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Hey Guys :cool:...

First time on this forum, so here goes (if I have done this wrong apologies in advance)....

I am new to cafe racer bikes, and new to road bikes in general (always had motocross and trials bikes in the past) but have booked my bike test to get on the road.

A friend of mine has a bike for sale which is a Yamaha Virago 535 2003 Plate, which is in real good condition which has done around 12,000 Miles.. I was wondering if anyone has, or knows anyone who has turned this type of bike into a cafe racer?

Looking for peoples opinions on this sort of bike for a first bike, and any information that would help me transforming the bike!

Thanks (y)... Dan.
 

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I have no idea what you think a cafe racer is. Everyone seems to have their own view of it and the recent definitions make absolutely no sense to me.

With that in mind - get a picture of what you think a cafe racer should look like. Now compare that to the picture of a 535 Virago. Does anything look similar? Angle of the forks? Frame construction? Wheel sizes? If your attitidue is "but I can change all that" well ok, maybe, but why bother if some other bike would be 90% of the way there from the factory?

IMHO it's a horrible idea to start with a cruiser to make a cafe racer. The frame geometry is wrong to start with. But yes it's been done. And for every one Virago that has turned in to a rideable bike, 50 have ended up on Craig's list barely running if at all, sold as unfinished projects by a guy who never did really ride anything before he figured out motorcycles aren't for him.

IMHO it's also a horrible idea to do this for your first bike. Buy a 250 Ninja and ride for a year or three. Figure out what you like in a bike. Then figure out what you'd like to have and go search for that. Buying a project as your first bike is a sure plan for failure. You have no idea what you're doing or what you want or what it takes to get there from here. Make no mistake, it's a shitload of work to rebuild a bike. Think years instead of weeks.

Choosing a bike to start with simply because it'd be an easy one to buy is a terrible idea. Decide what you want in a bike ("I want a cafe racer" is so vague it means nothing) and then figure out what it would take to get there. THEN look for the bike you want to base it all on. In the meantime, start riding something else. FWIW the majority of the bikes newbies use as inspiration these days absolutely suck as functional motorcycles. No fun to ride if they even can be ridden. If that's what you're shooting for then maybe a project bike as your introduction to riding is fine, but if the dream invovles actually USING the bike, buy something that works right now, keep it running, and keep thinkign about what you want your project to be. Then build it on the side.
 
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