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Cafe Racer Project Start Up 
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Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2014 3:11 pm
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I'm playing with the idea of starting a cafe racer project. I'm thinking lower displacement 250-500cc, mid 80's. Preferably certified so I can use it as a daily rider. I have concerns about aftermarket support and part sourcing (some parts can be hard to find, or have to be shipped long distances etc.)

I see lots of potential bikes on the market SR250, LTD 250, Nighthawk 450 etc.

Does anyone have suggestions?


Fri Feb 20, 2015 6:10 am
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Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:11 pm
Posts: 1027
Location: Kingston, Ontario
Wish I could help with this one, I feel like Jon would be the one to ask on this subject seems like he has the most experience tinkering with old toys.

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Mon Mar 02, 2015 9:55 pm
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Pretty much what I decided was going kind of old school. Essentially back in the 60's guy's were just chopping off anything that wasn't essential to running the bike and trying to make them handle better. Pretty simple concept. Just picked up whatever bike I could get my hands on that runs well, rides straight and stops. Next do the normal new vehicle purchase, dump the fuel. change the oil and filter, plug (its a single cylinder and carbureted.). Its a 35 year old bike ('80 Yamaha SR 250) that I don't think was ever stored out side, hardly any rust anywhere at all (including the exhaust). Going to spend some time this afternoon polishing up some of the chrome bits and cleaning/lubricating everything, as the filter and plug are on order.

Once it's on the road later this spring comes the Cafe part. With a 35 year old bike, there's gonna be some simple improvements that can be made. I'm thinking clip on handle bars, then start chopping bits off the rear end and going with a single seat, since it's really too small to have any passengers anyway. I've also heard that some people were able to incorporate a kick start pretty easily and eliminate the need of a battery, electric starter etc.


Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:22 am
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I got a 79 Honda CX500 from my former roommate a little while back and I plan on doing this with it. He recently took his own life so I have more motivation to get the project started.


Thu Sep 17, 2015 7:46 pm
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Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:10 am
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Keep the electric start and hide the battery and electronics under the back of the cafe seats.

my cb 350

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and my GS450 , mild cafe. Clip ons, shortened exhaust, pod filters, re-jetted... etc

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I built this out of a pile of parts for about $500... GS650 , cafe seat, cafe bars. Bike ran great, but money talks and off it went.

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Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:45 am
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