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Messages - DesertDragon

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Your Honda Nighthawk / Re: New to forum
« on: October 17, 2017, 10:38:00 AM »
Hi Norm,
per your comment:
"Very nice and BRIGHT.  It appears you've had two different fairings. Are they both Rifle?"

Well, I agree it's a high viz bike! .. but it's amazing that people STILL don't see me!
I've only had one fairing installed... It was (and is) a Rifle Sport.
I REALLY like the fairing - Light weight, good protection, storage pockets and the mileage improved with better aerodynamics...
Maybe a pic snuck in with a Honda decal I had on it earlier...  It's all dragons now.

The Rifle comes in a nice gloss black and the stock install kit fits well and easily on the NightHawk. 

Any plans on retrieving the bike?

Your Honda Nighthawk / Re: New to forum
« on: October 16, 2017, 09:22:23 AM »
Hey Norm,
Wow - I concur with the consensus opinion...
THAT is a good looking bike.
I have a Corbin gunfighter on my '96 - It lowers the seat a bit and I like it better than stock with a gel pad (a must for me because the Corbin is a bit hard).
You can see what it looks like on my bike which also has a Rifle fairing that I like a LOT:,3441.msg31180.html#msg31180

Anyway, the bike looks well cared for and the price is actually good considering the condition, and ESPECIALLY the mileage.
If I was looking, (assuming the pics were current!) - I'd buy it - even at full price.

Your Honda Nighthawk / Re: New to forum
« on: October 14, 2017, 11:00:10 AM »
Hi Norm,
Welcome Aboard!
I'm 6' tall with a slightly longer inseam and my '96 fits me well.
A low mileage '92 sounds pretty good...  I've had my '96 for over 11 years and it's still in great shape.
I've done some mild mods to improve handling, maintenance, and mileage, but the basic bike is the easiest MC to live with that I've ever owned.
If you are planning on what you can afford, you should consider that you may need to make some investments...
On a bike with that low of a mileage, it may not have recent tires, and I'd suggest you look at their "Born on Date" - The DOT required stamp which is a two digit "weeks into the year" and two digit year... e.g. 2510 would be the 25th week of 2010 ~ June 2010.
Even if the tires look new, MC tire rubber oxidizes over time and the chemical change results in a dangerous low traction tire, because the rubber hardens and no longer has acceptable grip. 
Regardless of storage conditions, anything older than 6-7 years in ideal conditions, or 5 years if exposed to heat and sunlight will be compromised.
They will still roll and may not blow out, but the traction capability won't be there for you if you need it.
If the tires are old, you might be able to use their required replacement in your price negotiations.. or maybe not.

In any case, I hope you you find a good bike - IMHO the 750 NightHawk is a great "reentry" vehicle, and one that you also won't grow out of.

General Motorcycle Discussion / Re: Looking through the curve
« on: October 12, 2017, 10:12:52 AM »
Good experiential advice...  You tend to go where you are looking, so focus on the path ahead, not what you want to avoid.
The only thing I would add - and that I have to do on a regular basis - is plan your path - I have to ride through an obstacle course to even get to some pavement, as I live down an un-maintained dirt road - While looking ahead at where I'm going, I also plan a route through the mess so that I have a clear path... If you are going down a road with obstacles, it helps that you don't end up in a spot where you don't have an easy out.

Wow - A sidecar....
Take a pic and post it!

General Motorcycle Discussion / Re: First start after 15 years
« on: October 06, 2017, 05:49:22 PM »
So, just about everything is available via mail order...
First order - Get a repair manual - Clymer makes a good one.

With tires, the Avon 3D-XM in 110/80 R18 is the stock size for the front.
I (and others) have had good luck with the 150/70 R17 for the rear.
They look good, have excellent traction in both wet and dry, and are designed to last (X-M = eXtended mileage)
Myself, I would never go back to bias plys after running radials.
It also depends on what you're going to do with the bike.  Are you riding in the dirt?

Larry was right - need the extra links if you want to go with the larger front sprocket.
Primarily the larger front (17 vs 15) gives you lower rpm for a given speed.
If you are going to ride in the city - stay stock. 
The advantage is really for high speed touring.
My 96 is getting a consistent 50 mpg at 75 mph.  You can convert that to metric.
I've done some other mods to improve aerodynamics which also help.

For the forks, Larry already addressed most of it. 
Your fork oil is probably 25 years old and should be replaced regardless.
You can do that without replacing the seals, and you don't have to replace the springs.
It depends on how far you want to go.
I replaced my springs and shocks for improved suspension performance. 
If you don't have or don't want to spend the money, don't upgrade.

Your Honda Nighthawk / Re: New to group
« on: October 03, 2017, 11:15:08 AM »
Yep - I concur with the Captain on this one, Jeff.
Good forum, lots of opinions.
I've had my '96 for 11 years...
More time riding - less time fixing. 
The NightHawk is probably the easiest bike to live with that was ever built.
You already have some of the tweaks I put on mine.. 
See you around!

General Motorcycle Discussion / Re: First start after 15 years
« on: October 03, 2017, 11:07:27 AM »
Glad your door was open (a bit)
I have a friend who nearly killed himself in his closed garage because he was ONLY going to run the engine "for a minute".
When he realized he had a problem, he could no longer move because of the CO - Fortunately for him, his wife opened the door and called him an idiot!
He never told her what was actually about to happen to him.

Since you're doing some upgrades to get "Snow White" (BUT.. the Bike IS Black???) back on the road, you might want to consider:
  • A stainless steel brake line - Not too expensive and it will DRAMATICALLY improve your 'Hawk's braking performance 
  • Radial Tires - I've been using Avon Storm 3D X-Ms - Sport Bike performance on dry, stick like glue in wet conditions, and the tread will likely last longer than the tire is rated for
  • A horn that can actually wake up a sleeping dog - Having a good horn has literally saved my life on more than one occasion
  • Regearing - A new chain should mean new sprockets.. I went with a 17 front 38 rear - Higher top end, better mileage for highway driving
  • Case Savers - Worth twice their weight in savings when you drop your bike
  • Suspension Upgrade - You probably need new shocks and fork oil - I HIGHLY recommend Progressive - HUGE handling improvement

General Motorcycle Discussion / Re: First start after 15 years
« on: September 30, 2017, 04:50:13 PM »
My Snow White woke up after a 15 years sleep
Wow - Awesome !
Two thoughts -
One - Open the garage door the next time you start the bike !!!!
Two - Regardless of how your tires look, replace them before you drive it, because they only look like tires.

Good luck on your continued restoration!

General Motorcycle Discussion / Re: Saw this for sale yesterday.
« on: September 30, 2017, 04:37:40 PM »
Well, nobody with half-a-brain is going to give the guy anywhere close to $1,600...
Once he figures that out, some time from now, (because everyone walks away) you might re-try a low ball offer...
Like another poster said, you would have to think of it as a parts bike for valuation purposes to avoid taking a major bath.
And even at that, some parts my not even be worth much -
Like: Is the rusted tank salvageable?
        Is the engine seized?
The guy being ridiculous on his price may have been a good thing on the other hand...
It could have major problems that cannot be repaired due to lack of parts, or so expensive that it's not worth it.

I agree it is a shame for it to waste away, but it could already be wasted...

General Motorcycle Discussion / Re: More Fun with Fuel....
« on: September 26, 2017, 10:23:32 AM »
Other than that one better cold start (fluke I guess) no difference. Gonna fill up again with 93 but likely back to 87 after this ....
If I were you, I would do that too.
Save some money. 
As for me, I am going to keep on using super until I see a performance drop (mpg).
Although on a "clean out the carbon run" yesterday, Amber was running like a Superbike...
It MUST be the Unicorn gravy...

Stablemates / Re: Plus One Syndrome
« on: September 25, 2017, 11:18:58 AM »
A cure for the Plus One Syndrome - A bike that can do it all.
Short windshield - Sport bike
Tall windshield + bags - Sport Tour
Avon Storms - All weather interceptor...
While my Amber may notice me looking at another bike, she need not worry...

General Motorcycle Discussion / Re: What are those ODOMETERS up to?
« on: September 22, 2017, 09:55:17 AM »
Also a '96 I bought in 2006 from the second owner with 15K on the Odo.
I just bounced over 29K, so I'm nearly responsible for half the bike's mileage...

General Motorcycle Discussion / Re: More Fun with Fuel....
« on: September 22, 2017, 09:51:17 AM »
Weather is definitely a factor, especially temperature on a "cold blooded" engine.
It's difficult to ascribe mileage to a fuel when riding conditions can be very different from one tank to another..
Big difference between rolling along at 35 vs. stop and go in heavy traffic, or riding in the flat vs steep hill canyon carving.
Speed is also a big factor as more fuel is required to overcome wind resistance, and strong head winds will also make a difference in mileage reduction.

Keeping all of the above in mind, and with 11 years of mpg calculations performed on every fill up, I'm still noticing an improvement by using super.
My rides to town went from an average of 45 to over 50, but this was when driven at the low end of the tach. - 25 mph dirt roads and 35 mph paved.
In all my years of riding, I'd never got 50 mpg out of a tank.

My last fill included a lot of traffic thanks to a major freeway overhaul, with high winds and trucks being passed @ 80 mph+along the way.
(High wind + truck wake @ 75 = Buffet City)
Historically, using regular, these conditions would net ~ 40 ~ 42 mpg, vs the 47 I got..

The super I used was Mobil Synergy Premium, and it's the only super I've tried.
I am considering going back to regular for comparison, but my bike is running so well now, I'm not sure I want to.

General Motorcycle Discussion / Re: Don't wrap your pipes
« on: September 18, 2017, 08:45:52 AM »
I've met lots of folks who will ride in the rain if they have to, but never...
Wow !  Look !  It's RAINING... Let's go for a ride!
With the right gear it's tolerable, but compared to a nice sunny day that's 70~ish...

In my case, it's also that rain = mud which "ain't no fun" with a 500 lb street bike..

BTW - In case it DOES rain, it's nice to have a good set of "wet" capable tires.
I really like the Avon Storms.. I've got the Storm 3D-XM's and they don't mind wet one bit.

So, my YELLOW '96 is named.... Amber... and Amber wasn't feeling too pretty after riding home in the mud when we were surprised by a monsoon storm..
It's strange how when the Weather Service says there is a 10% chance, it rains, and with an 80% chance, it doesn't.. But I digress...

So Amber was a muddy mess and I gave her a bath and did a WD40 clean on her x-ring chain followed up with her favorite silicone lube.
Protects from corrosion and doesn't attract dirt like chain wax...  After 700 miles the tension adjustment was still perfect...

I also discovered that the boot that protects the wires going into the left side rotor cover was a bit loose, so I added a bit of waterproof grease to seal the rubber connector in case rain decides to intrude.

Years ago I bought a cleanable stock size Uni Air Filter, and it doesn't take too many trips down my dirt road to clog, so I did Amber a favor and cleaned that for her as well.  She does need to breathe after all..
Now she's "lookin' good and feelin' good"...

General Motorcycle Discussion / Re: More Fun with Fuel....
« on: September 14, 2017, 04:42:39 PM »
DD - that is great.  If I got your results, I'd run Unicorn Gravy through my bike.  When I had a '96 750, I would usually get 45-47 mpg, on RARE occasion, 49-50 (55 mph stroll through the back country).
Where are you located?  If high altitude, was your bike re-jetted for that?
Unicorn Gravy retailers must be regional...
I'm not far from the Grand Canyon ~ a mile up.  Was never rejetted by me - prior owner was in Phoenix, AZ.
Based on my last look at my plugs, the bike was happy with the jetting it had (a nice even realtor approved light brown ;)
I'll check them again before too long to see what difference the super is making, but based on the mpg performance, it can't be too far to the rich side, or my mpgs would be worse, rather than better...

As to why it's running so well.... I can't explain it either.

General Motorcycle Discussion / Re: More Fun with Fuel....
« on: September 14, 2017, 09:33:10 AM »
Once again I got a nice surprise on filling up with super yesterday - My last tank netted 53 mpg...
Amazing to me, as was I expected a significant drop because I was stuck in a huge semi-truck traffic jam on the interstate.
At this point, after 5 tanks, an error related to fill differences is very unlikely, not that I thought it was a contributing factor in the first place...

Since my switch to super I have yet to get less than 50 mpg, when previously 45 was the best I did (nothing to sneeze at either IMHO).
The bike continues to run great, so I'm a happy camper...

If it hadn't been for Rubo, and his "Placebo or Real? 87 or 92 octane" thread, I probably would have never tried super gas.

So, Rubo - Thanks for the "hot tip" - For me the fuel change has been great. 
My scooter is running better than ever and the modest increase in fuel cost is actually saving me money in increased mileage.

BTW - It turns out I have been using Mobil Synergy premium all along - It took the station awhile to post their stickers on the pumps....

Your Honda Nighthawk / Re: My First
« on: September 13, 2017, 09:04:14 AM »
Thanks, I hope the yellow makes me just that little bit more visible on the road. Even so, I ride as though I'm invisible.
Welcome aboard!
Nice choice! 
My '96 is also in Yellow... btw...It's been scientifically proven that Yellow is the fastest color available...
Your riding strategy is good... I also ride assuming that I'm invisible.....except to the drivers that are trying to kill me!!!
Seriously, a little bit of paranoia goes a long way.

Here in blighty we get more of this. Bad and ignorant styles on the roads have escalated to a point that aggressive behaviour is rife. Our government has cut back too much on traffic cops,  relying on the good will of the people.... There isn't any. I discussed this in a meeting with the road safety team. U was told not enough money for cops.  I said the police are not doing the job they're paid for and they're welcome to come out for a drive with me after the meeting.....I could make a cops wage in one hour if they got out of their car ( then 39 hours pure profit) and enforced the law with fines....guess what? They refused. Excuse??
That's pretty sad, but of course if you tried to take any action yourself, I'm sure they would be right there to arrest you.
Myself, I wouldn't ride in a big city anymore. 
Take care my friend...

General Motorcycle Discussion / Re: More Fun with Fuel....
« on: September 12, 2017, 09:47:43 AM »
I think you've hit the nail on the head, DD!  :gavel:
Thank You Mr. sg... 
Sometimes it doesn't hurt to state the obvious...
Unless you ARE the nail...
For Mr. Fine... "I expect, at some point, to revert to the premium again to see if there is a discernible difference when going in that direction.."
I will do the same and revert back to regular and see if I notice a difference going that way.

General Motorcycle Discussion / Re: More Fun with Fuel....
« on: September 11, 2017, 09:35:21 AM »
More good comments.  I did find it interesting that Larry Fine has the same year bike (96), was using super and went to regular and discovered he's been wasting money because his bike runs as well or better on regular.  In my case, I went from regular to super and found some advantages.
Some others did, and other's did not.  Some swear by super, others swear at it.

I guess the basic problem to getting an "answer" is there are too many variables, the biggest one being that all fuel is not created equal.
While octane is measured, there can be a huge difference in nearly every other aspect of a given fuel's ingredients.
In my case, I am convinced that it has a lot to do with ethanol, or that the super I'm using doesn't contain it, where the regular did...

Since this discussion is about fuel, and there is no way to effectively compare fuel chemistry (correct me if I wrong here), along with all of the other variables, e.g. temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, specific engine's compression, jetting, etc, etc, etc..., let alone significant differences that are possible even between two bikes of the same make and model, at the end of the day, I doubt a definitive answer is possible, beyond "if your bike likes a certain fuel, use it, and if it doesn't care, use the best price fuel you can find"..

General Motorcycle Discussion / Re: More Fun with Fuel....
« on: September 09, 2017, 10:08:35 AM »
Test ride #2: Not really an experimental ride, just normal usage: leisure rides, chores and stores, going to work, etc.

So far, I have noticed zero difference on my second tank of regular grade, though still the same brand, Amoco..

Again, no difference so far, and even my local, privately owned-and-operated bike shop mechanic said he recommends regular. I had been using the reasoning that an air-cooled engine runs hotter (which it does) requires a premium-grade gas (which apparently it doesn't). I will keep all y'all (plural of y'all) posted on any future developments. Ciao for now!
Interesting... So you went from Super to regular and I went from regular to Super...
I should point out that my bike still ran well on regular, but with super, quicker warm-up (cold-blooded reduction), no stumble near redline and improved mpg was what I noticed.
When you say "zero difference" I'm wondering what (or if) you are measuring...
I guess the major thing for me is the mpg...
Do you check your MPG when you fill up?
If so, what are you getting?


Your Honda Nighthawk / Re: My '96 CB750 "Dragon Bike"
« on: September 07, 2017, 10:50:47 AM »
Beautiful bike! For a ridden Honda it sure is impeccably clean, Bravo Sir!!
Thank You!
Thank You Very Much...
A hunka hunka burnin' Thank You!

General Motorcycle Discussion / Re: More Fun with Fuel....
« on: September 07, 2017, 08:27:08 AM »
Quick update - another fill up with a tank of super, another 50 mpg..
This one included a 50 mile interstate ride @ 75 mph...

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