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I don’t understand why someone over the age of consent would take this well built, designed, and capable bike and turn it into a useless cafe racer.

Would you agree or agree to disagree?
 

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Some cafe racers turn out to be well designed and capable bikes...
 

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Depends what you do and what you want to achieve.

My thingy is quite modified and maybe loosely classifies as a cafe racer.

I love it. While I do give up a little in comfort it accelerates quicker and handles and stops better and that's what I wanted from this. It was also a complete basket case so I have no conscience here at all. I don't believe in cutting up nice ones.
 

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They don't appeal to me. But I think they are an okay project for basket cases. The old bikes in nice shape turned into Cafes are another matter. They should be restored or kept whole. Keep the good ones, learn from them and find a "project bike" to experiment with while you learn.
But, that is my opinion. It is your bike and you choose what to do with it.
 

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I don't like seeing a bike in good original condition chopped. But one that's been neglected and unloved can have a new life through a custom project.
It needs to be well planned and well executed, though. Too often, we see a new rider who started a cafe racer project because that's what's trendy. He doesn't understand how his bike functions or what effects various changes will have on that function. These become the basket case projects.
Depending on your goals, there can be advantages to some of the modifications made in a cafe build. But those advantages need to drive the modifications, not just aesthetics.
 

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The Cafe bike "movement" has become what the chopper movement was a few years ago, a fashion driven exaggeration of modifications that actually improved how a bike works done by people that all too often don't understand how much is too much. There have been some lovely and well functioning cafe style bikes on this forum but also a lot of ill thought out ones destined to become yard art or given up on and sold as incomplete projects or as parts. As Randall mentioned, the difference is usually understanding how things work and thinking long & hard about how every change is going to affect the way the machine does it's job instead of just copying someone else who may not have known what he was doing.

As for styles of custom bike, that is a matter of personal taste combined with what you want/need the bike to do. My bikes are a good example of that; Some people see a sidecar and ask "Why would you make it so it can't lean?" while others think they are the neatest thing ever.

Something that bothers me is when someone takes a relatively rare model like the CX650E and (with no thought that it may have been what the real Cafe racers wished their bikes were) chops up an example in decent condition to turn it into what they think a cafe racer looked like. Or into some other type of custom for that matter.
(I don't feel bad about what I've done with mine because it would otherwise have ended up a parts bike if I hadn't used it as the basis of what I needed).
 

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(I don't feel bad about what I've done with mine because it would otherwise have ended up a parts bike if I hadn't used it as the basis of what I needed).
Bob,
From what I have seen here, your form always follows function, enhancing your ride.

Lee In Mpls
 
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Yeah, aside from loosing the stability afforded by a non-leaning outfit when the traction is poor (I got one for winter driving and the other so I would be more comfortable on loose gravel), look at how narrow the sidecar body of the leaning sidecar pictured on that page needs to be relative to the width of the outfit. You'd need a skinny passenger and/or a wide parking space compared to my sidecars....
 

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My issue is when folk with no ability chop up a nice example of a bike and turn it into a pile of rusting parts in the back of their shed because it all got too hard. A well built and practical cafe bike is fine , but wrecking a perfectly good bike and not completeing the build astounds me still
 

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I found my current 1980 cx 500 custom on craigslist motorcycle parts four hours after listing. Contacted the seller, set up a viewing. Next day, the price was increased $400. When we got together, I mentioned the price change, was told every other contact wanted to cafe/bobber it. He did not want that done so he raised the price to scare 'em off. Said he could tell I wouldn't do that. Seller was 23 yrs old, fresh out of college, first bike, a really refreshing youngster. 9,700 miles, always garage kept, 2 miles away, fantastic shape, best one yet. 4 in 4 years. She who must be obeyed says this is
019.JPG
THE ONE!
 

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If one has a CX and wants to modify it, what has it got to do with someone else?? Those that keep them in original state and want it that way, good for them. I have build mine into a Cafe Racer and have spent more than a 1000 hours doing so. I am now in the final stages where the super thin rear rim and tire are making space for a 17" 200 Yamaha R1 rear setup. I am very happy so far and do not regret a single moment starting this project. For the life of me I can not understand that people resist individuality and creativity. If a modified CX is a mess it is the owner's problem. There are more than enough "originals" left for the coming generations that will not even want one for free... it is probably not "green" enough, let alone original. I am now buying a 1981 CBX 1000 tot join the CX - and yes it will be heavily modified!!

203671


And here is the 200....

203672
 
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Not being funny, stock is OK but changing oil/air filters is a little boring.Add some fun with modifying, ‘engineering‘ an creating a bike that feels faster and puts. Bigger smile on your face is what it’s all about. Horses for courses but building your own bike is more exciting as far as I’m concerned.
 

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It's 7am Sunday morning here. Just woke up and saw this thread on top...and I screamed NOOOOOOOO - NOT AGAIN !
Ooooo... seems like a nightmare!! 😉
 

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I found my current 1980 cx 500 custom on craigslist motorcycle parts four hours after listing. Contacted the seller, set up a viewing. Next day, the price was increased $400. When we got together, I mentioned the price change, was told every other contact wanted to cafe/bobber it. He did not want that done so he raised the price to scare 'em off. Said he could tell I wouldn't do that. Seller was 23 yrs old, fresh out of college, first bike, a really refreshing youngster. 9,700 miles, always garage kept, 2 miles away, fantastic shape, best one yet. 4 in 4 years. She who must be obeyed says this is View attachment 203666 THE ONE!
Very nice bike!! 👍👍👌
 

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I now have to Honda CX500eurosports.
One, I have made to my own tastes and one that is being done to its factory standard. Be nice to compare them side by side, when it’s done.
 

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What the trend chasers seem to miss is that every change is a compromise. Trade comfort for horse power? Sure, depending on what you want from it. Trade handling for appearance? Probably not the smartest thing to do. (Most of the criticism to this stems from safety concerns.)
I was talking to Thumper this morning about a bobber project on his lift. He's building an exhaust collector that will vent directly, without a tailpipe. (We've seen these on a few builds.) But, he's designing it with internal baffles so it will function properly and run quiet. Achieving an aesthetic without sacrificing other factors is a big challenge, and I applaud him for pursuing it.
 
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