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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

My name is Vic and I am brand new to the hobby as well as this forum. Right now I'm saving up to buy my first bike and do my first build. I don't have a lot of money but after reading a few threads before registering I get the feeling I don't need to throw cash at my project in order for it to turn into a good bike (which is a relief). I've done a bit of research into what a cafe racer bike is and how it came about but I want to learn more, especially from guys who have decades of experience.

That said which bikes would be good for a beginner that after riding for a few months I can turn into a good cafe racer? What magazines, websites, blogs, or other forums do you guys know of that could help me learn more about motorcycle mechanics and this hobby? All suggestions/comments/thoughts are welcome. I might be a newbie but I want to learn how to do things the right way.
 

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Hey Vic,
You a really big guy or a really small guy ?:I


The best way to learn all about motorcycles is to get involved in the amateur motorcycle competition of your choice,
that will introduce you to all of the best riders & tuners in the country as well as the dealers and distributors of the goods.

… that's where all those guys go on any Sunday you know, they go racing ;) they don't waste their time hanging around blogs and magazines.
 

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How did this place give you the impression you don't need to spend much money?
 

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How did this place give you the impression you don't need to spend much money?
its all relative... making an old bike "fast" is considerably cheaper than making a (any) car "fast"
 

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I don't know if that is true at all.
speed costs money.
 

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its all relative... making an old bike "fast" is considerably cheaper than making a (any) car "fast"
That all depends on your choice of bike and how you define "fast".

For what I spent on rebuilding a roundcase Ducati engine, I could have built one hell of a small block V8...
 

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How did this place give you the impression you don't need to spend much money?
I don't think I made myself clear. I know I will need to spend money on this build just not all at once. After reading a few threads the route I plan to take for this bike is: buy a solid running bike that still needs help in some areas, ride it, then after I get a good feel for the machine fix a part of the bike, then keep riding it, making small changes here and there as I go. Instead of buying a bunch of fancy parts and slapping on the bike without ever having taken it out. I'll still be spending a good sum, don't get me wrong, but on quality parts I'll know the bike needs.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hey Vic,
You a really big guy or a really small guy ?:I


The best way to learn all about motorcycles is to get involved in the amateur motorcycle competition of your choice,
that will introduce you to all of the best riders & tuners in the country as well as the dealers and distributors of the goods.

… that's where all those guys go on any Sunday you know, they go racing ;) they don't waste their time hanging around blogs and magazines.
I'm kinda small, only 5'6, and not very heavy.

Thanks for the advice about the MC competitions. I'll start looking some up.
 

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I don't think I made myself clear. I know I will need to spend money on this build just not all at once. After reading a few threads the route I plan to take for this bike is: buy a solid running bike that still needs help in some areas, ride it, then after I get a good feel for the machine fix a part of the bike, then keep riding it, making small changes here and there as I go. Instead of buying a bunch of fancy parts and slapping on the bike without ever having taken it out. I'll still be spending a good sum, don't get me wrong, but on quality parts I'll know the bike needs.
I believe that is a good approach. I wrote this in a different thread about a week ago:

I am new to this forum as well but thought I would throw this in: My best, easiest and most fun builds came from a bike I either always wanted or maybe thought I wanted and ONLY after I had owned it and rode it for some time. If you like your bike and ride it for awhile you will find the things that you thought you loved about the bike, the things you surprisingly like, the things you hate and the things you would like to improve on the bike. I know this sounds weird but you will get a connection to the machine and once that is made it really (IN MY OPINION) does not matter that much the ease or within reason the cost of the build. You will find yourself in your cafe build. Of course a CB 100 is easier to work on than a CB1100 but if you don't like the 100 what does it matter?

Also you build the way YOU want your bike to be. I cant count the times friends told me do this, I got a set of gsxr forks, your dumb doing this, etc. I don't give a flying turd what they like....I'm doing this for myself. Just a thought. Good luck with your choice.
 

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I don't think I made myself clear. I know I will need to spend money on this build just not all at once. After reading a few threads the route I plan to take for this bike is: buy a solid running bike that still needs help in some areas, ride it, then after I get a good feel for the machine fix a part of the bike, then keep riding it, making small changes here and there as I go. Instead of buying a bunch of fancy parts and slapping on the bike without ever having taken it out. I'll still be spending a good sum, don't get me wrong, but on quality parts I'll know the bike needs.
Refreshingly good plan.
more evolution then build.

what type of riding do you see yourself doing?
what have you seen that you liked?
 

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That all depends on your choice of bike and how you define "fast".

For what I spent on rebuilding a roundcase Ducati engine, I could have built one hell of a small block V8...
True... but when headers for my Audi cost $2500... ill take the bike lol
 

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It has cost me way more to do good mods on bikes then it has for similar mods on my MKV R32
 

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Being just a helmet with hands is not a problem with a café racer, in fact it is a good thing not to be big on a sport bike.

Forget a build. Go buy a good GS500E or a Ninja 250/300. And real riding gear. MSF, brother.

It's a good excuse to post a café racer with a small guy on it:

ACE125 1423374184222.jpg

"Danger is my business"
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Refreshingly good plan.
more evolution then build.

what type of riding do you see yourself doing?
what have you seen that you liked?
I plan on using the bike mostly for transportation, at least in the beginning. But I'd definitely like to take it for longer rides out of the city and see what it can do and then go from there. I don't know if I'll be more into speed or handling because I've never driven a motorcycle before so that's something I want to find out with this bike once I get it.

I've looked up pictures of what I think look like good cafe racers but I have no idea of knowing if it's a quality build or just a bike that looks good but doesn't function well.
 

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I plan on using the bike mostly for transportation, at least in the beginning. But I'd definitely like to take it for longer rides out of the city and see what it can do and then go from there. I don't know if I'll be more into speed or handling because I've never driven a motorcycle before so that's something I want to find out with this bike once I get it.

I've looked up pictures of what I think look like good cafe racers but I have no idea of knowing if it's a quality build or just a bike that looks good but doesn't function well.
Never been on a bike?
Buy a used Triumph then.
Just by "A" bike and go riding.
You might be shocked where it all takes you.
 

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I plan on using the bike mostly for transportation, at least in the beginning. But I'd definitely like to take it for longer rides out of the city and see what it can do and then go from there. I don't know if I'll be more into speed or handling because I've never driven a motorcycle before so that's something I want to find out with this bike once I get it.

I've looked up pictures of what I think look like good cafe racers but I have no idea of knowing if it's a quality build or just a bike that looks good but doesn't function well.
If you are new to bikes in general then I would purchase a small bike, not heavy and one where you sit upright.

It is a bad choice to learn to ride on cafe bikes, sportbikes, big bikes and heavy crusiers.

I mean you can but it is not ideal.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
View attachment 12135

In my opinion currently one of the best modern street bikes to learn on for a beginner.


View attachment 12136

Then you could do whatever or upgrade.
What type of bike is the first pic? How much would something like that cost used? Can it be somewhat easily modified to look like the second pic by someone with low to moderate knowledge of motorcycles?
 
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