Classic or Cliche?

scott s

Over 1,000 Posts
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When does a trend become boring or a Cliche?

When I first joined this forum years ago, cafe racers were HOT! The "in thing ". While I don't thing traditional British bike cafes will ever go out of style (or well done UJM's), that fad seems to have cooled off.

Then came the Brat Style. Everyone in the world was screwing on a flat seat and calling it done. And I'm a very big fan of the shop in Japan.....the REAL Brat Style, from where the name derived.

Along with the flat seat came brown seats. Then that was done to death. I've recently been building a bike in my head and the color combo would lend itself to a brown seat. But I hesitate....

Now all the "cool kids" have moved on to Harley Davidson's. Some of the Japanese or Euro customs that would have brought bidding wars a few years ago aren't selling that well now.

I build bikes because I enjoy it. I build what I like and if someone else does too, that's great! A bonus!
I also try to build stuff that I think will look good years after the latest "big thing" goes away.

Why am I bringing this up? Because I recently acquired a frame that's a stalled "cafe" project. You know.... chop off the rear loop and a bunch of frame tabs, then throw in the towel.
I've got to figure out how to make a bike with CV carbs run well when the air box attachment points are gone. How to use a pristine 4-2 exhaust and not have it stick out past the seat too much. How to route some wiring and where to put a battery.

But that's what we do here, right? And it just might be a green cafe racer with a brown seat!
 

canyoncarver

'hacking is learning'
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Ugh, brown flat seats..... not a fan either.

Put nice straight pull carbs on it. You didn't mention what bike you got.

All trends come and go. Some do better than others. Looks like the "cool" kids are doing more dirt these days than Harleys.
 

scott s

Over 1,000 Posts
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It's Suzuki GS based. I believe I'd have to change the head to match the spigots for non CV carbs.
 

Mr.E

Got to keep the loonies on the path...
I have certainly moved on. And yes, dirt and dual sports for me. not Harley or other modern cruiser. While my sohc 750 was a blast a few years back, it just got less and less practical, and its starting to be really uncomfortable to lay over and listen to the loud exhaust, etc. its currently slated for euro bars, an engine refresh, nicer shocks and forks, and reasonable exhaust. meanwhile my XL600R hits all the boxes on the list of what fits me now. comfortable, not loud, easy to handle, etc. Plus, i admit that cafe and brat really wore out their welcome to me when they hit the fever pitch of popularity, and EVERYONE was wrapping pipes, cutting stuff off and calling it art, etc. it got gaudy really quick. i like airbox deletes as much as the next guy but when stuff runs so rough from cheap pods/lack of tuning and clown shoe tires the idea of a cafe bike as a performance machine just becomes a caricature of the trend. Or when i see ppl building "brat bikes" to take a trans american journey of reflection on but they really just want instagram fodder at some local haunts of yesteryear to promote themselves as a moto journalist, it cheapens the genre. On top of that, i frequent the major swapmeets (barber and mid o) and keep a finger on the pulse of craigslist/fb sales. the number of unmolested classic bikes in either barn or restored form has plummeted in recent years. To the point that its hard to find a decent part at times to keep an old bike going, thanks mostly to angle grinders and sephia filters on social media. Ok, back to the shop for me. If you want to return to stock airbox, mayne see about just getting some tabs welded back into place you could drill and shape to use for an airbox again?
 

canyoncarver

'hacking is learning'
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scott s said:
It's Suzuki GS based. I believe I'd have to change the head to match the spigots for non CV carbs.

Post it up in a thread! Is is a 4 or a twin?
 

scott s

Over 1,000 Posts
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canyoncarver said:
Post it up in a thread! Is is a 4 or a twin?

I'll make a thread eventually. It's a GS550 four. I'm swapping a GSX750F engine and suspension into the stock frame, so I picked up a spare frame so I could do something with the stock GS leftovers.
I have a build thread going here for the Katana swap already.

Edit:
Here's a link.

http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=75141.0
 

scott s

Over 1,000 Posts
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And Mr.E., I have a plan to incorporate the plenum part of the stock air box and attach a large, single K&N conical filter to it. That way, the triangle stays open, the CV carbs get a common plenum, and I don't have to re-jet since I'll also have the stock pipes.

And I agree....the older I get, the more I appreciate survivor bikes. Originality can be cool, especially if it comes with some bumps and bruises.
 

sav0r

Coast to Coast
There are lots of filter systems that effectively replicate air boxes these days. If you can’t find a commercially available one make some sketches, have it made or make it yourself, and then sell it.

That said, fuck the trends. Build what you or your paying customers want. Fuck the haters, life is too short to play to trends. I try to build on performance, but it’s with the understanding that in some cases form and function truly follow each other (flat skate board seats for example allow for an electronics tray but two passengers can ride, not always ideal [comprimise, bitches] but it does work). My personal bike has a flat seat for that reason, my wife likes to scoot around with me. I’d prefer a proper race seat and race tank.

Also, HD, never ever. I stopped and helped a guy out with his broken HD just this morning. I paid it back after an HD rider helped me last fall, but my bike broke because I screwed up, this HD broke because that’s how it was built.
 

Rat_ranger

Coast to Coast
I dislike hiw many people throw a seat, different bars, and intestines on a bike and try to sell it for 3x as much because "cafe".
 

Mr.E

Got to keep the loonies on the path...
last time i put intestines on a bike some weirdo in a hockey mask bought it.
 

canyoncarver

'hacking is learning'
DTT BOTM WINNER
scott s said:
I'll make a thread eventually. It's a GS550 four. I'm swapping a GSX750F engine and suspension into the stock frame, so I picked up a spare frame so I could do something with the stock GS leftovers.
I have a build thread going here for the Katana swap already.

Edit:
Here's a link.

http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=75141.0

Yep, already onboard for that one. Looking forward to updates. Neato build.
 

CarbsAndCylinders

Careful With That Axe Eugene
Generally, I am not a big fan of brats or trackers but I have seen some that I like very much. I have always loved cafe racers and every bike I have owned, I have tried to make lighter and faster, even if it did not look like a cafe it was in cafe spirit. I think I like that cafes are not as popular now, cafes traditionally were outlawish and I like that but they lose that when they become too popular. I also get irritated when someone puts lower bars on a bike and then calls it a cafe.
 

canyoncarver

'hacking is learning'
DTT BOTM WINNER
Yeah, the whole idea of Cafe style bikes got completely messed up with the cafe/brat/tracker/bobber blending.
 

clem

static fluff
DTT BOTM WINNER
Well, I guess I'm a lucky fool. I'm the only one in town with a "cafe" style bike if that's what you'd call it. So I guess that I was never in style therefore I can never be out of style.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using DO THE TON mobile app
 

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