How to Build a Cafe Racer.

1 Mund 2015 | autor: | Comments OffHow to Build a Cafe Racer.
Benelli Cafe Racer 899

Clubman ‘Cafebars

Cafe Racers, and an unpopular opinion.

Shoot the messenger.

It’s ok with me.

Mostly.

I’m sure most of you are familiar with the ‘realityTV show, “Orange County Choppers”. A “reality” show with a family business that makes choppers with lots of drama and fights and dumb crap.

Let’s start at the beginning.

Way, way back in the day, there were no real ‘go fastparts readily available. You couldn’t go to ebay or any of the thousands of online stores for hi-po parts.

So people removed weight. They stripped off everything they could. This made the bike accelerate faster, stop sooner, and handle better.

The original bobbers and choppers were born.

They looked the way they did because of what they did.

Simply, FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION.

më vonë, in the late 60’s and 70’s, choppers got a little more ‘artsy’. Most of those had lower seating and raked front ends. It’s not surprising, megjithëse, that most of those were ridden by people who rode long distances, and the prevailing ergonomic ideas at the time said that a reclined position was best for prolonged riding, and suspension tech available for the big twins at the time being what it was, a raked front end was, në fakt, better for straight-line high speed stability.

So in a way, form followed function for these, shumë.

OCC and companies like them butchered and perverted the idea behind bobbers and choppers. They took some of the aesthetic cues from these and made 700lb behemoths that couldn’t stop, turn, or really go very well. The media sold us a cake made of cardboard and told us it tasted great and was the real thing.

In Europe, where motorcycle road racing really started, there were many bikes that civilians could choose from.

They did what they could to make them faster. Reduced weight, upgraded suspension, and a riding position that lent itself well to going fast.

They built road-legal race bikes.

And they did race. They raced from place to place, at club meet-ups on tracks, and some became privateers.

The bikes looked like they did because of what they did. The bikes were racers.

They met at cafes, among other places.

përsëri, this is a form follows function situation.

You want to build a cafe racer?

Many of my friends have heard me say “safety third!", but they know I’m joking.

You have a thirty or forty year old bike. Before you do anything, do these things:

Complete tune-up

Check your brake system. Rebuild everything as needed .

Make sure all of your controls are working well. mbyt, tufë, gear shift, and steering bearings all need to be smooth and in good working order.

Your suspension is ancient and worn out. Spring for the 300 dollars for good upgraded suspension. New springs up front and new shocks. Hagon and Progressive make very good stuff at a reasonable price. Ikon makes 80’s and 90’s race-tech stuff for a little more.

Works makes very high end stuff for your vintage bike at a premium. Replace your wheel bearings. 9 times out of 10, they need it.

You need good tires. periudhë. I’ve been very pleasantly surprised by Shinko tires. Great grip, good wet and gravel performance, and very reasonable cost.

Benelli Cafe Racer 899

Sigurisht, Avon, Dunlop, IRC and all the other well known brands can be had for more, and are all quite good.

You need to do a complete tune-up. Valve clearances, vaj, air filter, proper jetting if you’ve made changes to the intake and/or exhaust. Points, ignition timing, all that good stuff.

All of these things will make you quite a bit faster than you might think.

Once these are done, move forward.

Your engine is tired.

It’s making 20 në 40 percent less power than it was when it came off the showroom floor. A simple hone and re-ring job, along with valve lapping (along with valve seal replacement) will go a long way to getting a lot of that power back.

High mileage motors often go oval. Going next size over pistons, rings, and a bore and hone will get you back to 100%, and then just a tad more.

Companies like bore-tech make 1.0 and 1.5mm over pistons and rings for cb350’s with deep valve reliefs for very reasonable prices. Other companies do similar things for other bikes.

Replace your chain and sprockets. Worn chains and sprockets can rob you of 3 ose 4 horsepower at the rear wheel.

There are a lot of tricks to make certain bikes make more power for little or no money. K4, K5 and K6 SOHC4 cb750’s could be brought back near K0 and K1 horsepower figures by modifying the advance unit, removing the cam dowels, rejetting and a few other minor mods. Find out what is available for your bike in this area.

Lighten your bike any way possible, while maintaining safety.

Smaller batteries, removal of un-needed parts, aluminum tanks, lighter seats, aluminum rims, smaller gauges and lights, a lighter aftermarket exhaust. the list goes on.

tani, your bike is even faster. And safe.

Still want to go faster?

Now is the time to change your seating position. Clip-ons (or properly sized clubmans) and rearsets.

Now you have a street legal race bike. With the removal of lights, the appropriate bits safety wired, and an oil pan, you could, if you wanted, go race in many vintage categories.

Benelli Cafe Racer 899


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