The new ICON 1000 MH1000 jacket

Ready to Wear: Kaspeed’s slinky Nighthawk 750

Honda Nighthawk 750 cafe racer by Kaspeed
We’ve noticed an encouraging trend amongst custom shops lately: they’re offering made-to-order customs alongside their one-off specials. Diamond Atelier have enjoyed success with their Mark II BMW boxer builds, and deBolex Engineering have hinted at an imminent ready-to-wear range.

Limited production runs take a lot of the guesswork out of the custom business: both the builder and customer know exactly what they’re in for. Germany’s Kaspeed Moto have now thrown their hat in the ring, using the venerable Honda CB750 as a donor.

Honda Nighthawk 750 cafe racer by Kaspeed
Don’t let the harmonious lines of this prototype fool you—it’s actually based on the graceless mid-90s Nighthawk 750. Kaspeed have somehow massaged it into an attractive shape, and in a way that makes repetition feasible.

“This is our #00 prototype,” says Kaspeed’s Jimmy Dressel. “The whole bike was engineered to be a lot more ‘reproducible’ than the usual one-off custom build. It was a real challenge, to be honest—and we still have some points to improve for the future.”

Honda Nighthawk 750 cafe racer by Kaspeed
In their Glauchau, Saxony workshop, Jimmy, his twin brother and his father pumped over 300 man-hours into the Nighthawk. For starters, it hadn’t been well looked after—so they had to clean out the carbs before it would even run.

They also rejetted the carbs, and fitted a set of DNA filters with leather caps. Plus they gave the Nighthawk a solid service, replaced a few seals and fitted a new chain and sprockets.

Honda Nighthawk 750 cafe racer by Kaspeed
Luckily the actual motor and gearbox both still ran strong, so there was no need to crack open the powertrain. The crew overhauled it on the outside, refinishing it in a mix of matt black and silver.

The Honda’s sporting some swish chassis upgrades though. Kaspeed fitted upside down forks, triples and front brakes from a 2000-spec Yamaha R1. They used a conversion kit (essentially a steering stem and bearings) from Cognito Moto, and fabricated a new axle and spacers.

Honda Nighthawk 750 cafe racer by Kaspeed
There’s also a pair of Öhlins HO 141 piggyback shocks out back. Kaspeed kept the Nighthawk’s stock wheels, but painted them matt bronze and wrapped them in modern Metzeler Roadtec 01 rubber. (Jimmy tells us they had to paint the wheels themselves, because they couldn’t find a powder coater that could nail that particular color.)

Building the new bodywork was quite a process. The guys designed the tail unit using CAD software, then hand-shaped a positive PU foam mold based on the design.

Honda Nighthawk 750 cafe racer by Kaspeed
A two-piece negative mold was then shaped, and the final part built up using glass- and carbon-Kevlar-fiber. The mold’s good for at least fifteen units before Kaspeed will need to bin it.

It’s a slick design from any angle, topped off with a genuine leather seat. It’s really minimal too, thanks to the lack of a traditional taillight. Instead, a pair of tiny Kellerman LEDs flanks the tail, doubling up as taillight and turn signals.

Honda Nighthawk 750 cafe racer by Kaspeed
The area under the seat’s also been cleared out. Kaspeed tweaked the subframe to match the tail section, reinforced it, and de-tabbed the frame. Then they moved all the electronics into the hump, along with a smaller Lithium-ion battery. To access it, you simply pop off the seat via the stock seat latch. Neat.

Moving to the front, the team kept the stock Nighthawk tank—but elongated the flat section at the back to match up with the seat unit. Rounding out the bodywork is a custom-built aluminum front fender.

Honda Nighthawk 750 cafe racer by Kaspeed
Kaspeed’s handiwork is complemented by a slew of top-shelf componentry. You’ll find LSL clip-ons, brake fluid reservoirs and foot pegs, and Kellermann bar-end turn signals. Up front is a LED headlight from KOSO, plus a Daytona dial that combines an analog tacho with a digital speed readout.

They’ve also installed a keyless RFID ignition from Motogadget, and mated Leo Vince slip-ons to the four-into-two headers. Jimmy reckons the Nighthawk is now about eight percent lighter than stock—but more importantly, it’s completely TÜV compliant.

Honda Nighthawk 750 cafe racer by Kaspeed
This prototype’s been finished in ‘Source Silver’ metallic, a splendid Honda NSX color. But you’ll be able to order yours in any color you want. Kaspeed plan to take roughly a dozen orders, with two options on the table: ‘Heritage’ and ‘Racer.’

‘Heritage’ builds will cost less, and be lighter on suspension and component upgrades. The ‘Racer’ builds will be similar to what you see here, with the option of adding even more goodies, if your pocket allows.

Honda Nighthawk 750 cafe racer by Kaspeed
Kaspeed unveiled #00 this past weekend at the Glemseck 101, where it was both raced and shown off on Honda Germany’s stand. Given the huge attendance at the annual sprint-racing event, we’re betting there will soon be orders on the books.

Kaspeed Custom Motorcycles | Facebook | Instagram | Images by Jimmy Dressel

Honda Nighthawk 750 cafe racer by Kaspeed

Kaspeed Moto would like to thank Öhlins, Leo Vince, Kellermann, Metzeler tires, DNA Filters, John Doe for riding gear, and Hedon helmets.

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