“Classic lines with a modern approach…”
That’s the motto of Vandals Moto, an Atlanta-based shop that focuses on melding classic looks with modern brake, suspension, and performance technology. Run by Alex Childs, Vandals Moto has become known for their Honda Nighthawk builds — latter-day CB750 machines with front end conversions, upgraded brakes, tank and swingarm swaps, and more.
While the Nighthawk 750 may not get the same love as the rest of the CB750 family, the bike offered 75 bhp with a weight of just 474 lb — making it the lightest, most powerful CB750 of the series. What’s more, the Nighthawk’s performance is matched by solid reliability and parts availability.
The Honda Nighthawk you see here, “Casper,” is the first of series of Casper Nighthawks for which the shop is currently taking orders. Below, we get the full story on one of the baddest, sexiest Nighthawk we’ve seen.
Honda Nighthawk 750 Casper: In the Builder’s Words
Usually these stories start with a bike and a boy with a dream right? Well not much sounds like a dream when a 1993 CB750 Nighthawk rolls into your shop. The hated redhead of the CB750 family. When you think CB750 we think of the SOHC of the 70s and the classic DOHC of the 80s, classic timeless lines that bike builders and enthusiasts have loved since the bikes hit showroom floors.
This leads us back to the Nighthawk. This model CB750 was the lightest and the fastest of all the CB750s yet it got the shit end of the stick when it came to a bike to customize and the love of the bike community. This engine is also built with self adjusting valves which makes this engine a very low maintenance machine. This is not a thing we are upset at all about, making these bikes relatively available used, parts that are easy to find, and a donor bike price that won’t give you a headache when the first thing you’re doing is vandalizing and ripping the thing apart. “Why would you do this to a perfectly good bike!” The old man from next door says.
First thing to fit up this bike and get the build on the way was to ditch the original front end. 2008 gold R6 forks, R6 front wheel and brakes where the first upgrade. A pair of Renthal handlebars, Acewell speedometer, custom brake lines and a pair of dual headlights finished off the front end of the bike.
Ditching the tank we reached up to the top shelf in our garage and pulled down a old 1974 CB750k tank we’ve been saving for a project just like this. Keeping it simple yet fancy we painted the tank silver, laid down a pair of black racing stripes and retained the original Honda emblems.
From the beginning we knew we were going to swap out the original swing arm and attempt a mono shock conversion. We got super lucky from the beginning and came across a complete Ducati Monster S2R single sided swing arm assembly. This swing was built with a trestle frame giving it a super clean look and will match subframe of the bike perfectly.
The S2R was a prefect choice as it slid right into the original Honda frame without any major fabrication but some new spacers. Next was to build the subframe around the swing arm. 1 inch DOM tubing was the natural choice to keep this subframe strong and make or mounting point strong enough to take the monoshock conversion.
Getting to the engine we wanted to keep it simple as these machines honestly don’t need much to perform well. 5000 original miles we were sure the engine was still in pretty good condition. We ditched the airbox and fitted up a pair of Steel Dragon Performance dual intake boxes to the carburetors. Mac 4-to-1 exhaust headers and we built short a MotoGP style muffler. Clean and simple.
The bike was really starting to take shape at this point. To gain a more aggressive riding style, we ditched the original footrest and fitted up a pair of GSX-R rearsets. A low profile seat was stitched up in-house and kept the simple brat style rear end we were looking for. A pair of Pirelli Mt60s, a great powder coat, and this bike was ready to hit the road.
Something about this bike really had us from the beginning and we couldn’t be happier with the result of this build. The CB750 isn’t your rarest build but i think we did a good job at making this build stand out.
Named after my late best friend who was with us when we started this build, it was a natural choice to name the bike after Dave. The Honda CB750 Nighthawk Casper.