Off We Go!
While the epitome of a cafe racer may be an historically accurate vintage British bike from the 50s or 60s, they are becoming more and more rare. British bikes and their expensive Italian counterparts dominated the racing scene in the late 40s, the 50s and the early 60s. But at the end of that time the Japanese began to win everything.
When the revival of the cafe racer style began, some Brit bikes and classic Ducatis were modified but the abundance of Japanese in-line fours made them an easy and affordable choice, and if once the Japanese choices may have been looked down upon as too easy, the steampunk movement may have opened an ‘anything goes’ opportunity.
One of the most sought after bikes from the 70s is the Honda 550F
While these too have become hard to find at a sensible cost, there are many, many similar models.
I am not a craftsman or a machinist. I’m not a very patient person and am a long way from a perfectionist. This project might turn out that I have something that resembles a Japanese cafe racer, maybe only lightly modified – Hence the name of the blog ‘HowMuchCafe’
One thing I really, really want to end up with is a bike that’s reliable, has good tires, stops well and is visible.
This is the bike I’m starting with. A 1979 Kawasaki KZ650. I traded my race bike for it, It ran great on the test drive and while it is 35 years old, has only 8,000 miles. Off we go!
Here’s what others have done – How far will I go?