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Author Topic: Short shocks on a Nighthawk  (Read 660 times)

Offline gordon

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Short shocks on a Nighthawk
« on: November 23, 2016, 08:01:08 PM »
I've been lurking on here for a few weeks and I've made the decision to buy a Nighthawk. I've been away from motorcycles for a while. My last bike was a 99 Road King. I went and checked out a 93 750 Nighthawk today and it had a Corbin seat that felt hard as a rock and didnt look like it fit flush on the rear,imo a  larger than normal gap, 13,000 miles and she was clean with some interesting add ons. My question is does anyone on here run their Nighthawk 750 with short shocks and any tips or suggestions and pics would be appreciated.  Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Remember our troops and first responders away from their familes.

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Offline Hawks Nest

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Re: Short shocks on a Nighthawk
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2016, 06:32:02 PM »
Welcome to the forum.


Not sure why you want short rear shocks on NH750. I installed VTX1800 shocks on my '02 NH750 because I don't like the performance of stock shocks on rough roads.  I just tested VTX1800 OEM shocks on NH750 because I had an extra set lying around.  After my first ride with them, I kept them there few year ago.  I believe that VTX1800 shocks are 12.25" and NH750 is 13.0".  Since the VTX shocks are much stiffer than NH shocks, they absorb road bumps much better and don't get jolt-out on bumpy spots.  I am not an aggressive rider so I can't vouch on shock performance on curvy roads.  Despite the differences in lengths, I don't see much differences in seat heights. I guess the differences are canceled out due to differences in stiffness?

Offline Rubo

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Re: Short shocks on a Nighthawk
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2016, 09:22:51 AM »
I've been lurking on here for a few weeks and I've made the decision to buy a Nighthawk. I've been away from motorcycles for a while. My last bike was a 99 Road King. I went and checked out a 93 750 Nighthawk today and it had a Corbin seat that felt hard as a rock and didnt look like it fit flush on the rear,imo a  larger than normal gap, 13,000 miles and she was clean with some interesting add ons. My question is does anyone on here run their Nighthawk 750 with short shocks and any tips or suggestions and pics would be appreciated.  Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Remember our troops and first responders away from their familes.

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If anything going 1/2 inch higher then stock will help NH turn faster. Shorts shocks not only will give you harsher ride but will be slow in turns,If you want to turn NH to cruiser I suggest just buy a cruiser.

Offline gordon

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Re: Short shocks on a Nighthawk
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2016, 09:55:53 AM »
I sold my 03 Road King Classic and bought a brand new 34foot travel trailer this spring. I had an 02 1800C then sold it for the H/D a year later. I just had to have a Harley-Davidson once in my life. I have an opportunity at a pretty good bargain on a 01 Nighthawk, but where my heart might be is the 2013 CB1100, its just what my wallet and wife will let me spend. I looked at the Nighthawk before I bought the VTX back on 02 and fit better on the X than the Hawk. Fast forward 14 years and 2 kids later I'm looking to get back on a UJM. I didn't ride much over the spring and none in the summer or fall. As for the question of "short shocks" on a Nighthawk I am verticly challenged. 5" 8' with a 27 inch inseam. Currently with the Corbin seat on the prospect Hawk I am on the balls of my feet. Its just a little uncomfortable. As for the CB1100 they make a cut down seat that shaves off around 2 inches of the seat height without sacrificing comfort.

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Offline Hawks Nest

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Re: Short shocks on a Nighthawk
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2016, 10:57:29 AM »
I see. I am also vertically challenged (5'7") but I don't see much issues with NH because the bike is relatively light.  You may need to practice using only one feet down while stopping, usually left foot, and leaving the right foot on brake.  I also ride ST1300 which is higher than NH750 but much heavier (~750lbs wet).  I don't bother much whether I can flat footed or not.  As long as I can put one of my feet down firmly on the ground, that's enough.  Just be careful when you park your bike (avoid putting head-first on slopes, etc, since it will be tough to back out on slopes). Check YouTube on such topics (i.e. How to ride a tall bike or Tips for short riders, etc.). I have friend of mine who is pretty much the same height as me and riding BMW 1200GS/KTM which has 33-34" sear heights without any issues.


Or See how much the shock can be pressed down if you set the pre-load spring setting to 1.

[size=78%] [/size]

Offline gordon

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Re: Short shocks on a Nighthawk
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2016, 12:13:37 PM »
Great tip on the Youtube. Never thought about that. I've always liked the Nighthawks. I've had my share of 70's CB550'S and 750's. I always added short shocks and slid the tubes. Wasnt sure if I wanted to go through the trouble. I love those ST1300's. Gorgeous bikes. I got my eye on a couple Nighthawks, just waiting till the end of the holidays to go check em out.

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Offline Hog Dog

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Re: Short shocks on a Nighthawk
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2016, 02:39:23 PM »
 When my stock shocks wore out I needed new shocks fast.  My riding buddy has a vtx 1300 and had replaced his stockers so I asked if I could us his which were just sitting on a shelf.  They definitely lowered seat height along with sliding fork tubes up about 1".  I used them for a short while until I got replacements to get back to stock seat height, which is better for me.  NH rode fine at the lower height.   
Lucky Lindy's evil twin

Offline gordon

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Re: Short shocks on a Nighthawk
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2016, 06:10:01 PM »
Awesome. That is good to know. My buddy has a 1300 VTX.  I never thought of the VTX shocks till it was mentioned in this thread. I really appreciate all the replies. Thank you all.

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Offline Bagginz

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Re: Short shocks on a Nighthawk
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2016, 07:31:40 AM »
I'm pretty sure my rear shocks are about 1/2 shorter than stock (they were installed before I bought the bike) but I also lowered the front by sliding the fork tubes up. No big difference in cornering other than the bike feels much lower now
Life begins at 1 down and 4 up

Offline gordon

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Re: Short shocks on a Nighthawk
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2016, 07:40:55 AM »
Thanks Bagginz. Love the way your cafe Nighthawk is turning out.

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Offline Bagginz

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Re: Short shocks on a Nighthawk
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2016, 08:49:59 AM »
Thanks Gordon! It's been a fun build.
Back when I was looking for a NH to buy, I talked to a girl that had one for sale. She had short shocks on the rear, a modified stock seat and had lowered the front a bit also. Her bike was all stock other than that. She lowered it due to her hieght and didn't mention anything bad about the ride afterwards
Life begins at 1 down and 4 up

Offline gordon

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Re: Short shocks on a Nighthawk
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2016, 09:01:43 AM »
I bet! Not many people are doing Nighthawks for cafe' conversions. I've done many early to mid CB's including 750's and 550's and 1 CL350. I like the modern look of the Nighthawk for the conversion especially for daily reliability. I was always tinkering with the older bikes to keep them going.  My 750's I always lowered them with cheap ebay short shocks while sliding the tubes. I just wasn't sure if it had any adverse effects on handling. I never had an issue with centerstands and being able to use them. Heck most of the time thats all I ever used. After the holidays are over with my hunt will begin. There are a few in town I need to look at before pulling the trigger on the first one I found. That Corbin seat is as hard as a rock. Very uncomfortable.

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