The new Honda Nighthawk ready for action
Around three years ago, my buddy John let me ride his 750 Nighthawk around town. At that time, my regular scoot was a 150cc Honda CA95. I am in the process of rebuilding that bike, and will post that build later, but that little Honda sure felt smaller when I got on the 750. My first impression was that it was too heavy to be enjoyed on small roads. But I remember loving the power when I wound the engine up a steep hill. I was happy to get back on my little 150 and whip it around some turns. I didn't think a 750 was for me.
Fast forward three years. I was riding a friend's trials bike around the neighborhood, and actually ran out of gas. I was tilting the tank up to fill the carb when a man stopped his car and asked if I was interested in buying his Nighthawk. I was only slightly interested, since I enjoy riding my CB450 already and don't need another bike. When he mentioned the price of 500 dollars, I decided I'd check it out.
I came to his house with a spare battery, fuel stabilizer and oil. I quickly learned the registration had been neglected since 2008. My total was now up to 1100, which was still quite low, considering the condition and mileage of 26,000. The bike had been sitting for three years, and I didn't really expect it to start. I was surprised when it fired right up with choke on. The engine sounded good, hydraulic lifters are a great thing. It sputtered out when applying light throttle, but gas was flowing through the main jets. I saw lots of potential in it so I ended up buying it!
I actually rode the bike home, with a friend behind me to hide the expired tags. I understand this is not the smartest thing to do on a bike with clogged pilot jets, and no registration, but it was close and I made it! I got the carbs off and all four pilot jets were clogged just as I had hoped. After a thorough soak and cleaning, I got the carbs back in place. They weren't the easiest to get on and off the bike, but I figure I won't need to do it again considering how well it runs now. Any throttle setting is smooth as butter, and the bike starts right up now. It's not incredibly fast, but fast enough for me. My girlfriend enjoys the Nighthawk more than the 450. It seems very capable of 2-up touring. Haven't decided If I'm going to leave the sissy bar on for daily use though.
It's been about 500 miles so far, and the bike is growing on me. I have ordered a set of the stock Dunlop tires, changed the oil and filter, spark plugs, chain and sprockets and battery. For fewer than 1500 dollars, I think this is a great all-around motorcycle. I like that it is air-cooled, I like the oil cooler, I like the fact I don't need to adjust the valves. It feels at home on the freeway, and unlike my opinion that it couldn't handle small roads, I find it very predictable and nimble on them. I've read some reviews that this bike is boring, and I see why people might say that, but I see it differently. Motorcycling is about going places, seeing things, and experiencing the elements around you without a cage of metal. A bulletproof motorcycle that will take me all those places is what I need. The road will keep me from boredom. Plus, I'm getting around 45 MPG which is about what I get on my 450. If we lived in Utopia, we would all be riding a Nighthawk 750!