There’s quite the twisted tale that’s followed this Nighthawk since it arrived in the Isle of the Gods and finally made its way to us. The CB 650 is a bit of a rarity, with its inline four, DOHC and a shaft drive the bike was only produced from ’83-85. But it’s the fact that there is one at all in Indonesia is what makes it unique. Indonesia is a place where big bikes themselves are a major family asset. And for one of this vintage to survive from the early eighties is a massive chance in itself.
The donor bike was purchased in Jakarta four year ago on a whim and upon receiving it in Bali, the client bought it around to the Deus Bengkel for an inspection on it and what could be done. We opened it up to have a sticky peek and we didn’t like what we saw. A lot of the internals were shot so basically, he’d bought himself an expensive, big pile of…
After us, the client took it to another Bengkel to get that all important second opinion. Unfortunately for him, they too suggested a new improved use for the bike might be as a large garage paperweight or door prop. With no other option, he took it home and the new use for it was something to take up space in his shed. Wasn’t until a mate of his came over and said, “let’s get it going ourselves” that they did anything with it. Unfortunately, on the first test drive, the gearbox seized up tight only 200 m down the street.
They rolled it home, pulled it apart and with nothing, not even a spring, locally available, they had to jump on the internet ordering all the parts from the US, Japan, and Europe. As the bits and bob arrived, the mate who had offered to help him get it back together, began the arduous task of building the bike up from scratch.
They bought the bike back to Deus a couple of months ago. It was rolling, in fact rolling bloody well, for most of the innards in the engine and drive train were brand spanking new. Someone had attempted to style the bike with a redesigned subframe and seat and a few items like smaller indicators, which in fact remain to this day, however, what was really needed was a unified theme rather than the hotchpotch it currently was.
Pak Arthur worked with the head of the Bengkel, Arwin to come up with a simple and clean look for the bike. The subframe was removed and reimagined. A handmade aluminium tank complete with key lock hatch covering the fuel cap. Hand-fashioned was to be a big part of the build for us with aluminium cowling, side covers, seat pan, and tail, turned aluminium pegs and even an aluminium rain shield to protect the four pod filters hooked up to the carbies were all part of the list of bits to be made. The leather seat with a small embroidered logo is in fact generous enough for two, however, if you are wanting that solo look, an aluminium tail cover, held by a rear flange and two side crews fits flush to the rear. All the electrics were tossed and done from scratch, new loom, LED rear lighting, LED headlight, and those original front indicators. The bike didn’t come with an airbox, that had been removed in a previous incarnation, so we rebuilt and re-jetted the carbies for the very different airflow. While the bike was in bits we took the opportunity to clean, rebuild, replace the fittings and fixtures across the bike with stainless steel and repaint every bit needing it including a baked wrinkle black on the heads and block.
The colour scheme was something that was difficult until it happened yet so obvious once it was done. With a name like Nighthawk, this bike didn’t need some carnival sideshow sounding name tacked on at the end of the build. And that dark rich blue that night exudes became the perfect accompaniment for this feast of handmade aluminium parts.
The client has the bike back and is loving it. And other than the occasional tweak to keep the inline four’s carbies tuned, it hasn’t acted up once. We are not expecting to see that bike back here anytime soon.