Honda Hawk GT 650 (1989)  NT 650 RC31

Nov. 10, 2018 -

 

How I got this bike

  Looking at Facebook Marketplace as another source of used bikes, I found a blue 1988 Honda Hawk 650 with just 6,700 miles for a fair price.  I contacted the owner but didn't follow up.  Then I see this red beauty for an even better price in Johnstown/Ephratah.  Owner is in his 80's with several bikes but unable to ride.  The bike is in extremely nice condition, all original.  The chain is clean and lubed.  I don't hesitate to make a deal with his step-son and trailer it home on a cold November day.

  Paperwork for the bike shows two shop visits, the last in Dec. 2013;

  • - carburetor cleaning
  • - fork seal replacement
  • - valve adjustments just a 1,000 miles ago
  • - 4 spark plugs
  • - air cleaner element
  • - oil change and filter 2.5 qts.

  I'm the fourth owner. Purchased by the prior owner in 2007 but probably not ridden in 10 years since he never registered or titled it. 

Nov. 28, 2018 Upper Union St. Garage

  The bike is cold-blooded on start-up but the battery is ok and it idles well on choke which has to be kept on for a while in cold weather.  It's quite narrow and has a light feel, just as described in write-ups.

  All the controls work perfectly as do the lights, brakes and switches, so I'm pleased with this deal.

 

9,511 Miles and 29 years old

2019

  First ride:  Battery in April 2 to ride it back from winter storage.  It takes a few cranks to fire up but starts readily.  Seat latch is a pull-down lever behind the helmet lock and hard to locate at first.

  The engine does well when revved over 4k.  Tire pressue gets set to 33 front and 36 rear per the owner's manual.  Vacuum shutoff for the fuel petcock.

April 2, 2019

  I replace the front brake pads right away (9,550 mi.) with EBC FA142HH sintered pads and clean the rotor.  The front pads were not worn down but were damp with brake fluid. Then I bleed front and rear at 9,575 on April 11 and replace the rear pads (VBP032HH).  Big improvement for the brakes, especially the front. 

  Oil and filter (2.6 qts. GN4 Honda oil and the same filter as used in the Honda Blackbird KN 303, PH6017A ). 

  National Cycle Mohawk tinted windshield installed May 10.  It's small but looks good and is mounted firmly using longer headlight bolts and vertical struts with EZ Pass velcro tabs to reduce chaffing/vibration against the gauges.

  Race Tech 1.00 kg/mm springs, fork seals and covers installed June 2019.  The ride is greatly improved with a steadier track over bumps.  Firm without front end dive on braking. Cost about $300.

  Overall, this is a pleasant bike to ride, though the power and sharpness are less than I expected. 

Tomhannock Reservoir - June 27, 2019

  Since the tires that came with the bike were old (more than 10 years), I put on new ones at 10,982 miles.

  Avons:   110x17 Front   (34 psi)
              150x17 Rear    (36 psi)

   $400 including mounting

   First ride with new tires is noticeably softer with better feel/grip.

   End of season at 11,070 miles.
             
2020

  The first ride of the season is on this bike (Feb. 24th).  It's the earliest start to the riding season in 50+ years either in NYC or the Capital district. 56F and sunny.  Snow everywhere but not on the roads.  New battery installed. 50 mile ride and 11,117 miles at the end of the day.


Putnam Road - Feb. 24, 2020
 

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Feb. 24, 2020