Sunday, March 7, 2010

The History of the Cafe Racer

A Cafe racer, originally pronounced "caff" (as in Kaff) racer, is a type of motorcycle as well as a type of motorcyclist. Both meanings have their roots in the 1960s British counterculture group the Rockers or the Ton Up Club, although they were also common in Italy, amongst Italian motorcycle manufacturers and other European countries.

Rockers were a young and rebellious Rock and Roll counterculture that wanted a fast, personalized and distinctive bike to travel between transport caf├ęs along the newly built arterial motorways in and around British towns and cities. The goal of many was to be able to reach 100 miles per hour (called simply "the ton") along such a route where the rider would leave from a cafe, race to a predetermined point and back to the cafe before a single song could play on the jukebox, this was called record-racing.

Riders rejected the large transportation-oriented motorcycles of the time by taking these motorcycles and removing any unnecessary parts off them. The bikes had a raw, utilitarian and stripped-down appearance while the engines were tuned for maximum speed.
Because speed was valued more than comfort, bikes were fitted with single seats and low handle bars, such as ace bars, or even one-sided clip-ons mounted directly onto the front forks for more precise control and to escape the wind. Distinctive half or sometimes full race fairings, and large, hand-made, aluminium racing petrol/gas tanks were frequently left unpainted. Swept-back exhausts and rearset footpegs were used to give better clearance whilst leaning through corners at speed.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Sold my KZ650 Today :(

So today I broke down and sold my 1978 KZ 650 (tear) but did get some good money for it I guess.. This was going to be my next Cafe build and money spender, So what the heck happened?! Well my freakin girlfriend wanted to go snowboarding in keystone "sigh" So I gave in and sold my other love. This was the most perfect bike to turn into a good looking Cafe Racer!
I pretty much stole this bike when I bought it for a whopping $600!!! thats right I said $600. The guy I bought it from was laid off from Aircraft after being there 25 years and had to sell it for some cash.
So after checking it out I gave him the cash and road off into the sunset "literally" . The guy that just bought the KZ is a new rider and was really into the bike , so I'm happy its with a good owner now! Im not too bummed because I still have other bikes and lots of time..

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Good websites to check out for your parts!

My new Kawasaki H2 750 1:18 scale!

I just had to do a quick post on this rare H2 750!
After spending tons of my time finding these things, I finally found one!
You too can own one of these awesome 1:18 scale models.....

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Choosing a bike

Now , we talked about price and that the Honda 750 is a popular Cafe,
but another good bike to start with is the Kawasaki KZ650!
Not too many people go with kawasaki Cafe style..
Why is that? Because everyone wants the Honda and thats where the after market parts are..
But the great thing about Kawasaki is that they are just as good and reliable and you can get them a little cheaper than the Honda 750..
What's the downside?
It's a little bit harder to get the custom stuff that you would be able to get for the Honda..
But it can be done! (soon I will post a ton of sites where you can find these things)

When buying a bike you will want to buy something from the 70's or earlier..
The reason being is that when you get into the 80's style bikes they changed their
frames/swing arms. You want the seat half to be straight and not angled (it can be done, but takes more time and work, that means MORE MONEY!)

Getting started / and what you will need!

When you start thinking (I want something cool , something different , something Nobody see's everyday..) Well look no further than a CAFE RACER!!! Cafe Racers are fast,fun and no matter where you go, everyone looks when you pull up on one!
When you first start out you are going to want something that runs good and all important things work!
Do not set your budget too high! Lets say you wanna do it for $5000 to $6000
Thats too high! You wanna stay in between $3000 to $4000 and always count on something fucking up and not going your way...
For instance you buy the bike everything looks good and then.. OH SHIT! bad fork seals, or , carburetors need rebuilt.. Count on the smaller things going out like
relay/fuses/brake line/cables/tach drive/spark plugs stuff like that..
Ok so now you might wanna know how much to get that starter bike for,
NO MORE THAN $1500!!
For $1500 you should be able to find a good running bike and thats in good shape.

Now What kinda bikes are good for a Cafe Racer on a low budget?
LOTS but one of the most popular is the Honda 750. The HONDA 750 is a very good reliable motorcycle!