Bike


1988 Honda - Hawk GT - NT650
Low Mileage (24 years old)
Adopted - September 2007

The original tires shown were immediately replaced.
Not fast and the engine is not terribly refined but it does handle well.

Back in 1988 I was in the market for a bike and remembered seeing the Hawk GT in showrooms. I remember the price being too high and my ego wouldn't allow me to purchase such an under powered bike. Well years later, I sold the high powered bike that I bought at the time. A few years later I started kicking around the idea of buying a smaller more practical bike, if there is such a thing. An SV650 seemed to fit the bill but why not something a little more unique? Turns out the Hawk GT still has 'cult bike status' due to it's frame and it is getting really hard to find a good clean one these days. After about two years of parsing eBay I found this one in upper New York state with a buy-it-now option. After corresponding back and forth with the seller about the condition of the bike I decided to bite. The owner really didn't do much clean-up on bike and the photos showed it but that was okay given the original condition.

July 2012
CORBIN
Okay, I'm getting soft, I know...
Actually I went out for a ride earlier this summer and came to the realization that the seat angle of the stock seat was awful. My initial though was, it's time to move on but thought about the aesthetically unappealing Corbin seats. Yes, they do make one for the Hawk GT so I thought it was worth a try. I have to say, there is no comparison. The riding position of one's hips is far better with the firmer and better angled Corbin seat. Otherwise, everything is still stock, floppy turn signals and all.
August 2012
DynoJet
One of my big complaints about the bike has been a flat spot in the midrange power band that is so critical when dealing with difficult traffic situations. I had spent countless hours dialing in my old 88 Ninja 750 using a Dynojet stage three kit years ago and thought it might be worth a shoot. Sure enough, Dynojet did show a listing for the NT-650 even though the sales person on the other end of the phone had never heard of the bike. The bike had started to idle a little rough so I thought now would be a good time to delve into the fuel system. As it turned out, the source of the rough idle, when warm, was the loss of intake valve clearance. It appears that the intake valve clearance drops with use instead of increasing like the exhaust valves. Lesson learned.

After several adjustments to the DynoJet provided needle valves, the bike seems to be running much better. Unfortunately there was a discrepancy between the instructions and my carburators. The Dynojet instructions say there should be a stock spacer between the original needle jet and the slider but there was none. Also DynoJet had no record as to the thickness of the spacer. So, as a result, the bike still did not run quite right and the needles had to be raised up 2 additional groves to compensate. Also, the instructions fail to mention that the top groves of the needle jets need to be ground off so that the stock retainers will hold them in place properly. The higher the needle setting the more top groves need to be ground off. One grove plus an additional grove for each additional position; three total, since E-clip is installed in groove #6 instead of #4, in my case. I get the feeling that this kit was not a big seller of theirs. I was lucky when it came to the Ninja since someone there had an active interest in that particular model and was racing one. Not so for the Hawk GT.

So, after about a dozen re-entries into the carburators, it seems to be running pretty good now with much better low speed manoeuvring. I did follow someone else's blog advice and go to HomeDepot and raid the parts drawer of their metric cap head screws to make the carb work easier. The stock phillips head screws are really soft and round over easily. Using (8pcs)M4x15mm for the tops and (8pcs)M4x20mm for the bowls.