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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

My name is Ben, I am 17 years old, and I am from the lakes region of New Hampshire.

I am currently looking for ideas for my first cafe build. I've done some research but am wondering if there is a good platform for a begginer.

While I am new to cafe racers, I do know my way around a wrench. I am currently attending the HUOT Technical center in Laconia for the automotive program, and have been doing various projects around the yard with sleds and motorized bicylces.

When brainstorming, no idea is a bad idea... Therefore, I am open to all ideas and suggestions. I am not some cocky punk who knows it all and is gonna turn down reasonable suggestions.

From my research, I have decided that the first step, is functionality. Once the bike can get me from point a to point b safely, then I can begin working on performance. After performance comes aesthetics. If I have this wrong, please let me know.

Also, I was wondering if there's any other members on here from the granite state. Is there any races that go on around here? Where can I find them?

Thanks,
Ben
 

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Unlike most noobs here you seem to be on the right path. If you haven't already, read the thread above this one titled "Read First".
Welcome to the addiction.
 

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This amazes me that someone who is into bikes, is from N.H. doesn't know about New Hampshire Motor Speedway, which is only 6.5 miles from Belmont. One of the most iconic motorcycle tracks in the world.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have been to NHMS a number of times... Just didn't realize that they had bike races there.
 

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Come to the uscra vintage races. We will also be racing at the Canaan Fair speedway a couple times in the summer. We have a two day event the first weekend of bike week at NHIS. You would be able to walk around the pits and talk to guys. You may even get bitten by the racing bug. It is a very helpful, friendly group. I am #288, little red Honda 50cc and hopefully red Honda CB160 if it is done.

Most any of the bikes you would want to make into a cafe racer will be there as real racers.
 

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Platform? I am a BIG fan of the CB350 Honda. You will see lots of those at the track. Parts, including bolt on performance and cosmetic, are easy to find. Unfortunately their popularity has caused the prices to rapidly rise, but you could pick up a running project for $500 or less- I think there is one on Maine CL right now.
 

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Plan should be simple.
buy bike, ride bike, over time make bike go faster.
 
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Something with fuel injection is highly recommended, particularly in regions where the bike will be stored and exposed to extreme cold winter weather, CV carbs don't fair so well in those conditions. Single cylinder motorcycles are the easiest to work on and maintain, plus they are inherently light compared to multi cylinder bikes. When looking for deals on older used motorcycles, look for the ones that were ridden seldom, possibly dropped once and then stored for a prolonged period in the back of a heated garage.

Don't forget that dirt bikes exist and dual-sport type dirt bikes can be used on pavement or in the woods, street bikes work best on pavement and are near useless in the woods. Very much depends on where you live and the terrain you have at your disposal.

I envy your newness, learn to ride well and have tons of fun. The key to surviving on the street is to out ride them all, so get real good at it real fast.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The one I'm looking at has a leaky carb, has 16,000 mi, and needs new brakes and tires. It has the touring package. A carb rebuild kit is $50 on eBay. $500.
 

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Im not a huge fan of any of the eBay kits like K&L or Keyster. They don't hold up well with modern fuel. I only ever use OEM carb parts. Unsure if Suzuki is as easy to get parts for as Honda.
 

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Something with fuel injection is highly recommended, particularly in regions where the bike will be stored and exposed to extreme cold winter weather, CV carbs don't fair so well in those conditions. Single cylinder motorcycles are the easiest to work on and maintain, plus they are inherently light compared to multi cylinder bikes. When looking for deals on older used motorcycles, look for the ones that were ridden seldom, possibly dropped once and then stored for a prolonged period in the back of a heated garage.

Don't forget that dirt bikes exist and dual-sport type dirt bikes can be used on pavement or in the woods, street bikes work best on pavement and are near useless in the woods. Very much depends on where you live and the terrain you have at your disposal.

I envy your newness, learn to ride well and have tons of fun. The key to surviving on the street is to out ride them all, so get real good at it real fast.
Fuel injection sucks. Carbs are adjustable with tools. Fuel injection is adjustable with mapping.... keep it simple.

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Too big and heavy and stupid. Get a single or a twin. 500cc or smaller.
 

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Do you have a license? Have you ridden a bike on the road before?

If you are learning or it's your first bike you don't want something that's old, heavy and likely to break down every 6 blocks.

Get a new(ish) Ninja 250/300 and learn how not to die on the roads for 12 months before you chase your cafe racer wet dream.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I don't have my license yet. I have experience with Honda xr80's (dirtbike). I don't know what you guys think, but an 80cc is pretty close to a 750cc. I think I know what I'm doing. Also I think 6 blocks is a little of an exaggeration.
 
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