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Cafe Racers


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Was talking with NZA about this and realised between his ignorance, and mine before that, this might be something awesome that's not widely known about.

 

Here's what Wiki has to say about it, in terms of history and whatnot, sadly the article I read which piqued my interest was in FHM and doesn't appear to be in their archive, but google brings up a gazillion mod clubs and communities to check out.

 

Basically put: These are bikes that can be had pretty cheap and have almost infinite customising options and are fairly simple to look after too. I've been wanting to get one since the idea was planted and am holding out 1) because I need my motocycle lisence and 2) because this time next year we could be anywhere else in the world. But Once both of these are settled I'm going to be all over this shit. Do any of you guys ride?

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yeah, still looking into this, but it's a really cool idea.

 

my godfather took me riding a bit when i was younger, and swore by stuff like honda shadows/smaller bikes to start with, 600cc or so to not only get your chops, but because they too were (at least at the time) really easy to work on, and find/change out parts. again, after reading zen & the art of, the maintenance part does seem like half the fun, once you get the hang of it. i wish i knew more dudes than just my mechanic who do this.

 

i myself haven't rode shit since old roomie :pig: had one, and even then, it was just around the complex - i'd wanted to take the safety course and get a license this year as well, but i dont have access to a bike at the moment. wasn't really rushing it either; miami's a deathtrap for riding, its only something i think i'd wanna try in short spurts, and eventually, cross-country.

 

the counter-culture aspect your wiki speaks on only adds to it, and again reminds me i need to go read Kerouac.

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Here's a few of the cooler mods I've been looking at, ranging from smooth lines to impersonating Kawasakis to some flat-out crazyshit. What I've been reading has said that Triumphs tend to make the best base-block so to speak too, in terms of customisability as well as being mechanically solid.

 

And before Logan comes to tell us anything less than a Harley's for fags & Eye-talians(though I have to figure he's read Hell's Angels at least and anyone who's read that or isn't just in love with the brand/signature sound knows they're not one of the better makers), I gotta say this is about as close as we'll ever get to a Vincent Black Shadow!

 

triumph_cafe_racer.jpg

Cupp215.JPG

Mike_Coles_Cafe_Racer_SR500_cr.jpg

rookecafe2.jpg

newvincent1.jpg

 

Are these all red-x'ing for you guys?

Edited by The JZA
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The cafe racer has a lot in common with the chopper or bobber scene in the USA and both have their roots with post-World War II veterans. Riders rejected the large transportation-oriented motorcycles of the time by taking these motorcycles and removing parts deemed unnecessary. While American GIs would take military-spec Harley Davidsons and "chop" off anything unnecessary to improve performance' date=' European veterans took similar measures with their motorcycles. Both looked to make the standard factory motorcycles faster and lighter, although the difference between the nature of the US and European road systems led to somewhat different results. While the Americans favored a low heavy cruiser style of motorcycle for straight line comfort, the Europeans preferred a higher, more nimble motorcycle better suited to the more twisting roads of their nations. In Britain, many roads can be traced to Roman origin and even older roads following terrain. There were no interstates/autobahn type roads until late 1950s. 'A' roads were(are) better surfaced and wider with multiple travel lanes in built-up areas or between urban areas but may be only two lane undivided highway in low traffic areas. It must be remembered that it was also a style born largely out of the poverty of Post-War Europe and so not given to the excesses of later Harley-Davidson billet barge style customization.

[/quote']

 

That's fucking cool.

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I actually don't like the way the rider is forced to sit on most Harleys. It's awkward for me having the handle bars raised so high and being so low, I never really feel fully in control, and that is not a feeling I want to have when I can be easily murdered by a suburban mother in a monstrous SUV.

 

I have the same feelings about crotch rockets, although you don't have to lay on your stomach with those, it's just more comfortable.

 

These are actually more in line with the bikes I enjoy, ones you sit on more like a bicycle. Dirt bikes are fucking rad too. You guys ever read anything by Spain? He did some really cool comics about the biker culture in the 60's, I didn't get the impression he was a Harley man.

 

As far as the license goes, I can only speak for these parts. Around here, it's way easier to get a motorcycle license than a driver's license, and you can get one when you're 15.

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When you say Harley d'you mean choppers? 'cause HD make a few nicer low-profile styles too, but as stated above, aside from the bikers/gangs that(assumedly) incorporate the Harley Davidson brand into part of their identity, not a lot of others are fond of them as bikes. I get that they have the signature sound, which I guess plays into that gang thing I was talking about, but my Father-in-law's a half a biker(he's part of a geriatric biker club and loves Goldwings for what that's worth) and he and his brethren shit on Harleys from a great height. Has anyone else read Hell's Angels? It's what got me into Hunter S. Thompson as a separate entity from his caricature Spider Jerusalem, and the issues he brought up about HD are nearly the same design/technical flaws that some people still complain about. They're still synonomous with bikers though, so something's being done right.

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Choppers too, but really even a lot of the Fat Boys make you sit all funny. I guess it's how a man sits, all cool and in control. I've seen some small, reasonable Harleys, but you pay for the name there. No point in having a Harley unless you're the kind of person that wants to say you have a Harley. You can take that money and get a couple of awesome bikes and just buy the logo separate.

 

And yeah, I read Hell's Angels. I plowed through the majority of Thompson's stuff, I believe. Been about a decade though.

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Re Harleys- exactly. It's a logo and a sound(they actually have a patent on the specific muffler or engine sequence that creates that roar). When I get home and can visit hosting sites I'll fix those images up top, but they show some extreme examples of what you can do with the right parts people or a welder and a few sq feet of space. I'll point out my favourite when the images are fixed, but I personally love the lower bars, smooth lines and minimalistic approach.

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I've seen some small, reasonable Harleys, but you pay for the name there. No point in having a Harley unless you're the kind of person that wants to say you have a Harley.

 

yeah, my roomie's bike was this 95th anniversary sportster, midnight blue & dead sexy but after they were done hosing him on fees & interest, it was somewhere under 13k...damn near new, but that was ridiculous. he was grateful when it got stolen later.

 

very much agree with this, my godfather pushed all kinds've other brands over harley...i always sort've pictured that brand with the big hog/cruiser models, but even then, they dont like to bring much you cant get elsewhere for a lot less & similar look.

 

i dont mind the seating in a cruiser, but that said, i never rode one, so your complaint on lack of control could be quite true...just always struck me as more comfortable for long trips than say, what you pointed out about ricers/crotch rockets. that shit only looked nice in Akira.

 

i'd love something like the triumph bonneville, or really, anything that looks like what mcqueen had in the great escape.

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stuff

 

Goldwings are those big cruisers and as mentioned, the father-in-law rides nothing else, but they do sacrifice a lot of manouverability for those creature comforts. I mean, have you seen the dashboards on these things? They have fucking car radios on them. Bill hasn't expressed any serious concerns about urban riding on them though, but they DO chew through a lot more fuel 'cause it's a big heavy chassis & engine. SHit, I'd pretty much pitch them as a single man's convertible.

 

And wait'll the new Cap movie drops, guaranteed you'll see a few of his style getting around too(plus that ties into the quoted wiki stuff up there, which I just find fascinating).

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  • 3 weeks later...
If this bike is still unsold a month from now it will be mine. In the process right now of switching jobs, and shooting for a decent payrise while I'm at it so, this shall be my project. And if it's gone, there are a few decent options out there for not much more. Just wanted to give you guys an idea of where it all begins, and Here's where it ends. Buying an already-customised racer's a poser's game though.
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Oh, the second bike's a work of art no doubt, but not only am I restricted to <250CC while on my bike L's, but as I said: buying a machine that someone else has put their heart into just defeats the purpose. I mean, what the difference from then just buying off the trailer fully optioned out?

 

Along my searches today I came across a lot of SteetFighter style bikes. As the link says, they're basically the Cafe Racer philosophy with Japanese parts, and I wonder what you guys think? I personally think they look like big pieces of shit, but I'm all about bobbers. Not being all that confident on two wheels I can't ever see myself wanting a crotch rocket but I can see the appeal in the lines and the aesthetic value, but taking the high handlebars & upturned end without the fairing just looks ridiculous imo.

 

This is apparently a streetfighter but fuck me it looks cool...

 

elite-streetfighter-motorcycle.jpg

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Some of the Streetfighters that I found on google look pretty badass, and don't seem to be oriented (geddit?) like crotch rockets. Hypothetically, I wouldn't mind having something that looks like Batman would drive it. Hypothetically.

 

Realistically, that shit's too rich for my blood. That bike you're considering is perfect, and cheap as balls.

 

I bounced the idea of getting a bike off Kati the other day, for practical reasons, and she was horrified. She doesn't "forbid" shit because we don't have that kind of relationship, but she did express that she strongly preferred that I not get a bike and asked me not to. Her cousin died in a bike accident, but he was also borrowing a friends crotch rocket and and trying to do some high speed GTA shit without a helmet. Not a situation I would be in.

 

Then I said "If I get a bike, you can just have the car" and she happily responds "OKAY! Deal!".

 

I love her fickle heart. Concern born of love completely overridden by stars in her eyes at the thought of being the sole owner of a 10 year old sedan.

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Hahahaha perfect. Yeah somehow Alana switched gears on this shit as well. I'm guessing any previous approval she'd given was in the same whistful way I might tell her it's okay to let the Harlem Globetrotters do their fancy little ball chicanery in her lovely vagina(because it'd never happen), but when I present her with a very real scenario that ends with me owning a bike she gets all concerned and hand-wringy. Pretty sure I'm in the clear though. Just gotta get that new job...

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You guys have got me all psyched about a bike now. I live really close to work, and we need a second vehicle, and with gas and everything, it just seems really practical to me. Maybe I'm just lying to myself to justify a purchase, but I'm putting in a bid on this one.

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Honda-CB-CB-750-F-1979-Honda-CB-750F-Cafe-Racer-/160614732346?pt=US_motorcycles&hash=item256562523a

 

I would also have to go to Florida to pick it up, which gives me a solid excuse to drop in for a visit. It's 33 years old, but it only has 19,000 miles on it! That's crazy to me. It's clearly been loved, and that's an excellent price.

 

2ec0zlj.jpg

 

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Sexy little bike in my opinion. I don't have a garage, so I don't really want a fix-er-upper. I'm pretty excited.

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that's dead sexy. i can't believe the shine/condition. i'm ok with the honda logo (eh, they make good bikes), and history has shown 1979 to be the finest year. nice fuckin' find.

 

by the by, if a bidder named hondosbar starts a war with you tomorrow, it's entirely your fault

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It was $1500, but I'm willing to do $2k. I'm in a bidding war with like 4 other people, the reserve still hasn't been met. It doesn't look good. I really can't go above that comfortably. :bye:

 

I swear to fucking god, if one of you Florida bastards bought my bike I will wear your skin as a sweater.

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