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Old 07-07-2011, 08:24 PM   #1
riverdale OP
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My 1983 R100RT Cafe build

Hello all, I wanted to start a thread to document my cafe build. About 2 months ago, I purchased my first airhead, but not my first bike. It is a 1983 r100rt that was in factory pearl white, had factory panniers, and a big butt seat.

My plan for the bike is going to be in multiple stages. Stage 1 is maintenance /tuning and front end transformation. I look forward to sharing my experience with you, as well as gaining input from you seasoned Airheads.

Included are a few pictures of the bike when I took possession.
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:26 PM   #2
riverdale OP
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Controls shot
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Old 07-07-2011, 09:01 PM   #3
caponerd
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Don't throw away your old fairing.

RT's are very good long-distance, all-weather touring bikes. A better choice for a cafe conversion would be something like an R90/6 or an R100/7.
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:59 PM   #4
supershaft
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For goodness sake don't throw away that fairing! Some Tour Packer will happily pay you a good stack of cash for it!

I disagree with caponerd about /6's or /7's making a better platform. Your bike has real brakes with a real master cylinder, a real clutch, a beefier swingarm, some think a better airbox, and whatnot! The only thing not to like about that bike is the low 8.2:1 compression ratio but that is pretty easily fixed! In the mean time, they run fine as is!
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:29 AM   #5
blaine.hale
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supershaft View Post
For goodness sake don't throw away that fairing! Some Tour Packer will happily pay you a good stack of cash for it!

I disagree with caponerd about /6's or /7's making a better platform. Your bike has real brakes with a real master cylinder, a real clutch, a beefier swingarm, some think a better airbox, and whatnot! The only thing not to like about that bike is the low 8.2:1 compression ratio but that is pretty easily fixed! In the mean time, they run fine as is!
Well if we have to get technical...a /5 would make the best candidate because real cafes didn't have disk brakes :)
I also heard tale that the /5 frames were a bit stiffer (I'm probably wrong.) Not to mention the /5 gauges make for a more stripped down look!
Side note: I actually hate cafe bikes.
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:44 AM   #6
Odinie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blaine.hale View Post
Well if we have to get technical...a /5 would make the best candidate because real cafes didn't have disk brakes :)
I also heard tale that the /5 frames were a bit stiffer (I'm probably wrong.) Not to mention the /5 gauges make for a more stripped down look!
I think /5s make the best bikes in general!

Quote:
Originally Posted by blaine.hale View Post
I actually hate cafe bikes.
I would almost agree for the most part. The half assed onces all look the same. I've seen a few that I wouldn't mind owning however. Many of them were Guzzi's though. They just tickle my pickle.

Back to the subject at hand. The RT seems like an odd choice to me at first, but the mechanical advancements will be nice to have, even if not truly period correct. Also, if he got a good deal on the bike, those extra parts will be handy to help fund the project.
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:19 AM   #7
supershaft
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Real cafe bikes didn't have disc brakes? Period correct? Give me a break guys! Real cafe bikes were not beemers!

I don't like the term "cafe" bike. It's too mom and pop. I use the term TT bikes. Tavern to Tavern!
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:45 AM   #8
blaine.hale
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supershaft View Post
Real cafe bikes didn't have disc brakes? Period correct? Give me a break guys! Real cafe bikes were not beemers!

I don't like the term "cafe" bike. It's too mom and pop. I use the term TT bikes. Tavern to Tavern!
Hey I was being super loose as not to start a huge "cafe" debate hehehe. I do like TT a lot better, as well.
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Old 07-08-2011, 12:39 PM   #9
Odinie
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Hey I was being super loose as not to start a huge "cafe" debate hehehe. I do like TT a lot better, as well.
I was reacting to what people call Cafe bikes these days. That's all. Every bike and its mom seems to be considered a cafe if it has clubmans or clip ons...
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Old 07-08-2011, 01:38 PM   #10
herman maire
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looks like a good solid bike.
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Old 07-08-2011, 05:07 PM   #11
riverdale OP
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First off to relieve everyones anxiety of a thrown away fairing: It is still safe with me, and I plan on selling it along with any other usable parts that I remove from the bike.

Guess to some people, I have made a mistake of labeling this a "cafe" build. To me , a cafe is doing the same thing as the boys were back in the day; an expression of style and personality. The ability to strip off the goodies for more go, and the only show that came with it was the details you put into it during the transformation. I realize this bike is past the vintage for that, and I am not racing between cafe's, or record -racing. So, what are we to call these modern interpretations of cafe racers? "Streetfighter" is not a definition I would associate with a BMW that was originally a touring type bike. I am curious to hear everyone's opinion, but keep in mind, this is hopefully to be a build thread, and not one to change a never ending definition.
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Old 07-08-2011, 05:27 PM   #12
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who cares what yopu call your thread? J

Just done throw away the fenders, add some low bars and then claim you built a cafe racer.
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Old 07-08-2011, 11:53 PM   #13
FilbertFatknacker
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"cafe racer" (i would say) the modern take on it would be, fashion ,look or style, moving away from the bike and more to do with the culture..Norton bikes have disc brakes, and if they aren't the new cafe racers, what are they?
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Old 07-09-2011, 02:24 PM   #14
Wirespokes
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I believe the reason caponerd suggested a /6 or /7 is because they didn't come with fairings, and are probably cheaper to begin with. Less to strip off or replace.

But the RT is what you have now, so go for it. Guys into the RTs might object, but not me. If it was an RS, well perhaps, unless it was pretty ratty. It is the final edition and if the bodywork is good, treat it nice because it's worth a bit more than others.

What's your view of the finished project? What's it going to be like?
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Old 07-09-2011, 04:02 PM   #15
riverdale OP
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Plan for the project is going to be in several stages.

Stage 1: Maintenance / tuning and Front end transformation. This includes stripping off all the fairing, clip-ons(unless i decide i dont like the feel) , bar end signals and mirrors, new headlight brackets, RFID ignition, acewell gauge, and custom indicator lamps. Obviously the maintenance/ tuning part will not be ending with stage 1, but bike had been sitting for several years when I purchased it , so carb rebuilds, valve adjustments, fluid changes etc will be at the beginning of the list.

Below--Much needed carb rebuilds. I purchased two gasket and diaphragm kits and went to town.
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