Chris Graziano is a police officer from Wisconsin. He sent us his story about his latest build. He’s built three café racers over the years. His boss, the chief of Police saw his 1976 cb750 and loved it. What better way to get favor with the boss than to build a Cafe Racer for him.
The boss said he had an old bike – the first one he bought. He had given it to a family member and guess where it ended up, of course – in a barn. Chris and his boss began pulling pictures and talking about what he liked.
Chris stripped the 1978 GS750 down to the frame and rebuilt or replaced almost every part from the forks to the wheel bearings. “I rebuilt the top end of the bike and we added several add ons to the bike. I love working on old bikes and bringing them back from the dead. This bike was fun and is pretty quick. The most difficult challenge was getting the carbs tuned right with the 4 to 1 pipes and the air pods on the carbs it took several times rejetting the carbs to get them right. I hope to build another bike for myself soon”, Chris told us.
Good luck and we hope to see it when you do, Chris. Send us your bike photos and bike stories and like us on Facebook.
This Cafe Racer project and article comes to us from Augusto Bittencourt. Most of this came from what he sent to us via Facebook.
The 1973 YAMAHA TX 500 was the basis for construction of this Vintage/Old School Cafe Racer. This bike was built in the owner’s house, Augusto Bittencourt, in his own workspace. He called it Lucas, in honor of his son Lucas Bittencourt, a Speed Motorcycle pilot.
As it was built to be Old School, the front disc brakes gave way to a drum brake from a Norton Commando with Dunlop rim, carburetors were kept and overfed, the tail and seat are English, the handlebar and throttle are Tomazelli ones, the electric start was eliminated and left only the kick start. The pedals have been recoiled for more racing style piloting, the levers are retro, and the mirror is a bar end and there are thermo tapes on the exhaust. The tank was handcrushed to give the Cafe style and a racing style air vent builted next to the cover, which was maintained with an gasoline buoy marker.
The speedometer is a Smiths, in the best English style. The painting refers to the years 50`s in shades of red, black and silver with the YAMAHA name styled “Norton”, and an adhesive tail make an homage to Isle Of Man TT. The biggest difficulty in building a Cafe Racer style machine here in Brazil is the lack of available parts and accessories, requiring care, which makes it very expensive and labor-intensive project.
As an initial test-drive, the “Lucas Cafe” was piloted by the homonym pilot Lucas Bittencourt in Cascavel 2015 Gentlemans Ride between the cities of Cascavel and Toledo in Brazil, a journey of 100 km, making it one of the event’s attractions, not only for style but also the sound coming out of the exhaust, like a B-52 flying.
It is difficult to talk about cost when the manpower is the owner himself and the parts were all imported. The most important thing is that the project achieved its objective and has become one of the most Old School Cafe Racers in Brazil for sure, in terms of labor, creativity and authenticity.