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Author Topic: My 1992 Nighthawk  (Read 1529 times)

Offline ariccastro94

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My 1992 Nighthawk
« on: September 03, 2016, 01:50:45 AM »
I bought this beautiful lady about a year ago. This is my first motorcycle.  I've put 3000 miles on it since I've got it. It's been to:
Sonora ×3
Yosemite×1
San Francisco×1
Monterrey× 1
Sacramento ×1

I road it in just about any weather condition that I have had in the Central Valley during the last year. I learned to split lanes amd dodge unaware drivers with this bike. I had my first crash learning the lesson about running out of gas in a bad spot and having nowhere to go but down. I've dropped it a handful of times.

She's had her kinks, most of them being my ignorance. But has ran beautifully even when I push the limits. And as I have been too broke to get it in the shop to fix the issues it currently has I've had time to mill some ideas around.

One of these ideas is to turn this beautiful motorcycle from the early 90s into a disfigured horror of my own creation. And this horror is sparked from other Nighthawk owners turning their's into cafe racers or bobbers.

With this idea I decided that I was going to start a project with 5 simple rules:
1. It must run
2. It must meet California's minimum requirements for street legal motorcycles. (It doesn't have to meet the requirements by much)
3. It must fit me and a passenger. Saddle bags are a plus
4. Minimal frame work as possible. I don't really have access to the equipment and I want to preserve the way I ride on it.
5. The project can't blow my broke college student budget. I don't mind paying a little more if I don't have to do the same thing twice, like buying parts.

I figured that since the motorcycle was inoperable I would start by pulling off the fairings. Then I started looking at parts that would meet the requirements for this project.
So far I have found a license plate border that has L.E.D.s that serve as both brake lights and turn signals and pod air filters that can replace the bulky stock air filter.

As I stated looking at motorcycle in more detail I noticed a handful of obstacles in my way:
1. There are some bulky electrical components that I either need to preserve or alter to keep the bike street legal.
2. I don't know enough about motorcycles to separate the essential from the nonessential parts.

One of my concerns is the effectiveness of the pod air filters and if anyone may know of any that would work the best. I found some K&N pod air filters, I assume those might be the best bet.

I do have a basic mechanical aptitude from working on cars and obviously due to budget I'm stuck doing this mostly by myself.

I'm going into this with not much more than a few basic tools, an idea and an dream. Ideally I would like to connect with people who have done similar projects to the Nighthawk. My next best thing is connecting with people willing to help me with planning and talking me through the steps. I'm confident that if someone could take me through it I could do most of the necessary steps to this project. The next best thing from that is helpful tips. I would like to see concepts other people have used in similar projects. Suggestions and advice are encouraged.





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Offline mollusc

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Re: My 1992 Nighthawk
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2016, 06:35:03 AM »
Search this site for "pod filters."  Read the suggestions and commentary.  Then ignore all of that, install the pods anyway, and live with a bike that bogs down, stutters and pops, doesn't work in the rain, and is generally much, much worse than when you started.
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Offline smoojee

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Re: My 1992 Nighthawk
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2016, 07:31:43 AM »
I’ll help you out if you need any advice.  Feel free to hit me up.  I build bikes, search my username and see my threads.  I try to answer questions pretty quickly.  As far as pods, they can be made to work but the bike will not really run right. Mechanical lift carbs work best with pods. The carbs on these bikes run on vacuum pressure and pods really throw off the velocity of the incoming air.  Here is a member who made a work around http://nighthawk-forums.com/index.php/topic,1005.0.html  if the link doesn’t work his username is waltnpt

If you’re looking for a more sportier look you should google Honda cb750 f2n  It’s the euro version of our bike.  There are some differences.  The front wheel is a 17” and dual brakes and the rear is a disc brake.  Another place to look is classified moto. They rebuild 90’s nighthawks.  They turn them into more of a tracker.  Again, hit me up if you have any questions.

Ed

93 CB750 Nighthawk
80 CB750f Streetfighter

Offline smoojee

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Re: My 1992 Nighthawk
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2016, 07:33:22 AM »
One more thing, I’m trying to find a way to adapt mechanical lift carbs to our 90’s bikes.  I’ll let you know if I make it work.  Then you can run pods all day long with no loss of power.  nice1
93 CB750 Nighthawk
80 CB750f Streetfighter

Offline ariccastro94

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Re: My 1992 Nighthawk
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2016, 08:37:59 AM »
Search this site for "pod filters."  Read the suggestions and commentary.  Then ignore all of that, install the pods anyway, and live with a bike that bogs down, stutters and pops, doesn't work in the rain, and is generally much, much worse than when you started.

I did some research on the pod filters and did see the problems associated with that. It definitely puts a halt on things. I want to be able to ride it 24/7/365.

I'm pretty sure I need to work on the carb anyway if there is some work that can be done to it.

I've read that changing the exhaust can help

Any ideas on how I can get around this issues?

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Offline ariccastro94

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Re: My 1992 Nighthawk
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2016, 08:50:01 AM »

Ed

The CBS 750 F2n reminded me how much of a nuisance the rear drum brake is. It's fine when I ride by myself but I am almost better off not using it when I have a passenger.

I like the way waltnpt made a filter work on his bike. I'll hit him up to see if it gave him any issues.

I appreciate it. I'll definitely hit you up if I need help.

Offline MrF

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Re: My 1992 Nighthawk
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2016, 10:12:37 AM »
I bought this beautiful lady about a year ago. This is my first motorcycle.  I've put 3000 miles on it since I've got it. It's been to:
Sonora ×3
Yosemite×1
San Francisco×1
Monterrey× 1
Sacramento ×1

I road it in just about any weather condition that I have had in the Central Valley during the last year. I learned to split lanes amd dodge unaware drivers with this bike. I had my first crash learning the lesson about running out of gas in a bad spot and having nowhere to go but down. I've dropped it a handful of times.

Welcome!  I lived in the central valley for a few years.  It sucks, but it looks like you've figured out the secret to having fun out there--getting out of town.  If you haven't been to Sequoia/Kings Canyon yet, that's a nice trip as well.

As far as your project, that can be a bit of a polarizing topic here.  Give this thread a read, if only to understand why people might not be overly enthusiastic about your plans: http://nighthawk-forums.com/index.php/topic,2718.msg23970.html#msg23970

With this idea I decided that I was going to start a project with 5 simple rules:
1. It must run
2. It must meet California's minimum requirements for street legal motorcycles. (It doesn't have to meet the requirements by much)
3. It must fit me and a passenger. Saddle bags are a plus
4. Minimal frame work as possible. I don't really have access to the equipment and I want to preserve the way I ride on it.
5. The project can't blow my broke college student budget. I don't mind paying a little more if I don't have to do the same thing twice, like buying parts.

One thing to consider, before you go throwing a lot of money at the bike: it sounds like you already have a bike that already meets all these rules.  If that's the case, what's your motivation for the project?

Is it just to have something to work on?  I always like having some kind of project I go to when I want to relax.  There are a lot of things you can do to the bike to improve it without causing permanent changes.  LED conversions, the carb washer mod, saddlebags and things like that.

Is it a desire for something cooler and faster looking?  Take a look around the site: to do it right, it's going to take money, time, and skill.  For every nice looking NH cafe conversion there are at least a dozen that look like they belong in the dumpster.  To me, making a cafe racer out of a NH is like trying to make a pickup truck look like a Corvette: it's not impossible, but if you want it to look halfway decent its going to take a significant investment. 

If you don't cut the frame, you'll preserve a lot of the value of the bike.  Also, you mentioned you pulled the fairings off.  If they're in good shape, and you're looking for some money, I'm sure there's someone on here or eBay who's looking for a set.  They don't make them anymore, so please don't just trash them.

2. I don't know enough about motorcycles to separate the essential from the nonessential parts.

This is usually a common theme in cafe builds that turn out poorly.  I'm not saying that to discourage you, just to remind you to keep your excitement and confidence tempered with that good self-assessment you made there.

If you still decide to hack into it, take it slow, plan well, and be realistic about the costs involved.  And good luck!
1997 Nighthawk 750 (Sold) |  2016 V-Strom 650

Offline smoojee

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Re: My 1992 Nighthawk
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2016, 10:19:25 AM »
I don’t think changing the exhaust will help with pods, it’s on the intake side that throws off the vacuum.  The air box creates a more balanced in flow of air. 
93 CB750 Nighthawk
80 CB750f Streetfighter

Offline ariccastro94

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Re: My 1992 Nighthawk
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2016, 07:46:34 PM »
I bought this beautiful lady about a year ago. This is my first motorcycle.  I've put 3000 miles on it since I've got it. It's been to:
Sonora ×3
Yosemite×1
San Francisco×1
Monterrey× 1
Sacramento ×1

I road it in just about any weather condition that I have had in the Central Valley during the last year. I learned to split lanes amd dodge unaware drivers with this bike. I had my first crash learning the lesson about running out of gas in a bad spot and having nowhere to go but down. I've dropped it a handful of times.

Welcome!  I lived in the central valley for a few years.  It sucks, but it looks like you've figured out the secret to having fun out there--getting out of town.  If you haven't been to Sequoia/Kings Canyon yet, that's a nice trip as well.

As far as your project, that can be a bit of a polarizing topic here.  Give this thread a read, if only to understand why people might not be overly enthusiastic about your plans: http://nighthawk-forums.com/index.php/topic,2718.msg23970.html#msg23970

With this idea I decided that I was going to start a project with 5 simple rules:
1. It must run
2. It must meet California's minimum requirements for street legal motorcycles. (It doesn't have to meet the requirements by much)
3. It must fit me and a passenger. Saddle bags are a plus
4. Minimal frame work as possible. I don't really have access to the equipment and I want to preserve the way I ride on it.
5. The project can't blow my broke college student budget. I don't mind paying a little more if I don't have to do the same thing twice, like buying parts.

One thing to consider, before you go throwing a lot of money at the bike: it sounds like you already have a bike that already meets all these rules.  If that's the case, what's your motivation for the project?

Is it just to have something to work on?  I always like having some kind of project I go to when I want to relax.  There are a lot of things you can do to the bike to improve it without causing permanent changes.  LED conversions, the carb washer mod, saddlebags and things like that.

Is it a desire for something cooler and faster looking?  Take a look around the site: to do it right, it's going to take money, time, and skill.  For every nice looking NH cafe conversion there are at least a dozen that look like they belong in the dumpster.  To me, making a cafe racer out of a NH is like trying to make a pickup truck look like a Corvette: it's not impossible, but if you want it to look halfway decent its going to take a significant investment. 

If you don't cut the frame, you'll preserve a lot of the value of the bike.  Also, you mentioned you pulled the fairings off.  If they're in good shape, and you're looking for some money, I'm sure there's someone on here or eBay who's looking for a set.  They don't make them anymore, so please don't just trash them.

2. I don't know enough about motorcycles to separate the essential from the nonessential parts.

This is usually a common theme in cafe builds that turn out poorly.  I'm not saying that to discourage you, just to remind you to keep your excitement and confidence tempered with that good self-assessment you made there.

If you still decide to hack into it, take it slow, plan well, and be realistic about the costs involved.  And good luck!
The primary motivation came from how cafe racers look. It's also from me wanting to get rid of unnecessary parts and take a more minimalist approach with the motorcycle.

I also want to challenge myself and try something new. I've done a few projects with cars. With my car i have a good enough understanding of it's in and outs that I can do a majority of the work it needs. I want to have the same understanding with my motorcycle.

This project is my opportunity to break the motorcycle down into it's essential parts and learn how they work together.

When it started having issues most recently I planned on selling it and buying something new when I could afford it but then I decided that I would rather turn it into something that I want and do something completely ridiculous.

I started looking at different builds people have done with similar motorcycles and the one that stood out the most and made me say, "I want to do that to my bike" was the cafe racers and bobbers.

I also figured with how regularly I'm dropping the bike. (About once a month minimum) it made sense to me to pull off parts that keep getting damaged.

Offline ariccastro94

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Re: My 1992 Nighthawk
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2016, 07:51:49 PM »
I don’t think changing the exhaust will help with pods, it’s on the intake side that throws off the vacuum.  The air box creates a more balanced in flow of air.
I appreciate the advice. I'm definitely going to wait until I figure this out before I do anything to the motorcycle. It seems like this makes the difference between good build and rolling garbage.

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Offline ariccastro94

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Re: My 1992 Nighthawk
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2016, 11:04:25 PM »
I was just wondering. The work i need to do to my motorcycle may require rejetting the carb. Would this help get around the issue of the pod air filters? I mean the are many different kits based on the level of modification to the air filter and exhaust and the altitude the bike runs at.
I honestly don't know if that would help, but from what I understand about carbs that seems like the likely solution

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Offline mollusc

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Re: My 1992 Nighthawk
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2016, 06:14:55 AM »
I was just wondering. The work i need to do to my motorcycle may require rejetting the carb. Would this help get around the issue of the pod air filters? I mean the are many different kits based on the level of modification to the air filter and exhaust and the altitude the bike runs at.
I honestly don't know if that would help, but from what I understand about carbs that seems like the likely solution


There are many discussions of pods on this forum.  Find them using the search function.
There's way more to getting pods to run with CV carburettors than just throwing some bigger jets in there.
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Offline ariccastro94

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Re: My 1992 Nighthawk
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2016, 10:50:14 AM »
I was just wondering. The work i need to do to my motorcycle may require rejetting the carb. Would this help get around the issue of the pod air filters? I mean the are many different kits based on the level of modification to the air filter and exhaust and the altitude the bike runs at.
I honestly don't know if that would help, but from what I understand about carbs that seems like the likely solution


There are many discussions of pods on this forum.  Find them using the search function.
There's way more to getting pods to run with CV carburettors than just throwing some bigger jets in there.
But that seems like the most logical solution to the problem.

You go from a stock filter to one that significantly increases the air flow you have to adjust the fuel flow to match.

Carbs aren’t overly complicated once you understand the basics.

There is an under stated issue of many pod filters having boots that restrict the air flow to important parts of the carb. But that seems like it could be fixed with some work with a dremel.

Maybe if you could explain exactly what issue the pod filters cause I can compensate for it. But from what I've seen the ideal solution is using one or a combination of the following methods.

1. Restrict airflow from pods so it's closer to the same air flow of the stock airbox
2. Install a jet kit that are meant to work with aftermarket filters and exhaust. (Stage 3 seems to be the best)
3. You make sure that the boots for the pod filters don't cover up any ports on the carb.

I found a kit on amazon that the description said,  "Carburetor Jet Kit designed for the Honda CB750 Nighthawk 1992 Motorcycle. Stage 3 is for motorcycles with stock or lightly modified engines with individual air intakes and baffled aftermarket exhaust system. These kits include a set of one size larger Pilot Jets (#38), a set of three sizes larger main Jets (#120) and two needle shims for each carburetor"

Here's the link to the kit I looked at

https://www.amazon.com/Jet-Honda-CB750-Nighthawk-Stage/dp/B00HJV92TI

So maybe I'm completely wrong but engines aren't magic and any problem that pod filters cause seems to be identifiable and have solutions for it.

I watched a video that went over this rather extensively. A pod filters for dummies if you will. The link to the video is below.


Now the specific carb he talks about is a single carb but the one on a 92 Nighthawk is basically 4 side by side.

Again tell me I'm wrong but tell me what the issue is because obviously people have worked around it or there wouldn't be carbureted bikes with pod filters running around perfectly fine.

And I will most likely have to tear into the carburetor and look at the jets anyway to get the bike running. It sounds logical that if I have to change the jets to make it run with pods not to do it while I've already got the carb off the bike and the jets out.

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Offline smoojee

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Re: My 1992 Nighthawk
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2016, 11:58:34 AM »
It's more to do with the amount of turbulence that throws off the vacuum slides.  The airbox allows a constant steady stream in unison with the carb bank. Hence the name "Constant Velocity" (CV) carbs. VM carbs on the other hand do not rely on vacuum.  They are mechanical lift and what is used on drag and race bikes.  They used them also on the 70's model bikes.  I believe it was the EPA that stepped in and made the motorcycle manufacturers create more restrictions on bikes.  Anyway, the mech lifts are easier to make work with pods because they don't rely on the vacuum and usually create more horse power.  I have a set on my cb750 and there are no flat spots and pulls like a beast. I'm running them with K&N's.  I'm currently about to see if I can make a set of vm's fit my 93 nighthawk.  I'll give you an update once I finally get it all worked out. 

Also, I'm not saying you can't make it work. Other people have but you do have to up your jetting which really kills you fuel consumption.  The biggest problem is that there is generally flat spots in the rpm range.  Creates a stumble. If you're so inclined I would say go to the www.cb1100f.net forum.  Sign up and look for the RSC mod.  It's for the older cb's but it may be somewhat pertinent to what you want to accomplish.  It involves jetting and blocking out some pathways. Some people have success and some don't.  Either way you'll pick up some good info and you'll have a lot more wrencher's at your disposal as far as motorcycle maintence and modifications go.  Good luck. 
93 CB750 Nighthawk
80 CB750f Streetfighter

Offline mollusc

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Re: My 1992 Nighthawk
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2016, 02:55:28 PM »
Maybe if you could explain exactly what issue the pod filters cause I can compensate for it.


I'm not going to re-explain all of the numerous conversations on this forum related to pods and CV carbs.  That's why I suggested that you do some of that work yourself and read some of the experiences of people who have tried to do it.  My recollection is that the explanations you're asking for are contained within those threads.


Turbulent airflow and imbalanced airflow across the whole bank of carbs seem to be the main issues, along with needing more fuel.  (Obviously a single carb, such as that in the video you posted, isn't going to suffer from the latter.)


When the position of the rider's legs can affect the performance of the bike even with the stock airbox, it would seem to indicate that the air intake is a pretty finely-tuned system.  But mess with it all you want -- perhaps you'll stumble upon the magic answer that many people have been looking for.  A few claim to have achieved success doing this, and maybe you'll be one of them.
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Offline stevewaclo

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Re: My 1992 Nighthawk
« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2016, 10:20:12 PM »

Welcome to the Forum and ownership of one of Honda's best all-around bikes!


"I had my first crash learning the lesson about running out of gas in a bad spot and having nowhere to go but down. I've dropped it a handful of times."

Pods aside, I'm frankly concerned you are crashing (did you say monthly?!?!?). You have provided no details (parking lot tip-over or 70mph low side) but I'd advise formal training, or at least finding an experienced mentor.


The "School of Hard Knocks" is one way to learn things but tuition can be enormous.


Finally, consider crash bars.

Offline stevewaclo

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Re: My 1992 Nighthawk
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2016, 10:34:26 PM »

Offline Adventurer

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Re: My 1992 Nighthawk
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2016, 08:58:50 PM »
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