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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been doing tons of research for a first bike, and like everyone else, I have come up with the Ninja 250 as the perfect starter bike. I like the look of the bike and it seems to be the perfect bike for me. I was recently scanning the forum out of curiosity and came across a thread about cafe racers. I instantly fell in love with the idea of owning and using a cafe racer but I don't really know anything about them. So what I'm getting down to is; as a first bike would this be ok? Are they difficult to own, can you buy one or do you have to make one completely from scratch?
 

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These are generally hand-build or modified bikes. There are a few companies that make the classic cafe racer style bikes, but they are not mainstream or easy to get parts for.

Buell makes the 1125CR which is advertised as a "21st century cafe racer" , but it doesn't resemble the cafe racers of old at all. This is definitely not a good bike to learn on.

A cafe racer home modification to any of the 70's to 80's standards is fairly straight forward and really not expensive or hard to do. Lowering the handlebars bars and shaving the seat will be the most of it.
 

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The Triumph Thruxton is a factory made cafe racer. I don't see why it wouldn't be a bad first bike as long as you feel comfortable on it.
 

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If you go the money, Ducati Sport Classics are pretty awesome too, but definitely not for a first bike. The Thruxton is a very nice bike, 900cc parallel twin will give quite a bit more power than a ninja 250. As far as riding it, I'm not sure how easy they handle but I hear they're not comfortable for longer rides.
 

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What kind of riding are you planning on doing? If you're wanting a bike primarily for weekend joy rides and bike nights, then a cafe racer might be fine. However, if you are wanting to do any serious amount of distance riding (say, 100+ miles), then a cafe just won't be very comfortable.

In addition to what Dodsfall said, you should also consider buying/fabricating some rear sets (sportbike-style foot pegs). A standard bike with clubman bars will be even MORE uncomfortable without rear sets than with them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Luckily I have a pretty good background when it comes to crafting things. I know how to weld and I have access to a professional shop where I have everything I need to work on a bike. Are there any modifications that would require a lot of motorcycle knowledge that a newbie wouldn't know from just lack of experience. I'll probably be doing some weekend riding and quick trips around town but I would need to travel about 200 miles every once-in-a-while (I wouldn't be doing that for awhile until I get comfortable riding).
 
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