How Much Does It Cost To Build a Cafe Racer?

cafe racer motorcycles have become more popular over the past decade and it’s obvious why. They are sleek, minimalist, and catch the eye of anyone you pass while driving.

I’ve researched for hours to find the best value replacement parts while still keeping the bike looking good. I often get asked how much I usually spend restoring cafe racers.

Reading: Cafe racer conversion cost

How much does it cost to build a cafe racer? If you plan on doing the upgrades and rebuilding yourself, the cost to build a cafe racer is between $700 and $1,000 on top of your bike purchase. The price of your motorcycle will depend on the area in which you live and the time of year in which you buy it.

I’ve restored over a dozen cafe racers over the years and have learned a lot about them. there is much more to knowing how much you will have to spend.

cost breakdown for building a cafe racer

Because I’ve done this project so many times, I’ve become familiar with the costs associated with each motorcycle part. The amazing thing about cafe racer motorcycles is the minimal cost because they are minimal vehicles.

If you plan to repaint the tank and fenders yourself, expect to spend around $70. This cost includes masking tape, bondo, primer, paint, and clear coat. if you’re more comfortable having them painted by a professional, you should plan on paying $200-$250.

restoring a motorcycle often requires replacing the seat. Cafe racers are likely to be built from older motorcycles so the seats are often broken and/or unusable. on amazon, you can find a seat in the $30 – $50 range. If you want to have a seat made by an upholsterer, you will need to plan on around $250 plus make a seat tray for the seat upholsterer use it as a frame for the seat.

When restoring a motorcycle, it’s a good idea to replace the headlight, as this will prevent any safety issues. A new simple headlight for a cafe racer is around $50. There are more expensive ones if you have expensive tastes, but this is the price I usually pay and the bikes are beautiful.

When you build a cafe racer, you’ll want to replace the taillight and turn signals with something much smaller but still functional. I can usually find turn signals for around $30 (including front and rear turn signals) and a tail light for around $20. Be sure to purchase yellow/amber flashing turn signals and a red glowing taillight to avoid trouble with traffic laws.

A big reason why a cafe racer is considered a cafe racer has a lot to do with the tires. You’ll want to get good-looking tires that also provide good functionality, as a cafe racer is designed to give you fast travel over short distances. I typically spend between $150 and $175 on a set of tires. I usually use something like the shinko 712 front tire and something like the shinko 712 rear tire (both are used in the image above).

Some people like to keep the original speedometer and tachometer for an older look. I like to replace them for a cleaner feel. plan to spend about $30 on a new tachometer and $30 on a new speedometer. I highly recommend a new speedometer for safety reasons. and

low bars are part of what makes a cafe racer a cafe racer. Gives you a slick racing look. you will most likely need to replace yours. Expect to pay around $30 for simple, low bars.

painting the frame is probably the cheapest part of a motorcycle rebuild and also gives the motorcycle the biggest facelift. You can paint your frame for about $15, I usually buy a can of self-etch primer and a can of dual color black spray at an auto store.

See also: Sự khác biệt của cà phê MOKA, MOCCA, MOKHA, và MOCHA?

Let’s not forget to make the exhaust system simpler. New exhaust pipes and exhaust wrap are about $60 total. Don’t skip this step as it will give you the final touch of a cafe racer creation.

There will be various miscellaneous items you will need to obtain depending on the bike you are working on and the problems you need to fix. such miscellaneous items may include hardware, cables, electrical connectors, fuses, shop towels, etc. don’t forget to add them to your budget because it can add up quickly. plan to spend about $150 on these items.

The last thing in your budget to consider is miscellaneous professional mechanics. You will need to take your motorcycle in at least once to get it fixed because you probably do not have the proper tools or knowledge to do what you need to do on your motorcycle. For example, I always take my motorcycles to mount the tires on the wheels because I personally don’t have a tire stand.

Other miscellaneous mechanical fixes may include shock absorber rebuilds, timing issues, head gasket replacement, cylinder head rebuilds, valve replacement, and other major engine rebuilds. Budget $100 – $300 for these fixes. see my list of recommended motorcycle upgrades here.

how hard is it to build a cafe racer?

You will be surprised when you start the restoration of your cafe racer; The amount of parts you will have accumulated that you will not use from the original motorcycle is incredible. it’s quite satisfying and you can almost hear the bike heave a sigh of relief at the weight change.

Building a cafe racer is much simpler compared to other motorcycle builds due to its simplistic nature. The goal of a cafe racer is to have as few parts as possible to make it run faster; the original idea was for them to look and function like race bikes.

If you’re restoring a motorcycle for the first time, building a cafe racer is a great option because of how simple it is. You can find the parts you need on almost any online sales platform. And the best thing about riding a cafe racer? it is cheap! Click here for my article on whether or not you need experience to restore a motorcycle.

I’ve also created a whole series of videos on how to rebuild a motorcycle from start to finish. Within this series includes tips and tricks you won’t find anywhere else online, as well as tutorials on tough-to-tack components like carb, body and electrical rebuilds. Click here for more information if you are interested in restoring or building the motorcycle of your dreams!

where on the bike should i start?

There are simple steps you can follow when restoring a motorcycle and turning it into a cafe racer. Because I have restored a good number of bikes, I have found a routine that has worked well for me.

First, you’ll need to strip the bike down to the frame. You don’t necessarily need to strip the engine unless you want to be completely thorough. while you disassemble your bike, don’t forget to label everything and take hundreds of pictures. tape the wires that explain where they went and place the small parts in labeled baggies. this will make assembly much easier.

Next, you’ll need to focus on engine and carburetor repairs. if your motorcycle was already running great, then all you need at this point is to clean and shine your engine.

then you will focus on the tires. If you are painting the rims of your tires and plan to do it yourself, mount the tires first and then paint. If you paint first, the mounting machine will scrape off some paint.

However, if you plan to powder coat your tires, you may do so first; The powder layer will not rub off while the tires are being mounted. Please note that powder coated aluminum wheels can be dangerous if the wheels are heated to a high temperature. this can change the metallurgy of aluminum and aluminum can stress fracture at high speeds and explode. Are you deciding if you should paint or powder coat your rims? see my article here to see the pros and cons of both.

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Since you’re still dealing with the basic bones, now you can spend time rewiring your electrical system and installing your lights and meters. For the cleanest look, re-wrap the wires with an electrical tap, and be sure to route the wiring where it won’t rub against the tires.

Then go ahead and install your new exhaust pipes with your exhaust wrap if you have them. don’t worry if the exhaust starts to smoke after first lighting, that’s just the exhaust wrap curing and tightening to the pipes. exhaust wrap has fiberglass particles in it. glass and those smoke the first few times you ride the motorcycle.

now you can install your handlebar; you may need to rewire a bit at this point to make room for them. once you get to this point, you’ll start to see how a true cafe racer is created!

You are now ready to attach and secure your seat to your motorcycle. If you plan to have your seat custom made, take your seat early in the process as it can take several weeks for an upholsterer to finish your seat.

Now for the finishing touches! now you can install your fenders and tank. always do this last in your assembly process. the last thing you want is a big scratch or dent in your tank from fiddling with your handle bars or trying to install the seat. click here for my complete guide on how to build an awesome cafe racer.

how much does it cost to maintain a rebuilt motorcycle

You may be wondering, if you are going to have a motorcycle, how much does it cost to maintain it? you’ll notice that it’s actually significantly cheaper than most other forms of transportation to maintain.

First you will have to look for insurance. This all depends on the make, model and age of your motorcycle. The average insurance premium for a motorcycle is $300 to $500 a year. I pay $17 a month or a little over $200 a year.

One thing I love about owning a motorcycle is the cost of fuel. you can fill up your tank for $10 – $15 and get at least 40 mpg. If you have a newer motorcycle, chances are your mpg will be even better than that.

You will have some miscellaneous expenses, such as a cover, a motorcycle lock, etc. These are usually one-time purchases and are generally inexpensive.

If you have mechanical problems on your motorcycle, many times you can fix it yourself and don’t need a mechanic. motorcycles are great to DIY which saves a lot of money in the long run.

Ultimately, you can plan to spend around $100 a month to maintain your motorcycle. If you use your motorcycle primarily for transportation, that price range will increase; will diminish with little use.

related questions

Where did cafe racers come from? Cafe racers were originally devised and created by British motorcycle enthusiasts in the 1960s. They were originally created for short, fast rides between cafes. many people at that time could not afford a car, so they had a motorcycle as their main mode of transportation.

How much would it cost to have a professional rebuild a motorcycle? Much of this depends on the needs of the motorcycle and the extent of the repairs. most motorcycle shops charge between $50 and $100 per hour for labor. Count on spending thousands of dollars having a motorcycle restored by a professional. all my builds started at $5500.

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