Author Topic: UJM fate - I vote STOP ruining awesome bikes, build rad Cafe's out of the rest!  (Read 4898 times)

Offline Alex jb

  • Posts: 339
I think absolutely nothing has changed in the 100 years or so of people customizing their motorcycles.  There have always been amateurs, hacks, people with bad taste...

The thing that HAS changed is we all have cameras to take pictures of our crap so you get to see the full spectrum of stuff out there.

Nailed it

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Although I hate seeing cool old bikes hacked up into monstrosities too, and will join in when people are trying to convince someone not to chop up a good condition stocker, there's this:

This subject is beaten to death here and in other forums. 

A lot of Japanese bikes were produced in significantly high numbers, so cutting up some of those bikes isn't exactly hurting the market.  When I quit seeing $300 CB350s on Craigslist, maybe I'll consider their collector value. 

Nobody seems to give a shit about the one-year-only production CL175 sloper and how they're all being chopped into vintage races in the NW. Those are genuinely (realtively) rare bikes.
"Remember when Goldwings were sexy? Me neither" -- Comet Tavern bathroom, Seattle.

Offline beachcomber

  • *
  • Posts: 4102
  • TJ - Beachcomber
So ...... the old restorers [ 'ish ] vs rodders ::).. Let me say this once more - rodders were around a LONG time before restorers.

Would my donor bike have been saved by a restorer / admirer of UJMs ? I think not, in fact the bike was 4 days away from going to the scrap yard. ???

I've been building Cafe Racers / Specials since the late 50s - 100's of them. Back in the day it was BSA, Triumph, Royal Enfield, Norton - in fact MOST marques. Do I feel in the slightest bit guilty ? Not at all - I built those bikes to be what I wanted them to be, for ME to enjoy. Yes, I could have sat on that ratty B31 I paid £5 for and used for a Tribsa build. Or left it in a garage rotting even further to sell it to some restorer today for £2K - £3K.

There's no point trying to justify a "lightly Rodded" or "retro Modded" bike - it's NO LONGER STANDARD. It's like being slightly pregnant ..... either it is or it isn't. ::)

I was recently offered 2 x 40ft. containers FILLED with part complete UJMs and 1000's of spares. They are in the US and the reason they were offered to me in the UK ? ...... NOBODY in the US wanted them.

Our hobby is based on individualism - not "the let's all be different together club" - long may that live. ;D

Oh nearly forgot ........... no Chinabay shox for my bike -  but RACE proven [ Championship winning ] RAMSHOX.
« Last Edit: Apr 18, 2018, 17:03:48 by beachcomber »
"if at first you don't succeed, you've already been a failure once"

" we're not going back to the sixties - we never left "

"yep, nostalgia ain't what it used to be"

"I used to be indecisive - now I'm not so sure"

Offline irk miller

  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 9015
  • You've been mostly-dead all day.
The most I ever spent so far to buy a bike specifically to chop up is $600 for a 1975 CB360.  It was my first ever cafe-ish build and the very reason I joined this forum.   I rebuilt that bike 3 times before I got it right.  There's very little fucking up that can't be unfucked.  Maybe you have to buy another frame to start over from chopping one up too much.  Last year, we could barely give away a titled CB350 roller at Mid-o and an XL350 roller too.  I ended up dumping the XL frame to a salvage yard and kept the aluminum rims for myself.  This shit isn't precious.  Anyone that thinks that it is is kidding themselves.  No one is trying to marry your daughter, so personal attachments need to get pushed aside.

Offline Hurco550

  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 3941
  • Keep er' Between the ditches
I agree, I had a cb350 in boxes, rought shape and un titled, but a cb350 none the less that I put out at mid Ohio with a sign that said "no offer refused". I sold it for $20. That's after offering it up here on DTT for free, with no takers. I was 100% ready to scrap the thing after mid Ohio. Same bike "could've" been turned into a sweet cafe racer with enough work, but never would've been worth a resto. Then someone would've complained that you hacked a "valuable vintage bike" and ruined it.

That's not to mention the fact that it's the owners choice. If I want to save up my money and buy a Ferrari, only to hack it up, spray bomb it and swap the motor for a small block Chevy, who cares, does it affect you? No. You could've spent your money, bought the Ferrari and saved it. Only difference is, a vintage jap bike isn't a Ferrari. Not trying to be a jerk, but I dont know where people get off thinking they have any reason or power to tell people what they should or shouldn't do with their own stuff. Especially if it's not someone asking for advice. Wanna resto and preserve old bikes, do it, if you don't, hack them. You wanna let it rot in your yard, cool, it's YOUR BIKE.

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk

"If you just picked up a drug habbit instead of a kawasaki triple at least you could get high while you waste money"
~ bradj
1988 tw200, the swamp donkey:
2006 Suzuki DR650 Adventure monowheel trailer build:
1976 BMW R90/6 farkilitious:
1975 RD350 Road Racer:
1976 GT250 Rebuild:
Full Custom Pit Bike:
1971 Yamaha 90cc twin HS1:
"much ingenuity with a little money is more profitable and amusing than much money without ingenuity" - Arnold Bennet

Offline Sav0r

  • Posts: 693
My dad has '67 Mini that MG snobs like to hate on. It's mid engine, rear wheel drive, full tube frame. The car was blown up and rusting away. People should get off their high horses and realize that the world is diverse and weird and that it's a blessing that you don't get what other people do sometimes.
Sav0r the adventure.

Visit to get more information on my RD350 dubbed Mia Wallace as well as my other projects and snafus.


Offline Drey6

  • Posts: 1088
I agree to an extent that fully stock 1 or 2 owner bikes should be respected a bit more but most bikes out there are not in that category and have been damaged (i.e. dropped or abused and repainted/“revamped” in all of the previous owners visions of whatever that may be). I think we can all agree a lot of what happens to a bike depends on the owners actual time riding a motorcycle. Moreover their understanding/knowledge to produce something that’s trusted and has longevity on the road. Typically the finished product follows countless hours that the person “dreamed” up what their bike should become and how they bring that dream to fruition all depends on their skill set.... or money to pay others. For me, it took a long time to even remotely understand simple maintenance tasks and to teach myself to pause and assess options before proceeding further if I happen to have a difficult time with a particular task. Before I’d rush through it and regret it a little bit but out of pride and ignorance I’d continue on and ignore that previous “botch job” or half assed work that I committed.

In terms of major alterations of aesthetics, my opinion is short. After realizing how much work goes into each step of a build, to focus on drastically changing the appearance (for me) sets back the project even more. To do all parts of a build correctly(with having “trusting the bike in the long haul” in mind), it takes a TON of time. You know this after some time wrenching, “well while this is off I’ll do this too”.
I’m now at a point that I’m more interested in replacing wheel bearings/stem bearings/adjusting valves/upgrading electrical-charging/investing in shocks   instead of chopping off the rear of the frame to reweld ...which could alter geometry then weld new shock mounts and then prep for paint etc etc etc etc.

Everything takes time and again depends on skill set. If I was a better mechanic and welder I’d take on more but I feel comfortable/confident with a resto-mod approach during this point in my life. Maybe in 5 years I can get more radical and do more of the rest (frame mods mainly) in house.

Otherwise, to each his own.
« Last Edit: Apr 19, 2018, 00:13:38 by Drey6 »

Offline cbrianroll

  • Posts: 240
Whatever I find in my price range I will willingly cut up,bend,grind, weld. Life is limited, I'm gonna enjoy it while working on stuff with my kids, he thinks it's rad that he'll get stoked. A garage full of stuff no one can touch or ride makes no sense to me,  but I'm just a dumb carpenter.

Offline CrabsAndCylinders

  • *
  • Posts: 2160
  • Careful With That Axe Eugene
Lighter, Quicker, Faster.
ZX-14, 900F x 2, 1100F, R100, CBR600, SR500, GT500, RZ350, KZ1000 x 2, Moto Guzzi Lemans lll, CBX550, RD 350, 750 SOHC police special, RG250, TL1000R, GT750, KTM Super Duke 1290 R, Harris/Z-1, Norton 750 Commando, Green 77 KZ650

Offline Sav0r

  • Posts: 693
Sav0r the adventure.

Visit to get more information on my RD350 dubbed Mia Wallace as well as my other projects and snafus.