Cafe Racer Forum banner

1 - 20 of 45 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have been cruising craigslist and I am trying to find a decent bike to start with. I want something in the sub $500 range. Something I can work on a bit over the winter and get it running. I have been looking a lot at the 350 twins. I need something that is capable of highway speeds at least for bit and something that can carry 2 occasionally. I know I want something small and light. This is pretty much my first bike so I want a something that has a good knowledge base and that is super easy to find parts for. I want to do a mild cafe at first and then maybe something a little more down that road. What's the consensus on twins vs fours?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,645 Posts
The CB350 twin is enough bike for what you're asking. There are parts everywhere for it, and they're cheap.

The CB360 is a bit less common than the 350 twin, but also a nice bike in that size range.

I have also seen some people do nice things with the late 70's/early 80's Honda CB/CM 400/450s. They don't lend themselves as easily to a cafe treatment, but we have at least one on this board that looks pretty nice. Easy to get parts for. I'd personally avoid the automatic.

The early/mid 70's CB450 and 500 twins are nice bikes, if a little heavy, but it's easy to strip weight from them. Some parts are hard to get for them, especially cam chain rollers and front brake pistons on some years (they changed at some point, K4, I think). I have one of these so I can answer questions about it. Easy to find a cheap 450.

On Honda 4s: it is my understanding that the 350F is hard to get parts for as it wasn't produced for a long time. The 400F is a better choice there but still not terribly common.

The 500/550 4s seem to be fairly common to me the 550s more so, and pretty cheaply. The 750s are probably bigger than you want, and fairly heavy.

The Yamaha XS650 is very common, and parts for it are stupid easy to get. It doesn't feel like a huge bike, either. It came in a couple versions, including a version for the cruiser market with a 16" rear wheel. Many, but not all parts interchange.

People rave about the Suzuki GS series of bikes, and I know they had a GS450, but I don't know much about them.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,645 Posts
The CB350 twin is enough bike for what you're asking. There are parts everywhere for it, and they're cheap.

The CB360 is a bit less common than the 350 twin, but also a nice bike in that size range.

I have also seen some people do nice things with the late 70's/early 80's Honda CB/CM 400/450s. They don't lend themselves as easily to a cafe treatment, but we have at least one on this board that looks pretty nice. Easy to get parts for. I'd personally avoid the automatic.

The early/mid 70's CB450 and 500 twins are nice bikes, if a little heavy, but it's easy to strip weight from them. Some parts are hard to get for them, especially cam chain rollers and front brake pistons on some years (they changed at some point, K4, I think). I have one of these so I can answer questions about it. Easy to find a cheap 450.

On Honda 4s: it is my understanding that the 350F is hard to get parts for as it wasn't produced for a long time. The 400F is a better choice there but still not terribly common.

The 500/550 4s seem to be fairly common to me the 550s more so, and pretty cheaply. The 750s are probably bigger than you want, and fairly heavy.

The Yamaha XS650 is very common, and parts for it are stupid easy to get. It doesn't feel like a huge bike, either. It came in a couple versions, including a version for the cruiser market with a 16" rear wheel. Many, but not all parts interchange.

People rave about the Suzuki GS series of bikes, and I know they had a GS450, but I don't know much about them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,303 Posts
do you want something small and light or something that can carry a passenger? cause rare is the bike that can be both.

what are your metrics? how big are you? (weight, height, etc) light is a relative thing - if you weigh 250lbs a 500 lb motorcycle is going to seem pretty light where as a 300 lb motorcycle will struggle with you aboard.

Sub $500? are you fucking kidding me? really? `I mean there are running bikes out there for $500 but that begins to fall in the you take what you can get category. Beggars can't be choosers and at $500 you might as well be on a street corner with a cup of pencils in your hand.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,303 Posts
do you want something small and light or something that can carry a passenger? cause rare is the bike that can be both.

what are your metrics? how big are you? (weight, height, etc) light is a relative thing - if you weigh 250lbs a 500 lb motorcycle is going to seem pretty light where as a 300 lb motorcycle will struggle with you aboard.

Sub $500? are you fucking kidding me? really? `I mean there are running bikes out there for $500 but that begins to fall in the you take what you can get category. Beggars can't be choosers and at $500 you might as well be on a street corner with a cup of pencils in your hand.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Sorry about leaving out my size. I am about 5"11 155 and my wife is about 125.



Geeto you didn't read my post:
"I want something in the sub $500 range. Something I can work on a bit over the winter and get it running. I don't expect to find a running bike for under 500. I want something that needs a little work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Sorry about leaving out my size. I am about 5"11 155 and my wife is about 125.



Geeto you didn't read my post:
"I want something in the sub $500 range. Something I can work on a bit over the winter and get it running. I don't expect to find a running bike for under 500. I want something that needs a little work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,453 Posts
I'm 6'0" 150lbs, Girl is 5'4" 140lbs, and she & I ride my cb360 around town. Haven't had it on the highway 2-up yet, but I have ridden on the expressway with it for short distances. Small light bikes like that are very twitchy at that kind of speed (catboy has had this bike up to an indicated 85mph). It's a very peppy fun bike solo, but a full size passenger slows it down noticeably, but it can still get out of it's own way. Long distance sport tourer it is not. If you don't plan to do a lot of highway miles, cb350 or cb360 would do ok. Just make sure you know what you're getting in advance - small lightweight commuter, not a ton of power, and not a freeway cruiser. As for under $500 runner... Good luck. I see cb360s on eBay in almost new condition (sub 5,000mi) often, but they seem to go for around $1,200. I think you'll prolly do much better if you can at least get your budget up to $750.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,453 Posts
I'm 6'0" 150lbs, Girl is 5'4" 140lbs, and she & I ride my cb360 around town. Haven't had it on the highway 2-up yet, but I have ridden on the expressway with it for short distances. Small light bikes like that are very twitchy at that kind of speed (catboy has had this bike up to an indicated 85mph). It's a very peppy fun bike solo, but a full size passenger slows it down noticeably, but it can still get out of it's own way. Long distance sport tourer it is not. If you don't plan to do a lot of highway miles, cb350 or cb360 would do ok. Just make sure you know what you're getting in advance - small lightweight commuter, not a ton of power, and not a freeway cruiser. As for under $500 runner... Good luck. I see cb360s on eBay in almost new condition (sub 5,000mi) often, but they seem to go for around $1,200. I think you'll prolly do much better if you can at least get your budget up to $750.
 
1 - 20 of 45 Posts
Top