I once learned the hard way that if a motorcycle has been too molested, that is, if it’s been too modified by the wrong hands, it should be avoided. Last night, whether out of stupidity, forgetfulness, or a stroke of genius, I decided to ignore this lesson.
I bought a heavily modified 1990 Honda Hawk NT650 GT, with various Honda and Buell pieces on the front, Ducati parts on the back, and some aftermarket parts thrown in for good measure. I’m diggin’ it.
The most noticeable modification is the beefy front end. The adjustable front end comes from a Honda CBR 929 with 4.7 inches (120 mm) of front suspension travel. Stopping power comes from dual Nissin brakes, with braided brake lines and 13 inch (330 mm) rotors. Up above rests a Buell headlight and signal kit.
The second difference you may notice is the heat-wrapped exhaust which blends nicely with grey V-Twin engine and the silver aluminum frame. I’m told wrapping motorcycle exhaust pipes with insulating wrap such as this keeps the pipes from radiating heat. This makes for a cooler ride (one of the 10 Things I Don’t Miss About My Harley) but also keeps the temperature of the gas exiting the motorcycle hotter, thereby improving the flow of gas and improving performance.
A less obvious modification is hidden under the aftermarket fly screen. The dash appears to be a Trailtech Vortex all-in-one speedometer / tachometer / thermometer / clock. It also indicates trip distances, lap times and probably more than I was able to notice on my test ride. Should I find myself to be an idiot, the Trailtech Vortex computer also comes loaded with traditional dashboard indicator lights (a.k.a. “dummy lights”) for Neutral, Hi-Beam, Signals, and Oil.
Meanwhile, the OEM mash-up continues. I’m told the seat comes from a Ducati, as do the rear side panels. Beneath them hangs a Two Brothers aluminum slip-on exhaust with a great baritone voice and in decent shape aesthetically. Further down, two Metzeler Sportec M3s spin on axles.
The Honda Hawk NT650 GT also comes with FOX rear suspension that feels great. Included was a rear stand for single sided swing arm motorcycles like this one, and a stock tachometer reading about 18,000 km (12,000 miles). Missing is one new turn signal lens. The cost of motorcycles is much more here in Canada. I paid $2,150.
Despite the 5 degree (41 fahrenheit) temperature, and carbureted engine, the test ride was super smooth. I didn’t check the spark plugs but I didn’t see a need to. Overall I’m pretty happy with this purchase.
The guys at HawkGTForum.com have invited me to send in some pics of the bike for their Hawk-of-Month Award. How do you Like that?
If you are looking to showoff this baby at shows or conferences, I would say it would be better to transport your precious lifestyle on the back of your truck with those folding aluminum ramps. Heard about the www.SharkKage.com last week and it looks like the solution to safe loading. You can check out a video how to use it below.