Archive for the ‘rear’ Tag

Honda CB550 Cafe Racer (and more…)

I found this CB550 on Google, and it turned out that the site hosting it was a whole lot more than just pictures of this bike. The bike itself is very cool with a beautiful paint job, and an overall nice aesthetic quality to it (check out the speedo insert). Clubman bars and a great seat mostly complete the look, but it really needs some nice rear-sets to complete the build.

What I found more interesting was that the couple who own this shop in central Washington state used to be locals at Alice’s Restaurant in mountains above San Francisco Bay. They supposedly had a shop adjacent to the restaurant, and were part of the scene for a few years until moving the shop up to Wahington, and creating this moto-destination. A motel, the motorcycle shop, a market, and a gas station make this a potential stop-over on a criss-cross Cascades ride, or even a destination unto itself as they also rent dual-sports and cruisers in conjunction with a local shop.

Visit their site (timberlinemotorsports.com) and show them some love both for the nice cafe racer build and for the creation of a motorcycle-friendly spot in the far northwest…


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2002 Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Cafe Racer

As you may or may not know, I like Sportsters. I have 2005 883 myself, and have been converting it into a cafe racer for the last two years. Cafe conversions of the XL are fairly few and fair between relatively speaking, so when one comes up for sale on eBay, or I find one elsewhere, it tends to end up posted on the blog.

What we have here is a 2002 XL 1200. What does buying a 1200 and not an 883 get you? About 20 extra horsepower and dual front discs. While this bike has some nice mods done to it, it is far from complete. The clip-ons are there. The fender has been bobbed nicely. The bike has the black-out treatment on lots of the parts.

So what’s left?

It’s got to have a new exhaust. I don’t even want to think about how loud the stock head pipes run without mufflers must be. and it probably has moved the power band completely to the top end. I’m going to guess that the carb has been set up properly given that the bike has cams and head-work done to it. Oh yeah, did I mention how loud it probably is?

The wheels: stock Harley wheels are heavy! It needs something lighter. Sportsters can be made relatively light compared to their portly weight in stock form, but one of the most important weight-loss procedures is losing the factory boat-anchors. Plus, Sportsters with 18″ 40-spoke alloy rims built up on nice, stock alloy hubs look really sweet!

Three sets of foot pegs: it’s got three! Pick any two and get on with it. Rear-sets would be best, but lose the highway pegs if nothing else.

That’s it. I’m done complaining. This is a good build-up of a Sportster into an almost cafe racer. A couple of tweeks, and it would be done. And I bet it’s a lot faster than a lot of bikes out on the road…


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Polished Aluminum Cafe Racer Tank

I think I have posted before that the tank can make or break the look of a cafe racer. It is the biggest problem with my Sportster. The peanut tank is, well, a peanut tank. True/pure cafe racers don’t generally have peanut tanks.

So if that’s a problem that your bike faces as well, this tank might just be the solution. The seller has a number of cafe-related parts up for sale on eBay with this being one of the nicer items. He does mention a dimple in the tank somewhere, but apparently it is small enough that the camera has trouble picking it up. I’m not an expert at mounting custom gas tanks, but there appears to be enough room in the tunnel for a fairly robust frame backbone.

8 hours left in this auction. Good luck!


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