Archive for the ‘drag bar’ Tag

1971 Triumph Trophy TR6C “Cafe Racer”

I found this bike on eBay. About 2 days left in the auction. It looks like a really cleanly built TR6 cafe racer built by a shop in Massachusetts. The motor and tranny have been rebuilt, and the electrics have been swapped out for an electronic ignition. Overall, it looks like the mechanicals have been properly redone.

I’m not a huge fan of the drag bars, but they are a step in the right direction. However, the home-shaped seat really doesn’t look quite right. Is it a cafe racer? I suppose, but the cosmetics don’t really take it all the way. Considering the good condition of the bike overall with the recent professional rebuild, a few bucks for a few cafe racer parts (seat, clip-ons, rear sets) would make this a pretty stunning bike for a fast Sunday morning ride to your favorite local meeting spot.


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2001 Harley-Davidson Sportster Cafe Racer

I am really torn by bikes like this. Converting a Sportster into a cafe racer is kind of a daunting process. There aren’t a lot of sources for true cafe-styled parts for these bike (especially 2004+ rubber-mount bikes), and when you tell the parts guy at your local shop what you are doing, most likely he or she will give you a blank stare.

So if you do manage to find the parts, then you have to do a good job with the conversion. With this particular bike, it is certainly beautiful, and has a number of really nice parts attached to it: Storz rear-sets, nice race-style seat, beautiful H-D themed paint, and a great intake/exhaust combo. But a well-built cafe racer is more than a simple sum of its parts.

In this case, I am concerned that the bike looks lowered front and rear. For my personal Sportster cafe racer, I actually raised the bike 1″ in the front and 2″ in the rear to try for more ground clearance. And I don’t really want to be careening through corners while trying to maintain a grip on the shiny bits at the end of these drag bars. Cafe racers typically have a form-follows-function aesthetic, while this bike is trying to go both ways. Like Storz rear-sets on a lowered bike.

Now, if I could bolt my 15″ shocks to this bike, add my clip-ons, and put some stiff Race-Tech springs in the front end, this would be a great bike…


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Yamaha XS650 Cafe Racer

Here is a really clean build-up/restoration of a Yamaha XS650 into a cafe racer. So much about it is right, and just a few things need help (but they’re easy).

I think the overall look of the bike with the nice paint, fiberglass, and decals is really nice. It will stand out in a row of bikes at Alice’s Restaurant while not being over the top. That rear seat is particularly nice, and I like the way the CB500 tank looks on the bike. The red pin-striping/decals on the white bodywork is quite classy.

But here are two things that would change the bike radically on the cheap and easy: ditch the crazy square mirror, and get some clip-ons or clubmans. I know it is more comfortable to have the drag bars, but it is the one missing element for me. And the square mirror? Enough said…

This bike is only a little ways from my house, but finances dictate I stay away and concentrate on the SL350 cafe build-up I have coming up with my friend Paul at TheMotoWorld.com.


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