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I've been sorting through the pics I recently took at the Barber Motorsports Museum, and I find my favorites to be the old cafe racer style bikes. There seems to be some interest in these bikes--particularily in building retro style rides--around here, so I thought I'd post some up pics:

 

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Thanks for the pictures! Those are beautiful bikes. I like the "Norvin". A Vincent engine in a Norton frame, I believe. "Tritons" were Triumph/Norton hybrids, but I forget which was the engine and which was the frame. What do I know...my café racer project is a Honda...

There seems to be a pretty strong following for café racers on this site. Does anyone have a café racer or vintage road racer bike on the raod right now? Or, is there any projects?

I revived twistagrip's Old School Cafe Racer thread awhile back to show pictures of my project. Unfortuantely, I haven't had much progress to show lately, so the thread is in the back pages again somewhere.
 

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Those are gorgeous machines! I bought a '75 CB750 a few years ago, I wanted to make it into a cafe racer, but ended up selling it back to the guy I bought it from. /wwwthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif
 

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Great pics of some awesome (expensive!) bikes! I have a guy near me in Orange County, CA who also does CB750s into cafes. I've visited him and seen his stuff. We're still talkin' as far as a project I might be interested in. I have neither the knowledge or tools to do it myself :bawling:
 

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[ QUOTE ]
qqqqqqqman said:
...I have neither the knowledge or tools to do it myself :bawling:

[/ QUOTE ]

You'd be surprised how easy a café racer can be to make. Find a suitable project bike, and then put some clubman bars on it. Strip off the side covers and anything else that it doesn't need to run. If you want the solo seat with the small fairing on the back, there's lots available in fibreglass. All you would have to do is figure out how you want to mount it.

Here's a 1973 CB450 I found on bikepics.com . I think besides the handlebars and air cleaners, it's all stock (and ultra clean!). I love this bike (I admit to being a bit biased). It has the "look" and the guy didn't pile on a ton of money and parts to get it. Brilliant!
 

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I've got a 72 CB 350 in my gararage that I need to finish (actually, start is more like it). Bought the thing for $75, started tearing it apart two years ago, and just kind of forgot about it. I'm thinking I need to get back to it....
 

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A 1972 CB350...very cool bike! As far as I know, it's winter in PA as well, so why not put it all back together? I'm finding that old Hondas make winter go by pretty quick (and help you lose your mind quick, too).
 

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[ QUOTE ]
qqqqqqqman said:
Hmmm...thanks for the motivation, Dunno...I think :crazy: Yeah, I might just look for a good donor bike and slowly transform it...

[/ QUOTE ]

That's currently my plan as well. Suprisingly enough I've been having a hard time finding the right donor bike. I was hoping to find something near me, I guess I'm might end having to travel a ways to get one I like. I'm not in a big hurry so hopefully I'll find just the right deal.
 

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[ QUOTE ]
Dunno said:
A 1972 CB350...very cool bike! As far as I know, it's winter in PA as well, so why not put it all back together? I'm finding that old Hondas make winter go by pretty quick (and help you lose your mind quick, too).

[/ QUOTE ]

No heated garage!!! That, and the fact that I have no room to work (I really need to clean and organize :blush:).
 

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twistagrip: I had a hard time finding a good project bike, too. I found keeping an open mind helped. At first I wanted a BMW R80, come hell or high water. Finally, I decided that if I could find something in my budget that had the "look", I'd take it. So I ended up with my '73 CB450.

As you know, there should be lots more bikes available in the spring. Good luck!

jaseman: If you have a garage that's not heated (as I do) that sucks enough (trust me I know!), but if you have no garage at all then I would agree rebuilding a bike outside in Pennsylvania in the winter would be certifiably insane.

It would be cool if you were able to get it running, though. There could be a sort of underground eSB café racer movement here.
 

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[ QUOTE ]
jaseman said:
No heated garage!!! That, and the fact that I have no room to work (I really need to clean and organize :blush:).

[/ QUOTE ]

My garage isn't heated... But I "insulated" the garage door and put in a very old space heater - turn on the heater about 20mins before I want to do any work in there... go make food - and it's "warm" by the time I get back to the garage.
It's good enough for GS and I to work on our bikes over the winter.
 

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That sounds like a good idea, but I'm just too lazy. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Actually, once things settle down a little from the holidays, I do want to get back to the ol' Honda. I've actually had it running on starting fluid alone, but I need to get some 'Kreem" and clean out the rust from the fuel-tank, then try to find a new petcock for it. (anyone have one?)
 

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In fact I DO have a petcock for a 1973 CB 350. It works as far as I can tell. I pulled it off when I did Kreem for my gas tank, but I sold the bike soon after.

BTW. Be careful with Kreem. If the acid wash gets into your polished concrete floor it will etch away the smooth surface (as I found out the hard way).

I'll try to find the petcock in my garage tonight or tomorrow.
 

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[ QUOTE ]
Dunno said:
twistagrip: I had a hard time finding a good project bike, too. I found keeping an open mind helped. At first I wanted a BMW R80, come hell or high water. Finally, I decided that if I could find something in my budget that had the "look", I'd take it. So I ended up with my '73 CB450.

As you know, there should be lots more bikes available in the spring. Good luck!

[/ QUOTE ]

Thanks, my only real requirements are the right look and affordable. :laugh: But the bikes that I've narrowed it down to are a 70's Honda CB or 70's Yamaha XS or SR. I thought I found the perfect donor from a guy that lives in my building for only $300 (75' XS)but the idiot left it unlocked and it got ripped off. :tongue: So the search goes on.
 

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The problem seems to be that if you want a CHEAP donor bike (under $1000), they are all fugged up cosmetically or mechanically, or both. Lots of rusty or pitted chrome, all rubber questionable, tanks dented, wheels poor, suspension shabby, may not run, etc.

I'd want the bike looking with polished or chromed engine, wheels, fenders, forks, etc., and that takes A LOT of work :crazy: Plus paint, and sometimes a new tank or suspension bits. If the bike doesn't run well when you get it, you don't know how much it could end up costing you.

Somebody do mine! :lol:
 

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qqqqqq - My Dad picked up a basket case CB750 K series for $400 CDN. The frame needs to be repainted (I think it was hand painted) and the carbs needed A LOT of work. The bike wouldn't turn over, but with just a few hours of fiddling around, the bike runs now, albeit not exactly in perfect condition.

Keep looking, you never know what you'll find :smile:
 
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