Friday, June 1, 2007

Under the Tarp

In the back of my garage, under the tarp, still sits a slightly modified 1982 Honda CB650SC Nighthawk. It sits, not running, waiting...

The story actually began several years ago when my brother moved from one apartment to another. This new apartment had no room for him to park his old Nighthawk, which wasn't running anyway. He probably couldn't have sold it that quickly so "you have a garage, do you want it?" - and of course I answered "yes."

The '82 Nighthawk is a bizarre animal. The engine is a left-over, the old single overhead cam CB650 from the late 70's. The frame is mostly a CB650 (they had the "standard" CB650 as well as the "custom" CB650C) of the same year, but the forks, handlebars, triples, and much of the bodywork are very different. And naturally with such a bizarre bike, they completely redesigned it for it's second year. So parts are rare at best.

And this thing needed some work.

The front brakes (2 disc even!) were frozen. The exhaust had a bizarre rattle (and counted for nearly half of the bike's weight). The engine leaked oil like one of Yosemite Sam's oil drillin' holes. Not to mention it hadn't run in at least a year. The paint was in bad shape, the gas tank was in terrible condition, and the thing had it's share of road rash.

Starting a few years ago, I slowly began the process. I applied Kreeme tank liner to the tank. I dismantled, unstuck, bled, and rebuilt the brakes. With plenty of searching, I found a NOS 4-into-1 complete exhaust for $150, and I (hopefully correctly) mounted it on. I applied paint, I tore apart and rebuilt the entire rear end, pulled out the carbs for rebuild, tore off the gauges, cleaned and polished various bits, changed the plugs and various other mod's and tinkerings.

But there's still a way to go. The throttle seems to be sticking now. The forks now leak oil. The seat needs a rebuild. And the engine hasn't been touched.

And it still sits under the tarp, in the back of my garage.

(just for reference, this was stock:)

1 comment:

James Quinn said...

thanks for this Matt!

I have also come across a Honda Nighthawk 650 which needs some rebuilding. I paid $200 for it. Most of the engine is there, although some parts are missing.

I plan to make a blog of my reconstruction efforts, not only to help myself in documenting the project..but also hopefully to assist others as well.

Luckily, Dave has made his Ultimate Guide to the Honda 650, and has documented HIS Nighthawk engine rebuilding project. I will be using his website to assist in my own project, as well as the Clymer manual.

Here is his website.