Archive for the ‘clip-on’ Tag
Yeah, I know that most of you (me too) like bigger bore bikes to convert to the style we like, Cafe’. But…smaller bikes are so much fun to ride, and…embarassing riders on modern 1000cc bikes through tight twisty roads, well, that just makes the ride all that much more fun.
Building small, 100cc-400cc bikes is a lot of fun. Parts are generally easily acquired, they don’t require high levels of mechanical skills, and like I said before, riding small bikes is a sh*tload of fun.
I found an almost done little Yamaha XS400 on ebay this morning that would make a great weekend canyon blaster or as it is, a good daily commuter. The XS400 is as reliable as the sun coming up each morning, loves to rev to the limit (and then some), has a chassis that is very capable of embarrassing bigger bikes in the twisties (with just a couple of easy suspension mods) and, they are cheap and easy to maintain…unlike your ex-girlfriend.
This XS I found has only 2700 miles on the clock, it is a kickstart only model, which is actually a good thing, has a nice set of wire wheels instead of the mags that came with most XS models and a nice paint job. Two things I would do here…get rid of the ugly tail light, put something that fits into the seat cowling, and change the exhaust. The straight exhaust doesn’t help the motor and a little 400cc twin sounds terrible with straight pipes. A nice reverse megaphone muffler would look great, sound better and make the motor run happier. This is a nice bike and the price doesn’t seem all that unreasonable for how few miles it has on it. I would still go through the carbs, do some suspension upgrades, put a proper set of clip-ons or clubman bars, and then go have a lot of fun.
Click on the pics below for more pictures and info.
Recently I spent some time with my friend Erik doing a heart transplant on his Sportster. Erik rides hard, he spends more time on the rev-limiter than most people spend on their bikes. But, Erik takes care of his bikes, well, kind of? After 70,000+ miles of abuse his Sporty decided it was done. A good used motor was found on ebay, shipped to California and without too much drama installed.
Erik has been, little by little, turning his Sportster into a Cafe Racer. Suspension mods,clip-ons, exhaust, seat…it’s all coming together nicely but I know he wants to do more.
Erik is considering new wire spoked wheels, new bodywork and pumping up the motor. It’s going to be a really well put together bike when done. But…I found one on ebay today that is already done and looks to me to a perfect example of how a Sportser should look.
I have to digress here a bit though, I have never been a fan of Harley Davidsons, except one…the XLCR, Harley’s (more exactly Willie G. Davidson’s) first design out of the cruiser/touring market. This has to probably be thee most underloved Harley ever built. It may be powered by a Harley motor but to ‘The Faithful’ it wasn’t a Harley Davidson. The XLCR fit into the same category as the little 2 strokes from Italy…maybe even lower. However, the XLCR has become a cult bike and quite valuable.
Today, Sportster based Cafe Racer’s aren’t all that unusual. The first one I ever saw was at one of my semi-regular Sunday stops ‘The Rock Store’ in the Santa Monica Mountains. The license plate on this particular Sporty was ‘DUCHUNTER’ and that was the owners favorite game, chasing down Ducati’s in the canyons. He often won the game.
The ’96 I found today is beautiful. Bodywork is a beautifully shaped 4 gallon tank, a classic Ducati seat and tail section, a sweet looking exhaust, nice clip-ons and classic aluminum spoked wheels. Everything about this bike looks to have been done with a a lot of love and attention to detail. This is how I hope Erik’s turns out but with his own special touches.
For more info and pictures, click on the pics below. And now, I’m going to go out and ride my own Harley powered Buell over to Erik’s and work on his Sporty Cafe Racer.
I’m contacting the seller about this bike to try to get more details and more photos. If this is, in fact, a 2004 Sportster, then it is the first full conversion (including tank but minus some cool 18″ wheels) that I’ve seen. A tank like that is exactly what I want to do to my bike. I’ll post updates as I get them.
BTW, the reason I’m not sure about the year is the oil tank. I can’t tell from the photos, but it is either a 2003 tank (non-flush oil filler cap) or it is a 2004 tank with the side cover removed. If anyone has an opinion, please let me know…
A while back I posted a listing for a Hogbitz Sportster cafe racer that was the most expensive bike to ever hit the blog ($25K asking price). It was relisted at least once, if not multiple times. This Norton comes in a close second with a Buy-It-Now price of $22,500. As is this the second Norton in a row I’ve posted, it is interesting to compare the bikes, and what differentiates an unrestored Norton Commando from a fully restored and cafe-racerized (including lots of motorwork) Norton Featherbed/Manx. I guess the difference comes down to this 1962 Norton being what is essentially a show bike with a hopped-up motor you could ride, versus the 1971 Norton Commando posted before being an unrestored daily rider that has a frame in good shape with “no visible cracks”.
You decide. $22.5K for a beautiful bike that has been gone through with a fine-tooth comb, or $7.5K for a bike that you might put a little elbow grease into over time (and maybe a motor rebuild while you’re at it). It would be interesting to see what this bike sells for, but it is a Buy-It-Now with Make Offer (2 offers so far), so we won’t be able to watch any climbing auction prices.
Here’s a nice looking example of a first-gen Commando that has been converted to cafe-racer duty. Overall, the modifications are spot-on, but I do have one minor quibble: the rear ride height. Shocks one inch longer would really balance the bike front-to-rear, and lifting the back end up would also probably quicken the handling just a smidge.
Other than that, this is an unrestored runner that is currently not seeing much action in the auction. There is a a day and a half left in the auction, and the current price is $4,550. Reserve has not been met, but there is a Buy-It-Now price of $7,500, so we can probably assume the reserve is set somewhere around $7K. With only two bidders so far, it seems there isn’t a huge chance the bike will end up selling.
Up for auction on eBay with about a day left is this nice-looking BSA Lightning. The seller seems to have done a lot of work to it (details copied from the original listing and pasted below), and it certainly looks the part. Interestingly, the bike seems appear to have a mechanical/hydraulic hybrid front brake (see the last picture below). I think it wouldn’t be inappropriate to have a brake reservoir on the clip-on givent hat it is a disc front brake, but I appreciate the stripped-down look. Overall, a very clean build with classic good looks.
And I forgot to add this in originally: no chain.
- Lightened and Beveled Crank Shaft
Balanced Rotating Assembly
Raised Exhaust Ports with +.100 Exhaust Valves
Lightened Valve Gear
274-274 Duration / .375 Lift Megacycle Cam
New Valve Guides and Valve Job
+.020 Forged Pistons 10:1
1 3/4″ TT Pipes with Custom Alloy Tips
Custom Alloy Intake Manifolds
36 mm Dellorto (Pumpers) Carburetors with Alloy Velocity Stacks
Dyna High Output Ignition Coils
- Modified T-160 Triple Tree & Forks
Modified T-160 Rear Hub & Alloy Sprocket
Front & Rear Lockheed Disc Brakes
Custom Fabricated Alloy Brakes Reservoir
19″ Front and Rear Wheels with Stainless Steel Spokes & Nuts
Alloy Fenders and Custom Made Alloy Brackets
Custom Made Alloy Clip-on Handle Bars, Instrument Cluster, Side Covers, Chain Guard & Tail Light/Licence Plate Bracket
Custom Made Rear Set Shift and Brake Lever Assemblies and Linkage
Alloy Brake and Clutch Levers
Vintage Alloy 2 Cable Throttle
Modified Pre-1971 A65 Seat
This is an interesting, and low priced, Suzuki T500 in need of a bit of work to get it ready for either the street or a track day. The seller claims it is fast and “runs/rides well”. The neatest thing about the bike is the bodywork. While the seller thinks it is original Reed Titan bodywork, I would tend to believe that at this price and condition that it is replica fiberglass. It needs some work and parts to be fully rideable (missing front master cylinder being the most obvious thing), but it is 95% complete. Check out the listing to get more details.
The auction still has almost 10 days left at this point, and the starting bid is $999. Interestingly, it has a Buy-It-Now of only $1,999. This seems like it might make this bike a really good deal, but it also speaks to the fairly beat-on bodywork and the need for some work before riding. It will be interesting to see what happens with this auction as it moves towards completion…
Beautiful. Nothing much else to say. I might have missed some minor detail that’s out of place and someone will point it out. Don’t care. Here’s some specs and more pictures below. There’s more pics and the seller’s writeup if you are interested in learning more or trying to buy the bike. The auction’s at $8,200 with 2 days left and 17 bidders (reserve HAS been met)…
The engine features the work of noted tuner Leo Goff including a balanced lower end, 10.1 pistons, Norris SS cam, and gas flowed head resulting in a very fast and smooth 750 Norton motor.
Steering Damper (Manx type)
Multi Rate Valve Springs (S&W)
Special Camshaft (Norris SS hotter than 2S Combat cam)
Paired Monobloc 1 1/8″ Carbs
Competition Manual Advance Magneto
5 Gal Racing Tank
The tach and speedo were restored by Nisongers.
The magneto was rebuilt by Doug Wood.
The only flaw is some acid stains on the left silencer from a vented battery (since replaced with a sealed unit).
The bike is very strong and smooth and is ready to ride.
I’m not quite sure what to make of this bike. The idea seems good in concept (fully-faired two-stroke cafe racer), but in looking this bike over I’m not sure that it has been executed fully. Stock, it’s a great bike that I would love to own and convert to a cafe. I just think I would keep it more traditional.
Gripe list – square headlight, stock taillight, cafe seat plopped on the rear fender.
Like list – full fairing, two-stroke 500cc engine, fairly reasonable price.
This is one of the more modified cafe racers to come up on eBay in a long time. Whether you love or hate the seat, the rest of the bike is built to the hilt. The seller claims the bike “runs super strong”, and from the spec list we have no reason to doubt him. Check out some of the modifications…
Yoshimura Racing 466cc pistons and rings
A.P.E. Racing block and ported heads
Titanium valve spring retainers
Keihin 26mm smooth bore
Triple clamps from 1979 CBX
35mm CB550F forks, clear powder coated, 10 wt oil, new seals
Works Suspension front dual spring kit (#230XH)
Daytona aluminum front fork brace
B900F Koni shocks NOS, #7610, 14″ (+1.5″ of std)
Dual CB550F rotors and calipers, trailing mounted (as opposed to stock forward mounted)
Baker Precision stainless steel brake lines
CBR900RR master cylinder and adjustable level
stretched aluminum tank custom made in England
Pro Flo 35mm clip-ons
CBR900RR footpegs and linkages
So what’s the good? Lots of cool modifications that should make this one of the fastest CB400’s around. And what’s the bad? That seat. Oh yeah. The bike ain’t cheap, either. With about a day and a half left in the auction, there are no bidders and the starting price is $3,900. However, there is no reserve, so if there’s one bid, the bike will sell.