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      10-30-2020, 02:18 PM   #1
colorado.e9x
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Anyone here into Cafe Racers?

Thinking about picking up a Virago XV750 for a cafe build. Wondering if anyone has any input because I haven't got the slightly clue where to begin other than the tear down

Inspiration:
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      10-30-2020, 02:34 PM   #2
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Yes, in fact, would love to build one from my '91 Suzuki Intruder 750. Love the look but my gf will be bummed she can't ride with me anymore lol.
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      10-30-2020, 02:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KennyFSU View Post
Yes, in fact, would love to build one from my '91 Suzuki Intruder 750. Love the look but my gf will be bummed she can't ride with me anymore lol.
She can start a build of her own
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      10-30-2020, 02:50 PM   #4
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i grew up riding dirt bikes so i have always been a fan of stripped down street bikes like cafes and bobbers. i know nothing about building them, but your inspiration bike is a beautiful model.

i rode friends' street bikes a few times in my late teens / early twenties and just never felt comfortable / safe on the road with so many negligent drivers around...but if i ever decided to start riding on the streets, i'd want to do exactly what you're doing.

@kennyfsu i think that intruder would make a pretty sweet bobber.
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      10-30-2020, 02:57 PM   #5
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I've got a '71 Honda CB350 Twin. Picked it up probably six years ago or something. Ended up stripping it down to the frame to get going on turning it into a bit of a cafe cruiser. Feel like it was immediately after I did that I decided to renovate my house and packed up all the pieces.

Now that house has sold and we've moved into a new house, I just finished getting my garage situated (I mean I just finished getting my tools in my box about thirty minutes ago). I've got everything positioned for the primary focus of putting a motorcycle stand to get this project kicked off again (well, and maintaining and working on my Land Cruiser). I'm installing lighting in the garage this weekend and the next purchase will be the motorcycle stand. Anyone have any suggestions?

Edit: can probably make out the pile of Honda in the corner
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      10-30-2020, 03:02 PM   #6
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Huge fan of that bike.

Tear down is half the battle. If you have time on your hands, just get the tear down out of the way and start conceptualizing from there. Makes it a lot easier. As long as the internals are in proper shape then its just a matter of parts & paint. Forgetting the model off the top of my head but it was a 1990s Yamaha that my step dad and I tore down and turned into a cafe racer. Wasn't overly difficult by anymeans.
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      10-30-2020, 03:12 PM   #7
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Always loved this style. Here's a Honda 125 one of our customers built some time ago and dropped by for a visit.



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      10-30-2020, 03:53 PM   #8
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Do you want a cafe racer or do you want to build a cafe racer? I ask because building custom bikes like cafe or altering bikes like supermotos incurs a heavy deprecation on all the parts you're buying. If you just want to own one then you're way better off buying someone's conversion assuming you know what to look for. It'll save you thousands. You may also want to ride one before you build one. Unless you're comfortable with an uncomfortable around town bike that's just for fun.
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      10-30-2020, 04:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP10 View Post
Huge fan of that bike.

Tear down is half the battle. If you have time on your hands, just get the tear down out of the way and start conceptualizing from there. Makes it a lot easier. As long as the internals are in proper shape then its just a matter of parts & paint. Forgetting the model off the top of my head but it was a 1990s Yamaha that my step dad and I tore down and turned into a cafe racer. Wasn't overly difficult by anymeans.
Thats what I was thinking haha so thanks for confirming. I've always found it easier to take something apart than to put it back together. It sounds like a fun and frustrating challenge

Quote:
Originally Posted by strohw View Post
Do you want a cafe racer or do you want to build a cafe racer? I ask because building custom bikes like cafe or altering bikes like supermotos incurs a heavy deprecation on all the parts you're buying. If you just want to own one then you're way better off buying someone's conversion assuming you know what to look for. It'll save you thousands. You may also want to ride one before you build one. Unless you're comfortable with an uncomfortable around town bike that's just for fun.
I'd prefer to build one. I don't find buying something already built to be that fun, I wouldn't enjoy it nearly as much. And even if I did I'd still probably change it up. Buying a cafe would safe me the money and hassle but eh. The bike I posted is actually for sale too. As far as comfort I've never gotten used to it. Grown up with stiffness if it be BMX or stiff suspension in general. So I don't think that'll be problem for me
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      10-30-2020, 04:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colorado.e9x View Post
Thats what I was thinking haha so thanks for confirming. I've always found it easier to take something apart than to put it back together. It sounds like a fun and frustrating challenge
Yeah man it is definitely a good time. Luckily my motor was in solid shape going into it, so didn't have a ton of work there. This gives a nice short overview of what you'll need to do. From there is just researching what components fit and what you'll need to get the right stance (suspension). The cost I had in the conversion was pretty minimal to be honest and I believe we profited when we sold it. So not completely sold on the idea of part depreciation to that extent. The build has value in itself, at least in my opinion. Not like you're just adding parts like you do to a car.

https://www.bikeexif.com/building-a-cafe-racer

Last edited by JP10; 10-30-2020 at 04:14 PM..
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      10-30-2020, 04:20 PM   #11
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Any bike is good bike!

Iím not really into them but I would certainly look at getting a Streetfighter.
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      10-30-2020, 04:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP10 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by colorado.e9x View Post
Thats what I was thinking haha so thanks for confirming. I've always found it easier to take something apart than to put it back together. It sounds like a fun and frustrating challenge
Yeah man it is definitely a good time. Luckily my motor was in solid shape going into it, so didn't have a ton of work there. This gives a nice short overview of what you'll need to do. From there is just researching what components fit and what you'll need to get the right stance (suspension). The cost I had in the conversion was pretty minimal to be honest and I believe we profited when we sold it. So not completely sold on the idea of part depreciation to that extent. The build has value in itself, at least in my opinion. Not like you're just adding parts like you do to a car.
I found an 82' in decent shape with a small oil leak and carb needs tuned- Lower mileage (22k) for 1800. Looks somewhat clean

Another 81' for 800 thats been sitting a bit, could probably get away with just cleaning the carb (156k) Looks clean too

And finally an 83' with unknown mileage and supposedly well maintained. Looks a little ghetto but the good news is I don't have to paint the engine black as it already is.

First two are 750s, last one is also unknown as the seller listed 900cc. All of them are 5 hours away so its just a matter at figuring out which is worth the price.

.

As far as parts I've found a seat but theres no info on what subframe fits it. Might order a universal one and make it fit the seat. Currently looking at a Benelli tank, also little info so far on what fabrication is needed to make it fit. Then there's the other bracketry, how to convert the front end of a newer bike to it etc. If anyone knows how to mount a GSXR front end onto a XV lmk!
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      10-30-2020, 05:27 PM   #13
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I can definitely appreciate a good clean cafe. If you're on Instagram, check out Cafe Racers of Instagram for tons of ideas and inspiration.

Here's my Moto Guzzi V7 cafe...

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      10-30-2020, 05:41 PM   #14
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Any Longmire Fans? Katee Sackhoff's Cafe Bike

My wife loves Cafe Bikes, I wouldn't mind building one for her once we get our garage built.
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      10-30-2020, 09:46 PM   #15
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I can definitely appreciate a good clean cafe. If you're on Instagram, check out Cafe Racers of Instagram for tons of ideas and inspiration.

Here's my Moto Guzzi V7 cafe...

I'll check them out! Considering buying my Dads basically new 05 883 for this but it's almost too clean for it. Only 1300 miles on the odo
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      10-30-2020, 10:53 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colorado.e9x View Post
. Then there's the other bracketry, how to convert the front end of a newer bike to it etc. If anyone knows how to mount a GSXR front end onto a XV lmk!
Steering stem and bearing changes is all you need to physically get nearly any front end on another bike. Then you'll often have to fabricate new steering stops because they'll be all wrong. Depending on the bike and tank you choose you may have issues with the forks/triples/bars hitting the tank well before you get adequate steering travel.

If you decide to build a cafe you need to lay out a plan on what you want to do and figure out if you can accomplish the fabrication needed, how much you're willing to pay and hopefully have resources on what works best for different parts. People will do things like put a modern front end on a bike because it looks cool and it doesn't mean it's going to work right and could possibly make the bike handle worse.

That's why I feel cafe bikes are just fun around town bikes. They often have poor ergonomics, hit or miss handling and low everyday usability. Cafe bikes are very much form over function.
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      10-30-2020, 11:02 PM   #17
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I want to build that one

but it is going to be a very longterm project
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      10-31-2020, 12:57 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strohw View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by colorado.e9x View Post
. Then there's the other bracketry, how to convert the front end of a newer bike to it etc. If anyone knows how to mount a GSXR front end onto a XV lmk!
Steering stem and bearing changes is all you need to physically get nearly any front end on another bike. Then you'll often have to fabricate new steering stops because they'll be all wrong. Depending on the bike and tank you choose you may have issues with the forks/triples/bars hitting the tank well before you get adequate steering travel.

If you decide to build a cafe you need to lay out a plan on what you want to do and figure out if you can accomplish the fabrication needed, how much you're willing to pay and hopefully have resources on what works best for different parts. People will do things like put a modern front end on a bike because it looks cool and it doesn't mean it's going to work right and could possibly make the bike handle worse.

That's why I feel cafe bikes are just fun around town bikes. They often have poor ergonomics, hit or miss handling and low everyday usability. Cafe bikes are very much form over function.
That's what I've been reading. I saw this video of this guy who cut the stem in half, threaded the inside of the two halves, and added a rod with a nut to act as a spacer. Effectively lengthening it to the size he needed to clear the stock head tube. That's a really good point on the bars hitting the tank. I did see they have clip on bars which I think would aid clearance to the tank. Definitely trying to form a plan before I do anything, as well as basing it off as much tried and true options as possible. Wasn't going for performance either so its good you said that! If I was I'd go for a crotch rocket, which tbh in my area there's no use for it.
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      10-31-2020, 01:17 AM   #19
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Yes, probably my favorite style bike
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      11-01-2020, 11:14 AM   #20
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2018 Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster
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      11-02-2020, 11:42 AM   #21
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Yes! Me riding my CB750 around the block, it's still a work in progress though!
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