To cafe or not to cafe? - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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To cafe or not to cafe?

Just picked this up today. Handlebars need to be changed regardless.
It's a Vulcan 1500

90 ex500 (Sold)
02 F4i (Sold)
92 F2 (Sold)
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01 ex500 (Sold)
93 vulcan 150 (Sold)
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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 08:15 PM
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Are you talking about making that a cafe racer? Do you know what a cafe racer is?

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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 08:20 PM
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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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Yes cafe racer. Seen it done to these bikes a lot. I like the style.

90 ex500 (Sold)
02 F4i (Sold)
92 F2 (Sold)
04 600RR (Sold)
01 ex500 (Sold)
93 vulcan 150 (Sold)
92 GSXR 750 (Sold)
94 Ex500 - Current

Last edited by Gamble; 04-29-2012 at 08:37 PM.
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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 08:36 PM
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Making what is essentially a low rider cruiser into a Cafe racer would be a pretty radical change for that bike. Just to even come close to duplicating the basic look of a cafe racer would take alot of parts that just won't be available to bolt on. You're either going to have to fabricate them or extensively modify parts that were made for very different bikes. Changing the handlebars would be what I would advise you to do with the Vulcan and either sell it and buy a more suitable Cafe platform or ride it and save some cash for a second bike for a cafe project.

EDIT: Please provide photos of examples of Vulcan 1500's made into Cafe Racers. I belong to Chicago's leading cafe racer club and also leading and most active Brit bike club and I'm intimately involved in the biggest annual cafe racer event in Chicago and have never seen one made on a Vulcan platform...not a single one!

"Dirt is for racing on...Asphalt is for getting there" OR "Flat trackers go in deeper and come out harder... OR (With apologies to General MaCarthur) "Old motorcycle racers never die, they just slip off the groove and fade into the dust!

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Last edited by OldTimeBiker; 04-29-2012 at 08:48 PM.
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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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I got this on a trade so it wasn't my first choice. It's nice but the handlebar isn't my style. I haven't seen what is out there yet and I wouldn't mind fabricating some parts, it would be fun and welding practice. Might be nice to have a cruiser and a sport bike.

90 ex500 (Sold)
02 F4i (Sold)
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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 09:27 PM
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i could be done but the forks, handles, seat, and rear fender would have to be changed to make a close to cafe look. You would have alot easier and cheaper time making a bobber
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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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I have seen some bobbers, but none in person. What exactly makes a bike a bobber?
Old timer, sorry to be more specific. I have seen some but not a 1500, but I also haven't done more than 2 minutes of searching.

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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 09:47 PM
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Slam and strip it and roll it slow and low

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post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 10:53 PM
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Slam and strip it and roll it slow and low
This
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post #11 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 11:06 PM
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Title should read: to bob or not to bob. Answer yes.

However, if you are going to modify it, ask how long you want to keep it. I notice you go through bikes pretty quickly. It is very difficult to make your money back on modded bikes. Good luck.

I like the bike btw.

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post #12 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 11:12 PM
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here is a nice bobber, you don't have that crazy with one tho
http://www.usabobbers.com/wp-content...otorcycle.jpeg
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post #13 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anthonya008 View Post
here is a nice bobber, you don't have that crazy with one tho
http://www.usabobbers.com/wp-content...otorcycle.jpeg
That thing is bad ass

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming WOW, what a RIDE !!"
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post #14 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 11:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bug View Post
That thing is bad ass
It's also much more a custom or a chopper than a Bobber.............A Bobber, or more correctly a Bob-job is really a bike that has been lightened and stripped to resemble an American Class "C" racer of the late 40's & 50's. The idea of a Bobber/Bob-job wasn't looks or style as much as it was handling and performance. Strip it down for function. A lighter motorcycle performs better. It was minimalist in concept... They were styled after the bikes that were raced in the US in the day...flat trackers, TT bikes and road race bikes based on production bikes like those raced in Daytona on the beach course and Laconia prior to 1960. The name has been co-opted into the custom and chopper culture but historians and purists don't accept the bastardization of the term.
A Cafe racer is a very similar concept in that the goal is to make the bike perform and handle better but its origin is in Europe. Mainly the UK. The first cafe racers were "Tritons"...Triumph engines in Norton Featherbed frames... home built hybrids to utilize the power of the Triumph 650 twin and the handling of the Norton chassis. Cosmetically they were decked out with clubman or clip on bars and big road race tanks of alloy or Fibreglass and solo seats to resemble the GP race bikes of the Continental circus.
The Cafe Racer concept and movement gave birth to the modern sportbike of today.
There is a very rich and interesting history of individualizing and modifying motorcycles that is historically significant. Some of it is being convoluted by people latching on to and misusing terms. Some out of ignorance, others to profit from it.
The correct info is out there and available. Two books I would recommend would be "The Original Wild Ones" which tells the tale of the immediate post war bike scene in America and "Cafe' Racers" which is published in the UK but available here from Classic Motorbooks & GT Motors.
Whatever you decide to do with the Vulcan...good luck.

"Dirt is for racing on...Asphalt is for getting there" OR "Flat trackers go in deeper and come out harder... OR (With apologies to General MaCarthur) "Old motorcycle racers never die, they just slip off the groove and fade into the dust!

If you want to anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal all one must do is tell the truth!
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post #15 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 12:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bug View Post
slam and strip it and roll it slow and low
+1

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post #16 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 08:38 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the info old timer!
First thing I would want to do is some drag bars. Never really modified a bike before except exhausts so questions come to mind. Do I need all new cables if I do drag bars since these stockers are so much higher?

90 ex500 (Sold)
02 F4i (Sold)
92 F2 (Sold)
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01 ex500 (Sold)
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post #17 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 10:50 AM
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sell that turkey and buy something worth riding, the fact that you even asked if that bike is cafe material shows you have no idea
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post #18 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elroy121 View Post
sell that turkey and buy something worth riding, the fact that you even asked if that bike is cafe material shows you have no idea
lol, its funny because it's true.

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post #19 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamble View Post
Thanks for all the info old timer!
First thing I would want to do is some drag bars. Never really modified a bike before except exhausts so questions come to mind. Do I need all new cables if I do drag bars since these stockers are so much higher?
The quick answer is yes...new cables would be a better choice than trying to route extra long ones in an effort to hide the fact that they are too long.
Look around for a shop that knows how to make cables and you might be able to have the ones you have now shortened.
You'll need a shorter brake line as well.

Before you get too deeply into modifying this Vulcan, take the time to read some books & articles on building custom and modified bikes and consider carefully what you want to do. I agree with several other posters, you may find yourself over your head very quickly and find that you would have been much better off (and quite possibly ahead financially) if you sell this bike and shop for something more apropriate to build on.
In any case, as before... I wish you good luck

"Dirt is for racing on...Asphalt is for getting there" OR "Flat trackers go in deeper and come out harder... OR (With apologies to General MaCarthur) "Old motorcycle racers never die, they just slip off the groove and fade into the dust!

If you want to anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal all one must do is tell the truth!
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post #20 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elroy121 View Post
sell that turkey and buy something worth riding,
That guy's a Turkey, "Hey Fella, You're a Turkey"

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming WOW, what a RIDE !!"
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post #21 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 01:00 PM
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That guy's a Turkey, "Hey Fella, You're a Turkey"
Ok, constable. Just watch out for the Nightrider!
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post #22 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 01:03 PM
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Ok, constable. Just watch out for the Nightrider!
Look to the Night Sky...................or for that TINY Casket

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming WOW, what a RIDE !!"
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post #23 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 01:38 PM
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It's so much easier and cheaper to buy something that someone has already sorted out and ride that. This one is mine, still needs some work, but I bet it's a fraction of what you paid for that bike. Resurrection has a few lying around he may part with.

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post #24 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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I really didn't pay anything for the bike. I got it on a trade for my chrysler conquest. I had 1500 into that car. And it's not like the guy a whole lot of bikes to pick from
Maybe I'll just change the handlebars to some drag bars or something else and call it done.
Didn't know there were specific bikes that were easier to make a cafe racer and others not. I haven't had time to do much homework on it, just got it yesterday.
only issue I forsee is getting shorter cables or custom cables made
Nice bike btw.

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post #25 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 03:05 PM
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I wouldn't try to cafe that cruiser ...... sell it for cash and buy something closer to start with.


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post #26 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 05:31 PM
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http://www.impaks.com/vulcan_pics.asp

Check it.....I think the top bike is your best bet for that bike......And FFS please dont wast money on pipes trying to make it sound good.....Just aint gonna happen on a Jap Cruiser

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post #27 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamble View Post
I really didn't pay anything for the bike. I got it on a trade for my chrysler conquest. I had 1500 into that car. And it's not like the guy a whole lot of bikes to pick from
Maybe I'll just change the handlebars to some drag bars or something else and call it done.
Didn't know there were specific bikes that were easier to make a cafe racer and others not. I haven't had time to do much homework on it, just got it yesterday.
only issue I forsee is getting shorter cables or custom cables made
Nice bike btw.
Get Bug to send you a pic of his H-D , you can have a similar look .

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post #28 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 05:51 PM
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throw a national cycle windshield and sum leather saddlebags on it, rock it and call it a day


see?

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post #29 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 10:14 PM
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Careful of old bikes. I had a 73 Honda CL350 that I wanted to cafe which is a great platform. The only problem was that it was a money pit. That basket case gave me so many damn problems that it is the only bike I sold and was completely happy about it!

Everyone has that "money pit bike" story and that one was mine.

Moral of the story: if you want a "true" cafe, go with a different bike but beware.

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post #30 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-01-2012, 11:31 AM
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Just threw the tank and bars on to show you guys getting a 19 inch rear rim to lace onto the rear hub. has bandit tank and cheap ebay seat. need subframe and rear shocks etc.
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