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Hi all -

So, I finally convinced my wife that I should buy a motorcycle. I know what it's going to be:

when I was 13, my dad and I went to Daytona for Bike Week. I distinctly remember a bike that didn't look like anything else I'd seen - I'm pretty sure now that it was a Norton that someone had given the cafe treatment, but 22 years later, I still remember that bike very vividly in my mind's eye.

A cafe racer also happens to fit in my budget for now, considering what I'm seeing for prices. So, with these things in mind, I have the following questions:

I don't need 150 horsepower (not yet!) but I want a bike that can get out of it's own way. Is a CB550 or thereabouts got enough horses to get me where I want?

I intend to later try things like swingarm replacement, inverted forks, etc, but not at first, of course. However, I imagine that the frame is pretty key here - what bikes were considered to have a good handling frame, and can perhaps later benefit from improved suspension?

It looks to me that CB's (550s, 750s) seem to be a pretty common choice. Are there any other makes and models that combine good characteristics with affordability? I think that perhaps Brit bikes are out here, since it looks to me like they get spendy really fast, and I want to stay under $2K to give me a machine that runs good.

Since I'd like to start thinking about it even if I'm not going to do it at first, does anyone have a good example of what's involved in swingarm and fork replacement? Are there standard choices?

Anyway, thanks!

EDIT: I should point out that I'm totally open to 2 stroke bikes, if they make sense for someone starting out - I *love* the smell of burning 2-stroke fuel. The smell rising up from my IT 200 on a cool morning is like nectar for the soul.

Edited by - borzwazie on Jul 04 2006 10:04:39 PM
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