parallel twin 500cc two stroke in it to repalce the aging cobra (cobra's are pricey but also make good cafe bikes). The race bike Tr500 initially used a worked over featherbed frame. I got mine for about $700 running. Fiberglass tanks, fairings are available for these bikes from various sources. The GT500 (NOT GT550) is the same bike with a disc front brake and a detuned engine. Sundial motorsports can hook you up with the race parts you need:
- R5. rd350, rd400. Not exactly cheap anymore but the giant killer is still a cool little road racer. Tons of power and a good aftermarket.
- cb350 cb450 hondas. The small hondas are a blast to ride (except the 360) and thanks to racing have a decient aftermarket. Parallel twin sound and torque for that britbike feel.
- W650: resurrected in 1999-2002 Kawasaki's copy of the BSA goldstar is an awsome bike. Lots of stuff for it plus brand new parts from kawasaki!
well basically anything from the 50's through the 70's. Triumphs having the largest aftermarket, with nortons a close second. BSAs car always cool too. Brit bikes cost money and time, so be prepared to invest both.
Anything italian is cool, but ownership will be like dating an italian girl. Don't by oddball stuff unless it runs as some things are long forgotton in this area (like como motorcycles and scooters).
- Indian enfield: New bike built to 1967 specs with new japanese electrics. Can it get any better. hitchcock has a 750cc big bore kit for the adventurous and strong of knee. Aluminum tanks and seats avaialable. They sell whole cafe kits for this bike. Plus $3000 for a brand new bike isn't bad.
People feel free to jump in with recoendations....