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Which twin cylinder bike for a cafe racer?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by thecptn, Dec 23, 2007.

  1. Well im back to the drawing board, not wanting to abandon my dream of owning my own cafe racer, I chose the Yamaha XS650 and I found it not a great choice for my personal liking, its too top heavy, and the electric leg is useless, I tried getting an GB500, but they are rare as, and now that importmc will cease to import bikes from next year, the GB will be harder to acquire, I seriously don't know what to get, the CB350 too hard to find and a bit too small in the displacement department, I've narrowed it down to this...

    It must have an electric leg, well the kick start looks real cool, believe me its not, id rather push a button and be on my way than kicking about

    2 cylinders, parallel, or preferably v twin configuration, or...one very big bore thumper.

    Have a UJM frame with wire spoke wheels.

    I think that about covers it, I really don't know what bike out there can fill those requirements, hopefully some one here will know of a bike like that... *crosses fingers*

  2. Honda CX500 might be exactly what you're after.
  3. SR 500, FT 500, CX as mentioned ^, eighties Triumph Bonneville (yes I'm biased, and yes, some had an electric leg), Kwacka WR650, Enfield Bullet (I think there was/is a cafe racer variant - ask Hubie), SRX 600, GN650 ( :? ), gee mate there's plenty of choice, just gotta be able to find one. Should be something around. Good luck!
  4. Yeah ... I'd be looking at the Triumph's ... Bonneville, Bonneville T100, Thruxton or Scrambler. Thruxton would be my pick for a cafe racer ...
  5. seeing as your in sydney you should check out

    deus ex machina


    they do custom cafe racers and the like

  6. I think those enfield 'cafe racers' are built using a kit someone in england makes; not sure who, but it comes with sporty seat/tank/footrests/exhaust

    deus make interesting bikes out of the kawasaki w650

    its hard to make a cafe racer out of across-the-frame v-twins (in the case of the cx 500) ... ive seen it done with some M Guzzis, but the result is less than encouraging

    if you want a v-twin powerplant, the best I think you could use is the Moto Morini 500cc (i think its the Strada?) ... its has none of the style of the little 3 1/2, but it has the potential and the extra capacity. not only that, but when they come up for sale (albeit not often) theyre fairly cheap since it's the 350s that are collectable

    otherwise an sr 500 in a norton featherbed looks good with the bolt-on bits, but you're better off making a replica featherbed with the cradle shortened to make up for the unit construction - or better yet make a replica BSA pre-unit goldy/a10 frame and use the sr/xs

    anyway, a few quick thoughts
  7. I must say, the Moto Morini 500 has certainly won my heart! and there is one for sale up in Qld :) how do these bikes go? ive hardly heard of Moto Morini let alone of the 500, its briliant! just what im after :)

    Edit, oh..I see its a kickstart only..have to pass on it im affraid . :(
  8. Those BMWs are pretty cool.
  9. Kwack Z750 twin if you can find one. Not a rocketship, but a good, solid stable basis with a tough, good looking motor.
  10. They will? Where'd you hear that?

    Have you seen what can be done will the old SOHC CB750's? http://www.cb750cafe.com/

    Ducati 500 and 600 Pantah's are silly, overpriced, unreliable imo, but they look nice, and are a good entry into a classic italian.

    Don't rule out the old fours, GS1000, Z1000, Z650 etc..., they look and sound different, are practical if you can get the reliability sorted on something so old, and still offer a lot of performance.

    I wouldn't pin yourself down to a particular make and model. Just find the right bike for the right price. Pretty much any naked jap bike from the 60's-80's will do. The Yamaha XS750 triple looks cool, and I like the old, pre-virago XV1000 TR1.
  11. Well I sent them an email asking about GB500s, and they got back to me with that sad piece of info, have no idea why though, any how, thank you all very much for the info, ive taken every thing into consideration, how ever, a freind of mine came over today and managed to convince me to keep the XS650 and not sell it, and do that up, I agreed, I might as well give it a shot, just gota fix the electric start and shes all good.
  12. The XS650 is a great bike and a future collectible. They make great Cafe Racers and also great Bobbers. If you wanted something newer and a bit lighter I would go with the Kawasaki W650 which also look like the cafe racers of old with just some mild work but have modern reliability and components. The new Triumph Bonnies (incl T100 and Thruxton) are great but may be too big/heavy. The first model Triumph 900 Speed Triple is a stunner and is already cafe style without any work! I don't believe any 500 twin electric start bike will be much of a weight saving and I can't think of one off the top of my head. The big thumper singles make great cafe racers with light weight but electric start will be an issue. I would be inclined to stick to what you have! Go and have a look at http://www.650motorcycles.com/ plenty of pics to inspire you!
  13. One bike that I have future plans for owning and doing something like a cafe job on (though I'll never go lower than flat bars with my bad back - indeed there are times where my back throws the SR with its kickstart into question as my main / only bike - is this your problem too?), a bike that is a bit left-field as far as this sort of task usually goes, is the Virago XV535. To picture how the long seat wout be mounted, think of the way the seat used to sit on the Vincent Black Shadow - the frame was kind of the same in terms of the XV's cruiser frame http://www.allenmotorsports.com/images/vinherb.jpg http://www.northernmotorsports.com/bikes/87xv535.jpg Would be a cheap and good-looking project. I see these Viragos around in good nic for $3000. Lower the instrument cluster, get a fibreglass tank that sits lower over the engine...

  14. The xv535 is quite a nice mid sized bike, its a crying shame its vtwin motor was never used in a could-be SRV535, odd choice for a cafe racer, seats and tank would look the part, but the forks are raked a bit..you could rake them back a bit, but thats your choice.
  15. True, the front rake of the Virago is not sporty, though it migh make a nice 'dual-purpose' bike, depending on how low your bars will be in reference to whether you want to ride it generally and cruise about, or just do that one hour ride before the hunched spine gives in. Here's a Harley I really like, heading in the direction I'm talking about http://www.vd-classic.com/img/realisation/real006.html I think the definition of 'cafe racer' as it is typically used is a bit strict: I've a strong interest in the culture and aesthetics of the rocker / ton-up boy / cafe racer, and these guys rode (and ride) all sorts of handle-bar configurations, whereas the assumption now, or rather the strict definition now, involves ace or clip-on - or at a stretch flat - bars. I guess it matters a lot whether the definition regards a certain bike, or a certain aesthetic, both described in the late 50s early 60s as 'cafe racer' (though to think of it I tend to prefer 'rocker' rather than 'cafe racer', maybe these terms distinguish something now which they didn't necessarily distinguish back in the day). I've got to agree with you regarding an SRV535 - why did they not??!! (There have been vague discussions on the forum about fitting the 535 into the 250. I wonder how the 535 would go re an SR500 frame (assuming the SR blew a motor, otherwise we're talking blasphemy - in the major mystical metaphysical systems of both East and West - Buddhist, Hindu, (Neo-)Platonic - unity is higher than duality, and duality is higher than multiplicity...the SR transcends all other makes...and six cylinders is a sin! :) )