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Discussion Starter #1
I push my bikes outside the shop and near the door when Im working on other things to let people know what I do in the shop.But the most important reason is so it attracts fans of this style bike.

Yesterday ,one such person stopped by ,he actually went by and then turned around ,lol not that easy of a task on route 1A (its always busy). His name was John and mentioned he loved the cafe look as he was pointing his attention to "LiL Bull" the red framed 360.

John said he owned a Dunn Stahl Norton Feather Bed and loved that bike. Looking at "LiL Bull" he said "Gee you know this bike just brings me back to the old days when I first started riding...I have a Buell ..now, he said, but its different, its a bigger bike I liked the size of the older bikes and that stripped down look that this one has"

And I agree !! Brings me to the question why are current bikes so tall ,wide,and over all so BIG.

Looking at the two new nostalga bikes that are out there, its not like they cannt make one !But it seems to distance the rider, from the bike(the machine part) .As far as its over all size goes.which is why, I like the vintage cafes to begin with. They stand out next to a custom harley or a hotrod sport bike and stripped down vintage caferacer style bike is, just a one, two, punch, in the esthetics department and for that Im very happy!



Edited by - LiLBull on Nov 05 2005 06:46:52 AM
 

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really? I find that the newer bikes are tiny compared with their equilavent cc counterparts from decades past. The big change is that there is no small cc bikes from ever manufacturer. You have the ninja 250, the eliminator 250, rebel,ex500, gs550 and that is about it. It isn;t like the old days with 175, 250, 305, 350, 400 and 500 machines on every dealers floor. Most buyers don't want a bike smaller than 600ccs these days, as compared to the 70's when cb350s and 360s made up more than a quarter of honda's yearly sales.

That being said part a cb750F next to a cbr600 and you'll agree that the old cb750f is a monster next to the cbr. The old brit bikes are a lot narrower than the modern bikes which is what he might be thinking of, but the standard is an across the frame 4 which could account for the extra width. The new bonnevilles are just as narrow as the old ones, which are really the only new parallel twins out there. Also the federal government requires motorcycles to carry a lot of crap for safety so that is something else to contend with.

Are buell's cafe racers? I think the early ones are. The new generation of lightning/thunderbolt is a streetfighter marketed to that specific market. Either way buells are nice hooligan bikes and I love the sound.

BTW it is dunstall not Dunn Stahl. I hope you corrected him on it. A featherbed dunstall is a supremely rare bike, the dominator based domi-racer, which less than 100 were built per year between 1967 and 1968. The more common dunstall norton here in the states was the commando based 810, 850, and 910 (bored out 750s and 850s). Of course you could get all of the dunstall parts over the counter and build your own but it is not a true registered dunstall.

http://woodgate.org/dunstall/index.html
 

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My street ride is a 2000 RC51...about 130hp, 430 lbs, I look like giant on it. It feels a little bigger than my 200cc race bike but not by much. Tank is wide and flat so you can tuck nicely under a low windscreen (much smaller than the typical old style bubbles), It's wide and the shape it is so you can hook your knee in it and hang off.
Granted a proper old school Cafe racer will always look better, but the form of new sport bikes is a function of their function :) and with equal riders can just plain run humiliating circles around an older bike. I always love the comments when a guy that's only ridden older bikes gets back from a ride on something like an R6...they are typically flabergasted how well they handle, stop, go, work.

Cafe bikes are a big beautiful Bowie Knife....modern bikes are a scalpel.
JohnnyB
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well I totally agree with you two guys as ussual,seems like John sure was missing the simple times and his old feather bed machine.Hey modern is better by far,give me todays Ford GT40 over yesterdays original model,I think mechanically all the new sport cars and bikes are a whole other world apart from thier original counterparts.Still there is a whole other world, of the raw mechanical kind ,thats missed in all the new stuff .

I think John should find a bike of his youth to park along side his Buell,I think a ride on the old bike will be worth all the memories that should flood back.

The first Bike I ever rode was a Honda 305 my friend had that machine was so much damn fun ,and there were Nortons and Harleys around but you know I was never on it looking at other bikes I was having so much fun on it I was just riding it fast as I dared and with in reason on the streets but man it was a Blast.
 

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I would say the reason that bikes are changing shape and size is simply evolution. a cb750F seems big compared to a GXSR-750 because 'sportbikes' have gotten smaller, narrower...better. On the other hand, a modern Gold Wing compared to the first Gold Wing? Much bigger, wider, et cetera. Most motor vehicles continue to grow, unless it is advantageous for them to become smaller. duh.
I would say Buell's 'street fighter' bikes could be considered cafe racers. Is 'street fighter' not the new term for cafe racer?
And Johnny, I like the 'scalpel' analogy for modern bikes, but maybe not your RC51. No scalpel of a sportbike weighs 430 pounds these days. the new R6 goes like 360 dry and revs to 17,500 out of the box. That being said, the RC is a cool bike and i kinda want one.
I hope my young guy opinions don't offend anyone.

Z
 

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Hey....off my fuckin RC buddy!

Ok...yeah they are a little heavy...but it was 5 lbs lighter than the equivilant Duc when it came out. And with aftermarket exhaust more like 410 lbs.
We affectionately call them PIGS. It was in the ball park back in 2000. Kind of obsolete technology today. I couldn't imagine racing one though. I guess the factory bikes were down around 365.
A 2005 CBR1000 is 396 pounds....Honda has always built bikes that are a tad porky. Usually 10-15 pounds heavier than the other Japanese bikes. And usually 10 lbs of that in the exhaust system...don't know why they do that. The Jardine 2-1 I put on mine was freakin 19 lbs lighter than stock...no excuse for that.
JohnnyB
 

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quote:
Hey....off my fuckin RC buddy!

Ok...yeah they are a little heavy...but it was 5 lbs lighter than the equivilant Duc when it came out. And with aftermarket exhaust more like 410 lbs.
We affectionately call them PIGS. It was in the ball park back in 2000. Kind of obsolete technology today. I couldn't imagine racing one though. I guess the factory bikes were down around 365.
A 2005 CBR1000 is 396 pounds....Honda has always built bikes that are a tad porky. Usually 10-15 pounds heavier than the other Japanese bikes. And usually 10 lbs of that in the exhaust system...don't know why they do that. The Jardine 2-1 I put on mine was freakin 19 lbs lighter than stock...no excuse for that.
JohnnyB
The RC51 (much like the TL1000R) is the poor man's ducati. Plus it's a honda and runs like one, meaning no 1500 mile valve adjustments like a duc. Badass little bike in my opinion, but it is porkier than most inlne 4 sport and hyper bikes. Love the sound.



quote:I would say Buell's 'street fighter' bikes could be considered cafe racers. Is 'street fighter' not the new term for cafe racer?
Actually no. Traditionally a "cafe racer" was a standard bike made to look like a race bike or race replica. The term cafe racer was derrogatory indicating that these bikes were all show and no go, or only good for looking good parked in front of the cafes of europe. Eventually the term evolved into any street bike from the 1950's to the 1980's with serious race parts fitted to it and stripped down to what is necessary. the point is to look like you could tear up the track, but with ligths and a horn.

Streetfighters actually came about the opposite. With race replias being what they are, plastics are expensive to replace once the bike has been down. Consequently europeans found their cities littered with scuffed up, race replicas that didn't look all that appealing. Since people weren't really going the speeds necessary to make the fairings truely functional, they ditched them all together and stripped the bikes down to the bare essentials necessary to race stoplight to stoplight. Stunter bikes also fit in here, as it is the MO to be as socially unacceptable and ugly as possible with the bike.

OS the main difference is that a cafe racer takes an "standard" motorcycle and builds it up to a race replica, while a streetfighter is taking a factory race replica and stripping it down to the bare essentials. the end results often come out looking very similar. The Overlap occures involving bikes from the 1970s and 1980s, where modern race components are fitted to traditional air cooled engines. A cb750 with cb6 forks, swinger and wheels is not really a cafe racer because the bike's components are not period authentic to the race bike's of the era, and it is not a true streetfighter because it didn't start life as a plastic-ed race repilca. Fortunatly both groups would accept the bike as one of their own since it is a custom motorcycle and looks the part, which is really what it is all about anyway.

What buell builds is a streetfighter styled bike with upsidedown forks, number plate headlight enclosure, and minimalist bodywork. Since it is a factory bike it is not really a true 'fighter, but if you want to look for it's race bike roots one needs only to look at "thors hammer" or one of the other XR powered battle of the Twins race bikes harley campigned in the 80's and 90's.
 

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Hey...I take exception to the "poor man's ducati" :)

I traded a Duc for the RC...and the RC is more bike, better quality and more performance for 30% less money.

Ok...it's not a pretty as the Duc was. But it's a better bike, I've had an ST2 and a 996, and the RC is of better quality than either. And you have to move up to the 996R to get better performance...with the extra 8k you'll spend on that...you could have turned the RC into a bike that would trounce the 996R. Got sick of the Ducs breaking, not be able to get parts, and having to drive two hours to find a dealership that could do so much as adjust the chain properly.

Within the first six months owning the Duc I had the whacky sealed beam head light go south, alternator blow out, clutch slave cylinder die (twice). It did handle nice, about the same as the RC...I'd expect better for $6,000 more. Paint work was a bit better than the RC. Some of the pieces here and there were of a nicer design. But overall you're spending hard earned money for a name, not a bike.

Ok ok...yes I'd love to still have a Duc in the garage :)
JohnnyB

PS. Oh yeah...please don't put the RC in the TL1000 category...it will run circles around that bike in any category you'd care to compare them. The TL barely qualifies as a sport bike.



Edited by - jbranson on Nov 07 2005 3:04:40 PM
 

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quote:
Hey...I take exception to the "poor man's ducati" :)

I traded a Duc for the RC...and the RC is more bike, better quality and more performance for 30% less money.

Ok...it's not a pretty as the Duc was. But it's a better bike, I've had an ST2 and a 996, and the RC is of better quality than either. And you have to move up to the 996R to get better performance...with the extra 8k you'll spend on that...you could have turned the RC into a bike that would trounce the 996R. Got sick of the Ducs breaking, not be able to get parts, and having to drive two hours to find a dealership that could do so much as adjust the chain properly.

Within the first six months owning the Duc I had the whacky sealed beam head light go south, alternator blow out, clutch slave cylinder die (twice). It did handle nice, about the same as the RC...I'd expect better for $6,000 more. Paint work was a bit better than the RC. Some of the pieces here and there were of a nicer design. But overall you're spending hard earned money for a name, not a bike.

Ok ok...yes I'd love to still have a Duc in the garage :)
JohnnyB

PS. Oh yeah...please don't put the RC in the TL1000 category...it will run circles around that bike in any category you'd care to compare them. The TL barely qualifies as a sport bike.



Edited by - jbranson on Nov 07 2005 3:04:40 PM
Don't get me wrong I am a huge fan of the RC51, and not because I am honda's little whore when it comes to bikes. YOu get v-twin power and sound, honda's surgical handeling, and blend into the sportbike crowd style looks.

I know that the tl1000 base model is not a sport bike, but the TL-R that they made only for a few years pretended to be one:



Considering you can count the number of v-twin sport bikes on one hand and still have digits left, I don't think including suzuki's attempt at a ducati in the same group as the RC51 is all that unreasonable.

BTW, why did honda cheap out on the hayden replica RC51, with a few decals you could get at a swap meet, when the cbr1000r Repsol (Rossi) replica got the full treatment?
 

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the only problem with the rc 51 and all of these modern sportbikes is too much power. do you really need to go 130mph??? the 750 ss i had under 70 hp. still too much. i like to change gears sometimes. drive a slow bike fast rather than drive a fast bike slow.


still love the rc51.. wish i purchased one of those rather than the duc.

mt
 

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Whoops...forgot about the TLR...yep that was a decent bike.

The reason Honda cheaped out on the Hayden RC was that...well...they're probably still losing money on the bike. They only produced about 10,000 a year for the first couple of years, they only sold well the first couple of years. I have a feeling the only reason they are still producing them is to recoup tooling costs. The only reason the bike was ever produced in the first place was to have a bike legal to race in WSBK against the Ducs. Out of the probably 1500 a year they sell in the US, probably half of them are in the scrap heap within one year from stunting and becoming race bikes. I really couldn't believe the are continuing it for 2006...thought for sure 2005 would be the last year. Honda rarely produces "odd" models for more than five years.

Matt,
Ever see that bumper sticker that says "Life begins at 140mph". It's true...seems to be the threshold for triggering some kind of chemical response in the brain. Whenever I crack 140 on the way up the hill to my house it's like you are high for half an hour afterwards. At 140 strange things happen, you can see a dime on the pavement a 100 yards ahead, your level of focus becomes unnaturally acute, something in the primal brain responds, the fight or flight response kicks in.

Sure, in almost all situations a good rider on a 400cc bike can go as fast through the corners...but every now and then it's heaven to wind it up to 160 and feel like you cheated death. And you do change gears...once you hit 90mph in first gear....you'll change gears five times in about ten seconds on the way to 160. Nothing beats coming over a rise in the road that you never even felt at 55mph...but on the throttle at 130 you carry the front wheel 3" off the pavement for 75 feet. A wiggle and a chirp when it sets back down, then hard on the brakes for the next turn...feel the back end get light and do the slow wag back and forth....time it right...it wags right, you lean it left and it flows into the turn like Bostrom into turn two a Laguna. Back on the gas after the apex and it lofts the front wheel a few inches and still tracks around the corner like it's got four wheels. I get goose bumps just thinking about it.
JohnnyB
 

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don't get me wrong. the point you are making is true. i reckon i only brought my ss up to about 115-120 mph. then again i rode in and around boston. that bike idled at 40.

matt
 

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The RC51 does something that the RC31, RC30, and the nsr400 could not. It gets people interested in sport bikes. Take the big 4's liter line up. The cbr, r1, zx10r, and gsxr all look and sound very similar and, perfrom within a 10th of a second of each other. Not a lot of draw, if you ask me. Now the RC51, which was popular at it's introduction for being different, is an image bike. People see it and recognize it as a sport bike but it sounds different. There is something special about it as a twin. That gets people swaying toward a honda enough to look at them in the dealership. Sure the salesman may put their ass in the cbr by the end of the day with talk of speed and power, but the RC in no small part got them there. The reason honda is keeping the rc51 is the same reason kawasaki introduced the zrx1200, it has a loyal following of riders that consider themselves special, and it creats an image for the company that is not all cbr's and four wheelers. Magazines love to write about the RC51 as the gentleman's jap sportbike. enthuasits love to talk about how it puts them in league with ducati for less money. Basically The bike is worth more in its image in differentiating honda from the rest of the big four, than it is in actual profits.

I ride old bikes because of the feeling of speed, not actual speed. Rid a 75 cb750 pinned at 115 and your senses are just as acute as the sport bike at 140. why? because the cb750 rattloes, shakes, vibrates, gest tossed around the road on it's skinny tires. On a modern bike at 80 on the slab you are bored. On a vintage bike at 80 on the slab you are going for the land speed record. Espically if you are like me and put your nose between the clocks and your feet on the passenger pegs and just hold it pinned.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
That putting my feelings into words drive a slow big fast ...rahter then drive a fast bike slow.Hey Ive seen way to many people kit HP upgrade kits for their sport bike when the street stock version will never use it on the street.

Fact is driving fast should be on the Track and fun spurts of speed is well just plain "american Fun" with in reason.But really the bikes now are way more bike then the average or above average will ever need ....so Im in that crowd that looks, is a key factor.

I do enjoy looking at it still out side the cafe'!!

As A matter of fact my biggest reason to lust for a ducati is just to look at it in my living room.
 

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i don't think you can put the TLR in the same category with the RC51. i like the TLR, but if you're going to compare it to a Honda it's a VTR SuperHawk. the TLR was never campaigned by the factory and never won any races.

interesting point about how street fighters and cafe racers developed differently. i guess what i meant was that they serve a similar purpose when it comes to street riding. or maybe i'm wrong altogether.

about the Hayden RC51 vs. Repsol CBR1000: how many people watched Hayden win a championship on the RC, and how many people watched Rossi win a championship on the RCV? i bet the Hayden replica wasn't real popular in Europe, kinda like a John Reynolds GXSR wouldn't sell well here.
 

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quote:
The RC51 does something that the RC31, RC30, and the nsr400 could not.

Heh - I just saw the RC31 mentioned on a Cafe site. Cool.

Sold my modern day cafe racer HawkGT and bought a project GT550. Worlds apart, but I do enjoy riding a slow bike fast. I would rather not reach my limits before the bikes for some reason.

I enjoy bikes almost soley on the basis I can modify them. Sad, but true.
 

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Do you mean that HawkGT with the single sided swingarm?
Really cool bike. Always wanted to get one of those, sharp looking bike.
JohnnyB
 

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Hey Johnny,

If you really want a hawk GT I know where there is an almost new one. I got into the local kawasaki dealer's bike storage facility recently to take a look at some old bike parts they had lying around. Tucked into a corner of the warehose was a blue (rare color) 1988 hawk GT. So I asked the dealer about it and he told me they took it in as a new trade in back in 1988, the previous owner thought it was too slow. It had 200 miles and was not even broken in when they traded it in. The bike has abotu 435 miles now, they start it up and ride it around every once and a while, then it goes back into the climate controlled corner of the warehouse. The bike looks brand new and still has yet to be broken in. It is for sale but I don't remember how much he was asking.

I have always loved those single sided swingarms. The guy I bought my t500 from had one and I just thought it was cool looking.

BTW, airtech has a really cool set of RC30 bodywork for the hawk. really sharp stuff.

http://www.airtech-streamlining.com/hondaz/nt650.htm



Edit: forgot to mention this - the Hawk GT is sometimes known as the RC31 (it was sold under this moniker in japan and england RC33 in the rest of europe) and also the NT650 or GT650. I think ti was only called the Hawk GT in the states. One of the few non race replica bikes from honda to carry an RC moniker. They were actually built to make some parts legal for racing in different classes (I forget which). There is talk of

Edited by - geeto67 on Nov 08 2005 1:56:00 PM
 

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love those hawks. raced one (stock) once in wera v6 lightweight. got my ass smoked by fzr400's but it was fun. first and only time i put my knee down.

i will have one, one of these days. geeto, what do you think the dealer wants for it?

tex
 

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quote:
love those hawks. raced one (stock) once in wera v6 lightweight. got my ass smoked by fzr400's but it was fun. first and only time i put my knee down.

i will have one, one of these days. geeto, what do you think the dealer wants for it?

tex
I wanna say somewhere in between $2000 and $4000. Really I don't remember but my instinct is telling me like $3500. Considering a nice condition hawk pulls about $2K on the market, that's not bad for a practically new bike that is almost 20 years old. It's been a couple of weeks since I have seen it, but if you want I can go back and grab a few pics. It's at a new bike dealer so you know those guys are always negotiable.

They had a cb1100F with less than 1000 miles on the clock too but the salesman grabbed that one for himself. too bad because I like those bikes.
 
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