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Discussion Starter #1
after selling the cl360 i haven't even cleaned up the mess from the old honda when i find a "mint" 78 hawk w/ 14 k miles and a parts bike! any idea what a fair offer would be? thinking a good nada 1000 is a good start!
any owners have any suggestions of what to look for?
known problems?
any cafe potential or similar dimensions to another cafe bike?
prolly gonna go w/ fairing, cafe seat, & some clubs and voila!
 

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honda hawks are roaches of the honda world. They are slow...slow...slow...and uninspiring to ride. They are however cheap. I wouldn't go $1000 unless the thing looked like it rolled off the honda assembly line yesterday. Seriously it is a $600 bike, but the market is inflated right now.

I still think there are other cooler bikes you can get for $1000.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
not quite mint but well worth the time spent to pick it up.... already have a list of parts on the way... and a few for the aprilia, too!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
hey geeto, if the bike is really common why isn't there more info or resources for it? i can find a manual for my 2002 aprilia Tuono (which they didn't even offer over here!) in five minutes but i haven't seen any other info beyond a 1978-1981 honda twins manual! maybe i'm looking in the wrong places, but overall it doesn't seem that bad of a bike. at least it doesn't rattle my teeth like the old cl360 did. this one is pretty smooth compared to the 360
 

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This was going to be my first attempt at a cafe racer project...I'll still do it..but it will take a back seat to the 77CB750K I just got.



 

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quote:Originally posted by slave600

hey geeto, if the bike is really common why isn't there more info or resources for it? i can find a manual for my 2002 aprilia Tuono (which they didn't even offer over here!) in five minutes but i haven't seen any other info beyond a 1978-1981 honda twins manual! maybe i'm looking in the wrong places, but overall it doesn't seem that bad of a bike. at least it doesn't rattle my teeth like the old cl360 did. this one is pretty smooth compared to the 360
don't get me wrong...it is a honda so it is:
1) reliable (probably the most reliable one they made)
2) cheap

They sold tons of them as beginner bikes in the late 1970s and early 1980s but they weren't crusiers, were not sportbikes, and people really didn't care for them beyond just using them and abusing them. For stock bikes you can get most anything from honda, but once people outgrew them they just bought a bigger faster bike rather than mod them. the other problem is that their engines are not really that easy to mod and see real gains. They have restrictive heads, pedestrian carbs, and at the time it was cheaper to buy a cb750F than hot rod the 400cc lump. For years they were traded for peanuts as beginner bikes across the nation but they are so forgettable to ride that nobody regards them as special. They are the six cylinder 4 door ford falcons of the bike world. They are worth something now because bikes, espically old bikes are gaining ground but I have to say somebody would have to be twisting ym nuts pretty hard to get me to pay $1000 bucks for one.

The bikes are so reliable that they will run virtually forever on almost no maintenance. It is why you don't see a lot of manuals for them either - they were designed to be disposable but because they were a bike and not a paper cup they ended up in the back of a garage instead of a landfill.
 

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They aren't that common because they were "throw-away" bikes. You rode them until they broke and you junked them if they cost too much to fix which didn't take much!

They were like Ford Escorts,Chevy Chevettes,Dodge Omnis etc.(how many of those do you see running around now?). Cheap and reliable,but in the end just basic transportation and that's it.

Those bikes were pretty much unlike any other Honda made(except maybe for some budget scooters/70cc/90cc bikes)in the fact that they were very,very cheaply made and made to a price point. Take just about any other popular Honda made,put them side by side and you will start seeing the differences between them.

The quality of the parts makes you wonder if Honda even built that bike or if it was made in the basement of some Chinese bicycle shop and Honda just slapped their name on it!
Ok,maybe that was a LITTLE harsh,but you get the point.

My brother-in law and his father bought two identical orange ones and that had to be the worst riding bike I've ever been on. Seriously I've ridden in dump trucks that had better suspension and softer seats.

Two up riding is a joke with the stock suspension and painful for the passenger to boot. My B.I.L.s bike was slower than crap also. He would yank the throttle and it took forever until the thing started to pick up speed with both of us on it. He maybe weighed 140 and I maybe weighed 115 at the time.

I think my wifes 2003 Ninja 250 would beat one which is pretty sad because theres no way her bike would beat my old Yamaha Seca 400 twin.

BTW,I think they paid like $700.00-800.00 each or so for theirs BRAND NEW off the show room floor so,why would you pay more than that for a very used one that isn't even a collector bike?

I paid $1,500 for my brand new(left over)81-82 Seca 400 in 1985-86.
 

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just to give you an idea of how cheap these can be had...I owned a "no option" hawk that came with all the paperwork (I got it for free too) and the original reciept was $633.87. This was for a 1979 Drum brake, kick only hawk in black.

Honda did something novel with these bikes - they intorduced the idea of options from the factory like cars in 1978. Up to that point bikes were sold with the only option being color choice and any accessories were installed by the dealer. With Hawks you could add or subtract certain options to reflect price. Unfortunatly these "options" were things most people wanted standard on a bike anyway, like disc brake and electric start. It was a very unpopular way of doing things because most dealers ordered the bikes one way - disc brake, e-start, and orange paint. If you bought a new bike lately you can see that the old way prevails and honda's apptempt at car like optioning mostly failed. I day mostly because the only other bike they did this with is the goldwing, and they continue to do it with the gold wing...but then again the goldwing has real options.

kick only and a drum brake (identical to the cb350 drum BTW)....what was honda thinking?

BTW there are literally tons of them in NYC. Most people couldn't bear to part with these disposable lumps and since it is easier to store a hawk than a chevette people just shoved them into the backs of sheds, garages, storage units. Back when I used to go to storage unit auctions here in the city there would invaribly be between 3 and 7 hawks sitting there waiting to get sold. the frequency at which I used to find these bikes was staggering. In my new brooklyn neighborhood there are 5 parked within a 10 block radius, two of them in really super nice shape.

despite being a crap fest I had three friends who learned to ride on them. Each owned the bike for 1 year. number of oil changes doen in that 3 year period = 0. and this was a while ago. That bike is still running around with the oil I put in it back 1999. It was such a slow bike I don't think anybody would notice if the motor was winged anyway...if it went slower it would be going backwards.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
wow, maybe i got a good one. this one has the get up of the old cl360 and is fairly smooth compared to the likes of the cb350, cl360, and cb400 (4) i have ridden in the recent past. the 2000 ninja 250 i just traded (cool story about that!!) was a better all around bike, but recall i'm just looking for a "toy" bike that will let me cruise to the local bike night, where the word cafe is used solely to refer to the tables we sit at. the lines of the bike are easily capable of being a cafe w/ a humpback seat, clubmans, and removal of most of the unneccesary bits. and price wise...... here in NC find any bike that is running this well and would pass the inspection process for less than 800 and i'll buy it, too!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
"BTW,I think they paid like $700.00-800.00 each or so for theirs BRAND NEW off the show room floor so,why would you pay more than that for a very used one that isn't even a collector bike?

I paid $1,500 for my brand new(left over)81-82 Seca 400 in 1985-86."
quote

sounds like they were the quick built quickly forgotten bikes of lore, but price alone doesn't make it horrible does it?? but for 30+ horsepower what can i expect right?? who needs horses when i have the aprilia anyways....?? its like riding 5 cb360's!!
 

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quote:Originally posted by slave600

"BTW,I think they paid like $700.00-800.00 each or so for theirs BRAND NEW off the show room floor so,why would you pay more than that for a very used one that isn't even a collector bike?

I paid $1,500 for my brand new(left over)81-82 Seca 400 in 1985-86."
quote

sounds like they were the quick built quickly forgotten bikes of lore, but price alone doesn't make it horrible does it?? but for 30+ horsepower what can i expect right?? who needs horses when i have the aprilia anyways....?? its like riding 5 cb360's!!
You can make a good looking cafe style bike out of them. I'd paint/P.C. the wheels dark gray or black so they aren't so noticeable.

The tanks have a pretty decent shape to them. The exhaust isn't bad looking,but black/gray/ash(low/no shine) would look cool as long as everything around it wasn't black as well.

Cut down the front fender. Ad a short rear fender.Put on a 70's/80's style rear seat/cowl(tank really doesn't lend itself to a 50's/60's style bum stop seat). Add some rear sets,strip it down so nothing that isn't needed is gone etc.

Other than maint. parts,there is NO aftermarket for that bike and you will have to adapt parts made for another bike or make just about everything for it,but hey that's half the fun right?

Unless you take a sledge hammer to them you can usually get them and or keep them running. People didn't care about these bikes at all and many,many of them sit for very long periods of time so they have the same long term storage problems as any other old bike that is not ridden on a regular basis.

People bought them(many of them young/collage students) rode them for many thousands of miles all at one time or over a short period of a few years and that's it. Many left them outside in the beating sun/winter(they got a cover/tarp if they were lucky),never did anything to them except put gas in them and go.

Look,if builders can make a CX look good as a cafe bike a 400 Hawk should be a piece of cake!:D
 
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