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Author Topic: What year is too old?  (Read 764 times)

Offline Mixar

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What year is too old?
« on: July 10, 2017, 10:48:44 PM »
I'm looking into getting a Nighthawk. Was originally setting the bar at nothing less than 1990. But, there are quite a few 80's and even 70's models on CL that seem tempting.

I have very little mechanic know-how, although am learning. What year is too old? I guess it depends on how good the bike is maintained originally. But, if I want to spend more time riding not wrenching should I stick to 90's up?

Offline Raven

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Re: What year is too old?
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2017, 03:53:33 AM »
Nighthawks started in '82. I have an '82 650 which I've owned for 3 years now. In that time I've changed the oil several times, spark plugs and wires and the tires, that's it. These are extremely reliable bikes. That's one of the reasons we all love them so much.
 Like you mentioned initial condition is important. If you get a bike which has been well taken care of, the age is irrelevant.

Offline Rubo

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Re: What year is too old?
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2017, 04:38:42 AM »
I'm looking into getting a Nighthawk. Was originally setting the bar at nothing less than 1990. But, there are quite a few 80's and even 70's models on CL that seem tempting.

I have very little mechanic know-how, although am learning. What year is too old? I guess it depends on how good the bike is maintained originally. But, if I want to spend more time riding not wrenching should I stick to 90's up?
I recommend NH750 with auto valve adjusters and overall very reliable.Parts are easier to find then earlier versions.Since NH750 was made essentially unchanged over a decade its very easy finding parts with exception of few parts that are back ordered like forever.
Since you mentioned you are not that mechanically inclined I suggest newer the better.
regards

Offline DesignFlaw06

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Re: What year is too old?
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2017, 08:51:27 AM »
I think they goal on the 90's 750's were to cut costs.  The loss of shaft drive, fuel gauge, turn signal indicators, etc. 

The real question is how long do you think you'll have this bike?  It it's your first bike, it really doesn't matter.   There's a good chance you'll want to upgrade a few years down the road. 

Offline Mixar

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Re: What year is too old?
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2017, 09:45:05 AM »
So the 70's CB models were not Nighthawks?

I plan to scrambler style it out anyway and keep it for a few years. Depending how it turns out maybe longer, but by that time at least have a second bike

Offline Larry Fine

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Re: What year is too old?
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2017, 02:15:10 PM »
My previous bike was an '82 750 NH, and it weighed almost exactly 100 pounds more than my '96 does. Plus, shim-type valve adjustments. Go for the '91 through '03 series; the black engine started in '96, also.

Offline DesignFlaw06

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Re: What year is too old?
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2017, 02:56:49 PM »
So the 70's CB models were not Nighthawks?

I plan to scrambler style it out anyway and keep it for a few years. Depending how it turns out maybe longer, but by that time at least have a second bike

The CBs have been around a long time.  In 82, they went with a model name rather than a designation.  I imagine because everyone else was doing it. 

I would seriously reconsider your plan to make a scrambler out of it.  Over the years on this forum, I've seen many attempts to make scramblers, bobbers, etc. The thing is 99.9% of them turn out like crap, run worse, and then you have the owner trying to sell it for 3x what they paid because of all the custom work. 

If you're going to do it anyway, plan on getting $0 for your return.  When you "make it your own", that means nobody else wants it.

Offline Mixar

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Re: What year is too old?
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2017, 11:53:28 PM »
So the 70's CB models were not Nighthawks?

I plan to scrambler style it out anyway and keep it for a few years. Depending how it turns out maybe longer, but by that time at least have a second bike

The CBs have been around a long time.  In 82, they went with a model name rather than a designation.  I imagine because everyone else was doing it. 

I would seriously reconsider your plan to make a scrambler out of it.  Over the years on this forum, I've seen many attempts to make scramblers, bobbers, etc. The thing is 99.9% of them turn out like crap, run worse, and then you have the owner trying to sell it for 3x what they paid because of all the custom work. 

If you're going to do it anyway, plan on getting $0 for your return.  When you "make it your own", that means nobody else wants it.

Do you have to cut the frame to get a flat style seat? My idea was to keep things like frame intact and try my best to make it unique, but have all OEM parts in a corner that could easily be put back on. Seems like the frame has a consider bump in the rear. I mean I guess I could try a Shorter seat and a large rear fender? It looks like maybe the frame is more straight in the 80 models. Can anyone verify that?

Offline Wahrsuul

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Re: What year is too old?
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2017, 05:07:40 AM »
No, you don't "have" to cut the frame to get a flat seat.  But the frame under the seat is "curved" down, so you'd have to make something to flatten it out one way or the other.

Offline Rakillia

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Re: What year is too old?
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2017, 02:17:49 PM »
You want a newer bike because you have little mechanical experience and in theory it would need less work. At the same time you want to modify it even though you have little mechanical experience. Sounds like a great idea  nice1. In reality anything older than 10 years is going to start having some issues. Nothing major but more than just changing the oil. It would be wise to learn how the bike is supposed to run to begin with before you start modifying things. The 70's cb's are more suited for the cafe style. Scrambler could mean anything. You could put knobby tires on any hawk and call it a scrambler

Offline Larry Fine

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Re: What year is too old?
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2017, 02:57:44 PM »
You could put knobby tires on any hawk and call it a scrambler
But please don't!  uhuh1  :joker:

Offline Mixar

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Re: What year is too old?
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2017, 08:19:39 PM »
You want a newer bike because you have little mechanical experience and in theory it would need less work. At the same time you want to modify it even though you have little mechanical experience. Sounds like a great idea  nice1. In reality anything older than 10 years is going to start having some issues. Nothing major but more than just changing the oil. It would be wise to learn how the bike is supposed to run to begin with before you start modifying things. The 70's cb's are more suited for the cafe style. Scrambler could mean anything. You could put knobby tires on any hawk and call it a scrambler

Have to start somewhere.

And Scrambler isn't necessarily the use I'm going for. More-so the look. Daryl Dixon Motorcycle from Walking Dead inspired I should say. Probably different in the end, but the same apocalyptic thrasher that looks and feels less tame than the traditional NH.

Offline Captainkirk

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Re: What year is too old?
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2017, 09:48:17 PM »
Just my opinion, of course...but do the Dixon to a Nighthawk and guarantee within a year you will hate it. In fact, you will hate it so much you will try to sell it, and as the above posts infer, you will take not only a beating but a thrashing as well.
Trust me; nobody wants somebody else's idea of a "cool bike". The standard Nighthawk is as foolproof and user-friendly as it gets but once you start butchering, that dog won't hunt. Get it. Ride it. Enjoy it.
Measure twice, cut once

Offline Rubo

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Re: What year is too old?
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2017, 04:36:34 AM »
Just my opinion, of course...but do the Dixon to a Nighthawk and guarantee within a year you will hate it. In fact, you will hate it so much you will try to sell it, and as the above posts infer, you will take not only a beating but a thrashing as well.
Trust me; nobody wants somebody else's idea of a "cool bike". The standard Nighthawk is as foolproof and user-friendly as it gets but once you start butchering, that dog won't hunt. Get it. Ride it. Enjoy it.
I think one can modify improve performance without cutting frame or even removing air box.
I chose to go "mild" classy route.

Offline mollusc

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Re: What year is too old?
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2017, 06:06:48 AM »
How does changing cosmetics improve performance?
made of meat

Offline Mixar

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Re: What year is too old?
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2017, 10:38:41 PM »
I think talking to some of you around here and reflecting upon it I've decided not to opt for the NH. Instead, the KLR. The Ducati Scrambler Urban Enduro First, then the Desert Sled both really caught my eye the most of a potential dream bike. As a new rider, and a poor one at that. The $10,000+ price tag isn't in my budget. So, KLR it is. Maybe a new headlight or something simplistic if I want, but I like the stock look as well. I wasn't completely sold on the NH stock look and so would've wanted to dive right in and I think I need to enjoy and respect the bike in its original, intended form before pushing my style all over it.

Anyway, thanks everyone for the warm welcomes but I hope you all well and safe travels out there.

Braap Braap.

Offline Rubo

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Re: What year is too old?
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2017, 02:43:54 AM »
How does changing cosmetics improve performance?
my carbs are shimmed and exhaust modified slightly

Offline mollusc

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Re: What year is too old?
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2017, 05:24:11 AM »
If you want to improve performance without modifying the look of the bike at all, the biggest improvements I've seen, in order, have been:  change plug leads, do the coil relay mod, change the rear shocks.
made of meat

Offline sgarnett

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Re: What year is too old?
« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2017, 03:18:13 PM »
When I was looking for a Nighthawk (recently bought a 91, so no longer looking), there were several Dixon clones and quite a few bobbers and scramblers. If that's what you want, you could let somebody else take the loss instead of building it yourself. Even if you want to change a few things to make it yours, starting with one that's already built will give you a good head start.

OTOH, I had to drive several hours away to buy a relatively clean and unmolested Nighthawk. Seems a shame to start carving up a survivor if you don't need to.

The same goes for cars, really, and there's a few things I wish I could go back and undo on my Camaro.

 

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