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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there,

Rank newbie here. I just bought a 1982 CB750F last week, my first bike in 19 years. Bought it after falling in love with cafe styling (again). It ran pretty well - I just gave it a tune-up and now it runs a bit better.

Does anyone have any ideas on where I can find a Dunstall Manx style (I think that's what it's called) tank for it, and a Manx style seat? Moto Tumbi in Australia have them, but not for the CB750.

Thanks in advance,

Stattz
 

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i see tanks all over the web just they are mostly aluminum in uk or glass tanks which im not sure is street legal if you are talking street bike that is.but air-tech streamlining.com has any cafe tank seat fairing in glass you can think of and thetankshop.com in the uk has aluminum tanks .George
 

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Try finding a cb1100r tank for it. Aluminum and badass looking. if you are in the states this will be very difficult. A bolt on mod however.

head on over to cb1100f.net and look in the gallery, some wikked looking bikes there.

I happen to own a 1979 cb750F (same body style, first year) and I think the tank really looks the part, I mean freddie spencer won many races on that bike and the honda racing tank was the same design, just in aluminum instead of steel. If you change the tank you can't use the side covers anymore since one of the mounts is in the tank and they are supposed to "flow" into one another. Airtech has a "cafe racer" style tank that can work but on the DOHC it is better to leave the stock tank in place unless yours is too waisted to be used.

With a DOHC supersport the best cafe mod is to get a corbin solo seat. I have one and it really enhances the riding expirence of the bike. plus it makes the tank look a little bigger and cafe racer-ish.

here are a few pictures of the seat I had corbin make me (not on the bike)
http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/dean_...=&.done=http://photos.yahoo.com/ph//my_photos

Also the european foot controls are a little more setback (rearsets) than the us versions so if you have a us bike consider swapping. I have heard clipons from an fzr600 will work on some years, just not sure which since they changed the fork sizes during the production (fzr600 clipons are 38mm). I used a maier front fairing on my bike to give it that cool cafe look as well as progressive shocks that were 1/2" shorter in the rear. the overall effect is a nice looking vintage roadster of a bike that doesn't look out of place at a squid bike night.
 

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I have been looking at that tank too! the style some how grew on me pretty fast, wasnt a slap you in the face, I have to have it, but pretty soon after, it was calling me to find out what bike had that shape it looks large on smaller cc bikes and does have a subtle agression to its looks .another shape thats working into my mind is the small J-cup shape seat for lack of a better name I ll have to run it down at airtech to get its proper name but it does look good on wider seat frames .I have a honda sohc four that Im invissioning this 1100 tank and J-cup seat on I think itll look the "nuts"
 

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quote:
I have been looking at that tank too! the style some how grew on me pretty fast, wasnt a slap you in the face, I have to have it, but pretty soon after, it was calling me to find out what bike had that shape it looks large on smaller cc bikes and does have a subtle agression to its looks .another shape thats working into my mind is the small J-cup shape seat for lack of a better name I ll have to run it down at airtech to get its proper name but it does look good on wider seat frames .I have a honda sohc four that Im invissioning this 1100 tank and J-cup seat on I think itll look the "nuts"
LiLbull, Honda made a mini version of the cb750F/900F/1100F tank for a cb450 they made inthe mid eighties. Not a big seller here but you should be able to find the tank. I have thrown good money after those tanks thinking they are cb750 tanks only to find out they are not. they are the same exact size and shape but 1/3 smaller. My friend's shop has on on the shelf if you want one that bad (he is usually not cheap when it comes to tanks). Should work out better for a smaller bike if you want to use that tank.
 

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its the size i like its like i put a 500cc tank on a 350cc bike it just rocks in the looks department Ive been buying tanks on ebay its alot cheaper there are three shops that sell used stuff in my area I go and look at there tanks time to time but that tank I have been recently focusing casually at now I know what bike its from the hunt is on....and I do appriciate your offer.I like cutting the back of the stock tanks and fabing them into a tail section which is just so vintage looking and its steel and its light and i can shoot them with clear and show off the metal.and they act like a fender to a small degree. George
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the ideas and information. I'll take a look at the CB1100R tank - my family still lives in the UK so I might be able to get one without too much trouble.

The CB750F I just bought actually has a somewhat beaten up Corbin on it, I'm guessing that it's a Gunfighter solo saddle. The leather is cracked, a little scuffed and some stitching is missing. I'd really like a Manx seat for the look.

Stattz
 

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quote:
Thanks for all the ideas and information. I'll take a look at the CB1100R tank - my family still lives in the UK so I might be able to get one without too much trouble.

The CB750F I just bought actually has a somewhat beaten up Corbin on it, I'm guessing that it's a Gunfighter solo saddle. The leather is cracked, a little scuffed and some stitching is missing. I'd really like a Manx seat for the look.

Stattz
I hate to say it but you kinda picked the wrong bike to make look like an old brit cafe racer. Not saying it can't be done but you have a long road ahead. A SOHC is much better suited for what you are trying to do. It is very hard to make a bike this new look old.

First, off the DOHC supersports are massive. almost a thrid larger than any triumph or norton. They are really halfway between sport bike and tourer. Going from my SOHC to my DOHC feels like the difference between an old chevy and a freight train. That dual cam motor is monstrous. The frame is also longer than a traditional K bike.

Second, Honda made bodywork that was like a tracy body that were popular at the end of the late 70's with cafe racers and choppers. Tracy body's were all one piece, the honda't body panels flow into each other and interlock (except the tail). That whale tail was very popular amoung late 70's early 80's jap cafe bikes (I have an old SOHC seat with one). The tank capacity is much larger than the old SOHC and your range is slightly increased. While still good looking today, it is unique to the bike. Nobody makes an aftermarket tank specifically for these bikes, the closest you will get is a generic airtech tank that will fit (fiberglass, www.airtech-streamlining.com). You can have evan wilcox make you a tank but it will be a one off and a fortune (expect $1000+). You can try finding an old tracy body for the bike but they are very rare. If set up right they can be made to look like the z1r which is a really cool factory hot rod.

Third, The chassis is actually pretty well setup for cafe racer mods, with rearsets being available from honda at the time (the euro spec foot controls). Clip ons are commonly available because the forks are a common size, and the later bikes (cb1100F) came with the little cafe racer bikini fairing. I put a maier on mine and it complete's the bike's look more than anything. Best $40 (used off ebay) I ever spent. These hondas have the best brakes out of all the aircooled bikes and are a blast to ride. totally stable on public roads at 120 (don't ask me how I know). Turbo kits are still available overseas from Mr. Turbo (don't know whay they don't market them here). Progressive and ohlins still make good shocks for these bikes (I had the ohlins but they need a rebuild). Drop the forks down a little in the trees, get the 1/2inch shorter rear shocks and the bike really gets a nice stance to it and is super stable.

Fourth, the 900F and 1100F motors bolt in with a little work and motors are pretty easy to find. With 1100F wheels you can get up to a 160 rear tire on the back (really makes the look with that whale tail). The gold tri-wheels of the 1100f are really a nice race spec looking piece. Anything made for the 1100f, and 900f will fit the 750 including drag peices.

Fill in your bio so we know where you are. If you are close some of us can help out in person. If you are close to NYC, I get SOHC cb750s all the time and will more than happily trade you one for your 81 (don't have one right now but gimmie a week), or help you into another project more suited to a 60's cafe bike look.

LiLBull,

the SOHC won't take a DOHC tank without mods. Better for cafe bikes is a SOHC supersport tank from 75-78. I had one that I roughed up with a sanding disc, and clearcoated the metal except for a singular rally stripe. Most people thought it was a slightly oxidized raw aluminum tank and didn't realize it was a stock piece despite the honda emblems. It is really a nice bread loaf tank. Another unwanted tank that is easily disguised is the 77-78 K bike tank. For a really wild look try mounting a crusier tank backwards (like a virago tank) for that bridgestone sloping nose look.
 

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Geeto67 ,your a man that just breaths bikes,I know as much about sports cars as you know about bikes ,that only years of undieing enthusiasume,lots of money spent on books/ magazines and time (hands-on)get in there and do it yourself, make the mistakes,learn your lessons the old fashion way ,ONLY CAN amount to .I recognize this in all the posts I have read of yours and thanks for sharing ,I appreciate it truely. George
 

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quote:
Geeto67 ,your a man that just breaths bikes,I know as much about sports cars as you know about bikes ,that only years of undieing enthusiasume,lots of money spent on books/ magazines and time (hands-on)get in there and do it yourself, make the mistakes,learn your lessons the old fashion way ,ONLY CAN amount to .I recognize this in all the posts I have read of yours and thanks for sharing ,I appreciate it truely. George
Thanks for the compliment. I guess I should clarivy the point about the DOHC tanks on the SOHC frame. Obstensibly it will fit, as in the front mounts will go into the sliders. I have found that on certain year DOHC tanks the petcock hits the frame rail, on others it does not. Some of the DOHC tanks hang too low on the frame and I even had one that touched the valve cover. I had another that just pitched forward, while one that sat back (I've had about 5 different tanks for these bikes at one point). The biggest problem with these tanks however is how to mount them: The SOHC rear is a rubber mount, the DOHC rear mount is a bolt which is better until you realize that the bolt will go through the battery box and you will be unable to get the battery out. you need to bolt it down however otherwise the tank will rock back and fourth on the mounts. If you still want to try mounting it get an 1981-82 tank as they have the emblem holes already filled (used a decal) and probably fit the best.

Stattz,

the DOHC cb750 is a unique bike in that it came during the breif period where the factories were making "cafe racers" or their interpretation. This was before the purpose built motorcycles of the 80's when honda and kawasaki, et al, believed that one bike could do everything. Kawasaki created the z1r using all the cafe tricks from the time period: 1/4 fairing, squared breadbox gastank, flat sidecovers, racing tail section and a hopped up kz1000 motor with 4 into 1. Honda, to compete, created the cb750 and 900 with tracy looking body work, dual discs, rear disc brake, and 4 into 2, eventually they added the 1/4 fairing to the 1100F. These bikes were not race replicas but were also not standard bikes either, they had a sporty feel to them. They were honda's and kawasaki's interpretation of the cafe racer in the end of the 70's.

After these bikes came the first race repilcas, The honda vfr, cbr, and hurricane, the kawasaki gpz which became the ninja, suzuki turned the gs into the gsx then the gsxr, and yamaha dropped the xs bikes to make the fzr. before these bikes everything was meant to look like a brit street bike with heavy chrome fenders, grab rails, and banana seats, these bikes really represent the mind shift at the japanese that a bike could have only one purpose (speed or comfort but not both) and not be so useful.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Geeto67,

Thanks for the info. I hate to say it to, but I think your right - I picked the wrong bike by accident. The '82 CB750F is definitely a cool looking bike, but not really suited to the look I'm trying for. Well, I guess that's life. I'll fill in my bio, as suggested. I would be interested in a trade if the right bike came along, but what would that be? An older Honda? My last bike (sold about 1987) was a CB 450. I regret selling it now!

Thanks for the offer, maybe we can work something out.

Stattz
 

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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:

Japanese:

- 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:


www.kawasakitriplesworldwide.com

- 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:

http://www.sundialmotosport.com/
http://nova.fast-servers.net/~sundial/phpBB/index.php

- 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!

British:

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.

Italian:

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).

Other:

- 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....
 

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Just build the CB you have. Personally I've never understood the sohc cafe bikes. They look strange with all that motor hanging out of the sides. I know guys that will climb over a pile of fours to get at a twin or single to build. Personally, I'm always on the prowl for old SR500s and XS650s. A well done XS will look like a proper cafe bike more than any four and parts are cheaper and more readily available. Light, skinny, FAST.

80s aircooled superbikes are already bitchin stock. Awesome paintjobs/decals, good frames (finally), and decent suspensions/brakes. If you get tired of the cb, sell it to me! I'm currently building a naked cb1100R lookalike and have most of the parts mentioned here. I just got a real R aluminum tank in from Germany ($$$) and am waiting on a few Bol d'or odds and ends and an R replica seat from Meadspeed.

If you keep the bike, get over to cb1100f.net. Awesome tech advice and they're a great bunch of "F'ers" to boot. I guarantee you'll drink the "F" koolaid.
 

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Milk, While I agree with you about him building what he has, the F does not lend itself readily to the 60's rocker style of cafe racer he wants to build.

I don't know what you mean about the SOHC cafe bikes...Carpy ( http://cb750cafe.com/ )always seems to do a great job on his:







Stattz, keep the bike you have now and ride the snot out of it and figure out what you really want in a cafe bike. I mean the make, the model, the look, everything and work up a budget. Then when that is done find the rarest pieces first. Personally if the manx style tank is what you want to be the center of attention on your bike, then buy that first, since it will be the most expensive and hardest to find part.

of course you could always have evan wilcox rebody your existing F to look like a manx (but bigger), but that is a fast and easy way to spend $4000.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for all the help guys.

I was hoping that as a first project the CB750F would be reasonably easy, mainly bolt-on mads, but apparently not. I really would like a bike with the Manx look, or something close to it, but once again it appears the DOHC is not the bike for that either. I had also hoped that buying in the fall would be cheaper and give me the winter to do whatever needs to be done.

If anyone wants to trade or buy this bike I'd be happy to let it go for what I have in it. I checked out the links in the above posts - I liked all of the bikes mentioned, my favorites being the XS and the SOHC Hondas (Carpy does some great work). Price prohibits the Evan Wilcox option, the Enfields seem a bit pricey for a 1955 design and reports suggest that it is more than a bit idiosyncratic... I'm open to ideas and different bikes so if your interested let me know and we can try to work something out.

Once again thanks for the input (keep it coming),
and thanks for helping someone who (obviously) doesn't really know what he's doing. LOL.

Stattz
 

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Dunstal Manx http://www.all-digital.net/gftp/stock.htm ...http://www.classic-motorcycle-fiberglass.com/ http://www.airtech-streamlining.com/http://www.pro-flo.com/ look for Vintage section at air-tech .
go for it but all the time and effort when your done you want to have something your excited about .So just keep aiming for that look even if its a bike not exactly like it, you may surprize your self and have a very unique bike.If its the look your after and not speed who cares ,we all need our licenses to live, racing is best on the track the road is mostly for the "panache" of a racer ...remember to get some coffee and watch people stare at your handy work ...or your accumilation of Ideas in what parts you took off and put on.
But I do have a CB450 I just pulled the motor out of to build a cafe style bike but like my post tell you I have other bikes I havent feel in love with them yet as I have just obtained them to build street caferacer style bikes to sell when Im done so Im trying to be detached . So if your interested in this one before I start into it let me know I have just takin the motor out to start to strip the frame for sand blasting so thats as far as i have stripped it (just pulled the motor) And by the way you are no longer a rank newbie you found this place ....the quickest way to get up to speed is with these guys here at caferacer.net !



Edited by - LiLBull on Oct 27 2005 09:44:58 AM

Edited by - LiLBull on Oct 27 2005 09:47:15 AM

Edited by - LiLBull on Oct 27 2005 09:52:12 AM

Edited by - LiLBull on Oct 27 2005 10:49:47 AM
 

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Stattz,

someone mentioned to me today that airtech may have a fiberglass generic racing tank that is long enough to fit the cb750F frame and not look out of place. You should take some measurements of the frame (width of rails, length of existing tank, length of seat seciton, etc) and give them a call. Getting a catlog from them isn't expensive and they may have something that will work out.

www.airtech-streamlining.com
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Geeto67,

Thanks for the tip. I called Airtech but they have nothing for a DOHC - it's too wide.
It seems as though the look I want is going to be difficult to get on this bike. I guess I'll sell or trade it - any offers out there for a 1982 CB750F?

Stattz
 

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Got some pics of the DOHC?

I have a 1978 cb750F SOHC that might be coming in next week. Supposed to be a pretty clean bike but I haven't seen it in person yet. Last of the SOHC's one of the fastest due to the enlarged valves in the head. It has the comstar mags from the factory but if you want, you can swap the earlier 75-76 spoke wheels on to it, you will just lose the dual disc. You could also find a pair of Goldwing lesters as they are the same part number for 77-78 cb750F. Personally I would keep the comstars as you can run tubless tires and have a decent selection og high perf rubber. The Bike will take all the same mods as the other single cams in terms of tank and seat. AS far as I can tell the only difference in the frame is the seat mounts (69-76 k bikes have them on the opposite side) and the provisions for the rear disc brake.

carpy built a cafe out of a 78 F bike. His was a little extreme in that he pretty much kept only the frame and engine and changed everything else. I am also not a big fan of the yellow. his write up is here:
http://www.cb750cafe.com/bikes.php?cat=1&id=16

Like I said the bike won't be in my possession until next week. In the meantime if you are interested shoot me some pics of your bike. Don't let me stop others from offering him other bikes and doing other deals.

We may be able to do an even swap based on condition (I figure the value of the bikes are about even) or there could be money involved. I also have tons of parts (I own 4 other SOHCs and stockpile parts) so If there is something you want we can work it out. If I keep the SOHC, I'm just gonna build my own street going cr750 so no loss to me.
 

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Geeto, I guess as long as someone else has slapped clipons, pinstripes and a solo seat on anything before it qualifies as "rocker" in your book.

Merry christmas early.


Stattz,
How much do you have invested in the bike?

I might be interested if it´s cheap enough. I bought a bike from a guy down in Greenville so I know about how much it costs to get it up here by van or forward air. Got any pictures?
 
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