Cafe Racer / Classic bike to build

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Cafe Racer / Classic bike to build

Post  Truck bandit on Fri 07 Feb 2014, 1:13 pm

After getting back from the Island Classic, I have been thinking about either getting a classic bike to do up (Late 70's or 80's: 750cc or less) or getting a 250cc and customizing it into a Cafe Racer.

I've seen the CB250 can look pretty good as a Cafe Racer and I also like the Katana GSX Suzuki's.

I feel like  I need a challenge this year and want to have a tinker at a simple bike with a reliable engine and learn along the way.

Can anyone suggest good bikes I should pursue and any tips about the journey I am about to embark on. Thanks.

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Re: Cafe Racer / Classic bike to build

Post  barry_mcki on Fri 07 Feb 2014, 2:55 pm

I heard there is a chap in Florida that turns Bandits into movie replicas.......    Smile 


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Re: Cafe Racer / Classic bike to build

Post  Bosco15 on Fri 07 Feb 2014, 4:34 pm

I bought a '74 CB550 with the same idea,  of doing the cafe racer thing. 
I ended just giving it a good clean up and polish. Felt it was to good to butcher as it was mostly original.  Ended up selling to an older gent who was aiming at making it concourse.  
Awesome bike with heaps of character.  Simple enough to work on yet advanced enough to be reliable.  The early Japanese four pots really come on song around the mid 70's. The Cb750's command top dollar as they've built quite a following.  The 550's although not as easy find in top condition are a lot cheaper.  And when you get them singing around 9000rpm are a blast. 
The smaller and earlier 350's share quite a few parts so sourcing bits is not much of a challenge.

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Re: Cafe Racer / Classic bike to build

Post  Bosco15 on Fri 07 Feb 2014, 4:48 pm

Here's a bargain. I don't think he knows what they're worth.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/HONDA-750-4-CB-750-SOHC-1971-BARN-FIND-LOW-KLM-RUNNER-CAFE-RACER-BOBBER-/301090714605?pt=AU_Motorcycles&hash=item461a67b3ed&_uhb=1

I would snap it up if I was closer. Looks in pretty good nick. 

look on ebay. Honda Cb. There's a few good ones going.

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Re: Cafe Racer / Classic bike to build

Post  paul on Fri 07 Feb 2014, 6:46 pm

http://www.spinelliclassic.com   phone 0731711830  are importing yammy sr 500s which seem to adapt really nicely to the caf'e treatment  Very Happy

https://www.facebook.com/spinelliclassic
I can't get the link to work , but if you google it & click on stock , it will work for you

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Re: Cafe Racer / Classic bike to build

Post  sb1250 on Fri 07 Feb 2014, 7:10 pm

Have been watching "cafe racer" on foxtel, and a 600 chook chaser was turned into one!!
You can turn anything into a cafe racer......just need a bit of imagination!

I'd love to do a cafe racer one day......but one project at a time.

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Re: Cafe Racer / Classic bike to build

Post  kewwig on Fri 07 Feb 2014, 7:28 pm

SR500 Yammie or GB500TT Honda
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Re: Cafe Racer / Classic bike to build

Post  Ewok1958 on Sun 09 Feb 2014, 11:30 am

Here's a few pics of the other two bikes in the Ewok stable, a 1997 TRX850 and a 1980 XS850.  The TRX is a runner and I ride it (infrequently).  The XS850 is my project bike and it needs the carbies stripped off and overhauled (for a start!).  I have the parts but haven't gotten to this job yet - hopefully soon but after summer.  I plan to do a full restoration, not a cafe conversion.





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Re: Cafe Racer / Classic bike to build

Post  Bosco15 on Sun 09 Feb 2014, 12:33 pm

A couple of very nice bikes there, Ewok.
The TRX is a bit of a legend bike. I love the trellis frame. Your XS looks mint.
Well done.

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Re: Cafe Racer / Classic bike to build

Post  Truck bandit on Tue 11 Feb 2014, 7:13 am

That is a very nice Yamaha and now you have me in two minds.

That classic look is great and i'd love to restore an older banger like that.

Are these things, also bikes of this age, hard to find parts for, if required?

What is the general price range for bikes of this age?

I'm only looking at maybe spending up to $3k on the bike and then a max of $2k for parts etc. As a project I'd like to spend and $5k all up!

Any suggestions?

I was thinking of a 90's CB250 and doing a cafe racer or an 80's/90's GSX250 - 1100 (Katana etc) and restoring it.

Primarily i'd like it a naked bike, with some chrome and some of that old stylesound from the exhausts!!!

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Re: Cafe Racer / Classic bike to build

Post  Ewok1958 on Tue 11 Feb 2014, 8:07 am

Good questions!   It's hard to be precise about pricing because with these old bikes, the price usually reflects the condition and, to a lesser extent, the kms.  One that is already in pretty good nick can be between $4,000 - $5,000 for a big multi, eg my XS850 or say this XS750 which is on bike point at $3,950: 

http://www.bikepoint.com.au/dealer/details/yamaha-xs750-1977-15499927?R=15499927&__Qpb=1&Cr=2&__Ns=p_IsPoa_Int32%7c0%7c%7cp_RankSort_Int32%7c1%7c%7cp_HasPhotos_Int32%7c1%7c%7cp_Make_String%7c0%7c%7cp_Model_String%7c0%7c%7cp_YearMade_Int32%7c1%7c%7cp_PriceSort_Decimal%7c1%7c%7cp_PhotoCount_Int32%7c1&__N=1432%20604%201430%201626%201429%201626%201428%204294959394%204294958210&silo=1400&seot=1&__Nne=15&trecs=3&__sid=142523359260

Singles are probably cheaper.  Bikes from the 90s are likely to be cheaper than bikes from the 80s and 70s as a lot of 90s bikes are still being sold as runners, with 90s non-runners being under $3k.  Gumtree and eBay are probably better bets than Bikepoint for older project bikes at lower prices.  Whilst big multis cost more, their resae price once restored is reflective of the costs, $8k - $10k (if you want to sell).

I've found it easy to get minor parts off eBay, eg aircleaner, oil filter, carby kits, intake rubbers, fork seals, exhaust flanges - that sort of thing.  But, parts like original exhausts can be tragically expensive ($1,000s for something like an XS triple exhaust system, and hard to source).  Twins or singles may be slightly cheaper, if the exhaust parts exist.  Tanks and fairings are likely to be the same - nakeds are therefore a cheaper proposition.

Hope that helps a bit.  Good luck trying to find a project bike at the right price!
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Re: Cafe Racer / Classic bike to build

Post  Truck bandit on Tue 11 Feb 2014, 9:41 am

You've got me thinking about some important issues now, things I wasn't eally considering thanks.

I don't want to rush into it and the more i can find out the better.

I want to do it to keep the bike rather than sell it off so I like to do something that it rideable.

Maybe a 90's bike is more up my alley as its what I grew up with.

That Xs 750 is a nice looker and the lines of the bike are great. The flattish looking top of the tank, the long exhaust mounted down low, I'm after something that looks like that for sure!!!

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Re: Cafe Racer / Classic bike to build

Post  Bosco15 on Tue 11 Feb 2014, 10:01 am

I advise to get a bigger capacity bike rather than a 250. The little girls can be fun, but not something that you would consider going on a 1000km ride on. If you have a bike that will get you places in comfort and style without you getting pissed off with lack of power, then it's going to be a bike that you will enjoy and keep.
Ewoks Xs would be a big old lounge chair even after a 600km day. The late 70's & 80's had some great bikes. Power and comfort. Before the race replica craze.
Keep your eye on ebay and Gumtree. And bide your time. Better to buy a bike that is already sorted and add your own flavour rather than spend lots of cash and time bringing back a scrapper. Cheeper in the long run imo.

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Re: Cafe Racer / Classic bike to build

Post  Kaupy1962 on Tue 11 Feb 2014, 11:24 am

@Bosco15 wrote:Here's a bargain. I don't think he knows what they're worth.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/HONDA-750-4-CB-750-SOHC-1971-BARN-FIND-LOW-KLM-RUNNER-CAFE-RACER-BOBBER-/301090714605?pt=AU_Motorcycles&hash=item461a67b3ed&_uhb=1

I would snap it up if I was closer. Looks in pretty good nick. 

look on ebay. Honda Cb. There's a few good ones going.
Better as a restorer. Bringing big bucks these days.
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Re: Cafe Racer / Classic bike to build

Post  paul on Tue 11 Feb 2014, 6:05 pm

@Kaupy1962 wrote:
@Bosco15 wrote:Here's a bargain. I don't think he knows what they're worth.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/HONDA-750-4-CB-750-SOHC-1971-BARN-FIND-LOW-KLM-RUNNER-CAFE-RACER-BOBBER-/301090714605?pt=AU_Motorcycles&hash=item461a67b3ed&_uhb=1

I would snap it up if I was closer. Looks in pretty good nick. 

look on ebay. Honda Cb. There's a few good ones going.
Better as a restorer. Bringing big bucks these days.
 Yep ...................not a chop up ...................restorer for sure with what they are worth these days

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Re: Cafe Racer / Classic bike to build

Post  Ewok1958 on Wed 12 Feb 2014, 8:19 am

Here's a nice low km GSX1100G (shafty) from 1993 which loks like it needs next to no work - mind you, it's hardly a "classic", and maybe not much of a project either.  $3990 from a dealer - you could get it under $3,500.  

http://www.bikepoint.com.au/dealer/details/suzuki-gsx1100g-1993-16406906?R=16406906&__Qpb=1&Cr=19&__Ns=p_PriceSort_Decimal%7c0%7c%7cp_Make_String%7c0%7c%7cp_Model_String%7c0&__No=15&__N=1432%20604%201430%201626%201429%201626%201428%201603%20555%201480%201470&silo=1400&PriceTo=1603&seot=1&YearTo=555&__Nne=15&trecs=76&__sid=142523359260

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Re: Cafe Racer / Classic bike to build

Post  Bosco15 on Wed 12 Feb 2014, 6:29 pm

Another one from Ebay. 
Rang the guy. He wants between $6g & $7g. I don't think he'll get it, but who knows.


http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/YAMAHA-XS1100-1979-nice-older-restoration-/191068677277?pt=AU_Motorcycles&hash=item2c7c94a49d&_uhb=1


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Re: Cafe Racer / Classic bike to build

Post  Bosco15 on Wed 12 Feb 2014, 6:30 pm

Not as nice as yours, Ewok. 
I'm quite envious. actually.  alien

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Re: Cafe Racer / Classic bike to build

Post  Bosco15 on Wed 12 Feb 2014, 6:51 pm

ooooooooo I want one....


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Re: Cafe Racer / Classic bike to build

Post  Kiwisteve on Fri 14 Feb 2014, 4:18 pm

@Bosco15 wrote:Another one from Ebay. 
Rang the guy. He wants between $6g & $7g. I don't think he'll get it, but who knows.


http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/YAMAHA-XS1100-1979-nice-older-restoration-/191068677277?pt=AU_Motorcycles&hash=item2c7c94a49d&_uhb=1


Back in the day, my bro had a Kwaka Z1000 & his mate got an XS1100. He let my bro have a ride, but told bro to be careful, "it's a beast". My bro had a laugh when he told me the thing was a bit tame compared to the Z beast!

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