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My daily "driver" -- A 1988 Honda GB250 Clubman Cafe Racer


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#1 Herbonius

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 10:46 AM

Just thought that I would show off my bike: a 1988 Honda GB250 Clubman. These bikes were only sold in Japan as far as I know and were Honda's version of a cafe racer out of the factory.

This is how it looked when I picked it up. $2500 running perfectly with the only downsides being that it's an import (I speak Japanese so it's not a real issue for me) and that it had a bit of surface rust on the exhaust.
Posted Image

I wanted to take the cafe racer look a lot further so I fitted a bump stop seat from Japan.
[img width=770 height=573]http://i.imgur.com/z4pm7.jpg[/img]
Please excuse the dirt. Rained on the way home last night...

Rear profile:
[img width=770 height=770]http://i.imgur.com/rcV10.jpg[/img]

Rear profile:
[img width=770 height=770]http://i.imgur.com/Zzyqh.jpg[/img]

Front end:
[img width=770 height=575]http://i.imgur.com/bcsTk.jpg[/img]

I love the look of the bump stop but I do need to tidy up the back end a touch. I'm not entirely sure what to do here. No amount of adjustment to the seat will make it fit. Any suggestions?
[img width=770 height=575]http://i.imgur.com/Ifl3i.jpg[/img]

Although it specifically designed for my bike, it really doesn't fit very well. Any suggestions on what I could do to improve the back end?

I haven't had a chance to get to the paint shop but this is how the bump stop will look when painted.
[img width=770 height=573]http://i.imgur.com/iBMQr.jpg[/img]

I may put a two-tone vinyl sticker on there to match the tank but I'm not sure yet. It looks clean enough just in green I think.

Once all this is done I'll be happy with the look of the bike and I'll move on to improving the performance a bit. It's a little slow off the line and the rear sprocket is wrong I think as I'm revving the hell out of it just to sit on 100kmh (60mph).

Anyway, just thought I would show off my daily "driver". You don't see many cafe racers around the streets but they really are great fun to put together as the whole idea is to make something cool and fast on a very tight budget.

#2 dat2kman

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 12:08 PM

A long time ago, i had a Rickman Kawasaki KH500, the stock Kwaka frame was known as a "flexi frame" the steering head would wobble relative to the mainframe tubing.
Rickman in UK made a exchange frame with added bracing to stiffen, and swing arm was stiffened.
It had "Clip -On" handlebars, ie two seoarate bits of handle bar, that clamped directly to upper forks under top headstock, single mono seat, no pillion pegs, a bikini fairing that did nothing, a 7" headlamp poking out front.
Best of all was the KH 500 spcc two strole triple, nothing until 8000 rpm, then hold the pharque on till recline at 12000

Your bike needs the mono rear pod lowered, get the back flattened down, a pair of clip ons, and a tiny little fairing.
Get a copy of the original Mad Max movie, the so called bikers in that, a few had some nice examples.

I lusted after a Suzuki Katana, mates later had Kwaka Z1R Mk11's , i ended up with a Kwak Z900, then got a bit older, wanted more comfort and gota Yammie 1100cc Virago cruiser, bloody thing wouldnt go round corners, but at least my bum was comfy.
Weirdest one was a Honda CX500 V twin across the frame, when you cracked the throttle mid cirner, due to flywheel inertia, it would either stand up or lie over, depending on which way it leant.

That Honda is a rare one, well done for getting a hold of it!

#3 1600dave

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 02:13 PM

Weirdest one was a Honda CX500 V twin across the frame, when you cracked the throttle mid cirner, due to flywheel inertia, it would either stand up or lie over, depending on which way it leant.


I can relate to that - only time I've ever dropped a bike on the road was my old 1951 BMW, it "stood up" in a corner on a country road, I ran wide into the gravel and went down. Same thing as the CX500 -  the engine ran cross the frame, was hard to get used to.

Ohh, and nice Honda !

#4 zzzzed

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 05:02 PM

Love cafe racers. I build them in my spare time. I currently have a cx500 caffe and an sr250 cafe. And a dr250 soon to be tracker.

#5 zzzzed

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 05:04 PM

Oh and yeh I don't have any trouble with my cx500 trying to lay down or stand up. Even thou it has a few more hp than standard.  ;)

#6 Herbonius

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 04:51 PM

Get a copy of the original Mad Max movie, the so called bikers in that, a few had some nice examples.


I love rat style bikes too and will probably make a "Mad Max" style bobber as my next project. This bike was just too pretty to modify though. I looked at doing clip-ons and rear sets but being a 250 it's rather small and I think it would be too uncomfortable. Very fun bike to ride around town though, cutting between traffic. It's not great on the highway but a simple sprocket change will fix that.

#7 NZeder

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 04:48 AM

Nice bike, I have seen a few of these here in NZ, again imports from Japan. My 2 weaknesses are Datsun Zed and Honda motorcycles...love their V4 VFRs. Recently I have been thinking of bikes again as we coming to summer and I would love a cafe so well done on you for having one and for sharing with us.




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