Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Genoa, Nevada, USA 89411
For a hoot of a fun cafe bike, that won't cost you big bucks, you might consider a mid-70's Yamaha XS-650. Basically a Japanese Triumph, they have hell-for-stout motors, fairly light weight and very easy to ride. I miss mine terribly!
I had a '74 that came with nice aluminum rims and a single disk up front. After swapping carbs, pipes and some tuning, it was a ball to ride in the twisties. The sound was delightful and it was easy to ride quickly, with lots of mid-range punch.
You should be able to find a fairly clean specimen for well under a grand. Add a few hundred (check salvage yards for add-on stuff) and you'll have a fun bike. There are also a bevy of hi-po parts available, as these were sometimes converted to flat track duty. There are also a few outfits that do street-tracker conversions that look really sweet.
Good luck in your search.
Our greatest challenge in life is living up to our own potential.