Bigger headlight for the 175


Been Around the Block
Trackday season is winding down, so I have some more time for the 175. I never liked the small stock headlight, so I added one from a CB750. I know it's not much, but it's gotten me motivated to get some more progress done.

thats tits man,

there needs to be a club for people who use the CX500D fuel tank :p

ill have to put one on my dads cm185
FINALLY! Someone who wants a REAL headlight, instead of the tiny little JOKE lights I see so often. REAL cafe bikes have 7" ROUND headlights, unless the builder gets lucky enough to find one of the 8" lights used by Suzuki and Yamaha on a few models back in the 80s... Dinky lights are for CHOPPERS and BOBBERS, without exception; anything else is a phony, or some nightmare hybrid which is only pretending to be a cafe bike. Too many people get confused by this; thanks for getting this detail RIGHT!

If you have a larger version of that photo, please post a link to it; I'd like to use it as my desktop photo. I'm using Linux on a 17" monitor, so if you have one close to 1024 x 768, that would be PERFECT...

Thanks again, man; as the photo shows, you've nailed the details. The large tank, the seat, the pipes, the wheels, the brake, the front fender, the fork gaitors, the clubmans, the bar-end mirror, using BOTH clocks... even the centerstand and shifter all show your attention to getting the details RIGHT, You've got an excellent cafe build there; nothing extreme, just an outstanding Phase One cafe racer... which I can't stop looking at!
Rockin' headlight, suits the bike very well I must say. Looks big, open, honest. And fast! Be interesting to see the aerodynamic advantage of having a large light instead of a small one at speed - in a way its almost like a mini bikini fairing...a g-string fairing? ;D

Cheers - boingk
Hey kneedragger. I thought Cafe was all about using your imagination with the stuff you had on hand, or could obtain cheaply, get for free, or trade????? ;D I didn't think it was building a bike style to a pre-defined and judged perimeter :'(. If that's the case..... ........... :eek:
killerdwarf said:
Hey kneedragger. I thought Cafe was all about using your imagination with the stuff you had on hand, or could obtain cheaply, get for free, or trade????? ;D I didn't think it was building a bike style to a pre-defined and judged perimeter :'(. If that's the case..... ........... :eek:

NOTE: NOBODY is obligated to read this BOOK I've written in response to killerdwarf; read it, or don't read it, the choice is yours...

killerdwarf, that is an interesting comment... so if someone builds a bobber, but calls it a chopper, judging by your remarks, it would then qualify as a chopper... somehow, I tend to think the chopper crowd would be offended... with damn good reason.

Following your logic, let's say someone decides to build an EXACT COPY of Chip's CL175, with ONE exception; he uses ALL of the EXACT SAME components Chip used on his CL175... but he doesn't have a suitable frame, so he installs them on a frame with THREE wheels, AKA a trike, because that is what he has "on hand, or could obtain cheaply, get for free, or trade" for... Let's say his trike has one wheel in the front, and two in the back... Shouldn't the builder still be able to claim he's built a cafe BIKE? Why not? According to YOUR logic, he used what he had available, so he DID build a cafe bike, one with three wheels... OR, maybe it's a trike with cafe components... so maybe we should call it a cafe trike? But if it IS a cafe trike, then by definition, it CAN'T be a cafe BIKE; it can't be BOTH items simultaneously,,, can it? A natural diamond is composed chiefly of carbon... so is a lump of coal, but I've never been able to convince a woman that the lump of coal is ALSO a diamond, and with good reason: because it ISN'T a diamond, and it CAN'T be both items at the same time, it can ONLY be one or the other, even though BOTH are made of carbon. An egg isn't a chicken; under the right circumstances, it has the POTENTIAL to be a chicken (assuming it is a CHICKEN egg, and not a rattlesnake egg, or a crocodile egg), but it is NOT, in fact, a chicken, it is an EGG, no matter who decides to call it any other name. It ISN'T a television, it ISN'T a banjo, it ISN'T a rug or a chair, it is AN EGG, and unless it hatches, it will remain an egg, even after it is cooked. Cooking it doesn't change it into something else, it merely changes an attribute of the egg (it changes from raw, to cooked, for those who failed fifth grade science)... If a guy is single, he's a man; if he's married, he's still a man; his marital status doesn't change HIM, it only changes an attribute; being married doesn't make him less of a man (most of the time, anyway)... just as being single doesn't make him MORE of a man; he is what he is, without degrees of differentiation.

OK, back to the trike example: What if the builder removes the front wheel, so his trike now has only TWO wheels, side-by-side, connected by an axle; NOW is it a cafe bike? It has TWO wheels, not three, so it ISN'T a TRIKE. Remember, it was built with the EXACT SAME components Chip used to build his CL175, AND, it was built with a frame the owner had "on hand, or could obtain cheaply, get for free, or trade" for, so it IS a cafe bike now, isn't it? Somehow, I don't think you'd be able to convince ANYONE that it qualifies as a cafe bike, even though it has only two wheels... because it ISN'T a cafe bike; it is STILL a trike, but now, it's a trike which is missing the front wheel...

In fact, whether you like it or not, motorcycles DO fit "pre-defined and judged perimeters" (did you intend to use the word "parameter" there? Never mind, we can get to that later); otherwise, a chopper could also be defined as a motocrosser... extend that logic a little further, and a helicopter can be defined as an egg-beater, or a BIG egg-beater... maybe a big FLYING egg-beater, but an egg-beater nonetheless. Is a dog a leprechaun? Is a chicken a turtle? Nope; they are what they are, and no matter how much the dog might want to be a leprechaun, and regardless of how much the chicken might want to be a turtle, one is "pre-defined" as a dog, and the other is "pre-defined" as a chicken... so I guess they'll just have to learn to accept that. Counseling might help, or maybe Prozac... come to think of it, I'd REALLY like to see how a chicken on Prozac would cross a road...

Let's backtrack for a moment: What makes a chopper a chopper? Why can't you call a chopper a motocrosser? A friend of mine bought a Suzuki DR-Z400SM last spring; shouldn't he be able to call it a bobber? Why not? What if he installs a headlight visor? Doesn't the addition of the headlight visor convert his SM (Super Motard) into a bobber? Why not? Back in the '50's, the traditional bobber builder used a headlight visor, but a Z400SM with a visor ISN'T a bobber, it is still an SM, but it would look even weirder than usual, with a headlight visor on it... and for the record, I REALLY like the DR-Z400SM, and wish I had one of my own... but NOT with a headlight visor...

As you might have guessed by now, I'm one of those logical, analytical types of people; I understand the difference between linear and non-linear thought processes, and the difference between rational (logical) thought, and emotional (illogical) thought, probably better than most people you'd meet by chance. A fish ISN'T a bicycle, a chopper ISN'T a motocrosser, and cafe bikes ARE "pre-defined", as are dragsters and bobbers and cruisers, and every other type of motorcycle you'd care to mention. If they WEREN'T "pre-defined", we wouldn't know WHAT to call them; they would ALL simply be called "motorcycles", WITHOUT distinct definition or "perimeter" (did you actually intend to type the word "parameter" there? Your usage is confusing; there is a difference between a "perimeter" and a "parameter", and I tend to think you were shooting for "parameter", which would make a bit more sense...)... In college, I studied (among other things) English (I was a journalism major), basic physics, and history (focusing primarily on American History; yes, I'm an American), so DON'T accuse me of insulting your typing or spelling; I'm simply not sure which word ("perimeter" or "parameter") you intended to use there, though "perimeter" doesn't seem to make much sense, so I'm guessing you actually meant to use the word "parameter"... please enlighten me if I'm wrong.

Sorry to say, your statement about using "the stuff you had on hand" to build a cafe bike is WRONG. The fact is, a motorcycle built from a hodge-podge of whatever you might have "on hand, or could obtain cheaply, get for free, or trade" for, is the standard definition of a RAT BIKE, and NOT a cafe bike; sorry to disappoint you about that. Of course, if you somehow obtain ONLY cafe bike components, you COULD build an actual cafe bike with them. If I throw dogshit at a wall, then call the stuff that sticks to the wall "art", I wouldn't expect to fool very many people into thinking that I'm actually an artist, or that the dogshit on the wall was TRULY art; most people would probably see the dogshit as ONLY dogshit, even if I covered it in gold-leaf (which, for the record, ALSO doesn't belong on a cafe bike). Throwing the shit you have on hand onto a frame doesn't mean you'll build a cafe bike, it means you'll most likely end up with a rat-bike. For example, if you use a small fuel tank (or worse yet, a peanut tank), you DON'T have a cafe bike; ACTUAL cafe bikes use LARGE tanks, so the rider can cover a lot of territory without stopping. If you use extended forks, you DON'T have a cafe bike; ACTUAL cafe bikes use standard forks (sometimes modified), for quick handling. If you use a hardtail frame, you DON'T have a cafe bike; ACTUAL cafe bikes were built from streetbikes with swingarms and shocks. If you lower the frame (AKA "slam" it), you DON'T have a cafe bike; ACTUAL cafe bikes were built for maximum lean angle; slammed frames limit ground (and therefore cornering) clearance. If you use a small headlight, you DON'T have a cafe bike; ACTUAL cafe bikes were built with 7" headlights (the standard of the day) for good lighting at night, since the cafe rider would usually be moving at high speed (going for The Ton), at night (after the bars and cafes had closed), on roads that weren't always illuminated very well... I can go on about the exhaust systems, and the handlebars, the footpegs, and other items, but I won't; I'm sure everyone who reads this will get the basic idea of what constitutes an ACTUAL cafe bike, and some of the things that DON'T meet the standard.

I've read many (OK, I've actually read ALL) of your previous posts; judging from what you've written about your old '72 Honda, we've both been riding for a long time, and we both love motorcycles. My dirt riding days faded away back when I was diagnosed with arthritis (in several joints) at the age of twenty-seven (just about half my life ago); soon, I'll need both knees replaced (hoped to avoid that until I reach retirement age), one shoulder, and one hip, maybe both. Unfortunately, I can't get my neck or spine replaced... so since I can't ride dirt these days, I focus on streetbikes, and think about how to build the cafe racer I first designed in my head way back in 1975...

There is no reason for you to "quit", but that is your choice, not mine. From what I've seen of your previous work, you have a good grasp of the basic items that constitute a cafe bike, and we're all entitled to build whatever motorcycle suits us, but just as long-haul touring machines have large fairings and cruisers have small gas tanks, cafe bikes also have certain characteristics that help to define them. When a motorcycle is built without some of those characteristics, it might still be a cafe bike, in a minimalist form. However, when a motorcycle has a large fairing, a stereo, a satellite TV, a Barcalounger seat, a cell phone hookup with GPS, an onboard air compressor to raise and lower the suspension, and a wetbar in the trunk, it ISN'T a bobber, even if it has a headlight visor. It ISN'T a cafe bike, even if it has a large gas tank. It ISN'T a chopper, even if it has a raked front end... arbitrary definitions don't work with motorcycles any better than they do in any other facet of life. If you're in a bar, trying to pick up a chick before closing time, you probably want to meet an actual WOMAN, not someone who is "gender confused", or ambiguous about their sexuality, because you don't know what you might wake up next to. That applies to motorcycles as well; I've owned my share of rat bikes over the years,,, motorcycles that probably belonged in junkyards, which I bought cheap, fixed, then put back on the road. As long as they were safe and legal to operate, I didn't care what others thought of them. MY money, MY choice, MY motorcycle; it really is that simple. Of course, that applies to ALL of us; YOUR money, YOUR choice, YOUR motorcycle; build what you want, ride what you want, but don't call your Mattel BigWheel a Ninja, because then you're only fooling yourself.

If I build a hardtail, people will expect it to have NO rear suspension. If my hardtail DOES have a rear suspension system, then it ISN'T a hardtail, no matter WHAT I might say to the contrary. It might have EVERY OTHER characteristic of a traditional hardtail, but it isn't an ACTUAL hardtail, because of the rear suspension system. I can fuss, cry, moan, stamp my feet, and bitch up a storm, but if it doesn't meet the accepted standards of a hardtail, it is something else, something OTHER than a hardtail; maybe MORE, maybe LESS, but NOT a hardtail, except in my dreams.

Again, there is no reason for you to "quit", but IF that is your choice, so be it. Hope to continue to see you posting in the forums; if you "quit", I wish you well.

OK, I've consumed (more than) enough bandwidth on this subject for now; I've had to type this while trying to edit a report on Pakistan for my nephew, who is in his senior year of college. He's trying to complete a double-major, while working full time; his old uncle here serves as Editor for his reports, and right now, he's on track to graduate next summer, so I didn't actually think I'd be able to finish typing this until late tonight, or maybe sometime tomorrow.

See you in the ether...
Heh - if a cafe has to be cheap, not sure what the hell I'm doing! ;)
WELL SAID! Motorcycles, beer, and women keep me broke, but I'm not willing to give up ANY of them, so I STAY broke, but, essentially happy... of course, I tend to think I'd be even HAPPIER if I had some money. but then, I'd just spend it on... you know...
Well.. after reading that and mopping away the blood coming out of my ears, I'd have to agree.... but.... why does the terminology have to be so important. I guess if you're a purist then I can understand why classifying your bike is important; I don't call my bike a cruiser, or a rocket (although I'm sure going to try and drive it like it is). I'd like to call it cafe, but even if the purists say it isn't... I don't really care. I built it. There's none other like it on the road and I know I'll turn a few heads.
As for the money... I don't believe that matters either. I bartered for a lot of the work done on the bike and then spend a shit load of money on chrome/copper plating. I think if you have the will to do so, anyone can make an authentic Cafe bike without spending a tonne of money... or a cruiser, bobber, rat bike... what ever...

Mind you.. I'm new to this subject and don't know the history of the sub-culture created by some priest over in the U.K. somewhere.
Canuck Plumber said:
Mind you.. I'm new to this subject and don't know the history of the sub-culture created by some priest over in the U.K. somewhere.
Actually, I've always credited the development of the cafe racer to the Druids, probably not long after they constructed Stonehenge... ;D
johnson_steve said:
Wait! I'm not the only one here running linux? Do tell.
I think I'm about to commit another threadjacking; hope you don't mind, Chip...

Nothing much to tell about using Linux; back in 1993, not long after I began using DOS (5.0), I decided that I wanted to write my own operating system, because I didn't like the way the OS worked. A friend showed me Windows 3.1, which was a GUI shell for DOS. I used DOS (and eventually Windows for Workgroups 3.11) for a few years, still not happy with the way the OS... In 1997, I mentioned to a programmer friend that I wanted to learn how to program so I could write my own OS. He told me to forget about reinventing the wheel; he used an OS I'd never heard of called Linux (Slackware v2.3), and gave me a copy. I was very happy to learn that the OS was FREE; I was NOT happy to discover that I couldn't get it to install on my (cheap) home-brewed PC...

So, I continued using Windows (WFW3.11, Win95OSR2, Win98SE, and eventually, Win2k) , but strongly disliked it for a dozen reasons (maybe a million reasons; I'd stopped counting years ago). In 1999, I got a copy of RedHat 5 to install; not my cup of tea, but I was finally rid of Windows as my primary OS (kept one Win98SE system, which got switched to Win2k, then to WinXP). Not long after installing RH, I met a few Linux geeks, one of whom gave me a copy of Mandrake (can't remember the version). Soon after the new year (2000), I tried Storm Linux 2000 and Caldera Openlinux 2.2, and haven't looked back. Since then, ALL of my systems run Linux; this (old) rig runs PCLinuxOS 2004 (updated), and I have more rigs on my network with PCLOS 2007, Mint (KDE version), Kubuntu, and Puppy. I keep one Windows system (XP SP3), but I haven't booted it since I installed SP3; I ONLY keep it for visitors who want to go online, but aren't familiar with Linux...

As you might be able to tell, I'm NOT a fan of Gnome; to each his own.

That's the condensed version; the whole story is MUCH too boring to post here... I'm still using PCLOS 2004 on this system only because I'm too damn lazy to update it. Sooner or later, some hardware in this box will fail; when that happens, I'll install a newer version of Linux (no idea which one yet). Until then, it does everything I need it to do, so I see no reason to change it...

OK, Chip, still hoping you can post some larger photos for us...
Wow... every one has their thoughts here are mine for what they are worth. If you follow " logic" all cafe racers would then be Britsh based bikes, father was riding Triumphs/ BSA late fifties early sixties and believe it or not some peolpe did have ridged rear ends or plunger suspension not everyone could afford new fangled rear shocks on thier Bikes, not every one could afford big tanks and rearsets, goldie pipes etc. People used what they could afford, if that meant just stripping alll the junk off that was fine. As father dearest explains it was about "doing it" not what you were riding but the fact that you had a go of course people wanted all the bits but times were hard and most "cafe boys" came from working class backgrounds or had just come out the army (national service, like my father RAF). The "cafe racer" no longer exists, some of the bikes they used to ride do though. For example compare a recently built cafe racer with an un touched original and the qaulity of build will be vastly different. As he continues, the roads were empty , and poorly made, lights on bikes were rubbish, no ground clearance, pools of oil were every where, and often the things spent more time in the garage than on the road. His first bike for tearing around was an early fifties BSA C15, ( not very inspiring as he put it) he moved onto an early speed twin then a thunderbird, he could not afford to put go faster goodies on them ( although he did say he tried to make water injection for one of them) he had to ride it to work, or from the airfields 200/300 miles when on leave bu tit did not stop him taking part, he still has his pudding bason helmet and his ex RAF flying goggles, flying jacket long since gone, Ex RAF stuff was cheap and easy to get hold of in the fifities. Finaly as he puts it "it was fun but Jap bikes were so much better" it would seem that the bikes we all build now are based on an ideal rather than a reality, The north circular is solid with cars and th e A127 to southend is packed as well, the Blinking owl cafe is stiil open though but lorry drivers use it. Cafe racing is not really feasable these days and the social environment that created it has long since faded. The nearset thing to a re birth of cafe racing was in the ealry eighties late seventies when 17yr olds could ride 250cc two srokes before taking the test, RD, GT,X7, KH these woudl often be fitted with expasions, rear sets,single seats , this was my era, but again if you coudl not afford it, that was fine as long as you had a go. Thsi wasnt "cafe Racing" bu tpeopel who took part tended to get called "scratchers". Heros were , Roberts, lawson, sheen etc and was very race track orientated. Finally died when the Goverment decided that 250cc to big for 17year olds (RD 250lc, GT250x7 doing 100mph +) high rate of deaths That was the end of most of the fun. Just my thoughts and my fathers memories. ;D
Thanks for the complements! I'll try to get some better pics this weekend with a better background than my dirty garage wall :) I ran into the same issue with what defines a build in my VW days. I am into Cal-Look VW's, and there are definate "rules" for a true classic Cal-look build, although just about any custom VW has been tagged with the label. I tend to lean towards the classic definitions of a style in my VW's and cafe's, but the are so many awesome cars and bikes that wouldn't exist without someone melding other ideas and interpretations into them that it can't be a bad thing. Everybody keep up the good work ;)
Thanks, Chip, I'll be watching for your new photos... and trust me on this; grimy garage walls lend an air of authenticity to motorcycle photographs, just as drops of oil glistening on pavement under a parked Britbike with the engine still ticking during cooldown do, though you're free to post any photos you choose.

Also, many thanks to miss alliekat for sharing her own comments, and for posting the comments about her father's memories. Her point is well-made, and well-taken: the cafe racer is no more, so to build a cafe bike, you have to build to a standard that no longer exists, except maybe in a museum. I'm fortunate enough (OK, so I'm OLD enough) to have a group of three friends who worked on the Triumph assembly line in Coventry; two other friends worked for Norton in Wolverhampton. My fascination with the cult of the cafe racer led to extended conversations with each of these men (sometimes covering weeks at a time), trying to condense their experiences as actual cafe builders / riders into a better understanding of what a cafe racer was, and just as importantly, what it wasn't. Cafe racers didn't spring from the ground fully formed; they evolved over time from humble beginnings. My description of the cafe bike is centered on the end result, the distilled essence of cafe bike development, the pinnacle of its evolution, and not on the multiple mis-fires that occurred during the entire evolutionary period; hopefully, no one is going to try to build a FLAWED cafe racer, one that was tried, then rejected, as not advancing the breed along the evolutionary path...

The cafe racer isn't an appliance; you can't buy it at the local Sears, or Harrod's, for that matter. It is a distillation of hard-won experience, and the sweat-equity of the people who tried to build a better product. In the evolution of the cafe bike, swingarms worked better than hardtails, so the swingarm bikes became the standard, and hardtails fell by the wayside. There are those who insist that real cafe bikes don't have an electric foot, to aid in starting; according to them, a cafe bike is kickstart / bumpstart only, while others claim that the electric starter is optional (one reason why I didn't mention it in my dissertation)... In the same vein, some insist on spoked wheels ONLY, though the advent of cast (mag) wheels actually gave cafe builders another option. Cast wheels quickly replaced wire wheels on the best road racers of the day, so as long as the cast wheels are period-correct for the era of the bike, they are perfectly acceptable. Push-rod two-valve singles and twins gave way to SOHC and DOHC multi-valve, multi-cylinder engines; again, period-correct is the rule that applies. You wouldn't bolt a 1978 Honda CBX six-cylinder engine into a 1958 Norton featherbed frame (wouldn't fit, for one thing) and then claim it was an authentic cafe bike; however, a Triumph engine (usually the 650cc Bonneville engine, or the single-carb TR6 engine, rebuilt to Bonnie specs) in that same Norton frame (the famed "Triton") is considered one of the absolute pinnacles of the evolution of the cafe bike...

This is a subject I've studied and pondered for more than thirty years, always asking what constitutes an authentic cafe bike, and what features would automatically disqualify any particular bike from the ranks... For example, cafe bikes don't REQUIRE cadmium plated spokes; stainless steel spokes became the norm, so they are just as authentic as the plated steel type. Oil coolers were popular options back in the day, so they are optional on your cafe bike, neither prohibited, nor required. Tires have changed over the years; back in the day, the Dunlop TT 81 was the standard, but good luck finding a usable set now... so you use whatever fits your wheels.

Truthfully, I don't have as much time to devote to this subject as I'd prefer; I just want to help people understand how the cafe bike evolved, and more importantly, what components are specifically NOT found on cafe bikes. Think of it this way:

Clubmans / clipons: ACCEPTABLE

Apehangers / sissybars: UNACCEPTABLE

Clearly, there are items that simply don't work on the cafe bike; those components might be correct for a bobber, or a chopper, or a Wingabago, but they are not found on cafe bikes; use them as you wish, but don't insult the global community by claiming that they were utilized on cafe bikes back in the day, because you'll just make a fool of yourself.

Just as no self-respecting agnostic would claim to be a Christian, no true cafe builder would install a Bell Jet Ranger engine into a Matchless frame, and claim to have created an authentic cafe racer. It might be cafe-inspired; it might be cafe-style, but it ISN'T a cafe bike, because each authentic cafe bike exists as a tribute to those who developed the breed, and while variations on the theme are acceptable (within certain limits), building a cafe bike is NOT simply a matter of throwing shit at a wall to see what sticks... building a cafe bike requires building within the accepted standards of the day, not trying to pass off a conglomeration of miscellaneous parts as genuine cafe material.

Lastly, I have a deep affection for ratbikes; I've owned my share of them over the last 27 years, I STILL own one, and I will ALWAYS own one, because it is MY money, MY choice, and MY motorcycle. However, I don't try to pass it off as anything other than what it is; I didn't build it to a "vision", I built it because it was what I could afford to build at the time. The frame isn't made of titanium, or unobtainium; it is what the engineers who designed it intended, a mild-steel frame cradling an old-tech, air-cooled, two-valve, two-cylinder four-stroke engine, and it suits me just fine. In fact, I have an identical model here as a build-in-progress; once the new one is completed, the original one will be torn down and refurbished, then reassembled and put back into service. My ratbikes will carry me into old age, and when I can no longer ride them, they will go to new owners, who I expect will continue the cycle of rebuild / reuse, until it is no longer feasible to keep them on the road. They aren't museum pieces; they are simply motorcycles that I enjoy, and that is all I ask of them.

Build what you want, ride what you want, but understand that a "Cafe" bike is built with certain types of components, NOT simply assembled with whatever junk you find lying by the side of the road. Cafe components share certain DNA, and no one has the right to arbitrarily claim otherwise. Leave the headlight visors and tombstone taillights to the bobber / chopper crowds; they are NOT authentic cafe components, and never will be, the shrieks of the false prophets notwithstanding...
Oh fuck....another "you gotta do it this way to be a REAL Kaffe" conversation.

I build and ride the bikes the way I want to so as to NOT be a goddamned sheep like every other fucktard who spends his time and money sucking down overpriced Starbucks lattes while telling all the other mewling idiots what a purist he is. Bitch please......

Don't like my 5" Ducati headlite, fuck you. I like it.

My Uncles Raymond and Bart were each involved with "the scene" back in the 50's and and 60's and neither one of them would give you the slightest credence. Not a whit. In fact, you'd likely be laughed at or decked for acting like a 'nancy'. Go take a look any any of the books documenting cafe racers, take a close look at pictures of the bikes and you're likely to notice (if you're paying attention) everything from leaky ass, barely functional brit iron to Honda Dreams with saddle bags, to Douglas Dragonflys etc.

There was no formula, sorry to burst your bubbles. One took the bike he(or she) had, stripped off what didn't make it go, stop or turn, swapped for lighter parts where possible and rode the piss outta them. There wasn't a checklist of required equipment.
You didn't have to have clip-ons or ace bars, lots of flat bars were running around. You weren't required to run a certain diameter headlight. or peashooters or puffy grips or anything else. The only requirement was to put up or shut up. Go out, in the shitty weather, on shitty roads with really shitty tires and break 100mph, on public roads with retard cagers trying to kill you through their own ignorance and blindness. That's it, that was the whole point.

There is no Cafe Scene now, as pointed out quite nicely by Miss Alliecat. All we can do is pay homage to the machines we are inspired by, interpreting what they mean to each of us individually in the way we build them for ourselves. Notice a pattern here;
Homage, Interpretation, Individual. Try it on for size.

Small tank? Fuck yeah go for it?
Supertanker? Sure what the hell, if that makes you happy.
Tiny Dunkley Whippet Headlight? Sweet!
10" 33 ford industrial on your bike? Cool!

Really...think for yourselves and don't let anybody tell you what you must or must not have to fit in the with the cool kids. If he tries, knock his teeth down his throat, kick over his cookie cutter clone bike and laugh while he cries over his mussed up designer recreation leathers. If someone is so worried about fitting in, perhaps an 883 sportster and formation riding is a better outlet.
Or a scooter.

edit for spelling
Swagger hit it right on the head.

The only thing that I would add is do things the right way. I have seen way to much shitty fabrication on this board--that's the truth. No; Bondo should not be used to cover shitty, ground down welds. No; you cannot stick weld over the chrome on your pipes. No; having an overly fancy paint job does not make up for the fact that you fucked up a perfectly good frame--and like it! No; a 15 lbs chopped fiberglass seat is not the right way to go. It looks like shit.

Afterall, there is more to these little cafe's than how to hide a battery :)

The little 2-stroke I'm building now deviates significantly from the other cafe's I built. So what. Rant over. i should not gave gotten so worked up on this one :)


PS I'm not calling anyone out, so don't blow up my PM saying, "Stop talking about me."
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