Well technically wrecked. It was laid down on the left side at speed. To my mind "wrecked" involves folded forks, bent or crushed frames, broken heads or blocks, bent wheels...and hefty hospital bills. But that's not what happened this time.
Here's the story on the Nighthawk as I heard it and how I came to have it.
Mid-spring or early-summer of 2008, the original owner was travelling north-bound on I-35 in Austin when he tried to take one of the lower-deck exits. This didn't go so well.
He's not sure what happened but he lost control on the ramp and it slid out from under him. He narrowly avoided one of the "jersey barriers" that bracket those exits, slid off-road managing to pick up a good case of road rash and get whacked in the back hard enough to bruise but not need a back-brace. He was, luckly, wearing his helmet but, unfortunately, that was it. Well...it wasn't that far, you know.
Bike skidded on it's left side and made it to a grassy/dirt area, where it slammed to a stop on it's "tail-bone". I'm not sure the technical term for the little spine that runs up over the back wheel holding the seat and back body parts. That got bent down a couple inches on the left side and ½ or so inch on the right.
He picked himself and the bike up and, after the legal stuff, rode home. He propped it up on the patio and tried to decide what to do with it. He started it once a week to keep it running until he bought a new Honda 919. Then it dropped off to a couple times a month...then it sat.
He says he tried selling it, or pieces of it, but couldn't get any serious prospects. Couldn't unload any of the spare parts either. So the last time he put it up on craigslist cheap—take it all.
The Saturday he put it up, I was in Houston picking up a 1982 Yamaha XV920J that my brother had been using but stopped. I wanted to get it in running condition because my Concours is getting to rough for me—or I'm just getting to old... nah...
Anyway, when I got back, I started hitting ebay and craigslist looking for parts for it. On a poorly done search by yours truly I noticed "1997 Honda Nighthawk 750—$500". ??? Suddenly I foresaw other uses for my repair funds. I could do this but what's the catch?
A quick view told me that the Nighthawk had been damaged on the left side. It was $500—with a clean title! Well, I'm hooked but the only contact was thru the craigslist email process—took a couple days and repeat emails.
When I looked at it I noticed it had slid on the left side, as noted, and there was some left-side damage. I noticed the minor bend in the "tail-bone" but it isn't structurally important—doesn't effect alignment or stance. Case saver/crash bars had done their job because there wasn't even a dent in the engine side cover. The starter kicked over easily so no electical problems or siezed motor. If I had wanted to fiddle with it I could probably have gotten it started right there. But it wasn't necessary, I was sold.
So I told him, "Looks good to me." He pulled out the paperwork on it, I went the car to get the money, and I paid him. Then he started cleaning his shed of all the parts he had collected for the bike. So lets see what we got for that $500.
The Bike: 1997 Honda CB750V Nighthawk
The Damage: It had landed left and
The Extras: When he stopped pulling stuff out we had
Ooohh-kaaayy... A little more than I originally thought I was buying. Makes the deal look a lot better. As he put it, he had no use for any of the parts for a bike he didn't (and wouldn't) have. But that's OK, it'll save me lots while getting her back on the road.
So now I have some work ahead of me. I have a few ideas on bending that tail-frame back. And I have some friends that weld, so I should be able to talk one of them into helping me with the footpeg. Maybe some frame strengthening if I find any stressed frame joints. A few parts like the light bucket, speedo, mirrors, taillight, and signals. Hopefully, if all goes well, I should have the Nighthawk on the road by the end of this month. I'll be able to pretty it up with new tank, side covers, and assorted plastics later.
And then I'll be able to scratch that itch that has been unscratched for a while. Plus I can spend garage time after that straightening out the Concours and the Virago into some kind of usable shape.