Ray's GL650 Cafe Racer 27 February 15

Ray Palatek is a passionate motorcyclist and he has been riding since the age of 17, and is now 63 years old. Coincidentally he has owned 63 motorcycles so far, 44 of those have been purchased brand new. At the age of 32, he started Road Racing at 9 different tracks around the Midwest; the Midwest Region consists of 9 States, each of which has a racetrack. The classes of race that he ran in were of various displacements, Lightweight Twins all the way to the Unlimited Superbikes. In 1985 he finished 2nd in his class and attended the CCS "Race of Champions" against competitors from all over the US, finishing 5th at Daytona. Club racing also provided much track time doing both WERA and CCS SPRINT and Endurance racing. Throughout the years he has taken his bikes to the Drag Strip for fun and some competitive activity, not a serious attempt and more as a hobby and stress reliever!

He built this Cafe Racer from a 1983 Honda GL650 Silverwing and worked extensively on it to produce this stunning example of what can be done with a totally different style of donor bike. The list of work is comprehensive and most of it is itemized below, the photos tell the rest of the story.

Front end
Complete Honda 2001 CBR929 (Fireblade) Sport Bike fork, including brakes, handlebars, and wheel. Adapted using All Balls Racing tapered roller bearing conversion kit for a GL650. Stem length was correct for a bolt on swap.

Rear shock
CBR 929 with adjustable damping, spring preload on the softest setting. The top shock mount has the stud ground off and the GL sleeve welded offset forward the front, to provide the correct center to center dimension for proper ride height.

AGM Battery, solenoids, ignition modules, wiring harness, etc. mounted on an aluminum seat pan.

Legendary Motorcycles PHAT seat, with matching molded pad.

The mufflers are Emgo items. The center baffle had to be opened up 7/8", as they are too restrictive to use as is. The stock Honda headpipes, and H-Box, is used with these mufflers.

Fairing was purchased from Hotwing Glass, in Yankee Town, Florida
Emgo turn signals, tail light and mufflers also came from Hotwing Glass.

Valve covers, Radiator shroud, engine emblems: powder coated wrinkle finish.
Paint By Scott"s Paint & Body Repair. Inglis, FL
Tape stripe design by RP

Air Intake
Spectra clamp on air filter, for an Import car (cold air) generic, it comes with two different inner spacers, one is used to clamp on to the stock mid-section plenum, and velocity stacks.
Main jets 125, mid jets 90, stock pilot jets

Trail Tech Vapor, for more info: click here

Ray says he is really happy with how the bike came out and how it rides. His only regret is he wishes he would have weighed the bike before, and after, just for the fun of it.

Editors Note
Great job Ray, the bike looks amazing and your work is an inspiration to us all. I am looking forward to seeing any other projects you have in the pipeline. Also looking forward getting out riding with you some more, not forgetting I don't have your racing heritage so you may have to wait a bit for me to catch up.

Alan Goodsell


Alan Goodsell , 27 February 15