Originally Posted by mdubya
This bike was the stylistic inspiration for my '82 Seca 550; cut down seat, Spec II rear sets and header, air box and side covers removed so you could see right through the bike. I had Marzocchi shocks, Progessive fork springs, and the the big upgrade from nylon! to brass swing arm bushings.
Jetting was set up by Scotty Beach who went on to be crew chief for Kinko's Kawasaki and Harley's US Superbike effort. With the jetting and the ratty Spec II pipe, it could smoke a Ninja 600. Sportbikes were so cool in those days (early and mid 80's) because you had to build your own.
Those old superbikes were so great and so identifiable... I had a Nighthawk S that sort of had the same "hot rod" look about it. I had to sell it when laid off back in 94. A few years back I moved to the flat lands and started looking for a streetbike again and had the old Vetter, Kawasaki, Yoshimura, and Honda superbikes in mind. It was either a Nighthawk S, an early 80s standard 550-750 or a Zephyr. The 550 Zephyr showed up first and for good money. It already had all the good stuff there, having that old first gen superbike look I liked so much.
Then theres the seating and the way an old style bike like this works. Not hunched over nor setting sail with the pull backs... just a good seating position for about all types of riding. I'm just sorry I didn't get to see them actually racing, there was about an 8 year lull in my going to races that ended when I started selling bikes in 83. We did get to Pocono in 83 and Mid Ohio almost every year since. But that's about a year too late to see the original "diesels" as KR and EL started calling the superbikes after they went GP racing. I always wondered what they say now?