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But to those who criticize. This is "cafe racer" forum. Cafe racers were bikes hacked to shit to make everything light for speed not original. If speed was my only intent a vintage bike would be a waste of time and money. A crotch rocket would fill that void much better.
First off, none of this is meant as flames, just my take on things.

It seems everyone has their own definition of what a "cafe racer" is. I don't agree that "cafe racers were bikes hacked to shit to make everything light". No. That's more of the modern definition created to include all the art bikes that get passed off as "cafe racers" these days since the chopper market imploded. Cafe racers were not the rat rods of their day. They didn't have crap tires because they looked "cool" (to who?). They didn't have lowered suspensions to reduce lean angle. They didn't have clip ons and mid controls. Well, some of them did I suppose, but, um, none of the cool kids did!

If speed was your only intent then a vintage bike isn't your best choice. Fair enough. But if an art bike like the one you've pictured was your only intent then this forum probably isn't your best choice. I don't mean that to sound harsh, poke around the threads here for a while and you'll see that bikes put together to get a certain look while disregarding how they actually work are not well received.

That said, I don't think you are intending to build an art bike, entirely for looks. But the picture hints either that is your intention, or that you aren't aware that's what you'll end up with. That's what people are reacting too.

In addition to posting pictures of looks, what is it you want to end up with functionally? Obviousy not a track day bike. And hopefully not something you never ride. Somewhere in between those two things I'm guessing? So if you tell us what you plan to do with it when you're done, people can comment on what about the bike in your inspiration shot works against that desire.

If you already have riding experience and know exactly what you want and how to get there, then disregard that part... You said you have shop experience but didn't mention any riding experience.

So what is it I call an art bike? When the chopper market imploded, people switched to "cafe racers". So now instead of non-rideable art bikes with long forks and no fenders we get non-rideable art bikes with lowered suspensions and no fenders. Bonus points for the POS Firestone tires that are widely panned as not working worth a damn on the street. Everything done for a look rather than the riding experience - assuming the desired riding experience isn't just to be seen on a bike that looks "cool"... to people who share that view of what cool is. Which typically doesn't include people with an idea of what makes a bike work well, you know, the kind of guys who liked cafe racers back in the day.

It sounds like you have decent plans for your bike and that's great. Again, no flames intended towards you personally on any of this. But what you are seeing is the reaction to a new guy who we know little about, posting pics of a bike that most of the long term guys here would have no desire to ride. We see that a lot.

Is the bike you got a great start for a project? Absolutely. Is the picture you posted going to be accepted here as a great source of inspiration? Um... Hey, that's nice bike to start a project with!
 

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That recent photo a nicely done bike. The bar and footrest combination would be as uncomfortable as you could get. Repad and recover the stock seat and they are really comfortable and fit properly.
I like the gauges, style and legibility.

I have never had an issue with the brightness or reliablity of the vintage OEM signals. I have shortened stems to bring them in closer to the bike, on some, "for the look", but I kept them because I think they are seen and recognized by those coming at you.
 

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Ok maybe this is a better representation minus the gauges and seat.
https://flic.kr/p/9MtMMM
Now THAT bike has promise! Add some rear set foot pegs to get the riding position correct with the clubman bars, and maybe swap the front disc with a larger modern one with a modern caliper (fabbing up mounting brackets and spacers would be required), or swap the front end with a GL1000 front end to get dual front brake discs (and slightly larger fork tubes to boot), Some better tire fitted. Cartridge emulators in the forks and some good rear shocks. Then you’d have something that looks great AND would perform very well.
 

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Ohlins makes replacement suspension setups for both the front and rear.
Not cheap to buy because they are not cheap to build, but they will perform.
For sure you would need to replace the triple tree yokes at the same time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
That bike went on to have dual front disc brakes. Not sure if suspension had ever been upgraded.
As far my plans for riding. I wanted a nice weekend cruiser that would be nice through the mountains. I'm not looking for speed just an enjoyable ride.
I want to keep it fairly stock but modern touches here and there. Most of all I wanted something to tinker on. An ongoing project to enjoy working on.
BTW I agree on the foot pegs. I was looking at the rearset from Cognito will probably go that direction. I think those bars are a little low for my tastes as well.
 

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... a nice weekend cruiser that would be nice through the mountains. I'm not looking for speed just an enjoyable ride.
...
BMW K100RS not a lot of money to buy, great all weather solo motorcycle that eats up highway miles with ease. Easy to service too, not that they need much.
add (not that there is anything wrong with a nicely sorted CB750 if you throw enough money at it) post pictures of your bike when you can (y)
 

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I wanted a nice weekend cruiser that would be nice through the mountains. I'm not looking for speed just an enjoyable ride.
I want to keep it fairly stock but modern touches here and there. Most of all I wanted something to tinker on. An ongoing project to enjoy working on.
In that case, you should check out Superbike bars. Those give you tons of leverage for turning AND will bu super comfortable.

I would recommend improving systems one at a time, so you not only minimize downtime, but are able to notice the improvements each upgrade makes.

Also, here's our repository of useful threads and links:

 

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“This is "cafe racer" forum. Cafe racers were bikes hacked to shit to make everything light for speed not original.”

This statement right here is why the pic you posted got ridiculed. The mods done to it made it handle worse, go slower, ride dangerously (if it’s even rideable at ALL), and perform worse in every way. It is the antithesis of what is true about the origins of the cafe racer genre. The fact that bikes like these have become the eye candy definition of what the current internet sees as a cafe racer makes those of us who love vintage performance bikes cringe with angst.
exactly.
 

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Hi, welcome, I am a young 60+ and am still working on, and riding in between my first "cafe racer" but I am sure many wouldn't agree with the title.
I have embraced that a racer of any type must handle and ride the best it can but I do like the arty side and like the lines and design of the bike to still look special.
Enjoy your build and stay safe. I look forward to seeing your build. Cycle X used to make some good hot rod gear for the honda 750.
 

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A couple of years ago, after a couple of attempts at creating moving statues, I looked at things from the perspective of tradition and closer to the intent of the original "Rockers" movement. Their "cafe racers" were modified, not as artwork, but to enhance and emulate the race bikes of the day.

My interpretation of what those guys did:

 

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That bike went on to have dual front disc brakes. Not sure if suspension had ever been upgraded.
As far my plans for riding. I wanted a nice weekend cruiser that would be nice through the mountains. I'm not looking for speed just an enjoyable ride.
I want to keep it fairly stock but modern touches here and there. Most of all I wanted something to tinker on. An ongoing project to enjoy working on.
BTW I agree on the foot pegs. I was looking at the rearset from Cognito will probably go that direction. I think those bars are a little low for my tastes as well.
Just sharing VFR750, $2000 dollars au seems good value to me but just seen the add not in person
Tire Wheel Land vehicle Fuel tank Vehicle
 

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Drum rear brake, steel tube backbone frame with a steel saddle tank, completely different motorcycle from an R in almost every way. I've seen V45's that failed to sell for half the price. Buyer beware.
 

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Here's what a 2grand canadian$ asking price Sabre looks like, this one is in Alberta & I bet you can buy it for less then the asking.


... this is more like what you want to buy, something that doesn't arrive all beat up and pre-butchered
 

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... and a V4-cylinder engine with carbs is not something that a noobie mechanic should even consider, they are way too complex an engine for an amateur wrench. You need a 4-stroke single or a 2-stroke.
 
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