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Author Topic: 1st Project Help  (Read 210 times)

Offline mcl116

  • Posts: 2
1st Project Help
« on: Aug 15, 2018, 12:05:36 »
I'm looking into buying my first bike and want it to be a cafe racer.

I'm trying to keep costs down as it's a first bike so while I'd love to find a finished cafe racer for a good price, its a bit harder to find than I was hoping it would be.

Obviously my other option is to buy a bike in it's original condition (obviously one that runs well) and make a little project of it.  I would probably do this bit by bit as I don't have an unlimited budget and would probably want to take care of the "main" things first to make it resemble a cafe racer most.

I figure those to be, the seat, handlebars, fenders, probably tail light/headlight/turn signals (If there are components that are more important to achieve the aesthetic, please let me know).

While I'm fairly handy, I've never worked on a motorcycle before and even though I'm sure I could do some of it myself, I don't fancy figuring things out on a machine that could kill me.

Is there anybody on this site or that you guys could recommend that may be able to help me get this project off the ground for reasonable prices?

Thanks!

Offline cb360j

  • Posts: 61
Re: 1st Project Help
« Reply #1 on: Aug 15, 2018, 13:07:47 »
Advice: Get a bike that is running as your first motorcycle. Otherwise, you will be overwhelmed by a project that seems to be never ending and you keep dumping money into it which will turn you off to motorcycles altogether.  If you buy a nice running bike vs. one that does not run then you may end up spending just as much trying to make the bike run (unless you're someone as good as some of the guys on here like Pj or Irk for example) when you could have had a nice running bike.

If you're set on a bike that is older and you can work on yourself, any pre 80's Honda is a pretty good start. As they generally have a kickstart, and you can get a smaller twin like a cb350 or cb360 or cb450 and will be fairly simple to work on.
You could also find a non-running example of any of those bikes I listed there for a fairly cheap price as well.

Good luck bro

Offline canyoncarver

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Re: 1st Project Help
« Reply #2 on: Aug 15, 2018, 13:14:36 »
I'm looking into buying my first bike and want it to be a cafe racer.

I'm trying to keep costs down as it's a first bike so while I'd love to find a finished cafe racer for a good price, its a bit harder to find than I was hoping it would be.

Obviously my other option is to buy a bike in it's original condition (obviously one that runs well) and make a little project of it.  I would probably do this bit by bit as I don't have an unlimited budget and would probably want to take care of the "main" things first to make it resemble a cafe racer most.

I figure those to be, the seat, handlebars, fenders, probably tail light/headlight/turn signals (If there are components that are more important to achieve the aesthetic, please let me know).

While I'm fairly handy, I've never worked on a motorcycle before and even though I'm sure I could do some of it myself, I don't fancy figuring things out on a machine that could kill me.

Is there anybody on this site or that you guys could recommend that may be able to help me get this project off the ground for reasonable prices?

Thanks!


What is a "good" price?  What's your budget?    IMHO, get a good running bike to start with then learn to ride it a bit before tearing into changing it.  Most "cafe" bikes are older, air cooled machines that were built around 25-45 years ago so basic maintenance will be required.  It's not hard.   Get the service manual for the bike you buy and read it.   Read through similar bike builds on this site.   Read the comments and try not to make the same mistakes every other first timer does.  It's not hard.   Post it here and you'll get plenty of feedback. 
--

YZF750/1000R The Fly
KZ 750 Twin
ZRX 1100
KZ400 The Rabbit
65 Norton, My damn Shovelhead chop, and an 86' FXR
more YZF750R's, the KZ's, a Zephyr750...and the unfinished 75' CB550 cafe.
--

Offline advCo

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Re: 1st Project Help
« Reply #3 on: Aug 15, 2018, 13:15:40 »
Yep +1 on buying a running, riding bike, especially if you aren't really keen on doing a bunch of mechanical work on it. Modify it as you go to turn it into the look that you're going for.

Paying someone to do the stuff for you is pretty cost prohibitive as even really well done custom builds on a vintage platform are a hard sell when the time comes.
"He broke the mirrors off his Cadillac, 'cause he doesn't like it looking like he looks back."

74 CB360 - Luna - http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=63294.0 - Sold
82 GS550L - Tracker-ish - http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=67229.0 - Sold
74 XL350 - The Turd - http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=70252.0 - Sold
Suzuki FA50 "No-Ped" - http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=71189.0
73 Suzuki RV125 -http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=73875.0
'97 BMW F650st - http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=75732.0

Offline mcl116

  • Posts: 2
Re: 1st Project Help
« Reply #4 on: Aug 15, 2018, 13:57:54 »
I definitely plan on buying a running bike that is mechanically sound.

I guess the biggest thing I would certainly not be able to do myself is modifying the frame for the seat, as in cutting the frame and welding a proper seat hoop on.

Anybody know how much that might cost me to have done/know anybody in the NYC/LI area that is capable of doing it?

Offline pidjones

  • Posts: 355
Re: 1st Project Help
« Reply #5 on: Aug 15, 2018, 19:35:09 »
Don't worry about seats and seat hoops until you have learned to ride and developed some idea of what you want the bike to ride like. Not look like. There are any number of resources for cutting/welding such as schools that you can look into while you are learning to ride and stay alive on two wheels. But first things first - get gear (helmet, gloves, boots, jacket) before you try learning to ride. Invest in a Basic Rider Course (it will help you get your license and less costly insurance). Do you have tools? Do you know how to use them? Are you willing  to invest in buying more to maintain/modify your bike? Do you have the place to do it?
"Love 'em all.... Let God sort 'em out!"