Steve “Carpy” Carpenter's slick four-into-one motorcycle exhaust system.
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From Honda CB750 motorcycle exhaust systems to cafe racer seats, there are plenty of parts and pieces available to transform your motorcycle into a café racer. Here are nine reviews of café racer parts and pieces from the editors at Motorcycle Classics:
1. If you have a single overhead cam 1969-1978 Honda CB750 that you’re giving the café treatment, this is the perfect motorcycle exhaust system for your bike. Fresh from café king Steve “Carpy” Carpenter is this slick four-into-one exhaust system. Available in plain untreated steel or high-temp, gloss black paint, the system features a removable baffle and fits nice and snug to the engine and frame of your CB750. Price: $450.
2. One of the quickest and easiest ways to customize and clean up the look of your bike is to get rid of the stock mirrors — especially if you ride one of the many Japanese bikes from the 1970s and 1980s that came with those large round or square mirrors on tall stalks. If you’re going to buy bar-end mirrors, spend a little money and do it right the first time. Napoleon mirrors are a natural choice. They look great on a variety of classic and vintage bikes, and they offer good visibility with a non-convex mirror. Napoleon mirrors are also very sturdy and can act as a bar-end slider, providing you and your bike a small degree of crash protection. They fit 7/8-inch bars or any bar with a minimum 20mm inside diameter. Available in black or chrome. Price: $36.95 each.
3. Here’s a blast from the past: The fine folks at British Cycle Supply happened across a small selection of Dunstall or Stadium-style Universal front fenders from the early 1970s. Available in blue, red, black or yellow (depending on what’s left in stock), they show signs of being warehoused for more than 30 years, but are still nice. They measure 5 inches wide, 26 inches from tip to tip, with an outside angle of 31 degrees. According to an old Dunstall catalog, these “light weight racing type front mudguards give surprisingly good weather protection whilst enhancing the appearance of the machine.” The British Cycle Part number is 999-200, and they can be found on the “Clearance and Nonstock” section of the website. There were 15 fenders left at press time. Price: $99.
4. Made in the USA, these universal rearsets can be modified to fit virtually any bike if you fabricate mounts and shift/brake linkage rods. These rearsets feature CNC-machined 6061 aluminum pegs with oil-impregnated bronze bushings. Each rearset weighs just 9 ounces, and the pegs are knurled for extra grip. They also include stainless steel mounting bolts that thread into the pegs. Price: $129.99.
5. If you’re looking for a way to really transform that stock-looking Honda Four into a café racer, a custom-built Alloy Bullet Café Tank from Roc City Café Racers may be right up your alley. Made from high quality, super light 14-gauge aluminum alloy, the tank holds about 4 gallons of gas and features a modern petcock and a Monza-style gas cap. The tank can be ordered to fit your bike, and Roc City also offers a matching Alloy Bullet Café Seat. It takes about nine weeks from order for Roc City to get you a tank like this, but we’re pretty sure it would be worth the wait. Price: Tank, $850, Seat, $420.
6. Hotwing Glass specializes in making custom vintage fiberglass motorcycle seats, and our favorite is the Road Race 3. It comes in two styles. The standard style fits stock non oil-in-frame Triumph and BSA frames, and will also fit BMW R-series bikes, many Hondas, Yamahas, Suzukis, Kawasakis and more. A separate model is available that fits 1971 and newer oil-in-frame Triumphs or BSAs. Each seat is constructed of hand-laid fiberglass and comes with a gel-coat finish. The seat pads are sold separately, and are made with firm, high-density foam covered in black vinyl. Price: Seat, $90, Seat Pad, $85.
7. Joker Machine makes a slew of cool café racer products, and one of the neatest is this Lucas-style Café LED Taillight Assembly. This retro-shaped CNC-machined housing and back-plate unit holds state-of-the-art technology: a 40 LED high-intensity light cluster. Available in “Hard Black” or clear anodized finishes, the light mounts on flat surfaces, fenders, brackets and more. It features 6mm tapped mounting holes on the back plate, which mounts directly onto the popular “Dixie International” or EMGO cast fender mount assembly found at many motorcycle shops. Price: $99.95.
8. HVCcycle in Lincoln, Neb., sells a variety of restoration and non-stock parts for Japanese motorcycles, especially two-strokes. One of their most universal pieces is the classic Viper fairing from EMGO. It fits most any standard-style motorcycle with up to a 7-inch round headlight, features a smoked windshield, and gives your bike good looks and added comfort at highway speeds. The kit comes complete with a mounting kit and instructions, and is made of high-impact plastic. Price: $68.99.
9. A simple change of motorcycle handlebars can transform a bike. Lower, straighter-than-stock bars can improve the looks and handling of a bike, and installing them is normally a simple, straightforward affair. These M-Bars come from Norman Hyde Ltd. in Warwick, England, where they know just a thing or two about making café racers. Available in either 7/8-inch or 1-inch outside diameter sizes, these bars will give your bike an aggressive look and riding posture. The bars bend slightly forward before bending back towards the rider, and there is also a very slight rise (or droop, depending on how you mount the bars). They’re also available with or without threaded 5mm end-caps at the ends (made specifically for Hinckley Triumph handlebar trim caps and bar-end mirrors). The bars measure 28 inches wide by 6 inches deep with one inch of rise, and are available through BellaCorse, along with a host of other café parts. Price: $64.99.
More café racer parts suppliersMany of the suppliers we’ve mentioned carry a variety of parts other than the ones we highlighted. Other suppliers and great places to look for parts include Omar’s Dirt Track Racing Inc., which sells a variety of body parts, exhaust systems, shocks and more. Z1 Enterprises Inc. also carries a variety of stock and café-style parts for Japanese motorcycles, including Vance & Hines and Kerker exhaust systems for some bikes. And CafeRace Inc. carries a wide variety of body parts, exhaust systems, electrical parts and more for BMWs, Triumphs and Japanese bikes.