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Old 01-01-2013, 02:42 PM   #1
RaY YreKa OP
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Joined: Mar 2007
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Honda NTV650/Hawk GT

Looking at one; cheap, well maintained.

Any tips or resources appreciated.
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:45 PM   #2
showkey
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http://hawkgtforum.com/forum/

Everything you might need or want.
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:20 PM   #3
Jimmy the Heater
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I know a lot of people around love these bikes but I want to provide a counterpoint to them as I didn't care for mine all that much.

The bits I didn't like

Odd sized tires, not much for sticky rubber out there (this could have changed in the last few years since I've owned mine)

Some parts are stupid expensive-Front brake rotor for one $700 IIRC, tho I think there are some aftermarket options available. And don't even bother looking for stock clip ons or instrument pod housings.

Nasty headshake on deceleration, down right scary in the rain as well.

Did not care for the engine. Slow revving, vibrates oddly at 65+mph, quite underpowered compared to an SV650 or Ninja 650. Not a lot of torque either.

Needs a 6th gear to get the vibes down at hwy speeds. (main reason I sold it)

Limited hard luggage options

I did like some things on the bike.

Very comfortable, very good MPG, excellent in town commuter bike (as long as you weren't trying to get away from stop lights quickly) Reliable, light weight, no fork flex on braking.

If it's character suits you then go for it but in my opinion you would be much better served with an SV or Ninja 650
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy the Heater View Post
I know a lot of people around love these bikes but I want to provide a counterpoint to them as I didn't care for mine all that much.
I'm glad to hear somebody else say that. With cult following these bikes have, I thought it was just me. I don't regret buying the one I had but it really lost it's appeal shortly after I got it, for much of the same reasons you posted. Just seems like there's plenty of other bikes that perform better for the same price. They do look damn cool though.

To each their own though I guess.
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:12 PM   #5
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Bought a blue one low mileage used, '88 iirc, put 42k miles on it mostly commuting.

Lotta fellas put CBR 600 forks & wheel on them and that sorted the front.

The rear damper/shock has NO linkage, so the damper only has about 3/4"
travel to control the rear wheel... NOT GOOD.
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:20 PM   #6
HapHazard
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I've never had any head shake on my Hawk, ever. Yes, it has less power than an SV, but it has plenty of low-end useful around town and merge onto the highway power. No, it doesn't have anything like a top end rush, but mine with a Two Brothers exhaust, jet kit and higher rev limit module is fine for me. A set of Progressive springs in front and a Works rear shock gives a decent suspension and improves the already very good handling. It's VERY reliable and trouble-free. It's an all around fun bike, best in the city and back roads. It's no tourer or Ricky Racer, and just might be my favorite bike, and you can't buy mine, ever.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:27 PM   #7
showkey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HapHazard View Post
I've never had any head shake on my Hawk, ever. Yes, it has less power than an SV, but it has plenty of low-end useful around town and merge onto the highway power. No, it doesn't have anything like a top end rush, but mine with a Two Brothers exhaust, jet kit and higher rev limit module is fine for me. A set of Progressive springs in front and a Works rear shock gives a decent suspension and improves the already very good handling. It's VERY reliable and trouble-free. It's an all around fun bike, best in the city and back roads. It's no tourer or Ricky Racer, and just might be my favorite bike, and you can't buy mine, ever.

+ 2 ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

NT just need a few mods to be great bike for variety of riding. As with most late 80's bikes exhaust, carb work, suspension tuning are needed.

As for head shake especially hands off bars on decel can be found on just about any bike given the right conditions. Hands off the bars can make it much worse, hitting a bump can start head shake. Hands off head shake does not mean there is a huge defect and can be normal. Common causes for decel abnormal head shake are loose, worn or damaged steering head bearing, tires, swing arm bearings, suspension setup both front and rear, loading to name a few. First fix don't take your hands off the bars. Some riders never experience head shake until they are zippering their coat and hit a bump or tar strip

Some bikes will not head shake until the hands are off the bars, most bikes will shake if you run hands off the bars, decel and give the bars a hit on the bar end will start a head shake........Not recommended practice.......but it a common occurrence.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy the Heater View Post
I know a lot of people around love these bikes but I want to provide a counterpoint to them as I didn't care for mine all that much.

The bits I didn't like

Odd sized tires, not much for sticky rubber out there (this could have changed in the last few years since I've owned mine)

Some parts are stupid expensive-Front brake rotor for one $700 IIRC, tho I think there are some aftermarket options available. And don't even bother looking for stock clip ons or instrument pod housings.

Nasty headshake on deceleration, down right scary in the rain as well.

Did not care for the engine. Slow revving, vibrates oddly at 65+mph, quite underpowered compared to an SV650 or Ninja 650. Not a lot of torque either.

Needs a 6th gear to get the vibes down at hwy speeds. (main reason I sold it)

Limited hard luggage options

I did like some things on the bike.

Very comfortable, very good MPG, excellent in town commuter bike (as long as you weren't trying to get away from stop lights quickly) Reliable, light weight, no fork flex on braking.

If it's character suits you then go for it but in my opinion you would be much better served with an SV or Ninja 650

Eh. A lot we don't know about your bike. Was it raced? Beat on? Maintained? Yes, it may be underpowered compared to the SV or Ninja, but those bikes are newer. And, they are not that much faster.
I don't know where you shop, but I found new brake rotors for 200 -300. And in all the miles I put on my Hawks, I never had to replace one due to wear, but swapped one due to warpage. I blame previous owner.
The headshake could have been a balance problem with the front wheel, loose head bearings, and the vibration could have been a carb sync issue, amongst other stuff.

OK, I am biased, I do agree about the sixth gear sometimes, if I don't think about it, i think the motor turns under 4 k @65 in fifth. I have had three, one beat that I resurrected, one from original owner that sat for years, and my latest, which I would call a garage queen but really sat in a collectors living room for years when he did not ride it.

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Old 01-03-2013, 06:48 AM   #9
showkey
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The brake rotor...........many NT rotors end up on Transalps as an upgrade with a caliper adapter. The rotor bolt pattern and size is shared by ST1100 so there great supply of aftermarket and used available.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:38 AM   #10
Mr.Goose
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Love mine, done a bunch of trackdays on it, great for commuting too it'll squeak out 50mpg pretty easy and even higher on the highway.

I ride nearly all backroads on my blue '88 and very little highway. I have a set of TKC80's on it right now to help handle my rough winter driveway.

Tire options are many. I run 160's on the back and 120's up front. CBR front wheel upgrade and you're good to go. Parts are aplenty with all the VFR and CBR technology that's shared.

Fun and cheap and you won't see a ton of them out there.
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaY YreKa View Post
Looking at one; cheap, well maintained.

Any tips or resources appreciated.
Cheap? Well maintained? Get it! As another poster said, hawkgtforum.com is best place for TONS of info. on these bikes.

As other posters have stated, some exhaust work and a jet kit do wonders for the bike's response. I will also back up what someone else said about their reliability, they really don't give any trouble, but, as with any 20 year old bike, some of the rubber bits will need replacing from time to time. British dispatch riders rode the Honda Revere extensively (a shaft-drive version of the Hawk) and many of those bikes would go 150k miles before a rebuild; as you'd imagine, dispatch riders beat the living hell out of their bikes, so these motors are well-proven.

They really are cheap fun, and if you take care of them you'll always get your money back if you decide to sell as they are already semi-collectible. Here are the two I own. I've had much faster bikes, but none that I've enjoyed nearly as much as these. They are a barrel of monkeys on a twisty road.

I bought this one (1990) for $1800 and had to sink some money into it, basically just to get the maintenance up to speed. My son rides this one now:



Bought this one (1988) from a friend for $2150 and put about $500 into after it had been sitting for about 5 years, but most of that was tires.

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Old 01-03-2013, 02:23 PM   #12
squish
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I had one back in the early 90's
Back then it was a great bike.

Today I'd buy an SV (in fact I did)

More power, less cultish and an all around more functional sporty bike, that said it's not as cool as the hawk is.

I never jelled with the handling of the hawk after I started riding real sporty bikes. When I didn't know any better It was ok.

I would buy one if I could find a garage queen for under $1,900
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:53 PM   #13
OConnor
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I remember looking at the Hawk and a CBR600. I think they were about the same price. I bought the Hawk for it's sexy frame and swing-arm then proceeded to add the whole TBR RC31 kit pretty much doubling the investment. Wish I still had it.
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Old 01-05-2013, 06:59 AM   #14
Honesty
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If you want to ride a Hawk GT long distances, you better have some comfortable grips or a pretty high muscle tolerance. I'm 6'2'' and I have fairly long arms, so I probably look ridiculous on my Hawk... but I absolutely completely love it. A lot of guys regret selling theirs.

It's never going to be a huge powerhouse, but it's one of the most nimble bikes out there. On paper it's a lightweight, but what the fact sheet won't show is how centralized and low that weight is. That makes for a really unique handler. Plus it's one of the skinniest motorcycles you can have between your legs.

For an hour of riding, I'm perfectly comfortable. If I travel a long distance, and only stop for fuel, it can be tough, but you kind of get used to the position. And with new clip ons you can adjust that.

Parts you can get from a Honda dealership. The bike was in the US for only 3 years and only around 3100 made it off showroom floors, but they're bullet proof little things and personal maintenance is very easy.

Mileage is great - approx. 40-50 mpgs depending on weight and throttle use. Only problem is the tank is something like 2.9 gallons.

For an adv. bike you may want to look elsewhere. For bombing around back roads it's the best thing since cocaine. It's light and freakishly gutsy, but the smallness is rough for long highway runs and endurance.

Mine - a 1988 (I took the fairing off this year, so these pics are from 2011):












Sorry for excessive whoring.

The most frequent question you'll get from anyone is "What the heck is that thing?"
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:54 AM   #15
red83gt
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I just purchased a 1990 hawk from a buddy..This is my second hawk..I had a grey 1988 that i loved..two brothers exhaust..clipped the fork springs added a spacer,,put a fox shock on it,,and the only time i got passed by my sport bike buddys was on long stretches where they had a higher top speed and more acceleration than me..when the road tightened up again i could easily repass em..I sold it to buy a mustang to restore and play with and i regretted it..the 1990 i just bought is perfect..came with a tank bag,,race stand,,two bro exhaust,,and i know who has cared for it the last 12 years..it needs nothing right now but to be ridden more..I bought it for my wife,,she loves it,,and i have a play bike..the concourse will be the pack mule to carry me and my daughter on family trips..We cant wait for winter to be over..lastly,,,i gave 1500 for it..and i still have the mustang..restored and daily driven,,im keeping the hawk this time..ITS MINE I SAY..MINE..MINE..LOL
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