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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm new to the forum so, hello!

I'm looking for a new project to build a beast of a cafe racer with a large engine, 750cc plus. I'm tentatively considering a GL1100 Goldwing as a starting place, which may sound ridiculous, but there are a few nice looking projects out there using them as a base.

So +750cc bikes ... what can you recommend?
 

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A Goldwing is a dumb place to start because to do it right costs a fortune and requires a tremendous amount of fab work. Google Randak's GL1000 endurance racer, which is pretty much the only wing I have ever seen done properly.

if you want over 1000cc fours, you are pretty much in superbike territory. Gs1000, kz900/1000, cb900f, etc and those are not good bikes for that "droopy bar" look (which is the gayest shit I have heard today mate).

Cafe/street/road racers are not choppers, you don't build one for the look you build one for the riding experience. If you want that old Brit bike look, buy an old Brit bike.

Honestly, I don't know what your budget is but if you live in SF, and want a 1000cc bike you need a guzzi tonti frame. Spend real dosh for a reasonably nice runner and then build a lemans I replica out of it.
 

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I can understand the attraction to picking up a GL1000 as a project bike seeing as there are plenty of them available cheap. I think all the old guys that toured on 4 cylinder wings either moved on to the 6's or died.

Your KTM450 :I That would make a far more interesting cafe racer.
;) droopy bars and all.

 

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Being a designer, is not the same as being a builder. If Andee Warhol designed a sport vehicle, it would have had a Vespa front end and a 250cc VW Bug rear end.

The crusty Brits who built café racers back in the day 'nder the 'rches, were 'enry and 'rthur with 'ah 'ammer. Not a grad with autocad. Reality, not a really sharp pencil.

A café racer is about going around corners fast and making the bike lighter. Rule a GoldWing out on both counts. Have you ever ridden one of the old horrors? Whispering death that feels like two wheeled car? "Droopy bars" on a GW is about the dumbest choice for levering a leaden pig around the swervery, that you could make. After riding a Ducati, you will plunge into a corner at speed , and a little voice inside your head will become a big voice: "what the hell am I doing riding this pig into the fast corner of no return? ". Forget the droopy bar nonsense on anything that weights over 180kg.

There are far better bikes to throw time and cash at than a GoldWing. SR500's, GS Suzukis of all sizes. Even a CX500 café makes perfect sense after canvassing the notion of a GoldWing: and that's saying something.

Go to a race track to see old crusty racer bikes for design inspiration, not Tripebuns or Ike'sEXIT website.

If you want a café racer GoldWing, go and get a 1st gen V-max instead. It would save you all the trouble in making a slow bad heavy bike into a fast good heavy bike. They are good fast heavy bikes to begin with. Like Dirty Harry said: " Are you man enough, punk?" . That statement relates more to riding a V-max than you ever know.
 

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this is Randaak's endurance racer:

6036d1395179106-gl-racer-seen-advrider-equally-cool-stupid-rc003_large.jpg

if you aren't building this you are wasting your time.

I've posted this before too:
View topic - The Goldwing in Endurance racing.....the true story. ? NGW Club

notice that in order to take a GL1000 endurance racing they had to remake everything but the engine.

You are looking at thousands upon thousands of dollars to get anywhere close to either of these bikes.

if this is your idea of a GL cafe racer:

supercharged_honda_gl1000.jpg

then you should save us both time and find another hobby. The bike is a failure, very pretty but also very useless. There is a guy here in Columbus with a BRG 4 cyl GL with checkerboards, union jacks on the valve covers, "droopy" bars, bumstop seat. He runs the "ton up" nights and at his own show people laugh at him behind his back (mosly old guys who remember when a cafe racer was an old performance bike and not a punchline). Then again the bike smokes like it was on fire and he obviously spent a decent amount on paint and finishing but little else. I'm sure he is a nice guy but let's be honest - don't be that guy.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
A Goldwing is a dumb place to start because to do it right costs a fortune and requires a tremendous amount of fab work. Google Randak's GL1000 endurance racer, which is pretty much the only wing I have ever seen done properly.

if you want over 1000cc fours, you are pretty much in superbike territory. Gs1000, kz900/1000, cb900f, etc and those are not good bikes for that "droopy bar" look (which is the gayest shit I have heard today mate).

Cafe/street/road racers are not choppers, you don't build one for the look you build one for the riding experience. If you want that old Brit bike look, buy an old Brit bike.

Honestly, I don't know what your budget is but if you live in SF, and want a 1000cc bike you need a guzzi tonti frame. Spend real dosh for a reasonably nice runner and then build a lemans I replica out of it.

Fair enough, thanks for the advice, I'll dump the GL1100 idea then. I just picked up a 1976 CB750 F for $500 in fair condition (my budget is pretty modest). Maybe not the prefect cafe racer candidate but I'll give it a shot. Can't wait to get some of those droopy bars on it.
 

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A 67 CB750F is really rare. I am sure it must have great collector value, so if you find one snap it up fast.
 

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I have a question about riding in San Francisco ?:I
can you get really big air riding up and down those steep hills like in the movies, or would the local cops frown on something like that ?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Being a designer, is not the same as being a builder. If Andee Warhol designed a sport vehicle, it would have had a Vespa front end and a 250cc VW Bug rear end.

The crusty Brits who built café racers back in the day 'nder the 'rches, were 'enry and 'rthur with 'ah 'ammer. Not a grad with autocad. Reality, not a really sharp pencil.

A café racer is about going around corners fast and making the bike lighter. Rule a GoldWing out on both counts. Have you ever ridden one of the old horrors? Whispering death that feels like two wheeled car? "Droopy bars" on a GW is about the dumbest choice for levering a leaden pig around the swervery, that you could make. After riding a Ducati, you will plunge into a corner at speed , and a little voice inside your head will become a big voice: "what the hell am I doing riding this pig into the fast corner of no return? ". Forget the droopy bar nonsense on anything that weights over 180kg.

There are far better bikes to throw time and cash at than a GoldWing. SR500's, GS Suzukis of all sizes. Even a CX500 café makes perfect sense after canvassing the notion of a GoldWing: and that's saying something.

Go to a race track to see old crusty racer bikes for design inspiration, not Tripebuns or Ike'sEXIT website.

If you want a café racer GoldWing, go and get a 1st gen V-max instead. It would save you all the trouble in making a slow bad heavy bike into a fast good heavy bike. They are good fast heavy bikes to begin with. Like Dirty Harry said: " Are you man enough, punk?" . That statement relates more to riding a V-max than you ever know.
Witworth, thanks for the advice on the bikes, you make a lot of sense on that front. I'm dumping the terrible Goldwing idea. Sounds like you have a grudge against grads with CAD skills though. Who do you think designed all the shit you use everyday? Some grads with cad skills can build, some can't. Some without either can build and some can't. And I think Any Warhol was pretty busy being a great artist. You know, I'd not be surprised to discover he wasn't a good MMA fighter. Maybe I'm missing your points!?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
A 67 CB750F is really rare. I am sure it must have great collector value, so if you find one snap it up fast.
Sorry, typo, it's a 1976, not 67! Not quite as rare?
 

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Discussion Starter #11

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this is closer to what I had in mind :

…oops, I just noticed the stop sign, never mind, looks highly illegal lol and fun.

:) wonder what would it cost to rent a road like that for a little while
 

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"Sounds like you have a grudge against grads with CAD skills though. Who do you think designed all the shit you use everyday? Some grads with cad skills can build, some can't."

It's just all the mouse fondling, and credentialisation, often does not lead to products that relate to real use, in the real world. I've known personally guys who have basically designed the modern sportbike platform, and changed dirt bike chassis technology with pencils, and chalk outlines on a wall.

Insight into real dynamics, and having that reflected back from real use into better designs, is not just notions on a big monitor.

I've got a 10K CAD designed bicycle that I use very day, but that is race proven by the best pros in the World, not given aesthetic accolades in a design magazine.

Designing motorcycles that work well, is different than designing a best-selling IKEA chair. When "designers" have free reign, they often produce right junk.

For example: The Honda NR500. It had so many "new designer ideas" and "new approaches" , it was basically a massive multi-million dollar embarrassment, to the point that Honda threw 90% of it away and got some guy in a shed to made the horror half work.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Haha, that's epic. Come over and borrow my dirt bike for the day and go flying.
 

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Well if you are an original CAD designer dirt bike legend, go do a individual thread on it.

You contribution to dirt bike design IS? Patent #no's ?

Let me guess, you have a shiny new ICON jacket, and are working on a ground-breaking battery bike, that will change the two-wheeled World, as we know it.

Where can I see your chair design, online? Waiter, waiter!

Reality, check: You have proven you own lack of understanding motorcycle dynamics, by dreaming of building a "café droopy bar" GoldWing and then compounding the issue of competence by boosting your "CAD design skills" .The implementation of the ideas on a keyboard, is bound up with dealing with diverse realities, and not shuffling mere notions on a VDU.

-insert something about "own petard". :
 

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Discussion Starter #16
"Sounds like you have a grudge against grads with CAD skills though. Who do you think designed all the shit you use everyday? Some grads with cad skills can build, some can't."

It's just all the mouse fondling, and credentialisation, often does not lead to products that relate to real use, in the real world. I've known personally guys who have basically designed the modern sportbike platform, and changed dirt bike chassis technology with pencils, and chalk outlines on a wall.

Insight into real dynamics, and having that reflected back from real use into better designs, is not just notions on a big monitor.

I've got a 10K CAD designed bicycle that I use very day, but that is race proven by the best pros in the World, not given aesthetic accolades in a design magazine.

Designing motorcycles that work well, is different than designing a best-selling IKEA chair. When "designers" have free reign, they often produce right junk.

For example: The Honda NR500. It had so many "new designer ideas" and "new approaches" , it was basically a massive multi-million dollar embarrassment, to the point that Honda threw 90% of it away and got some guy in a shed to made the horror half work.
I agree with the notion that there is no substitute for real world hands on testing and developing for any product (i think that's what you're saying). In my experience the better engineers and designer tend to be those that get their hands dirty for sure. Many grads emerge with the idea that they can design anything because they know a bit of SolidWorks. Luckily for us, in the field of motorcycle design, natural selection will help us out as they proudly speed to a wobbly death on their test ride.

However, there are other potential explanations for the crapness of products, such as the NR500 (which i know nothing about so i take your word that it's balls!). You'll know that designers and engineers are frequently pushed like crazy by marketing people to reinvent, overcomplicate or twist their ideas as they need fresh fodder to talk about each year. No idea if that's what happened on the NR500 or if they just happened to have crap designers on that project. Who knows, there are many people involved in bringing a new product to market and every one of them has a chance to ruin a good idea.

My point? As with any profession there are good and bad eggs. Don't paint every professional designer or engineer (grad or old school) with the same brush and don't always blame them for poor products.

Anyway, enough of all this. Lets get back to building bikes.
 

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Agreed, truce. (but check the Twinkies for cyanide!, hint: It's very sweet- whoops: TOO LATE).

The original NR500 truly was balls. It's perplexing that I can't find any images of it at all on the net, It's like Honda has paid Billy Gates to prevent it's transmission across international borders.

The NS500 with the tank under the motor and the pipes on top, was another total shocker from the Gyro Gearloose section of Honda Racing. It was like it was designed for the start to murder the racer and drive the mechanics to suicide.
 
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