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May 18th, 1998

Hi I'm the founder of Honda Nighthawk Owners List.  Since sophmore year of
college, I became a motorcycle junkie.  I started off with a $150 1971
Suzuki T250R two-stroke (The Anchor) in 1988 at the University of Lowell
in Massachusetts.  After much reconstructive surgery, including a half
assed paint job that made the bike look like a bumble bee,  I sold it less
than a year later when parts kept falling off, money was tight, and I was
still living at home.  But it was still my first bike with some of my
fondest memories.

My Junior year in college I transferred to Iowa State University and moved
up a few cc's to a $500 1977 Kawasaki KZ900.  Again it underwent some
cosmetic changes that turned the turd brown, sissy bared, *huge* Vetter
fairinged bike into more of a sleek black cafe racer.  That bike also
lasted only a year due to lack of funds and time.  I was beginning to see
a pattern, so I decided to wait on picking up another bike until I was in
grad school.

This time I sank my money into my friend's 1982 Nighthawk 650.  It was the
SOHC/4 type and the first year that they made the 650 Nighthawk.  ANd at
the time it was the right price ($450) Now I had a little extra time and
money in hand.  I learned all about motorcycle maintenance on this bike
and it took me quite a few miles and places.  Unfortunately, the bike had
had many owners prior to me that had not taken care of it and I ended up
spending much more time and money repairing the bike than riding it.  Yet
I bonded with it.

When I graduate again in 1995 and moved to CO, I had to sell the bike
unfortunately.  Boy did I pay for that mistake.  Colorado is as good as
everyone says it is.  The twisty mountain roads, the cloudless warm
weather, and the teriffic scenery made me pine for my Nighthawk.  In fact
I ended up convincing a couple of friends from work to buy motorcycles and
then borrowed theirs a couple of times just to get a feel for what a
*real* road feels like.

My fortunes again turned and I moved back to Massachusetts, starting a new
job and going back for a 3rd degree.  This time I knew what type of bike I
wanted.  Hands down: a Honda Nighthawk S.  I had read so much about them
over the years and about their longevity, reliability, performance that I
had to have one.  Besides I already knew quite a bit about the Nighthawk
maintenance from my prior bike and I had never owned a shafty before.  So
last year I girded up my loins and caught me a couple of excellent deals.
I got two identical 1985 Nighthawk S bikes for $700.  Its been nip and
tuck affording two bikes, but now I don't have to worry about parts nor do
I have to worry about someone to ride with since they can use mine.  And I
have to admit, these bikes really live up to their namesakes.  The only
winterizing I did this year was putting gas stabilizer in the tank last
November.  Last month, after a couple minutes of choke, both bikes started
up no problem.

I've only taken one long ride so far since getting them.  It started up by
Waltham on Rt. 2 and slowly, via some off the beaten path twisty routes,
got back to Shrewsbury.  The bike definitely had some good power delivery
and were able to handle the beating that my friend and I provided after
about a year of not riding anything.

So that's my story.  Please write back and comment on anything above or
tell me about you and your past bike history and how you bought a

-Shawn Samuelson
1985 Honda Nighthawk S

February 1999

 I bought my red '84 Nighthawk S in the Philippines.  I was in the
Navy and thought I could save some money buying overseas.  I later learned
that's why they built 'em as 700s, to get under the US limit for tariffs and
they may have actually been assembling them in the US.  My bike apparently
was built in the US of parts manufactured in Japan and then shipped to the
Philippines.  Anyway, it was a challenge bribing (with beer and cigarettes)
the Philippine dock hands to crane the crated bike onto the top of our Knox
class frigate's (helicopter hangar.  Then I had to convince the Old Man that
it wouldn't interfere with flight operations.  I wrapped it up as tight as I
could, and it made it back across the Pacific safely to San Diego.  Then
another bribe (case of beer) later it was craned off to the pier at San
Diego Naval Station, and it was off to House of Honda for rapid assembly (to
not void the warranty... otherwise I'd have done it myself).  There I found
out I could've bought one for $250 less than I paid... live and learn.  It
was a pretty well traveled bike before the rubber ever hit the road.
 Since we had just returned from our WestPac cruise, we were on
minimal working hours, and I pretty much disappeared.  San Diego is a great
place to ride with the coastal highway and the small mountains east of town
providing plenty of twisties.  What a sweet machine... my friend with the
V65 always wanted to trade 'cause the S was so fun to ride and almost as
fast, faster anywhere except in a straight line.  And it sounded way
cooler... I never did change out the pipes because those engineers had done
an almost perfect job in my book.  I don't even need to mention the
Nighthawk's looks compared to the Magna (and most other bikes on the road -
then and now).  There were a few straight-aways in the mountain roads on the
way up to the apple orchards and Julian that were perfect for letting her
out.  I never felt a bike more stable and smooth at 125 (of course I haven't
ridden any of the beautiful new rockets that are on the roads
 I never laid it down but it did get knocked over by some drunk in
the parking lot at the end of Pier 5, SD Naval Station in its first 6 months
of life.  The tank got caved in on the footpeg of the adjacent bike, so I
replaced it with a new tank.  The S was absolutely troublefree and all I did
was ride, ride, ride.  We used to think we were going fairly fast until a
chick blew past me in the middle of a good corner on a Ducati.  This was
back when Ducatis were few and far between.  But that was OK... we weren't
trying to drag knees, just get in some fun fast miles.  I was not in the
market for battle scars or bragging rights.  I already had hit a guardrail
with my chest at 50 mph, but that's another story revolving around another
great little scooter, a Yamaha RD350...
 Anyway, I sold her too soon.  I was getting out of the Navy and
starting school and running out of cash.  All these years later I still
haven't bought another bike.  I'm thinking about a Dyna Super Glide Sport,
but that will probably be awhile.  I could get back into a Nighthawk S alot
sooner and probably forget all about a hog...

Doug Price
CAISO Operations & Engineering