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Showing posts from April, 2013

My Woohoo moments.

I don't know about you, but every single time I ride, I am hootin' and hollerin' as I'm motoring down the road. I simply love how my motorcycle makes me feel when I get on it.
There's nothing else in the world that I feel is so exhilarating. Well actually, what comes pretty close is when I'm riding my mountain bike and I'm hitting some fun, flowy single track and it gets me into a zone where I feel so connected to the bike and the trail.

One of my favorite things that produces a woohoo is right when I launch from a red light and I'm ahead of the traffic. I also love changing lanes and over passing cars. It's a bit of a task with the Cm200, but it's still fun when I do.

The Moe of TheBikeGeek.net Gives a nod to the Cafe Racer

One of my long time friends, The Moe, who happens to run TheBikeGeek.Net has always had Harley Davidson motorcycles. They are beautiful machines and the one he has now is a Heritage. Not only is that a pretty motorcycle, but wow, it rides like a dream!

The other night The Moe stopped by and was eager to see the newly converted Honda CM200. He had ridden the bike before but I think the last time was about a year ago, right around the time when I first got it.

Upon arrival, he was excited to say how much he loved the way it looks. I gave him a tour of the things I've to it and all the parts I changed out and etc. I told him to grab a helmet and go out for a ride, he gladly obliged.

One thing he was surprised with was how small the Honda CM200 is. It really is a tiny bike in comparison to any Harley Davidsons out there. I think it's even smaller than a Honda Rebel. So off he went into the dark and comes back some time later with a huge smile across his face. First thing out of h…

Cafe Racer Seat may look cool, but it's a pain in the butt!

As much as I love my new Cafe Racer Seat, I can't stand how uncomfortable it is! The upholstery shop put in some sort of foam padding that really doesn't do anything other than fill up the void. I tried to put up with it for the sake of it looking good. But I found that my butt and the rest of my body was beat up after 20 miles of riding.

So here's what I did, I went to Harbor Freight and got a pack of these anti- fatigue foam floor mats. It was on sale for $9.99.
Then I took out the old foam from my cafe racer seat and traced the shape onto the anti-fatigue foam. I had to cut out two pieces since the gray foam is only 1/2" and the cafe racer seat foam was 1"
 After cutting it, I stuffed it all back into the upholstery to test it out. WOW! What a world of a difference! My butt doesn't get that stinging feeling when sitting down on my cafe racer seat.  The new foam takes up a the void in the upholstery. It's funny how stiff it looks. However, my butt assu…

Want to increase the value of your old motorcycle?

Let's say you have an older motorcycle that dates as far back as mid 70's through early 80's. You want to sell it but you're finding the resale value is pretty low. Kelly Blue Book does allow you to find your motorcycle's value, but I never felt that those were accurate.

If you want to increase your motorcycle's resale value, then listen to what has worked for me. My 1981 Honda CM200 Twinstar was purchased for several hundred dollars. The original Craigslist ad showed she was asking close to $1000. But when I arrived, I rode the bike, saw all the imperfections and offered her (the seller) what the KBB value for that model. She was shocked that I had offered so low because she had put in so much into the bike that she was basically losing money on it. She reluctantly decided to take my offer and off I went.

So the KBB value of the CM200 was $740 at the time. I gave her $760 because she didn't have change. Now the thought was to flip the motorcycle and see if…

How did I get into this hot mess?

If I think about it, this has to be one of the most fun messes I've gotten myself involved with. I'm speaking of motorcycles. Technically, just one motorcycle. Unlike most people who are into motorcycles that grew up with them, I really didn't. As a kid in the Philippines, I had learned that at one point my uncle was professional motocross racer and I have memories of him taking me around on this dirt bike and I even recall his Super Bike style race bike.
That was the extent of being exposed to motorcycles. My brother and I grew up always wanting motorcycles and we used to put cans between the fork and front tire of our BMX bikes to mimic the sound of a dirt bike.

Then in high school, I got this itch to buy a moped. It was a 1977 Puch Maxi, a blue one with 49cc. I recall paying around $150 back in 1993. I loved that thing, but I recall it always breaking down. I sold the Puch and got a Free Spirit moped, same thing, it broke down all the time. But from working on it, I le…

Project is complete...for now. 1981 Honda CM200 Twinstar Cafe Racer

After a month and a half of working and waiting (for parts), I have finally completed my cafe racer.

About a year ago, it started off as this.
To this...

Here's the list of things I did.
1. Clubman bars-$40
2. Mini turn signals-$4.00 Ebay Hong Kong seller, took 3 weeks to arrive.
3. Mini tail light-$11.00 Ebay China seller, 2 weeks to arrive.
4. Custom aluminum tail light mount-$1.00 scrap metal, friend fabricated it for me for free.
5. Cafe Racer Seat $150
6. 2 Cans of Rustoleum black spray paint, $7.00
7. 1 can of Rustoleum primer, $3.57
8. Base board for seat-$13
9. Screws, bolts and clamps-$11

Total cost for the conversion-$240.57

Not bad considering the place where I bought the seat from wanted to charge me $100 just to install it. If I had done that, It would have placed me well over $250 and that didn't even include all the other parts I needed.

This project has been a dream come true for me. Ever since I was a kid, I've always wanted a motorcycle. But I wanted some…

Tools I recommend when you're converting to a Cafe Racer

There's a few items that I've had to use over and over again during my cafe racer conversion of the Honda CM200. The first and probably the most important would be a power drill. I've had to use this thing for just about every aspect of the project. The next tool is a hacksaw. If you don't have a bandsaw and all you got is elbow grease, then this is your next best choice.

But the one tool that I certainly have grown fond of would be the Titanium Nitride Coated High Speed Steel Step Drill Bit that I've used to make holes on steel plates or make the smaller ones larger on the license plate mount that I have. They look like this. I ended up buying the smaller one to the right. I paid just about $6 for it at Harbor Freight. I tell you, there's nothing like using this drill bit, it cuts through metal like nothing else!

Custom made tail light mount for the Honda CM200 Cafe Racer

My cafe racer project is going smoothly. The only thing I've had to wait for are my new tail lights and turn signals. Once I received the tail light, I had to figure out how to mount it. I decided to solicit my friend Nick's expertise since he's a fabricator.

He took some aluminum, did some measuring.
He then marked the plate on where he's going to drill and make cuts. Getting an idea on the positioning of the plate and tail light.
Then it's time to weld.  Here's the finished product mounted. Looks pretty good! Big thanks to Nick! Now if my turn signals would just come in so I can finish up this bike!