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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
GB500 were manufactured in the 80's actually
LOL thought it was a CB. I actually was referring to the upgrades and ergonomics, it was what I was aiming for. Then I found out the Italians knew more than I, so I bought one of their cafe racers.
500 Pantah 1.jpg
 

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The GB's are what I wanted as a teenager. There was a 400 a 500 and a 250. The 400 and 500 will take an XL 650 engine as a bolt on mod
They've got nice little nods to Honda's history the indicators for example look like cb77
Here's my son sitting on a friend's GB 500 DSC_0488.jpg
 

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Cafe Racers started in the UK in the 60s. The idea was to drop a shilling into the jutebox and make a race to a point out of town and then get back before the song ran out. The apex of the cafe racers were the Tritons. This was a Norton Featherbed frame with a Triumph pre-unit engine. The Featherbed set the standard for the invention of the swing arm frame. Together with the Road Holder forks, Norton invented the modern motorcycle. This was in about 1952. This frame saw the use of Norton singes and later the twin cylinder engines. In those days the Triumph had the best performing engine and responded the best to tuning. It didn't take long for guys to figure the Triumph engine would fit right into a Featherbed. The ultimate Cafe Racer has a Triumph pre-unit engine slotted into a Norton Featherbed frame. You can still buy a new feather bed frame from Norton.

Triton.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The term originated in the '60's in the UK but we used it to describe bikes where the performance had been improved and the riding position had been changed to reflect the race bikes of the day, ideally it had a fairing. Brit bikes have never been common in Canada, the '70's brought us poor boys Japanese bikes that were fast out of the box and could be easily upgraded to improve performance and handling. We didn't race between cafe's, there were none, we raced bikes and cars point to point and generally used business cards gathered as proof you had gone the distance.

Nobody today is hacking up vintage Brit bikes, ruining their function and calling them cafe racers. I was looking for a representative photo of a bike that someone in the '70's, like me, might have actually built up. Finding that photo was tough enough, the internet is full of garbage bikes. I find it annoying that there is the false belief, perpetuated by horrible motorcycles that my/our generation were so daft that we would do something like this.
LP7A2417.jpg
 

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I rode a Norton in the late 50s . Great bike. The kick start was broken so you had to push it to start it then hang on with your belly on the seat till you could get your feet down. Great fun

when your 16.

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I had a '75 Firebird, done to the nines. Took the starter off and moved the battery to the trunk for balance. Lost my licence for the glove box full of speeding tickets and after the suspension you had drive a test to get it back. I arrived at the DOT and parked nose out on a little slope. The testing guy came out, got in the car and went through his "you're a bad boy" spiel then said "let's go". I turned on the key, pushed in the clutch, rolled about a foot, dumped it and she fired up. The tester said "back it up you're not getting your licence back in this thing".
 

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I arrived at the DOT and parked nose out on a little slope. The testing guy came out, got in the car and went through his "you're a bad boy" spiel then said "let's go". I turned on the key, pushed in the clutch, rolled about a foot, dumped it and she fired up. The tester said "back it up you're not getting your licence back in this thing".
I fared better than that in 1974 when, after losing my license for a similar glut of tickets and points accumulated, I took my '69 GTX 440 with a bumpy cam and small aftermarket steering wheel to the Highway Patrol station to go through my driving test. While it had a current inspection sticker on the windshield prior to my first wife crashing the car into a power pole and wiping the right front and rear (while missing the door completely for some reason), it still had only 3 headlights and some damage when the testing guy came out to get in. He walked around the car, eyeballed the inspection sticker, got in and gave me a questioning look. He said "let's go" and I fired it up. He then gave me another, longer questioning look while listening to the engine idling rough and rumbling through the headers and full exhaust with old, tired turbo mufflers, then we set out on our test. He continued to give me a stink eye but we got through the test, and when we got back to the station the only thing he said was "you're supposed to drive with 2 hands on the wheel" to which I said "but this wheel is so small it's not necessary"... passed me anyway. Guess he felt bad for me in the crashed car I only got to own in nice condition for 4 days before my ex-wife ruined one side of it while I was too broke to get it fixed
 

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My mom crashed dads 69' charger when I was 1 so they sold it for a family car. Love mopars even though I was a baby. They put goofy wheels on and make cars look silly too these days.
 

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+1, I can't get used to the "Hot Wheels" tire/wheel combos they put on now.
 
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I fared better than that in 1974 when, after losing my license for a similar glut of tickets and points accumulated, I took my '69 GTX 440 with a bumpy cam and small aftermarket steering wheel to the Highway Patrol station to go through my driving test. While it had a current inspection sticker on the windshield prior to my first wife crashing the car into a power pole and wiping the right front and rear (while missing the door completely for some reason), it still had only 3 headlights and some damage when the testing guy came out to get in. He walked around the car, eyeballed the inspection sticker, got in and gave me a questioning look. He said "let's go" and I fired it up. He then gave me another, longer questioning look while listening to the engine idling rough and rumbling through the headers and full exhaust with old, tired turbo mufflers, then we set out on our test. He continued to give me a stink eye but we got through the test, and when we got back to the station the only thing he said was "you're supposed to drive with 2 hands on the wheel" to which I said "but this wheel is so small it's not necessary"... passed me anyway. Guess he felt bad for me in the crashed car I only got to own in nice condition for 4 days before my ex-wife ruined one side of it while I was too broke to get it fixed
Things are different now, when my kid took his driving test in the family Subaru Outback (5 sp), the examiner got out of the car, looked at the score sheet and said he was a little slow in the parallel part and took 2 points off. She turned to me and said my son was a good driver. I guess 98 is a good score. Now he drives a '16 Mustang GT. 425HP and a 6 sp trans.
 

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Things are different now, when my kid took his driving test in the family Subaru Outback (5 sp), the examiner got out of the car, looked at the score sheet and said he was a little slow in the parallel part and took 2 points off. She turned to me and said my son was a good driver. I guess 98 is a good score. Now he drives a '16 Mustang GT. 425HP and a 6 sp trans.
Obviously, he had a good teacher. and so few people can drive a manual trans these days too... good for him
 

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This is actually a '70s café racer. I built it from a 1969 CL350 back in the mid-'70s and resurrected it about 3 years ago after letting it rust in my mower shed for 20+ years. Black bomber tank (cheap at the time), Bates racing seat, and a few other mods.

350 downtown July '15.JPG
 
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