Honda 650 Nighthawk (CB650SC) Motorcycle Reviews on Cycle Insider (1)
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2021-01-08 1984 Honda 650 Nighthawk (CB650SC) Motorcycles View Listings

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My first vehicle purchase was a new black '82 450 Nighthawk. I put almost 40,000km on it, and found it to be a very good starter bike, but found it a bit small for the multi-lane highways that I was often travelling on. I bought a new black '84 650 Nighthawk from a dealer in March of 1985. The extra weight and superior suspension of the 650 made it a much nicer platform for highway cruising, and I loved the no maintenance aspects of the bike: shaft drive, hydraulic lifters, etc. My only real complaint about the design and engineering of the bike is that the alternator was not strong enough -- the battery is discharging whenever the engine drops below about 2500rpm. I put just over 70,000km on it when it suffered a catastrophic engine failure. The exhaust valve guides had worn oval, and the exhaust valves had worn through the valve seats, and into the head, so there was zero compression in the middle two cylinders, and the lobes were almost gone on both cam shafts. In the 10 years of ownership, I had only had to replace the sender for the gear-position indicator (over-and-above the usual maintenance items such as oil/filter changes, tire replacements, etc.) It was speculated that one of the small feeds that sends oil to the top of the engine had become blocked, and starved the top end of oil -- no engine would survive that for very long. This bike "died" during the summer of '95, and I sold it to somebody who was going to do a full engine rebuild. (I did not have the funds or the time to take on this project, which in hind sight was too bad, as the rest of the bike was in beautiful condition). I did not have a motorcycle again until the summer of 2020, when I came across a used '84 650 Nighthawk with 73,000km for sale not far from me. The owner had completed a complete engine over-haul at 70k, and was asking a reasonable price, so I decided to take a chance, and get back on two wheels. I was not sure how I would do, as a 58 year old who hadn't been on a motorcycle for 25 years! After a few tentative launches, I started to feel like I had been reunited with an old friend. This bike has the typical Nighthawk whine, and feels very similar to what I remember of my previous bike. The paint was not in very good shape, but the previous owner had included a full set of replacement decals with the bike, so I took it to be professionally painted. I chose the '83 color Siren Blue, as I was not a fan of either the red or black colors from '84. I will be VERY careful to use only top-quality motorcycle oil in this one, and hope to get many more riding seasons out of my new/old friend.
- Murray, Ontario

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