THE VENICE CAFE RACER
A "proper" cafe racer is fine for nipping down to the pub for a pint, but the streets of L.A. are no tea party. So, when the call went out to build a Venice Cafe Racer, something a bit more revolutionary was in order. My vision was of a low, lean, street racer, with classic styling cues.
The starting point was a 78 CB750F, chosen for it's potent black lump. The Comstar wheels, and bodywork, however, stood in the way of the desired "rocker" look, so a little reverse engineering was in order.
Stripped bare, and shaved, the frame is fitted with forks, swingarm, wheels, and pegs from a 69 CB750. The rear subframe was modified to hold the battery and electrical components, which are concealed beneath a custom fitted tailpiece. Knee cut-outs on the 69 tank flow into the tuck and roll seat, to create a narrow cockpit.
The lowered stance comes from cut down forks in front, with 11" shocks, and a 135/15 radial in the rear.
The engines racer intentions are broadcast through a repro Yoshimura pipe, fueled by round-top carbs with machined stacks, and ignited by a Russ Collins bevel drive spinning a Vertex magneto.
Rounding out the package are a high capacity oil tank, and headlight bucket with integrated speedo.
An ocean away from a "motorway", the Venice Cafe Racer gives a nod to tradition, while maintaining a singular sense of style.