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Topics - Captainkirk

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General Motorcycle Discussion / Merry Christmas!
« on: December 24, 2016, 11:52:18 PM »
Merry Christmas to all my Nighthawk pals!

General Motorcycle Discussion / I don't get it.
« on: August 08, 2016, 11:47:58 AM »
I think I had a thread going on this on the old forum (pre-crash), or it may have been a different forum...but it needs to be said. Again.
I don't get it.
Why are people taking classic motorcycles (like the Nighthawk S) and cutting them up to make cafe racers or freakazoid one-offs?
First, I understand the need for 'artistic expression' among some (if you really think you are a better designer than say, Soichiro Honda) or individuality, but if you are so inclined, please, PLEASE take some parts bike or untitled, abandoned junkyard runner for your project! There are tons of Honda 350s out there in that condition; knock yourself out. But it kills me to watch nice, untouched versions of the classic Japanese bikes being butchered for the sake of 'artistic license' when, guess what people...they aren't making any more of them! Time, road rash and the elements have, and continue to, kill them off on a daily basis. Remember the buffalo and what happened to them!
Several years ago I watched an employee do the same thing as I helped him find a very nice example of a Yamaha Seca 750 on Craigslist with low mileage, original paint, etc. He rode it to our shop and parked it before beginning his after-hours 'project', which basically involved a Sawzall and a cutting torch. 3 years later he sold the parts to somebody else as a bunch of, Another one bites the dust.
And then the ones that are actually completed....they are asking 2-3X the going rates because "it's a custom". puleeeeze....
Anyone else feel this way, or am I just weird?
BTW...I enjoy restoring classics to their former glory, so maybe I have a different POV.

General Motorcycle Discussion / Production numbers
« on: August 05, 2016, 12:41:06 PM »
Some one, somewhere (probably on the old forum, pre-crash) had done a write up of the production numbers of the Nighthawk "S" series (amongst others). I've tried searching and can't find those numbers. Anyone recall what they might be? I'm only interested in 84-86 Nighthawk S at the moment......

General Motorcycle Discussion / Funny thing happened....
« on: July 29, 2016, 08:51:43 AM »
....the other evening I had Lazarus out for an evening spin. I somehow wound up trailing a guy on a custom Harley bobber; typical Harley guy, sleeveless leather Harley vest, ape hangers, loud pipes, long ol' chin beard, doo rag....inevitably I ended up next to him at a traffic light, me on my Nighthawk S with my gear and full face helmet on. I expected him to either ignore me completely, or give me the sneer and Look of Derision...imagine my surprise when he looks over, his eyes get big and he says "SWEET old bike!" I nodded and smiled, and gave him the thumbs up as the light was changing.... nice1

General Motorcycle Discussion / First (NH) ride of the year
« on: May 05, 2015, 04:44:01 PM »
Well, I dragged Lazzy out for his inaugural ride last Saturday....a reasonable little blitzkrieg of 60 miles or so. Other than my still-leaking fork seals, and an initially-flat clutch (which pumped up after filling the reservoir) it ran like a dream.
Gotta love those Nighthawks!

General Motorcycle Discussion / Wishing you all a Merry Christmas!
« on: December 23, 2014, 08:34:10 PM »
It's about to get real busy in everyone's lives, so taking the time to wish all my forum buddies a very Merry Christmas before I forget!!!

General Motorcycle Discussion / Happy Thanksgiving!
« on: November 27, 2014, 08:26:02 PM »
Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving, from my family to all of you & yours!

General Motorcycle Discussion / Do you do your own wrenching?
« on: August 29, 2014, 11:56:41 AM »
This seems to be a pretty maintenance savvy group. Do you do all, some or none of your maintenance? (please reference your bike model in your post)

General Motorcycle Discussion / Poll-Birds of a feather or Lone Eagle?
« on: August 27, 2014, 11:33:49 AM »
How do you PREFER to ride? (I realize it doesn't always work out like it should...) solo, two up (with SO) tandem (two bikes; SO or buddy) or in the pack? (or herd, depending on what you are!)
Me; my riding habits and quick snatches of opportunity have pretty much turned me into a Lone Eagle, opening the door when Opportunity knocks. Not that I don't enjoy riding with others like my brother or one of my sons, it just doesn't seem to work out very often. SOQS doesn't that leaves that option out. How about you?

General Motorcycle Discussion / More motorcycle stories
« on: August 26, 2014, 08:54:25 PM »
Fool In The Rain

When the rain comes
They run and hide their heads
They might as well be dead
When the rain comes, when the rain comes…
The Beatles

   The weekend started out really great; it really did. Saturday broke windy but warm, and with the imminent fear of The Last Dance looming large in my mind, I decided to test the waters once more before Old Man Winter slashed my tires for the riding season like the punk he is. The temps actually nudged up into the sixties and the roads were clear; Lazzy’s battery was fully charged and if he gave me any 0000 this time, Rex was standing by. I dressed warmly as I could, remembering last week’s Popsicle Iditerod, and wheeled Lazzy out into the sunlight. This time he was more cooperative; he lit off immediately (amazing what a fully-charged battery will do) and hummed away like a purring kitten as he warmed up. Well, this was a good omen! I threw a leg over and rolled down the driveway…..
I had almost a full tank of gas, and rolled on by the gas station on the corner where I always tank up, rationalizing that given last week’s freeze-fest, I probably wouldn’t burn near all the fuel on board. But as Lazzy led me further North, despite the gusty winds buffeting me about, I found the temps quite tolerable, and the sirens were whispering in my ear; “Ride on, ride on”. Oh, what the hell? I might as well stop and fill up. You never know….
I did, and I didn’t. Fill up, and never know, that is. With a topped-off tank and clear skies, I figured I’d ride until I got tired of it, and so I did. Lazzy and I did a good 70 miles or better that day, and Lazzy was humming like a little red dynamo. We haunted our old familiar back roads; I kept thinking of Jack and David in ‘An American Werewolf in London’ and the advice they were given (and subsequently ignored) “Stick to the roads, and stay off the moors.” You don’t have to tell ME twice. Today felt like a day for riding, and not exploring. Besides, rain was predicted for late evening and I didn’t need to be getting lost somewhere.
Sometimes on long, hot summer days we like to play a game, my bikes and I. We call it “Get Lost”. It basically involves heading blindly down a road that you have absolutely no clue where it goes, and then finding out. I’ve discovered some really secluded and wondrous places using this technique, and widened and extended my ‘comfort zone’ in the process. But this was no long, hot summer day, rain was lurking somewhere out there, and we were only a month or so away from the shortest day of the year. I might’ve been born at night, but not LAST night. We stuck to the roads, unlike Jack and David…I saw the movie, and did not feel like waking up naked in a zoo.
  Now, when I stopped for fuel, I probably should have ‘unfueled’ myself, but that means taking the helmet off and walking inside, and with ‘Pay At The Pump’ being such a time-saving convenience, I blew off the opportunity, topped off, and away I went. I hadn’t gone more than 10 or 15 miles down the road when I began to regret that decision….and my fourth cup of joe that morning. I turned down that infamous country lane where, a few years earlier, (and what seemed a lifetime ago) Rex had tested my cunning McGuyver skills by breaking down, and it was as desolate today as it had been that day….not a car in sight. Hearing Nature’s call now instead of the siren’s, I parked Lazzy on the shoulder, not 10 feet from the very spot of that former treasonous rebellion, walked into a stand of pines, and got rid of at least a couple cups of coffee.
Feeling refreshed, we fired up and headed on, with still nary a car in sight until I turned onto the highway….and it was here we felt the full force of the blustering, gusty winds. They were high but steady , quartering-to crosswinds that made me lean the bike left and crabbing into them at about a 15 degree angle to go straight. It felt weird, but it was at least manageable at 70 mph. I felt like a stock car driver; step on the gas and turn left.
Reaching Highway 75 and turning into the wind, I really cranked on the R’s….this felt great! Rex can cruise at 90 all day long, and it’s very deceptive. You don’t realize you’re going that fast. Lazzy; not so much. When you’re streaking along at 90, you know it. The exhaust note takes on a shrill, almost frantic timbre that tells you the vicious little beast between your knees means business. Like when your cat is facing off with another cat outside under the bushes…yep, like that. Or maybe, being handcuffed to a bobcat? We ‘rode the wave’, Lazzy and I, for almost five miles, half expecting at any second for some fun-spoiling ill-humored state trooper to burst my bubble with flashing lights and wailing siren, but nobody interrupted our little soiree on this fine afternoon. We finally slowed as we caught up to traffic ahead, but we’d had our fun and blown off some steam and I felt quite content to throttle back to a more legal pace and relax for the remainder of the trip. We made the rest of the journey back home uneventfully, and when we finally rolled into the driveway, tires crunching on the gravel, I was stiff and somewhat tired from battling the constant stiff winds, but content, and certainly not frozen stiff like the previous weekend’s suicide jaunt.


   There was some rain that night, but not a lot. The winds didn’t quell much, either. Sunday morning broke overcast and warm, with rain predicted for some time after noon. My buddy Greg, a.k.a. ‘Super G’, was wanting to come pick up the CB750 Four I’d been working on for several weeks, and I was hoping he could get here, get the bike and get gone before the weather moved in.
First a little about ‘Super G’. Like many of us, he’d ridden…sort of…in the long-distant past, many moons ago. He had owned a GS1100 that he describes as “stupid-fast” and had been put in a compromising position (again, like many of us) by a stupid cager, lived to tell the tale, and walked away from riding for the better part of two decades. The, last year, after watching ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’ he got the itch again. He bought a CL350 to convert into a ‘Dragon Tattoo’ repli-racer, tore it all apart to start the build, and signed himself up for a MSF Basic Rider Course. Naturally, he took the course, passed it, and took his license test (also passing it) before the start of the riding season, and still had the 350 in pieces. A familiar story for more than one of us, I’m sure!
Being an enabler sort of guy, I offered to sell him the CB550 Four resto project I was close to finishing. We agreed on a price, based on him providing the rest of the parts needed to finish it, and after a fair amount of busted knuckles, flying expletives and late nights in the garage, I presented him with a running example of a classic Japanese IL4 (in-line Four) which had not run or seen the road for more than a decade. Super G made up for lost time by racking up an impressive 1500 miles in the months to follow, but had succumbed by then (no doubt a victim of my bad influences) to the siren’s call of collecting UJM’s (Universal Japanese Motorcycle). So when another classic UJM became available, I was amused but not shocked when he bought it. (Truth be known, I had more than a small hand in arranging that transaction, though I didn’t know either the seller or the bike…sort of a ‘friend-of-a-friend’-type deal).
Now a bit about the bike; it’s a 1975 CB750 Four with a Vetter fairing, horrid aftermarket sidecovers, worn and cracking saddle, leaking fork seals, and a host of other problems including the Wiring Harness from Hell that didn’t become readily apparent until Super G had racked up some miles. He dropped it off at a local Honda dealer to have some of the items corrected, they kept the bike a hell of a long time before working on it (busy season…old UJM’s go to the back burner). I was surprised; most shops won’t even touch a bike that old any more. When he finally did pick it up, he got it halfway home and it quit and wouldn’t start again. He called the Honda dealer and had them come pick it up again. Seems the battery had died, and even kick-starting wouldn’t get it to run. They replaced the battery and deemed it “fixed”.
Super G was becoming disenfranchised with the boxy, Frankenstein looks of the Vetter and wanted a bunch of other follow-up work done, so towards the end of August he dropped it off at my house along with a rather large laundry list, which included removing the Vetter, installing replacement side covers, replacing the turn signals, replacing the saddle, and removing the sissy bar, among other things, and took delivery of the finally-completed 550 Four at the same time.
The deeper I dug on this 760 monstrosity, the more I found. And I’m not talking about gold nuggets, folks. More like cow pies. The worst gaffe I came across was finding the Honda dealer had left the axle nut loose and the right side chain adjuster as well while replacing the rear tire. The rear wheel assembly was cocked unevenly in the swing arm, and it was a miracle he didn’t throw the chain.
Well, I won’t go into it all, but the nightmare wasn’t over in one night’s sleep. Removing the Vetter exposed a rat’s nest inside the headlight bucket made up of ScotchLock connectors and multi-colored wires that didn’t match any wiring print known to man.
So it was after many a late evening in the garage that I fired up the beast. Super G had rebuilt the carb bank, installing all new needles, seats, gaskets and seals, and I was able to sync them quicker than expected after a carb rebuild. So far, so good.
Funny thing, though…the battery kept going dead every couple days, causing me to have to keep the trickle charger handy. Electrical lighting and wiring requires frequent on/off power checks, and it’s kind of hard to do with a weak battery…regardless of how new it is.
Regardless, I finally felt it was ready for him to test-ride, then if all was OK, head back to the city. This was our plan for Sunday…..


   Sunday morning broke overcast, windy, and unusually warm for November. I was just about to walk out the door for church when my phone does that vibrating thing that always scares the 0000 out of me… was my brother, saying him and a biker bud were at a local restaurant having breakfast and were gonna head out on a ride after they were done eating, and did I wanna join them? Well, if it was an hour earlier, a little less windy, and I hadn’t done 70 miles yesterday, I might’ve taken them up on it. But as it were, I texted him back telling him I’d have to pass, and that Super G was coming to pick up his bike later. That much he understood, as he works on a lot of bikes as well.
Driving to church, I heard the wind howling around my truck mirrors, saw garbage cans, newspaper and a few cats being tossed around by the winds and was glad I didn’t second-guess my decision not to ride today. Besides, I would need The Big Boss Upstairs in my corner later on, as the day played out.
I hadn’t been home but a few minutes when Super G pulled up on the 550 I’d sold him a  month earlier. “Damn”, I lamented; “That is one good looking bike!” It was, too. Sometimes I think it’s better NOT to sell to friends, that way you won’t be confronted with your stupidity on a regular basis, but, whatever. In short order I had moved Lazzy and Rex out of the way and rolled the 750 off the lift, out into the driveway and fired it up. It sat there idling and warming up while we chatted and Super G looked it over. He was gonna spin it, then wondered if afterwards I could give him a lift to the ATM; I said sure, and he shut the key off to give it the once-over. When he was satisfied, he flipped on the key and thumbed the starter. Dead silence.
I cocked an eyebrow and gave him a puzzled look. Huh? I just started this thing and rolled it out here not five minutes ago!  I had run it, synched the carbs and did all sorts of stuff in the garage, and now….? The turn signals didn’t work either….it was as if the battery was dead. OK; Plan B. I dragged the charger out of the garage, plugged it in and set it on the trickle charge setting while we drove off to find an ATM. Leave it to charge, we figured. After taking care of business and grabbing a breakfast sammy and a cup o’ joe, at the Dunkin’ Donuts across the street from the bank we came back and tried it again. Same deal. Now I’m getting concerned. Just for snicks and grins I tried kicking it over, and it roared to life. I wasn’t sure what this meant, but the damn thing was running, the headlight was shining brightly, and the sky was darkening ominously to the south. Super G decided to leave the 550 with me and head for home on the 750, although I was having some doubts, with all these newfound electrical gremlins.  He rumbled off down the road towards the city, which was a good 40-45 minute ride.
A little relieved to have the 750 out of my hair, I pushed my bikes back in to the garage, closed the door, and turned to a little yard work out back. I had, after all, got damn little in that vein accomplished yesterday. I was raking a few leaves when the frantic buzzing of the cell phone made me jump…again.
I looked; it was Super G.
$h!t. No way he could’ve made it back to the city yet. He hadn’t been gone twenty minutes. Which means…..
Reluctantly I answered. “Hello?”
Yep. Stranded on the side of the road about 15 miles out. The bike had simply quit. No lights, no signals, and no start. Not even with a kick.
Houston; we’ve got a problem.

General Motorcycle Discussion / Motorcycle Stories
« on: August 21, 2014, 06:45:13 PM »
I'm really not trying to bore anyone who read these already on the old forum, or piss off anyone who didn't like 'em, either. I got some pretty positive feedback last time around so I thought I might post them up again on the off-chance some of our newer members might not have read them. Also, really not sure exactly where they belong, as there is no particular spot for writing, though most of them are about riding, so I will put them here in the "General Discussion" section.....moderators and admin, feel free to re-locate if it suits you.
As I mentioned in my (re)intro thread, the majority have been published, but hey....why buy the book when you can read them here for free? (unless you are into cars, which makes up the lion's share of the book). As always, I appreciate any and all comments & feedback; they help shape future writings by telling me what is liked/disliked. Happy reading.

General Motorcycle Discussion / Poll: How long have you been riding?
« on: August 21, 2014, 01:29:57 PM »
How many years have you been riding? Count years riding dirt or illegally (c'mon, you know you did! We saw you!) but don't count off-years (bike was down, etc.) or years off raising family, etc.
Just want to get a demographic of the experience level.
Myself: in excess of 21 years including about a 10 year layoff when my kids were small, starting a career, etc.

Stablemates / Poll: How many bikes do you own?
« on: August 21, 2014, 01:03:54 PM »
Me; I have 3 riders:
Nighthawk S
Buell M2
Yamaha Seca 550
also, 3 projects
'83 VF750F Interceptor
'81 GS1000 (chain drive)
'77 KZ1000
for a total of six. I've bought and sold a few others as well.....

General Motorcycle Discussion / Nod from a school of sharks
« on: August 21, 2014, 12:57:48 PM »
Was at a stoplight going straight the other day, when a school of sharks (kids on crotch rockets; Gixxers, Ninjas, etc) pulled up in the left lane. Instead of acting like jerks (which I sort of expected) they were all admiration for Lazzy, asking what year 'Hawk, how many CC's, etc....I'm sure the questions would've gone on longer if not for the green left arrow. Couple of 'em gave me the thumbs-up before turning left. Still a head-turner after all these years! People know a classic when they see one, I guess!

General Motorcycle Discussion / Which Nighthawk do you ride?
« on: August 20, 2014, 09:24:23 PM »
Which Nighthawk do you ride? Pictures welcome.....

Your Honda Nighthawk / Mileage-your Nighthawk
« on: August 20, 2014, 09:22:16 PM »
So, out with it: how many miles do you rack up over the course of a year on your Nighthawk (not counting or including your other bikes...we don't care about that!) And yes, I understand if you live in Fargo, your riding season is, well...shorter.

As the poll many days a week do you ride? (average; during normal riding season) If you ride to work, this counts. And yes, even a short hop to the store counts as riding.

Stablemates / Lazzy's Stablemates
« on: August 19, 2014, 08:51:06 PM »
OK, so most of you know Lazarus (my '85 Nighthawk S) is not an only child. Here's a few of his stablemates, past & present:

First up: Buellosaurus Rex, 1999 Buell M2 Cyclone. Pay no attention to the KZ1000 project in the upper L/H corner..

Next, The L'il Banshee, 1981 Yamaha Seca 550

A CB550 Four that hung out here awhile...

Not shown:
1983 Interceptor project
1981 GS1000 project

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