Around the globe businesses big and small are hurting and it’s easy to understand why, but in central Scotland on the banks of the River Tay one company is bucking the trend. Founded by James Moir, JM Customs is expanding at a rapid pace and providing the motorcycle community of Perth and surrounds a one-stop-shop for all their motorcycle needs. So sure, you can call in for a minor service, but plenty are choosing to request a full custom overhaul and letting the boys go crazy. Just like the owner of this brilliant 2002 Honda CB750 called ‘Iron Horse’, where not a single nut nor bolt has been left untouched.
After spending more than 14 years in the world of the Oil and Gas Industry, James needed a change of pace and most of all less time away from his family. A highly skilled fabricator with an eye for design, he wanted to let his creative spirit loose and so put his money where his mouth is and opened up his own custom shop. Backed up by lead Mechanic, the ultra experienced Graeme Findlay, they’ve gone from a small operation to a new workshop and more additions being built as we speak. From a service centre, to a spray booth, fabrication area, powder coating, and an engine building room, they do it all.
So when the owner of this low mile CB wanted his bike given a full custom makeover, JMC was his first and only place of call. “Our brief was to build a naked street bike taking our client back to his motorcycling roots but with a whole bunch of modern flavour. His first motorcycle as an adult was the mighty CBX1000, so we knew we had to create something that really stood out from the crowd for him,” James explains. The Nighthawk as they’re known in some parts of the world are a big girl, so to lean her out and create smoother lines the subframe was cut off and a new silky smooth piece fabricated, complete with gussets for extra strength.
Wanting to improve handling and ditch the twin shock setup the boys got to work, “we machined mounts that attached to the original lower shock mounts, and fabricated a frame which all bolts on for a mono-shock conversion.” Then they turned to UK suspension gurus Hagon, who pieced together a single shock to their exact specifications. With a rear hugger attached and everything powder coated in black, it’s one of the best conversions you’ll see for both form and functionality. So having got the rear end right it was time to build a front to match and the boys dove into the KTM parts bin.
Picking out the pointy end from a 2018 KTM Duke 690 they rebuilt the forks and the tubes were cerakoted in gold. To make them fit the Honda they had the good folks at FastecRacing machine up a stunning set of aluminium triple trees with a set of risers in the top. For the wheels it was back to the orange Austrian, “They came from a KTM 450 that we had in our storage. Spoked wheels on this custom just made sense, wire wheels are just classier!” The rear features a cerakoted gold hub, black powder rim, and laced up with stainless spokes. While the front utilises the same colour scheme but with an SM Pro twin disc hub from a KTM 990.
With some more machining from Fastec, the 990 discs are clamped by a set of KTM 690 radial calipers, with every part totally rebuilt. While out back the 450’s rear brake setup finishes out the combo and this is one Nighthawk that handles and stops like no other. But you’ve got to have the looks to match and the process starts with a custom front fender that is held in place by a sweet mount with built-in rotor guards. The original tank remains, the lines are stunning but James wasn’t happy with the bulbous shape at the rear, nothing a skilled fabricator with a mallet can’t fix. And now the transition to the Hurley Custom Seat is perfect, with the base made in house.
With a brilliant roller on their hands, the engine cases were split and everything, including the carbs, were vapor blasted for an as-new finish. Then the big donk was meticulously pieced back together with a full rebuild for the engine and the carbs getting the same, before being tuned for the modifications to come and finished out with a set of DNA filters.
To make the motor scream the factory exhaust goes from a 4-1 setup to a new set of twin 2-1s running each side, before they merge at the barking mad SC Project muffler. Now when you grab the new Domino race throttle on the Renthal bars the Honda gets moving even faster thanks to two extra teeth on the rear sprocket.
Like the rest of the build, the electrics are all first class with an Axel Joost H-Box at the centre of the system and quality components from Daytona and Motone. Along with keyless ignition and a GPS speedo, through to the new coils and leads, whether you’re flying down the road or starting it up at the local cafe, everything works first time, every time.
Now all ‘Iron Horse’ needed was its colour, “We hit the tank with a candy red and metallic gold combo, separated with gloss black coach lines. We painted the gas cap gloss black too, and finished the whole deal off with gloss black JMC logos,” James smiles. And well he should, the Honda joins the fleet of incredible bikes to emerge from the JM Customs stables, the Scottish workshop where they can literally do it all.
[ JM Customs | Instagram | Photography by Oliver Young ]