Café Racer preparation: 5 mistakes to avoid

Articles décrivant les 5 erreurs à éviter lors d'une prépa Café racer.

Café Racer preparation: 5 mistakes to avoid

Do you want to start a motorcycle preparation course but you are afraid of not getting there? Don't panic, Blackpines Café Racer gives you the 5 mistakes that you can easily avoid when you want to carry out a Café Racer project .

Mistake nº 1: embarking on a preparation that is too complicated

Before embarking on a Café Racer preparation , you must above all provide a level of preparation that meets your abilities. If your weak point is electricity, for example, then we do not recommend that you start creating a brand new harness or installing a Mo-Unit . Being aware of your abilities is indeed essential to carry out your project. You will quickly be discouraged if you find yourself at an impasse or faced with a problem for which you cannot find a solution. Mechanics, welding, painting, electricity are essential elements in the preparation of a motorcycle . But if you master all these areas, then treat yourself and let your imagination run wild.

The tools are also to be taken into account (see our article on the basic tools to make a Café Racer ). A big preparation with modification of the frame and the engine requires many tools, some of which can be quite expensive. If you are customizing your motorcycle in a very dimly lit basement box, do not embark on a modification that will require months of work, go to the essentials in this case! By embarking on an ambitious project, the risk is therefore that it will never be completed.

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Mistake #2: Choosing the wrong base bike

All series motorcycles are potential bases, but not all have the same potential! A motorcycle that is too recent with a large aluminum frame, an electrical harness covered with electronics or multiplexing, an engine known to be capricious and which requires careful maintenance will not necessarily be an ideal base for a beginner. On the other hand, a motorcycle recognized as being reliable with a good old air/oil engine and a tubular frame will be easier to transform. Thus, the Suzuki Inazuma for example lends itself easily to the preparation in Café Racer or Scrambler .

On ad sites, it is not uncommon to find unfinished prepas supplied with boxes of parts at very attractive prices. But beware, in many cases, parts are missing (a simple nut with a special pitch can sometimes be difficult to find) and poor workmanship can hide behind these attractive prices! Then remember to also check that the motorcycle is in order, such as the gray card , because it happens that it is missing on motorcycles taken out of barns...

Mistake #3: Wanting to go too fast

In order to complete your project, it is important to carry it out correctly and with a minimum of organization. Dismantling a motorcycle into parts can be done in as little as half a day, but putting it back together can take much, much longer if the dismantling has not been carried out without identification. Do things step by step and don't go all over the place. It is best to divide your project into several parts and proceed step by step.

Don't start, for example, by painting your elements nicely when you still have to grind some parts. Also, if you degrease or clean parts, do as much as possible to avoid repeating the operation. The whole thing is not wanting to finish before having started, saying to yourself “I'll do it quickly and I'll do it again later”. From experience, this will ultimately be the time you lose on the progress of your project. Sitting down and analyzing the shapes of your bike to then choose the different elements that will make it up is one of the keys to the aesthetic success of a preparation. The devil is in the details, so pay attention to the finishing touches .

Workshop tips :

  • for all electrical components , remember to identify each socket with a color code or tape with the name of the element (front turn signal, starter, headlight, etc.);
  • do not hesitate to take many pictures during the disassembly, it will help you during the reassembly.

Mistake #4: Neglecting Your Safety

Remember that you are working on a rolling machine and sometimes able to drive at quite high speeds. It would therefore be risky to forget this point and do anything with your motorcycle for purely aesthetic or budget reasons . Too often, unfortunately, we see frames cut roughly, without taking into account the geometry of the bike and the stiffness of the frame . Attracted by attractive prices, one can quickly be tempted by suspensions or a low-end braking system from non-specialized sites. Obviously with a sometimes tight budget, it is necessary to make choices but think of your safety as a priority. It is strongly advised not to save money on the safety elements of your motorcycle , your life is still at stake!

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Mistake #5: Abandoning the Project

Many motorcycle preparations end with an announcement on Leboncoin: " Motorcycle to finish with two boxes full of parts provided"! It is true that you will encounter many obstacles, but persevere in your project. For this, do not hesitate to get help and do not lose the desire to create YOUR motorcycle because it is from this desire that your project was born. Take your time and try to keep a schedule (if you can) to visualize the steps you need to complete and the ones already finalized, this will motivate you to continue. Once your motorcycle is finished , you will be proud to have made it yourself because it is the whole spirit of the Café Racer . Whether it's giving life back to the heap of scrap metal that had remained for years at the back of a barn or giving a sexy and unique look to this " granny » old-fashioned 90s, you will be proud to have been to the end of this old dream!

You will have understood that a project is being prepared and that it requires good organization but above all a lot of perseverance. But the key is to accomplish this project that has been close to your heart for years. If you are still hesitating to take the Café Racer step, read our article Café Racer: 5 reasons to take the plunge .

Finally, if you want advice or to be coached, do not hesitate to contact us , we can study your preparation project together.


  • Emilio (Brésil)

    Je viens du Brésil et je suis un débutant dans ce domaine. Je cherche des informations pour commencer un projet de scrambler sur une Yamaha YBR 125 2003.
    Je me demande quel guidon choisir pour être à l’aise et avoir une bonne conduite. J’ai d’abord pensé au guidon Yamaha DT 180, parce qu’il est haut, qu’en pensez-vous ?
    Le réservoir que j’ai déjà acheté sera le Yamaha RX 125, mais je n’ai aucune idée de comment le fixer sur le chassi de la moto, puisqu’il n’y a pas de support pour cela.

    Oh, et les clignotants, j’ai trouvé que celui en aluminium de la Honda 125 CM 1992 que tu as utilisé était magnifique, mais celui de la YBR 125 est en plastique et je ne l’ai pas beaucoup aimé. As-tu des recommandations ?

    Merci pour les informations du site, elles m’aident beaucoup et bravo pour votre travail.

    Je vous salue depuis le Brésil.

  • Esther

    Salut ! Allez j’me lance ! Première prépa….une Honda CM 125, pour le fun….après la renaissance un petit run essence…peut être ! L’idée est d’en faire un café racer exotique car elle va rouler outre mer. Merci pour les précieux conseils….une photo à suivre


    J’en suis à ma 3ème prépa sur 3 motos différentes.
    Maîtres mots : patience, réflexion et budget!

  • jeff buinoud

    pour avoir fait recemment un cafe racer sur base triumph trophy, vos conseils sont excellent et bien priorisé,bravo

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