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Breaking Down the Basics: A Guide to Building Your Own Custom Motorcycle

So I got to thinking that maybe just maybe I'd be able to convert a Honda CBF500 into something different like a Scrambler or a Cafe Racer.

Honda CBF 500 to Cafe Racer

I've gathered some Intel at Bionic Biker HQ the list of which you can see below. It all seems straight forward enough right? what could go wrong? My competence is ok but Ive never done a project like this. This is one of those things I've always wanted to do but just never had the oppotunity or time.

So I Have to rev up my imagination and try to turn a Honda CBF 500 into a sleek cafe racer! or maybe a Scrambler? Hmmm havent decided yet.

Here's my starting 12 point thought process at least.

  1. Inspiration Gathering: You definitely have to include this. So let's start off by diving into the world of cafe racers and scramblers. I'll look at iconic designs, get a feel for the classic aesthetics, and decide on the vibe I want. I'm guessing Pinterest and Instagram are treasure troves for inspiration, along with good old YouTube for follow-alongs.

  2. Stripped Down Basics: Get the motorcycle on a stand and strip the bike down to its bare bones. Remove unnecessary parts, keeping only the essentials. You have to think minimalistically; cafe racers and scramblers are all about simplicity.

  3. Frame Modification: Should I consider modifying the frame, like for that signature cafe racer stance? But it might involve tweaking the rear subframe to get a more aggressive, forward-leaning look. But I have to make sure to maintain the structural integrity, and I'm a complete novice.

  4. Seat Upgrade: Invest in a decent cafe racer or scrambler seat. Going for the flat and elongated style will give the bike that classic racer silhouette. Styles vary from leather to modern materials, as long as they are comfy.

  5. Clip-On Handlebars: Swap out the handlebars, perhaps for the clip-on style. These low-mounted bars, I'm told, create a more aerodynamic riding position, perfect for that cafe racer feel, but I'm not sure about my old wrists. I will have to make sure I adjust the controls accordingly.

  6. Footpegs and Controls: Rearset footpegs seem to be the most common feature in cafe racers. This style enhances that more aggressive riding position. Again will have to adjust the controls to match any new footpeg position.

  7. Performance Exhaust: Absolutely must upgrade the exhaust system for better performance and that distinctive cafe racer growl. There has to be an exhaust system that complements the bike's aesthetics.

  8. Custom Paint Job: Time to add some flair! Should I choose a classic color scheme or go bold with a modern twist? They say the right paint job can transform a bike, and it will tie together the cafe racer look. Can I do this myself?

  9. Suspension Tweaks: Now this is a biggie, upgrade the front forks and the rear shocks for a sportier feel. I'm told that a slightly lowered stance can enhance the cafe racer aesthetic while maintaining rideability. Of course, with a scrambler, it would be the opposite.

  10. Tires and Wheels: I'd like to opt for spoke wheels for the classic touch and pair them with some slim, high-performance tires, or for the scram, we want chunky off-roaders. A decent combination will look good and also improve the handling.

  11. Lighting Overhaul: Update the lighting system, but with a minimalist approach. A basic small, round headlight and compact turn signals will be a better cafe racer vibe.

  12. Finishing Touches: Paying attention to the details Maybe add a small fairing or cowl, swap out the fenders for a cleaner look, or maybe consider adding personalized decals or logos. I do like the number panels.

Honda CBF 500 cafe racer style

Maybe soon I'll be cruising the streets on your very own, unique two-wheeled masterpiece! It's now just a question of time.

Have I left anything out?

Let me know what I'm missing.

Ride safe


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