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Discussion Starter #1
Hello people,
I'm a new guy. I have never really ridden a motorcycle, but I feel its finally time to give into my long time love of bikes, and aquire my first. I've been poking around a bit on the net, and I absolutely fell in love with the old cafe racers....unfortunately I am poor, and so buying an original is out of the question. So I looked around, and saw a 78 yamaha that had been converted, and it was beautiful - looked just like sex. Anyways, my questions are these....are there any guides to converting a 70's japanese bike into a racer? If so, where can I get one? Are there things to avoid, or things that I should look for?
If anybody could help, i would be greatly appreciative...
thanks,
 

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quote:
Hello people,
I'm a new guy. I have never really ridden a motorcycle, but I feel its finally time to give into my long time love of bikes, and aquire my first. I've been poking around a bit on the net, and I absolutely fell in love with the old cafe racers....unfortunately I am poor, and so buying an original is out of the question. So I looked around, and saw a 78 yamaha that had been converted, and it was beautiful - looked just like sex. Anyways, my questions are these....are there any guides to converting a 70's japanese bike into a racer? If so, where can I get one? Are there things to avoid, or things that I should look for?
If anybody could help, i would be greatly appreciative...
thanks,
What model is it? A XS650? 750? From what I know, they're pretty reliable bikes, and the later models had electronic ignitions. No need to mess with adjusting points every 1000miles.

Let us know what it is.
 

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It's great that you've decided to ride. My suggestion is to get a bike that looks good to you, preferably that you know will be reliable, and learn to ride it. Don't worry about changing things or converting things. You need riding time most. Where do you live? There may be some shops or dealers near you that can help feed the new addiction.

FR
 

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Discussion Starter #7
well, I'm currently living in Indiana, but I'll be moving back to Austin, TX at the end of the month....and I know there are a plethora of bike shops, but they tend to cater to the harley crowd...the dream bike that I was referring to was actually a 1979 Yahmaha SR500 Cafe
Racer....
thanks again for the help guys
 

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The sr500 makes a great cafe racer. I'll try and post a pic of mine (it's a race bike, not cafe). There are 3 on ebay right now.
 

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Dude, my first motorcycle was a brand new '78 SR500. Loved it to death. Crashed it more times than it deserved. But it is a great first bike, with tons of potential for upgrading and modifying. I'd still recommend riding it stock to begin with, then once you're used to it, make the changes you want.

One good source for parts is http://www.thumperstuff.com , this guy is dedicated to the breed.

I race the XT500 in vintage flattrack, I can tell you the engine mods are well worth it, and relatively simple if you're mechanically inclined. The stock engine is good for around 30 HP/27 lb/ft torque, and doing the 540cc mod with a decent cam will bump you to 34-6 hp and similar torque. Add a good carb and pipe for another 1 or 2 hp.
Put the thing on a serious diet, you can easily shed 20 lbs, more if you spend some money.
Get one soon, they're getting pretty popular in vintage racing.

FR
 

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OK, OK, I'll post the pic tomorrow. I might remind all you guys that it won the USCRA endurance race last year with LOU Q at the helm . . . . But it does need a good topend and a new cam

evil
 

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Yeah, I'd like to see your roadrace set up. Have you done the aux. oil cooler and exhaust side oil line? Other mods?

FR
 

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Edited by - imslow on Apr 13 2005 12:48:52 PM

Edited by - imslow on Apr 13 2005 1:06:52 PM
 

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quote:
well, I'm currently living in Indiana, but I'll be moving back to Austin, TX at the end of the month....and I know there are a plethora of bike shops, but they tend to cater to the harley crowd...the dream bike that I was referring to was actually a 1979 Yahmaha SR500 Cafe
Racer....
thanks again for the help guys

And let's not forget the Buellies. They've got a fairly strong group in Austin. I'm an ex-Matchless G80 rider turned Firebolt (very simular really)
 

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Evil,
Nice 500. It's a lot cleaner than my flattracker.

FR
 

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Hey imslow, what's the diameter of the brake disk on that bike?

Nice bike. Too bad the USCRA doesn't have a class where it'd be competitive.

Wait... I have web admin access... I'll MAKE a class! Yeah!
 

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hey evil,

nice bike.

tex

p.s.- joe c., i'm taking fuel duties next endurance race, not scoring!
 

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in the interim, i guess i'll be repairing maytag washers and dryers then.

tex
 

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Rob, the SR500 isn't competitive in singles with the right guy riding? Seems like I've seen a few do well...not sure though.

Scott, yeah...nice bike...didn't know you had it in ya to build something like that. It's enough to start me thinking about a singles bike....errr...after the RS125 that is.

JohnnyB

PS. Speaking of Maytag...they do make some great stuff. Mary and I got a new Maytag washer/dryer set for our house warming 15 years ago...other than a visit to correct a setup adjustment in the first week we've never had a single problem with them. Work just as well as when they were new.

Edited by - jbranson on Apr 14 2005 3:24:50 PM
 
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