Cafe Racer Forum banner

1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi im Greg......now that thats out of the way:)

i have no experience in building or even riding a bike. I go for my first lesson/liscensing class when the class gets enough people to hold one.

i am interested in building a cafe and there are a ton of hondas for sale right now, even a vintage all original and no rust(denver craigslist).

ok so my question is can people provide me with links on usefull info for a first timer. Would like to know what goes into building a cafe,parts and or custom parts and whatever else you deem nesicary and essential to a good build. I do have a friend that welds, and im pretty good at comming up with a solution for things(a good start, i know [:eek:)])

about myself: i have always entertaind the idea of a bike, but i dont want to go with the normal sportsbike that everyones done over and over, i love choppers, but the spirit of speed isnt there in mho.
i think cafe is nice, subtle, and underestimated; and it has about as much history as the next geneer of bike?

thanks and happy motoring.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,737 Posts
hello. buy a bike and strip everything off of it that isn't necessary. then make it very fast, handle well, and stop. now you have a caferacer. the rest is just style.

good luck.

tex
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,737 Posts
hello. buy a bike and strip everything off of it that isn't necessary. then make it very fast, handle well, and stop. now you have a caferacer. the rest is just style.

good luck.

tex
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
Hey Greg, welcome to the site.

Check out the "project builds" and "technical" areas of this site, and read every one of them.

And do what Tex said.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
Hey Greg, welcome to the site.

Check out the "project builds" and "technical" areas of this site, and read every one of them.

And do what Tex said.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,303 Posts
here is what you do. Take an MSF or MSF approved course. Get your license. Buy a ninja 250, SV650 or some other such disposable starter bike. Ride that for at least a year. Break at least 5 things on it (you won't even have to try, trust me) and fix them yourself. Then, Maybe you will be ready for a vintage bike.

seriously, a proper cafe bike is not something easy to ride. They tend to be twitchy, high strung, and uncomfortable. They are not beginners bikes, which is probably why you don;t see very many of them.

Even the best and most reliable vintage bikes (ahem....honda...cough...) are going to need more attention than your everyday bike (and certainly more than your car). You will be plagued by mysterious oil weeps, worn out parts wearing out other parts and will have you playing several rounds of "what's wrong with my bike...again". You need to be mechanically inclined to ride even stock vintage, and part of that will be from the fact that no shop will touch your bike for a repair bill less than it's total worth. Before you consider vintage, you will have to know something about bikes so, quite frankly, go get something cheap, newish, and reliable and start learning that way.

check out the AMA's website for some helpful links about being a beginner rider.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,303 Posts
here is what you do. Take an MSF or MSF approved course. Get your license. Buy a ninja 250, SV650 or some other such disposable starter bike. Ride that for at least a year. Break at least 5 things on it (you won't even have to try, trust me) and fix them yourself. Then, Maybe you will be ready for a vintage bike.

seriously, a proper cafe bike is not something easy to ride. They tend to be twitchy, high strung, and uncomfortable. They are not beginners bikes, which is probably why you don;t see very many of them.

Even the best and most reliable vintage bikes (ahem....honda...cough...) are going to need more attention than your everyday bike (and certainly more than your car). You will be plagued by mysterious oil weeps, worn out parts wearing out other parts and will have you playing several rounds of "what's wrong with my bike...again". You need to be mechanically inclined to ride even stock vintage, and part of that will be from the fact that no shop will touch your bike for a repair bill less than it's total worth. Before you consider vintage, you will have to know something about bikes so, quite frankly, go get something cheap, newish, and reliable and start learning that way.

check out the AMA's website for some helpful links about being a beginner rider.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
thanks for the advice im reading the technical and projects little by little.

i am a bit mechanically inclined i work on my car(engine swaps and hand made suspension)and its an 84 with zero aftermarke, but i know a bike is compleetly different cow. im prepared for the mechanical stuff im a fast learner and have no problem getting my hands dirty. I do appreciate the words of caution and wisdom though, i will deffinently take them into consideration before i start. i have a friend that i work with, he restores,fixes and diagnoses. i told him to expect me to be hanging around his shop/garage alot, but ill do some cleaning and errands for him so im not that big of a pest. keep the advice and that comming guys.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,809 Posts
dont let geet scare ya too much. the msf course is a great idea to get the basics and learn somethings the easy way. just dont jump into the deep end. stick with something smaller and more managable.

welcome to the fold.

jc
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,453 Posts
My first bike was 30yr old Triumph. Now that's the deep end. But at least I could ride.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,303 Posts
my first bike was a norton commando. I didn't learn a whole lot about riding but I did learn tons about how to push a motorcycle.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,737 Posts
my first bike was a benelli basketcase that took me 7 years to ALMOST complete.

i never rode it, not even once.

i did sit on it alot and make motorcycle noises.

i sold it down the road almost two years ago.

texy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
quote:Originally posted by Geeto67

Buy a ninja 250, SV650 or some other such disposable starter bike.
I can’t tell you how many people I’ve heard say that mistaking the sv650 for a starter bike was a terrible assumption. Truthfully, a Honda F4 is an easier bike to learn on (my only other modern point of reference); the power is MUCH more linear.

Anyway, I know that has nothing to do with the thread, I just hate hearing inaccurate statements about SV’s.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
699 Posts
if you are going to ride an SV, just be prepared for the engine braking. that thing about does a stoppie when you roll off the gas. for a total newbie bike how can you resist the new kawasaki ninja 250?? hell i think it would be cool to have one and i have been riding for 10 years!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
thanks for the links, good reading chrisf.
i think next paycheck im gonna buy a honda
dont think im gonna try to crawl first. but the riding school provieds bikes for lessongs, and its a couple weeks long.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,303 Posts
quote:Originally posted by speed2xs

quote:Originally posted by Geeto67

Buy a ninja 250, SV650 or some other such disposable starter bike.
I can’t tell you how many people I’ve heard say that mistaking the sv650 for a starter bike was a terrible assumption. Truthfully, a Honda F4 is an easier bike to learn on (my only other modern point of reference); the power is MUCH more linear.

Anyway, I know that has nothing to do with the thread, I just hate hearing inaccurate statements about SV’s.
Don't get me wrong I am not a fan of the sv (unlike many here). It is just one of the bikes I hear mentioned as a beginner bike. Personally my ride expirence on one was biased by year of riding but I found the bike stone simple to ride. I found the ninja 650 even easier.

The f4i is a great commuter bike but with 110hp it is nNOT a good beginner bike. the honda 599 on the other hand is 88hp (about as much as a standard 1970's jap superbike) and more upright than even the f4i (which is already super comfy by sportbike standards).

quote:don't think im gonna try to crawl first
well if you don't crawl at first you will be crawling from the wreckage. Sure maybe I am taking the scare tactic a little but in all seriousness, every newbie has one great fall inside of him/her just waiting to get out. Don't think for one second that you are going to go for your entire time in this hobby without ever knowing the sickening crunch of bone and pavement and metal or the god awful feeling of brunehilda the nurse scrubbing your bloddy raw roadrash in the shower with a wire brush. It is going to happen. More than likely 2 or 3 times. be ready.

Invest in good gear and ATGATT (All The Gear All The Time). Don't be one of these douchebag posuer assholes who gets his license and a then next week he is rocking that vintage cromwell or davida pudding bowl, because he has to think he is the coolest looking mutha on the block. Buy a good quality full face helmet that is snell rated.

and if you are going to drop your dosh on an old honda - remember you will need to learn how to do these things:

- Change oil yourself (including filter)
- Set points (gap)
- set timing.
- change and read plugs.
thee are the bare minimum maintenance things you will need to know to keep your bike running. Each of these tasks will cost you probably about $15-$20 to do yourself but a shop will ream you out $100+ for (if that shop will even touch your bike - most don;t mess with old bikes). Expect to spend in excess of your bikes value on it in the first two years of ownership.

and remember motorcycles are mostly aluminum so you don't force anything to go back in. strip your oil bolt threads and you are proper fucked, same with a spark plug. if you can't get it threaded at least halfway with just your index finger and thumb then you are not doing it right.

oh, and don't buy stupid. If you plan on riding the highway don't buy anything under 350ccs (500ccs if you are over 200lbs), and don't buy cursed motorcycles - do your research and ask here about certain models. Some of us here have a lot of expirence on a variety of bikes and can tell you if one sucks. Don't buy anything called a twinstar (they are kinda cool but horribly slow), and don't buy anything with cracked rubber. Try not to buy someone else's hot rod since there is a lot of hipster motivated shoddy work out there and as a noob you will probably not be able to spot it.

and live with it for at least a year stock before you feel the need for "whatever" bars or posuer knee dents.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,778 Posts
Greg,
I would go with something a generation or two newer than a 70's Honda. Look at the early to mid 80's stuff. 500 interceptor, GS550, GPZ550,550 Seca, FJ/FZ600, Ninja 600, EX 500,or GS500. All are good reliable bikes that you can learn on and that you can modify into something different than the same old cafe look. Once again, Geeto is right(I hate having to say that!!), get the gear and do it right. You will fall down!

Ken
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top