Living Jackson

Benefits of cycling
Honda Nighthawk 450 Documentary – My First Standard Motorcycle

Honda Nighthawk 450 Documentary – My First Standard Motorcycle


When I took my rider’s safety course, I had the pleasure of trying out different
bikes. At the time, I was torn between the CBR125R
and the Suzuki Marauder. A standard bike. I went with the CBR125R. I rode it to work, to the gym, to the park,
even to the grocery. At first the forward leaning position hurt
my neck But after a few rides I got used to it My first group ride was on the 125 I had a blast with it A few weeks later, I upgraded to a CBR250R I knew I made the right decision By going with a sportbike It was a summer to remember 6 months ago this tow truck rear ended me
while I was at a stop light and I sustained some Injuries to my neck I was lucky I was in my car at the time But I stopped riding ever since My concern was that my bike’s forward leaning Position may aggravate my neck injury But I still wanted to ride Then I saw this cruiser which reminded me
of the Marauder. With a seating position like that, I should
avoid any Aggravation to my neck This is the story about how I got My first standard bike I wanted a bike that was 500 cc or less to limit insurance costs It must weigh under 500 pounds I prefer a Honda It must be under two thousand dollars And it must be a standard bike for riding
comfort My search came down to the following bikes The 500cc Honda Shadow The 450cc Honda Nighthawk And the 250cc Honda Rebel I’m off to check out a Honda Shadow It’s a 500cc bike Seller says that it’s in great condition Also looks good in pictures So I’m gonna check it out in person The asking price is a little bit above my
budget So we’ll see how this one goes Just coming back from checking out the Honda
Shadow It turns out that it needs a new battery And a new rear tire Otherwise the bike looks really good Mileage is okay I have to find out how much that’s gonna cost
me But it’s definitely something worth considering So I’ll keep that on the list A friend of mine has a 650cc Shadow for his
first Bike and loves it My problem was that it was going to be too
expensive To insure and it is at the top of my budget So I checked out a couple of Honda Rebel’s
today And for some reason even though They are only 250cc they are both above my
budget So I’m afraid I might have to scratch those
off But tomorrow I’m going to be checking out A Nighthawk 450 So we’ll see how that one goes Don’t worry I’m not replacing you I’m keeping you The Nighthawk was a popular model in the 80’s Have you seen what just hit town That’s that new engine isn’t it Okay guys whose is it The new Nighthawk from Honda With tons of positive reviews And well within my budget How could I go wrong Is it yours Uh huh Even at 30 years old, it is still all over
YouTube Alright here is a video of my 1985 Honda CB450SC It was a great looking bike Here is my 1985 Honda 450 Nighthawk Doing a quick video to show it just got it Really happy I picked this bike up Um I’m actually gonna start it Let me start it up Well cold starting may be an issue But I still decided to checkout a Nighthawk
anyway When I saw my first Nighthawk in person It was like love at first sight The Nighthawk 450 had a 445 cc two cylinder
engine With two carbs 6-speed transmission And a 395 pound dry weight This one came with a rack a back rest A wind screen and an and engine guard The exhaust had been modified to a high flow
exhaust And the carburetor was rejetted Of the 3 Nighthawks I had seen so far I had to come back a second time To see this one again There was minimal rust on the bike And both side panels were still there Yes she’s been around the block a few times But it was still looking pretty solid I knew this was the one So when the seller called back for a follow
up I jumped on it What’s up guys the seller of the 83 Honda Nighthawk 450 got back to me And just to follow up We eventually came up with a deal He’s gonna discount the cost of the carb work So I’m on my way there now to have a second
look And possibly give him a downpayment So we’ll see how that goes I made my deposit All I needed now was some good riding weather It’s pickup day I had to rely on the weather forecast To tell me when would be a good day to pick
it up I had to get a temporary permit first so that I could ride it to the shop to get it certified And I had to pickup my dad who lived an hour
away So that he could drive my car And to escort me to the shop Finally, it was time to put on the new plates And ride it for the first time My dad used to ride a Honda for many years When he was younger He pointed out that the reason why it was
backfiring Could be that it is running too lean too rich Or there is an exhaust leak So he was quite upset that I didn’t test
ride The bike before buying it I didn’t really care But just in case there wasn’t enough gas
in the tank I brought some fuel with me and filled it
up Then it was time to get a feel for the bike This turned out to be the first time I rode
a bike After my accident and the first time this
season The very first thing I noticed was that the
bike’s Handle bars got heavier the more they were
turned Into one direction Unlike my 250 it had longer forks resulting
in a Bigger rake angle On acceleration it was hesitating and backfiring It was lacking the power I was accustomed
to On my 250 The tach and speedometer were bouncing It basically rode like crap But I did get a taste of its power When wide open in third gear I found that the seating position was Very comfortable I could see myself riding it all day long I took the backroads on the way to the shop I even spotted another rider braving the cold At the shop I was told that it would be ready In about 2 hours So I had some lunch expecting to Take the bike home later (Phone ringing) Hello Hey Mike Yup The bike failed safety Oh really Okay so you’re gonna fix the loose shifter You’re gonna replace the front tire There’s a broken bolt you said Okay replacing the front grips Chain and sprockets And how much are we looking at Wow Okay well let me get back to you on that Because I was expecting to pass safety and I was hoping to bring it home today Because the weather is nice Alright Mike I’ll call you back Bye I called him back to get the work done anyway Damn Hi can I speak to Mike please Hi Mike it’s Michael with the Nighthawk Yeah just checking in when I can pickup the
bike Yeah I know it runs like (beep) Yeah it needs some carb work I’m here at Clarington Cycle now I’m gonna pickup my bike Okay so about twenty minutes I was skeptical at first Until I did some research on Clarington Cycle Excellent Here we go Alright Mike Alright thanks I’ll see you soon Bye Bike is ready Mike had a lot of positive reviews from local
riders Because there is rust in the tank Eventually that rust will become almost like
silt The only way to stop it is to get the tank
relined There’s a place in Peterborough that does A pretty good job In the meantime attach a piece of hose onto
here Get a little cup Open this up Turn it Let it run through for 15 seconds Just make sure when you get in there You don’t strip that Undo that hang on to the backside of the carburetor Is it okay if I pickup my bike later on tonight Maybe you could leave it outside and I’ll come back after you’re closed Sure Yup I’ll just push it outside Actually I’ll do it right now and give you
the key Still got a few things that you gonna Want to attend to on this bike Alright for now it has mechanical safety So you’re good that way There’s some running issues Got a question for you here Is that in reserve right now Or is it in the on position Arrow is pointing up so it’s on The little tiny arrow there You don’t go by this you go by that little
arrow Alright so that would be your off Is it off It’s off Alright You’d hate to come on back to a dead battery A couple of hours later my wife gave me a
ride To pickup the bike The bike had been sitting outside in the cold So I knew I had to let it warm up for several
minutes Yeah baby I picked up a high vis vest from Walmart And by some slim chance the woman at the till was also a rider With the wind chill at minus 9 degrees My open visor was still fogging up And finally, we were on our way home This was the moment I’ve been waiting for It was so windy that day that the windshield
felt Like a giant sail The tires felt like they were frozen solid And my hands were numb after just a few minutes But I didn’t care We were coming home We were 5 minutes away from home When all of a sudden the bike started struggling Until finally I was out of fuel Hmmm… what was that thing Mike said back
at the shop The little tiny arrow there You don’t go by this you go by that little
arrow And I was back in business I made it home safely and my Nighthawk 450 Was finally ready to meet its young nephew
the 250 While I still have a lot of work ahead of
me I am sure to enjoy this new chapter I would like to thank you for joining me In this mini video journal If you liked this video please hit that like
button Or better yet hit that subscribe button And I’ll see you in my next video And as always ride safe and thanks for watching

73 comments on “Honda Nighthawk 450 Documentary – My First Standard Motorcycle

  1. Congratulations! Great job on the video & i love the bike looks super comfy with the back rest and Hwy pegs.Hope you get it running in tip top shape asap.At the lowest cost posable.Good to hear your keeping the CBR.Cheers

  2. Excellently done!  Posting in your share as well, but the nighthawk community is one of the best and most friendly motorcycling communities I have encountered.  The facebook group and Nighthawk-Forums.com should be able to help you with whatever you need assistance with!

  3. Subscribed.  Saw your posting on the Nighthawk forum.  I really like the looks of the 450 and I'm thinking it might be a good first bike for me.  I'm and older dude but if I had the $$$ I'd buy a CBR250 like you did.  There was a NH450 for sale a few miles from my house.  I went and checked it out, the owner said I could have it for $800… I should have jumped on it!  I'd imagine it needed a few things, tires, chain & sprocket maybe fork seals but I think I let a good deal slip away.  It was gone the next day.  Anyway, I've watched a few of your vids, good luck with the channel and have a great season.

  4. Watching your experience remind me when I got my Yamaha Fazer 250 one week ago. I was so excited even when it is a second hand bike but it's like new. I hope your neck's issue improve soon, so you can enjoy that sweety and gorgeous 250R. Take care.

  5. Picked up a really clean 'Hawk just like this one. I've lubed and adjusted the chain, and modded the exhaust for a bit more sound. My only complaint is that it's geared pretty short. Cruising speed, about 70, the engine is turning 5200 RPM! I'm aware of the sprocket swap, but that will only drop it down 500 RPM. Not sure it's worth it.

  6. I have 82 450 nighthawk. Paid 750$ and needed a coil and front tire for safety 🙂 i love these bikes. Im a big guy and can boot around fine on it

  7. My first street bike! I bought mine new one month after graduating high school. This thing was nimble and I made many memories on that ride…….some that the statute of limitations still won't allow me to post 🙂 ! Thanks for posting !

  8. awesome video dude I like your calm narrative style to the video – it was pleasant to watch. I have been riding my first bike for a few months now – a cb450sc 1983 –  just like you. You brought back some memories for me haha, like learning how to operate the petcock. I remember the first time I forgot to turn it back on after getting on the bike and having to pull over on 3 feet of sandy washed out shoulder with cars going by at 45. Didn't forget after that.

  9. Nice bike! I just bought a 1985 nighthawk 650 for my first bike earlier this year. It needs some love but for 800$ I can't complain. The one thing I dislike is having 4 carbs…….oi……..But I enjoy projects so we'll see how she goes. FInally ticked over 100 miles on it a week or so ago but she only has 27k on her so it looks like I have a good starter bike for a while.

  10. I love your video: very nostalgic for me. I owned an 83 Nighthawk 450 from 84-91, drove it in Texas and all over Germany. I put 43,000 miles on it. I loved that bike: fun to ride, easy to maintain. I hope you have the same experience with yours.

  11. Nice little documentary here.  I also have a nighthawk 450 ('85), great little bike for running around town.  These VB22 carbs are a bit finicky to get just right, I'm having some trouble with mine not giving me full power on the low jet circuit, but all in all it's a great bike and it doesn't give me any reliability problems.  Subbed for move of ur vids!

  12. Great video. I have a 1982 Nighthawk 450 that I found on ebay. It was in the next town over and I bought it the day I checked it out. My first bike. Three years later and I'm still in love with it. Had the chain jump last year which I replaced, but other than that she runs great and I'm in no hurry to get a newer bike. I hope you enjoy yours as much as I do mine.

  13. i have never once had a problem with a cold start on my 86' 450. I got it a couple years ago, and Ive tarted it multiple times even when it was super cold out.. just to hear it run. I always get lucky with stuff like that though.. haha

  14. I really enjoyed your video. It is good to see these bikes still on the road. I bought an '82 in '84 for $1200, with a little over 1000 miles on it. I did nothing to it and left the next week from California to Florida. I was moving there, so had it packed with as much as I could keep strapped to it. Back then the speed limit was 55 mph and did much of the trip near that, but would at times cruise at 70 mph or so. It got about 70 mpg for the trip. Going over the mountains in New Mexico, in a snow storm, my chain froze up. The o-rings had gone bad. I was stuck in a small town for two days waiting to get a new chain. In Houston Texas, I laid it down on the freeway after shifting up on a wet oiled on-ramp. I was going about 70 mph at the time. A truly scary experience, but I was ok, and the bike received little damage. After an hour of playing chicken across four lanes of traffic to gather my belongings, I was able to ride off, with the use of vice-grips pulling the now broken clutch handle. In town, I replaced them and the shift lever and was back on the road. The rest of the trip was a joy and my time with the bike after was too. It was one of the best all around bikes I have ever owned. One I wish I would of never sold. Good mpg, power, handling and dependability. A Honda. I hope you enjoy yours as much as I did.

  15. I have the same machine, only two years newer. My 450 has more than enough power for any condition: I've cruised at 75+ mph into very stiff headwinds, and the little engine had no problems. It's also light and handles well, and is fairly comfy even for my 6'1 frame. Hard not to love a little bike that just seems so "game" to do whatever you need it to.

  16. I am a poor guy, my grand is limited, do you think I can afford a stable bike within $2000. I am planning on using motorcycle as my main vehicle for living because the automobile costs are too high. I never own a motorcycle before.

  17. Great video. Thanks for making it. I have a 1985 cb450sc Nighthawk. I have a question for you. How do you mount/dismount the bike? I have a trunk box on mine and I have to step up over the seat. Getting on is okay but getting off is a struggle. With a backrest on your rack, I take it you also have to step over the seat. Do you find it a struggle or are you tall? I am 78 and that may be part of my problem. Again, great vid.

  18. LOL, I was going to say to be sure to switch your petcock switch back to "on" before you left the shop.

  19. You've probably had the carbs rebuilt by now but I would advise anyone about to have this work done, if they can, remove the carbs themselves and send them off to a carb-only specialist. You'll get a better job, and more importantly, pay far less than if your local shop does it.

  20. Great video I had a 82 650 Nighthawk and loved it Your video took me back. Been out of the saddle for 26 years and just got back loving the road again on a 2014 Honda Shadow 750

  21. Loved your video! And your perseverance! I'm a new rider and just picked up a 99 Honda Nighthawk CB250 in black! I love it! It's a great entry level bike and I love the standard riding position!

  22. YOU ARE A REAL BIKER THROUGH AND THROUGH KEEP US POSTED ON HOW THINGS TURN OUT WITH THE NIGHTHAWK HONDA'S ARE STRONG AND RARELY DISAPPOINT. MAN YOU CLEANED HER UP NICE.

  23. Backfiring is usually a lean mixture. On an old bike a quick cure is to shut off the fuel petcock, drain the carbs and remove the float bowls, unscrew the main jets(one at a time), soak the jet in acetone for 5 minutes, dry for 5 minutes and replace them, put the float bowls back on, and then turn on the petcocks and start the engine. You should see an immediate change.

  24. I have a 1983 cb550sc. I love it. I had to replace the needle valves and refurb the rubber intake boots but she runs great. I watched your whole video. It was a well put together show. ITs now winter and I can hardly wait to pull the bike out. My first bike ever.

  25. the video of the 80's commercial was actually the 650…should have kept that one too…letting the 86 700s red white and blue go was painful too…ride safe like you're invisible…

  26. Was a great video! Thanks for riding Honda. I love the nighthawks. I was able to buy one last year for practically nothing ($100). Saved it from going to the scrap yard. Now it running great and cant wait to put long miles on this summer. Keep up the riding and hope to see more videos.

  27. Enjoyed your vid and hit the like. My first and only motorbike was an 82 Nighthawk. Rode it around Connecticut when I worked there on a work visa but I'm from Toronto, Canada. I enjoyed the bike but had few close calls with it. Eventually experimented with trying to pop a wheelie but the thing is too heavy. Probably needs a larger sprocket for more low end torque?
    Anyhow, hearing the engine of your bike (even the starter) certainly brought back memories.

  28. IM STILL THE ORIGINAL OWNER OF 1983 I GOT IT WHEN I WAS 17 IT STILL RUNS AND LOOKS THE SAME LIKE THE FIRST DAY I GOT IT NEVER HAD A PROBLEM WITH IT .

  29. Is it faster and or more torqueythan your cbr250? i have the exat same bike, cbr, with the stock exhuast.

  30. Michael that was a very cool video. You are a cool dude. I got really lucky a few years ago and found two Nighthawk 450's with less than a thousand miles each in mint condition. I added the windshields to both. One is an automatic and it's blue the other is the 6spd and it's red. I also have a vintage Kawasaki Samurai 250 two stroke 1968 bike that was my fathers. I love to ride too. A friend loaned me a brand new Harley Street 500 for the fourth of July and it was fun but my Nighthawks are faster. Stay Awesome. Matt Noell Whitewright, Texas. 😉

  31. I brought 1982 nighthawk 450 for $400. And I got shop manual and fixed it from scratch.
    The only problem I am facing is unable to find taco meter.

  32. Great story. Who hasn't bought an older bike and heard those horrible words, "it needs a couple of things to pass safety."

  33. I always like your vids, BrownBrady…you are such a calming, soothing presence. And it's hard to explain when you just KNOW it's your bike…good on ya' for stepping up to it!

  34. A very pleasant video and honest. You made a good choice for comfortable, simple riding enjoyment.

    I think you may have come up easier and probably cheaper if you bought a trade in used Nighthawk from the dealer you ended up paying to bring the CList bike up to safety. That dealer looked honest. When they take a trade, they automatically do all the things they had to do for you, and roll it into the price. You then deal them down, and they give you a 90 day warranty. It is worth consideration. Bike dealers REALLY rely on repeat sales where car dealers often don't so if they screw you it gets around quickly.

    I too was looking for the same bike as you. I looked at several Craig's listing bikes. They were OK but all needed a lot of service, or had been rebuilt from a box of parts. I stopped by a dealer. Found a one owner trade in for $2200 with only 5k miles (a 250 though). Proper chain lube and slack, clean tank, new oil, fresh tires, valves adjusted, some accessories and a wonderful cold start every time. Looked brand new. CL same bikes older than this one were asking 1500 – 2200. I checked every other regional dealer online and they had similar ones for 1995 to 2500 so I knew the price was fair. Test ride was part of the sale. Speaking with the service manager also. They wanted to add dealer prep of $600. I said NO that is for new bikes, this is a trade in so it is all gravy to you. I'll give you 2000 + tax. $2200 incl tax/title and delivery to my home a week later with a 90 day warranty My job is to get the lowest price, there's is to get more and move the bike off their floor. All honest and courteous. I never even had to go to the tag office. It all came by mail within two weeks.

    I have NEVER had any trouble with this bike. If I'd bought an $1800 CL bike, I'd immediately change the oil (despite condition), flush the tank, adjust the chain, maybe replace sprockets and clean the carb. That is easily $300-500 worth of service and parts, then I'd have to sit at the DMV to get the paperwork. Sometimes it is better to just pay up front and ride with an immediate smile. Age eventually teaches you this lesson.

  35. Great job on the video. I have ridden across the USA and one 30 day trip from LA California across the Southern states to Washington DC, then up to all five of the great lakes, Canada, then back home on a trouble free Honda ST1100 dinosaur. Including three days of non stop rain from Duluth MN to Salt Lake City UT. Talk about a love/ hate relationship with motorcycle riding.

    My trial and error experiences for cold weather that work for me: Layer up and Ditch the gloves. (The wonderful electric stuff not withstanding) get a pair of waterproof snow/ ski mittens with removable fuzzy liners. There is magic in keeping your 4 fingers together in one pocket. And if it is a long ride you can put those single use 8 hour heat packs into the built in pockets. The 8 hour toe warmers stuck to your socks do wonders as well.

  36. I paid Plaza Honda in Brooklyn NY in 1985 $200 per month for my brand new 1985 Nighthawk 450 the only new bike I ever owned. Taught the girl friend how to ride on it, lots of memories. Rode it through NY City as a courier.

  37. I don't know about you bro but riding an upright bike is 100x harder on my neck that being tucked into an aero sport bike

  38. In 1985 i was a senior in high school. I bought a " midnight blue" 85 nighthawk 450 for $1695 plus tax brand new. My first real street bike .loved it rode it everywhere

  39. LOL I've sold a lot of bikes through cl and marketplace. If I had some dude who wanted to come see the bike multiple times, and then wanted to put a down payment on it, I'd be looking anywhere else. Kudos to your seller for his patience.

  40. Those safety checks are extortion. It's a real conflict of interest to have private mechanics do "government" inspections; it's in their interest to find a load of shit that supposedly needs to be fixed. Thank God I live in a state, in the USA, that doesn't require inspections.

  41. Went with a rebel 250 for my first.. after a few months of watching cl, I found an 09 with 1500 miles in great shape for 1400. I'm only like 150lbs and it's plenty for me.

  42. Im sure no one will see this new post in 2020….but ur bike looks like mine but mine is burgandy 1985 honda nighthawk 450 🙂 beautiful bike i love mine

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *