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Ok, I don't want to make this sound like a rant but, How come so many people that make cafe racers don't finish doing the job right. I see to many pictures of bikes that don't have fenders or the stock, ugly fenders are left on. Stock bikes have stock fenders and bobbers have no fenders. Cafe racers have fenders that are either modified stock, aftermarket alloy or glass, or from a different year or model that looks better. The fenders that look good the way they come frome the factory are pretty limited. I even have fenders on my racebikes the same as everybody else. Another thing. You can't leave an unmodified stock seat on a cafe bike! Plus, Stock pipes and mufflers belong on stock bikes not cafe bikes. And please, do something about the suspension. The stock shocks and fork oil sucked really hard 30 years ago when the bikes were new. Don't try and tell me that those chrome plated spring holders are still able to do the job now. There are all kinds of shocks out there for dirt cheap that will do a better job and look correct too. Sorry about the rant, but I get a little tired of posers that really don't know what they are doing and apparently think there is a sucker born every minute that will take some old POS off there hands for too much money. E-Bay is full of them and it really detracts from the good ones out there. If I was someone like LilBull or SOHC4 that are trying to make an honest buck by putting out honest cafe racers then I would really be unhappy with some of the junk that people are trying to stick the cafe label on. Not every bike sold in the 60's and 70's was a cafe racer and I wish those fartbags( notice how i slipped that in) would get a clue. I know I am preaching to the choir here but I needed to get it off my chest.
Thanks for listening,
Ken

AHRMA 412
Vintage racing - old guys on old bikes
 

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Its because its a very vague subject ,to the casuall onlooker.And a sorry fact that is the current trend.

It used to be people ,used to get into a hobby.Be it remote controlled cars,planes,or Racing what have you.They used to follow some one around or hang out with them and get introduced properly into it.
Now adays the community in any sport is broken down and so far removed .Newbies no longer learn from the guy down the street or a friend.They now learn from a Flash no substance magazine wih half dress women hanging over the car or bike or holding the remote control to get you interested.
They always show the very best, very expensive cars ,equipment ,the top riders and show winners .
So even the readers are so far removed from the real world of it all"THEY JUST DONT KNOW"

Just a very small percentage, look at this site and others like it, the group is a very small group of knowledgable people mixed with self motivated newbies getting thier feet wet and learning the proper way ,and you could say ,they are learning the old fashion way,by hanging out !
So the world has changed ,the way we learn has changed,and you have to want it bad, and dig and look hard, for the real information, if you truely are into it, and want to know about this or anything else really,now adays.

Its the reason Im willing to help and share what I know and do. As anyone coming here often cares and wants to know about cafe racers and style bikes .They put the effort in to show up and try to learn, Ill do my part to help out.
And its also what keeps driving me to flush out lurking newbies to get them involved ,hey I mean you take the effort to lurk you must be VERY interested,so make yourself known on what ever level your at and get involved, we are willing to help not make in fun of the newbies...well Donald may have smart remarks but he is here too so ...!

But the rest of the world will still be dazed and confused, because they dont real want to know, they just want a piece of the action, that the rest of us have worked hard for .

So it is hard to be knowledgable and see such lame attempts at capturing the spirit by bolting on a small 99 dollar fairing and huge high in the air saddle bags and calling it a cafe styled bike....they are every where...

But people that know, do look past them and laugh, like we do, at the attempt, and someone that does buy it, soon knows they got duped ,soon as they try to show it to someone that knows, and puts them straight, as to why ,it is NOT, what they thought they bought ...and that is like the old days same as today, STILL LEARNING THE HARD WAY!!!

Besides, all any of us have to do, is merely, ride up beside the poser, and without saying a "WORD" the bikes we ride "SCREAM" the "Real Thing" and theirs looks like it does ,NO WAY NEAR THE REAL THING!
So Cafinate THE WORLD!!!
And be glad we are a small group ..hey we real cafe guys know who we are when we see the bikes on the road and nod or pull over for a chat!


Thats What Matters To Me!





Edited by - LiLBull on Nov 26 2005 05:09:19 AM
 

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quote:
Ok, I don't want to make this sound like a rant but, How come so many people that make cafe racers don't finish doing the job right. I see to many pictures of bikes that don't have fenders or the stock, ugly fenders are left on. Stock bikes have stock fenders and bobbers have no fenders. Cafe racers have fenders that are either modified stock, aftermarket alloy or glass, or from a different year or model that looks better. The fenders that look good the way they come frome the factory are pretty limited. I even have fenders on my racebikes the same as everybody else. Another thing. You can't leave an unmodified stock seat on a cafe bike! Plus, Stock pipes and mufflers belong on stock bikes not cafe bikes. And please, do something about the suspension. The stock shocks and fork oil sucked really hard 30 years ago when the bikes were new. Don't try and tell me that those chrome plated spring holders are still able to do the job now. There are all kinds of shocks out there for dirt cheap that will do a better job and look correct too. Sorry about the rant, but I get a little tired of posers that really don't know what they are doing and apparently think there is a sucker born every minute that will take some old POS off there hands for too much money. E-Bay is full of them and it really detracts from the good ones out there. If I was someone like LilBull or SOHC4 that are trying to make an honest buck by putting out honest cafe racers then I would really be unhappy with some of the junk that people are trying to stick the cafe label on. Not every bike sold in the 60's and 70's was a cafe racer and I wish those fartbags( notice how i slipped that in) would get a clue. I know I am preaching to the choir here but I needed to get it off my chest.
Thanks for listening,
Ken

AHRMA 412
Vintage racing - old guys on old bikes
I think what constitutes a cafe racer is a subjective thing more than anything else. While I do agree about the mechanical components like shocks and brakes and what not, the bodywork for a cafe racer is like an art form in and of itself and open to interpretation.

I do disagree with you on the front fender issue, plenty of "cafe racers" from back in the day didn't run front fenders and a lot of racebikes from that era did not run front fenders either. I don;t think a cafe bike needs a front fender to be "finished"

I have a 1975 cb750 K that I consider a cafe racer and yes the bike looks visually stock. Why do I consider it a cafe bike then? well it is a little hot rod cb, great pains have been taken by myself to make that bike perform better than any stock cb750. It has better carbs (with the stock airbox and a K&N inside) better cam, lifters, stock exhaust with cut down internal baffels high perf tires (metzlers now, sonn to be sportmaxes) the front suspension has been race preped, the rear shocks are koni dial a rides. To me a cafe bike is not just about looks, it is about perfromance as well since that is what the original cafe racers were after when they built their machines in the 50's and 60's. I used to run clubmans and no front fender on it, but now I run superbike bars and the stock fender.It's part of the look. To me this bike is as much a cafe racer as a norton or triumph with aluminum bodywork, rearsets, and a STOCK engine.

What really makes it a "cafe racer" though is invaribly I will always get some dipshit at a bike night with an electra glide talking about how he had one back in the day and it was cool but when someone askes him was it fast they always say a stock harely will beat it (right in front of me). At which point I throw the gauntlet to race for "pinks". Not one harley rider has ever taken up my challenge to street race myt little cb for titles, but I did have one offer $150 bucks. I usually outweight the guy by 100 pounds too so they think it is an easy victory but that little honda has yet to lose to a stock v-twin (my father's supercharged harley did rip it a new one by a bike length however). This winter, in goes the 836cc kit and next summer more harley for lunch.

Edited by - Geeto67 on Nov 26 2005 12:50:49 PM
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Geeto,
I see your point about your bike. It also seems to me that your bike is a work in progress and you did not just stick a set of clubman bars on it and declare it a "cafe racer". Back in the day I believe your bike would have been more of a Q-ship. Those were stock appearing machines that had a great motor. They were excellent for providing balance for those that had bought more HP than they knew how to ride.Those bikes are excellent providers of personal satisfaction and require their own brand of creativity and ingenuity to be successful. Good luck with the 836 kit and maybe a light port job on the head.
I know that in years past that there were bikes that ran without front fenders on the street and on the racetrack. I have done so myself, but not because I wanted to but because my bike was a work in progress at the time. The reason was always a matter of not having the time, facilities or money to do anything about it. For instance if you fit a wider than stock tire the fender rubs on many bikes. On the older Honda single disk frontends, if you reverse the fork legs so the caliper is in the back, then you need to grind the rivets that hold the fender to the mount and reverse the mount. Then if you had a wider tire you had to trim the fender and mount to clear. So it was a lot easier and faster to just leave the fender off. It was done, but usually not to gain that "look". That stock metal fender or mount provides a lot of rigidity to wimpy forks that need all the help they can get.
I guess "cafeness" is really in tthe mind and intent of the builder but based on what I have seen and read here, most everybody has an idea and a plan for their bikes unlike many who slap a set of clubmas on a bike and declare it a cafe.
Ken

AHRMA 412
Vintage racing - old guys on old bikes
 

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For those not familar with the term Q-ship, in World War II the Germans (and the Allied forces...eventually) got the bright idea to disguise war ships as passenger and cargo ships. Since enemy war ships were not as afraid to get close to these vessels it gave the unique advantage of surprise. Dubbed Q-ships or sleepers, these vessles accounted for a lot of heavy losses at sea.

Fast forward to the 1950's when service men were home and raising hell on cars and bikes. A car they didn't look fast but ran like hell was dubbed a Q-ship or sleeper for that same element of surprise.

Famous Sleepers/Q-ships:
- The Little Old Lady From Pasadena
- 1962 chevrolet 409 4-door
- 1964 ford thunderbolt
- any 413 dodge from the early 1960s
- 1969 SOHC 427 galaxie
- My Honda Cb750
- The Trojan Horse
- 1962 Swiss Cheese Pontiac Catalina
- Those farts your roommate used to lay

Clubmans and no fender alone do not a cafe racer make. Sometimes it is the look, sometimes it is how you ride it, sometimes it is how you build it.

the point is try your hardest in this hobby to make the best damn machine you can, don't just take the easy way out an throw a set of clubmans on there...if this segment of bike is to be considered anything more than just junky old jap bikes by the hobby, we gotta make some machines that burn the image in the onlooker's brain.
 
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