Cafe Racer TV causes uproar…

The Devil?

Last night was the season premiere of Cafe Racer TV, a half hour program dedicated to all things Cafe.  The first season seemed to be a hit, not pleasing everyone, but doing as well as can be expected for a program involving subjective esthetics and fevered opinions about motorcycles.  Unfortunately, last night, the first episode began with a segment highlighting a custom hot rod car builder named Bryan Fuller, taking a near pristine 1969 CB750 (highly sought after) and chopping the frame in half, in front of the original owner.

Instantly there were comments lighting up around the blogosphere, creating a fury about the nerve of a builder destroying a bike people would die for.  It seems the common consensus was that with the amount of chopping this guy was doing, he could have used any rusted, abandoned bike, and still created what he was going for.  I read some of the posts before watching the episode, and truly thought I would have a much more mellow reaction.  I am no purist, by any stretch of the imagination, so I assumed that my attitude would be more forgiving.

Then I watched it…  I have to say, I was more sad than pissed.  Mostly due to the destruction was happening with the PO in the shop, looking on, as the cutting wheels came out, and the bike began to fall away.  Also lamentable, was the fact that the way the show is edited, the completed build will not be seen until the next episode, so people were left wondering “why…oh why…”  It turned out that even other builders were interviewed about Fuller’s decision, and all seemed to agree that chopping this particular bike, especially in front of the Previous Owner (PO), was a tragic move.

The segment rang as a cheap trick to me, and the producers must have known that the community at large would have something to say about it.  That’s TV entertainment I guess.  They did make a decent save, by following up the CB750 segment with one showcasing the talents of Dave Degens, the man behind Dresda Motorcycles, the legendary mechanic who has created some of the most amazing cafe and race bikes of the past 50 years, and continues to do so…

The Angel!

New cafe racer Super Site?

The folks over at Dime City Cycles have been good to me.  Although I am not yet putting a cafe bike together, they have some great products for all types of builds.   Friendly, knowledgeable, and always quick with a helping hand, when I ran into trouble installing one of their products.

Turns out they are putting a site together to create a “collective” of cafe clubs and individuals together, to help spread the word and passion for this style of motorcycle.  Looks like it could be a really cool affair, but everyone needs to chip in.  This si what they have to say:

As the garage revival continues to tighten it’s grip on the motorcycle industry and the DIY every-man-can cafe racer mentality pushes Westward (and around the globe in every other direction) the crew at Dime City Cycles thinks it’s would be a good idea if all of us came together in one place to share in the differences that make our flavors of cafe so unique and tasty in their own right.

Whether you and your brothers like piloting old Honda’s down a dry lakebed in your boxers or you prefer grabin’ a spot of tea on your Thruxton dressed in pressed in Lewis’s best, at The Ace, you’re part of this grassroots movement and you know what its all about. Twisting the throttle on barebones, stripped down vintage speed machines that allow a man to still be a man. You’re a wrench turning aficionado of all things old and fast and chances are there’s a few more of your friends hanging around that are just like you.

Our thought is, why not create one place where all the cafe racer clubs can get together to share information about their clubs (to promote membership and geographic awareness) and provide easy access, for everyone, to where all the “cafe racer” type events are being held around the globe. History about the 59 Club, features on old clubs from all over the world and the places they gathered, the possibilities are quite endless with the right mix of folks contributing.

A melting pot, if you will, of vintage appreciators sharing about their clubs, events and passions that most importantly gives new-comers a way to connect with the old guys bridging the gap and helping secure a right and true future for diy-real-deal-get-it-done-and-have-fun motorcycle culture.

Lets say you get relocated because of work; wouldn’t it be great to know that you could connect with some like minded folks as soon as the boxes are unpacked in your new town? Or, how great would it be to know that next month, when you’re traveling to LA that a local club is putting on a bike night at a local pub 10 mins from your hotel? The chance to break bread (or bones) with another group of members of this world-wide cult of speed and have a damn good time really is quite a rad thing.

Because after all, “having a good time” is why we do what we do with these old mo’chines. Isn’t it?

First fix…es

I finally took a break from the cleaning, building and general ‘getting the garage ready,’ to do some work on my bike. I had put off replacing the gauges and idiot light cluster until the garage was in perfect shape – but with the weather looking good, and me wanting to ride, I couldn’t resist.

Of course, this opened up a whole can of worms, having to deal with the electrical inside the headlight bucket. One thing led to another, and the next thing I know, I’m replacing all the fuse holders with water sealed contraptions for blade type fuses. I have heard countless horror stories about people having melt downs with their old school tube fuses, so this was the time to do it, before the new gauge and lights caused mayhem.

A few hours later, I had the new fuse holders installed, and set out the next day to get the new 2.5″ gauges on there. I have had an issue with the elephantiasis of the gauges and lights on this bike, since I got it last year. The first to go were the flashers, and then the tail light, and now the rest of them, except for the headlight….maybe that’s next.

I got the gauges and new indicator section from Dime City Cycles, who have been pretty damn cool to me, since I started ordering from them last year. Always quick with a tip or some help to install my purchases, I was hoping this would go smoothly, even though the indicator mount and lights are actually made for a CB450. My bike is a 1976 CB550K, and the difference between the two is that I have neutral, oil pressure, high beam and one turn signal indicator light. The CB450 apparently came with two turn signal lights. So when it was all hooked up, everything worked except for the fact that I am only getting a turn signal indication when I turn right!

I’m sure Herm at Dime City will get back to me with an easy fix (fingers crossed). Already I am digging the look of the new gauges, and the LED lights that came with the mount (resisters included so it doesn’t mess up these old charging systems!) are so much brighter, I was actually able to see them in the bright sunlight (at least I could when I turned right!).

Turned out there was more messing with the LEDs than I hoped. A couple diodes later, and still no luck. I finally made a last ditch effort with a jumper, and got it to work by using it the CB450 style, with two separate indicators for left and right turn signals. I’m fine with that for now, and will be enjoying the fact that the damn things work!

This completes the first real fix done at the new Moto Preserve shop.