Archive for May, 2009|Monthly archive page

1978 Honda CB550 (Stock and Conversion Ready)

Sometimes, stuff happens. For the next 15 minutes I am going to put aside “stuff” and tell you about this bike I found on eBay. It is a conversion-to-cafe ready CB550 that appears to be a perfect candidate. It has relatively low miles, nothing ostentatiously wrong about it, and only has 6 hours to go until the auction ends with zero bids.

“Why zero bids?” you might be asking. Well, the starting price is a mite bit high at $1,499 for a start. However, if you have seen some the CB550 cafe racers that I’ve posted, you know that this is such a great starting point for a conversion. And the bike is all there, it just needs a tune up and a carb clean-up. If I hadn’t just picked up an SL350 this week as the basis for a cafe racer, I might be all over this bike.

One thing to note: the seller does have 3 negative feedback in the last month from buyers of smaller items, but if you read them, they probably won’t stop you if you are interested in this bike. The other positive feedback seem to indicate a seller who isn’t out to screw with anybody…

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1977 Honda CB750 (Stock and Low Miles)

Up for auction right now on eBay is this very clean and very low mileage 1977 CB750. According to the seller, the bike is in nearly perfect condition, with only a recovered seat as an imperfection (he still has the original with a tear in it if you want it, too). I don’t know if I would feel bad about this bike being converted to a cafe racer. Maybe it’s that I’m not a fan of the color. I don’t know. The new owner can decide…
(Sorry about the poor pictures. Because of the interesting nature of the bike, I decided to post anyways.)

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1981 Honda CB750 Cafe Racer

Here’s a nice later model CB750 that has been converted into a cafe racer. While I know that the later DOHC models are not as sought after by those of us who love cafe racers, there are some very positive points to converting a bike like this, especially if you want a great ride-able bike. First off, you’ve potentially got about 10 more horsepower stock depending on whose dyno numbers you look at. This is a nice benefit, particularly because the bikes we’re talking about have the word “racer” in the name. Second, the larger forks should be good for a bit stiffer front-end (37mm vs. 35mm). Thirdly, dual discs as stock.

Yes, the later bikes got about 15 pounds heavier. But word from a friend of mine is that the bikes didn’t carry that weight particularly badly. In fact, his comment was that the later bikes actually handled much better than the earlier SOHC bikes.

This bike (currently being auctioned on eBay) has been somewhat lightly converted with the addition of clubman bars and a seat. The tank and foot controls are stock, but some nice custom work has been done with the paint and side covers. It also looks like the brake rotors have been drilled, but the pictures aren’t particularly detailed, so don’t hold me to that one. Current price is $2,500 with zero bidders and a little over one day left. And if you are really jonesing for this bike, the seller has a Buy-It-Now price of $4,500. 😯

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1975 Yamaha XS650 Cafe Racer

Up for auction on eBay is the really nicely done Yamaha XS650 cafe racer. Like the bike I posted earlier today, it has been nearly entirely converted with nothing really left off that detracts from its cafe-ness. And it has a cool paint job. The only thing potentially missing is a “cafe”-style gas tank, but I think the XS650 looks great with either the stock tank or aftermarket. This is a clean build that shows off the potential of the XS as a good starting point for a cafe racer.

There are 2 days left in the auction and the price is just over $1,500. Good luck!

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1975 Honda CB360 Cafe Racer

Here’s a really nice cafe racer that doesn’t have your standard black paint job. Ignoring the paint for a moment, the conversion of this bike to a cafe racer has been done with great care and all the correct bits are there. It’s got clip-ons, rearsets, a nice cafe seat, proper spoked wheels, and a nice 2-into-1 megaphone exhaust. All the proper bits have been powder or ceramic coated, and the engine has been gone through. All in all, one of the nicer cafe builds I’ve posted in a while.

As for the paint, that’s up to you. I really like it! I think it makes the bike stand out visually, and it certainly passes the 10 foot test (and probably the 1 foot test, as well). The great thing about this bike is that the builder didn’t choose either form or function. This bike has it all with the correct parts and a nice paint job.

It is currently up for auction on eBay with 35 hours left. The price is an unusually low $710 right now with 9 bids spread across 6 bidders. Reserve hasn’t been met, but I would expect this bike to close for a lot more than this given the amount of time left in the auction and the fine quality of the build.

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Raask Rearsets for 1970-1984 BMW Boxers

Got a BMW airhead you’re trying to modify into a cafe racer? Here’s just the ticket for getting your feet into the right position. Some used Raask rearsets have come up for auction on eBay, and they are ending soon. The controls are at $272 with 7 hours left, and they appear to be in good condition.

The seller claims these will fit the BMW R (Airhead) models from 1970-1984. I’m no expert on BMW bikes in general, but I did a little research and these should fit (at a minimum) the /5, /6, and /7 R series. The Raask website is really no help, but it does cut off the fitment at 1980. Perhaps the frames are similar up until 1984 and they’ll fit. If anyone knows for sure, chime in and let us know.

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