I have a problem. My problem is called "motorcycle" and I can't stop thinking about it. As some of you know, Ben rode his '77 Honda CB550 motorcycle across the midwest and down the east coast last summer. By the time he reached Raleigh, he was ready to trade in the bike for a car. The bike ended up in my basement under a tarp for the last 6+ months, and with Ben leaving the country (again) for an extended period of time, I asked him what he wanted to do about it.

"Sign over the title." was his reply. So now I have no motorcycle license, no helmet, no riding gear, and a motorcycle. It looks like this...

I've ridden mopeds, and the strange, fat-tired (and tired) Suzuki trail bike at the cabin, but I think what I want now is a "cafe racer" style bike. Cafe racers were customized British bikes back in the '50s (maybe '40s?) that were designed to go very fast and zip between the various cafes along the roads and highways. The Honda, through the magic of Photoshop, as a cafe racer...

So, I've been online, looking up info on converting, NC motorcycle laws, and helmet prices. The nice thing about the cafe racer look is that it is basically a streamlining of the bike and mainly requires removal of accessories, and the few pieces that need replacement are relatively cheap. New handlebars, new mirrors, maybe a new taillight. A pro paint job would cost more than the conversion. I think I'll paint it myself.

Very exciting, and fun to research. I'm mostly going for a "look" and don't plan on riding 100mph+ between coffee shops. At least not here in the States...

For more history: Ace Cafe London

For a crazy bloke who builds cafe racers: CARPY!


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