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Newbie building cafe racer

Discussion in 'Modifications and Projects' started by vpow, Jul 26, 2012.

  1. hi everyone,
    I'm new here and this is my first post.
    After reading and watching so many inspiration bike projects, im keen to start my own too. However I never done one before. Basically I’m dont have much knowledge about building a bike. Some basic knowledge about how a bike works though I am not sure if that would be sufficient to tackle bigger problems? I am feeling lost as not where and what to do. Should I just jump in and get a wrack bike and start building from there? Well with limited know how I don’t think it’s going to go far.

    I need some advise. Well I saw an unregister old bike online for sale. Im hoping to get this for $200 and start building my knowledge from there. But the bike does not have any paper work. Thus would it be risky getting that bike as if I finish up the bike how do to get it register and road worthy? Will that be expnsive? What are the things I should take note when getting old and unregister bike?

    I’m hope you guys could shed some lights and give some ideas about my project?

    Thanks guy.

    P/S sorry for writing such a long post.

  2. Hey dude I'm in a similar situation, although It seems i've plunged myself more deeply in to the project world than you have yet...

    First of all what bike is it for $200? and what condition is it in?
    Personally, I'm having a lot of fun, but its taking a lot of time and concentration to learn how to work on the two old project bikes I now have. Parts can get expensive and really add up.
    It might be a big jump to start trying to redesign a motorcycle when you dont even know how it operates in its stock form.

    I had qualms about getting an older suzuki from a guy who was reassuring me that it could be registered after I get it roadworthy etc. As far as I could tell on the VicRoads website (I think you have RTA), I just need to have proof of ownership of the vehicle, and ensure its not registered in anyone elses name, hasnt been written off or stolen before. It then needs to be roadworthy of course..

    Anyway, I did a vicroads check for registration = it was cancelled long time ago. I did a PPSR check for $3.70 online and that gives you a certificate of the bike not being stolen or written off.

    In your case, if they know the bike has been written off or something, you might need to get it inspected and given the green flag at the cost of hundreds of dollars.

    Hope I shed some light but you should wait for more experienced people to comment
    • Like Like x 1
  3. whatever bike you start with best thing to do is get the factory repair manual for it - this is a great starting point to assist you in its rebuild

    There are many places online that have electronic copies of the manuals you can down load for free - just requires a bit of search engine manipulation
  4. For a first build it's highly desirable to start from a complete, running and, preferably legal bike. Although it's possible to start from less, it's a lot more work and you may be buying either a 3D jigsaw puzzle with all the corners missing or a heap of crap on which every moving part is completely worn out.

    And never buy a bike that doesn't have at least some evidence of prior registration in Australia or a valid import approval.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. hey guys,

    Thanks for the advise.

    Just quick question, so if the bike is unregistered for ages and the current owner do not have any paper work on the bike. Does that mean there is not chance for the bike to be re-registered even it is in good condition? Surely there must be a way. People like DUES, or custom bike company did it?
    Can anyone shares some thought?
  6. check with the rta, most likely it will need a vehicle identification inspection to get it re-registered (rta inspects all the frame, engine, vin numbers to make sure they match), as well as the usual rwc.

    make sure you have a detailed receipt drawn up as a proof of purchase (vin number, rego plate (if it has one) engine number, license number of seller etc... usually id recomend to mutually agree at putting the purchase price a few $$$ less on receipt to avoid the stamp duty... but in this case id recomend against it, so if anything goes wrong you have a paper trail for the correct amount) also get a rego form so that they have sighned it all over
    • Like Like x 1
  7. How do you go about registering a rebuild that has the frame from one bike and the engine of another? Just have to have the receipts showing you own both? Which odo reading do you use?
  8. the first thing you need to know is what bike you want to cafe up.new,, old ,, very old ,,it depends on what style of cafe your looking at building.you can get the cafe look fairly cheaply by changing the seat ,handle bars ,and chopping front and back fenders,or you can go the hole hog and strip anything that is not needed of the bike,if i was you buy a bike that has rego and is in going condition.. start buying parts to change the look of the bike as you go .remember to save all the parts you remove as you may need them when its time to re,rego ,the cafe racer seen is going strong today ,i have never seen so many cafe racer style bikes on the roads ...i have built a few cafe style classic triumphs over the years and they did sell easy , i am now building a cafe style 1979 triumph ,i will have a price tag of $7500 clams for this one ,i picked the bike up for $4750 clams and have sold of $760 dollars worth of parts from it ,so looks like i will make about $1600 clams when finished ,,i do all my own work on all my bikes so labour is not counted ,.if you are not able to do the work your self it will cost you a arm and leg to get what you want
  9. hi everyone,

    Thank for all the advise. It was very helpful. For a first timer, i will get a registered bike. Maybe when i gain more experience and know how and ready for a bigger challenge. Anyhow, Tiprat you made an interesting commented "remember to save all the parts you remove as you may need them when its time to re,rego "... does that means every year when come to rego, you put back the original parts just for rego? Any other ways to avoid that?

  10. depends on how you build your bike .if your fenders are to short you may run in to truble .if your mirrors are to small you may run in to truble ect ect ect , i have seen some nice cafe bikes on the road and they will not pass a rego check,so its easy to keep the old parts and just install them for your rego check and then once your rego for the year change back ,,i have been doing this for years,not that hard .
  11. vpow - which part of Australia are you in?

    I only ask because if you buy a registered bike with a RWC in Victoria then modifying it is easier than if you have to get it inspected annually in other States.

    Also - will you be city riding or country cruising?
  12. Hi - I'm interested in learning the same skills. Where can you shop online for an older, dinged up bike? Bikesales doesn't seem to be the place ... Any advice for good older models to start on if I have next to zero mechanical knowledge?
  13. Try some of the wreckers or automotive auctioneers. Some will sell trade-in bikes, so poorer, as is condition. Others will have bikes that have been paid out by insurers or financial vendors (repo's).
    As mentioned above, ensure that they have not been written off and can be registered.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. Gumtree and Ebay have all sorts of bikes
  15. Price parts and suss rego requirements.
    The purchase of the actual bike may very well be the cheapest part iof the project.
  16. Thanks guys very helpful. So even if I want to rebuild, the core bike I buy to work on has to be able to registered? I can't buy a complete wreck and start again?
  17. Just a shot in the dark but have a look around for a club that encourages this stuff,helps to have mentors when you do this stuff.There is a big run ever year called The Rockers Run,its a world wide event with stuff in Sydney and Melbourne,try finding the club that runs it.BTW your supposed to modify the bike to be better that stock,including safer,take care you don't make it less safe with dodgy stuff.Being able to tell whats dodgy and what isnt is the important thing.I forgot to add try and make these mods NOT PERMANENT,cutting frames ect .Sometime in the future someone might want to put it back to stock
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. Depending on what you mean by 'complete wreck'