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Discussion Starter #1
Hello! I want to make my 1979 Kawasaki KE 125 into a cafe racer. The thing is, I'm not really sure how to do it. Any ideas?
 

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get rid of all the dirt bike shit (knobbies, fenders, hell even the seat).

that's a start.

tex

p.s.- does it run?
 

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Take everything off that it doesn't need to run and you will be 90% of the way there.


orrrrrrrrr, as Mister Miyagi said. "Imagine your perfect bike, then remove everything that doesn't belong" or something like that.... ;)
 

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Start off cheap and easy. Lose the bars but go with either drag bars or superbike bars. Stay away from clubmans or clip-ons until you figure out what will fit you. Find a different front wheel that is an 18" rim and double leading shoe front brake, consider T20/x6, GT185, CB175, CB350, CB360 etc. It should close to bolt up. Cut the stock seat way down and then see what you need to do for footpeg location. This will be a process if you want to get it right. If you are in a hurry the bolt on a set of clubman bars, a 21" Avon speedmaster for the front and a Dunlop K81 or the rear tire and live the cafe lifestyle. So, get to work and keep asking intelligent questions.

Ken
 

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Discussion Starter #5
First I'll answer tex's question: Yes the bike runs.
I removed the back fender, the front fender, and the seat.
This is just a picture of some of the updates. I didn't remove the rear fender yet in the photo, and I made the gas tank straighter. I'll post more pictures tomorrow.
 

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As much as I want to say something about the teddy-bear wind chime, i'll refrain. However, what the heck is that cast metal looking thing next to the front wheel?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
what teddy bear wind chimes?[xx(]
>_>
i think the cast iron thingy is an old car jack...
 

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Not a car jack. More likely used to lift houses off foundations. Not sure of it's proper name.
 

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There are several on the here that have done it or are doing it including my current Hodaka project.

You can check it out Here:
http://www.caferacer.net/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=5488

Mine is more of a Track Day bike and that is what I'm building it for,but to make one road legal you just need all the crap to make it legal such as title,registration,lights,insurance,plates,mirror(s) etc.

A smaller diameter(17"/18") & wider front wheel with a disc or much larger drum than stock would be the way to go. Mine is off a Honda CB350 and is at least double the size of my stock hub/brakes.

Lower bars,drag,clubmans or clip-ons along with rear set pegs/controls
will be more inline with the style your wanting also.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Drag, clubmans, and clip-ons, which one will give me the most stretch?
Are there any guides on how to move the controls back?
If I made all of the changes to the seat and gas tank and THEN changed the front rim to 18", would it ruin the way/look I had the seat and gas tank set up?
 

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for the rear sets, you need two people. i got this from either hack or geet, i can't remember, but sit in a dinner chair backwards. look down and how your legs and feet are angled. that is your natural posture pretty much. now go sit on the bike and try to mimic what you did in the chair. when you get your legs up where you want them, have your buddy hold the pegs there so you can get a good feel for it. from here, figure out how you are going to mount it up where it is comfortable. that is how i did my RD and it worked out great.
 

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that isn't too bad. how comfortable is it to use those buddy begs in the rider's seat?
 

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That will do. I'd go with a different tank and chop the frame off right after the shock mounts. And personally, I'd go with an 18" or 19" front wheel. Coolatula brings up a good point on looking at 350 wheels.

--Chris
 

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quote:Originally posted by chrisf

That will do. I'd go with a different tank and chop the frame off right after the shock mounts. And personally, I'd go with an 18" or 19" front wheel. Coolatula brings up a good point on looking at 350 wheels.

--Chris
Also be careful as I think the CL wheels maybe 19" and the CBs 18" I believe? Some people don't know what they have or try to be slick and try to sell the CLs as CB wheels. Not that there are anything wrong with 19" wheels,but tire selection could be an issue with some tire brands/models.

I can buy CL/CB drum wheels all day long for $30-40 in
good/usable(not perfect) condition that just need cleaned up,new rim strip,tube,tire and balanced. Your stock rear wheel should be around 18" X 1.85",not the widest but still usable if you keep the tire narrow enough. Changing out rear wheels when you don't Need to can bring up a lot of other issues,many of them bad!

I agree about the tank,it is physically too small and a tank off a street bike would look better along with giving you more fuel range.
That can be a plus if your out exploring some back roads or lost(not that I've ever done that;)) and don't know how far away the nearest gas station is.

On a side note DON'T throw away your old fuel tank as the back half could be used as a tail/bum stop. Don't blow yourself up when cutting on it though![B)]

You want to get the STANCE you are looking for before you mount the tank/seat & tail so YES you should have the wheels/tires/suspension set-up on there BEFORE you mock up the bike for the tank & seat/tail.

Also remember that the rear of the bike will most likely squat more than the front when you are in your normal riding position and with all your weight on it so the rear needs to be a tad higher when the bike is static(no rider on board). Bikes need a front weight bias in order to stick in the corners and turn. If your bike looks as if it's going up hill when your sitting on it that's not good!

I also think your passenger pegs will be too far to the rear to use as rear sets unless the seating position is going to be pretty radical.
Besides that they are mounted on the SWING ARM! Believe me you do NOT want that!

Loose the big ass tail light and chop the rear fender back some. It has a good size/shape but it sticks out too far. The rear frame loop may have to go unless you can hide it with a tail/seat hump.
 
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