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Messages - DesertDragon

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General Motorcycle Discussion / Re: Placebo or Real? 87 or 92 octane
« on: August 26, 2017, 11:05:59 AM »
So, I've been following this thread for awhile, and I took a look under the seat of my 96 750.
The emissions sticker says use 91 or higher fuel (RON).
In the owners manual, it states that 86 octane should be used, but no rating designation is noted there.

I am assuming that this isn't a typo in one place or the other and the difference is because US pump octane ratings are (RON+MON)/2, and the RON number for the same fuel is higher than the previously noted "average" number because MON is a different (and lower) measure of the same gas.

I found an interesting explanation (to me, anyway) about the rating systems, and why premium fuel isn't necessarily better.
Here's that link

For my local errands I travel the same route 3 or 4 days a week in a rural area with no traffic and no traffic lights, so I can make it the same trip.
Post office, store, back home, same speed, same gears, same drive.

I do a high speed run one day a week to blow out the carbon if I'm not going anywhere on the interstate that week.
The local town has two freeway entry and exits two miles apart on a deserted interstate (when I do it) which is perfect for a full bore throttle run... (What a great place to live (and ride!)

The bike gets a consistent 44 to 45 mpg when I fill it up, so I thought.. why not do an experiment, since most people cannot control the traffic, traffic light etc variables, I'm in a rather unique situation.

I topped up with Mobil regular unleaded gas (which I always get) at the local station and refilled after 2 weeks.. 45.1 mpg.
No surprise. I always get very close to that for local travel, but just to establish the baseline...

On the next fill, (close to empty) I used Premium from the same station, ran the same routes and the same high speed runs.
Result - 50.4 mpg.
I was actually surprised at an unexpected (> 10%) improvement in mpg, but I have repeated the same test, and I get consistent results.

As far as performance is concerned, I did notice a difference.
My cold-blooded Honda took a lot less choke time.
On my high speed runs the bike ran noticeably better (again, a surprise) when close to red line (8500).

In my case, although my bike is 21 years old, it has low mileage, was babied like a child by all 3 owners and has new factory spec compression.
For me, the higher price of premium is a wash with regular gas because of the better mileage, but considering the bike runs better, I'm going to use super from now on until I see any change (especially in mpg).

Your results may vary, and like the link above indicates, if your vehicle doesn't need (or like it) it's a waste of money.
In some cases, there could even be some negative effects, especially in a compromised (low compression?) engine.



Your Honda Nighthawk / Re: My '96 CB750 "Dragon Bike"
« on: August 18, 2017, 08:02:47 AM »
I've ridden the Voyager to work the last couple days.  Forgot how good the wind protection is on that thing, it's almost too hot to ride.  The bike definitely doesn't meed much mechanically, still runs smooth and pretty quick for a big touring rig.  Needs some cosmetic help is all.

Yeah, we're right in the middle of it -  there are parties all over the place here and lots of people taking Monday off.  I'll be at work as usual - got to save the days off for the doc appointments and such.
Yep - Big fairing = Big Difference
Since it's running well, it would also look lots better with a repaired seat... and it would probably be more comfortable too..
As for the eclipse, at least take a two minute break when it gets as dark as midnight somewhere between 2:30 and 2:45 on Monday.
Just because it's local doesn't mean it isn't special. 
With the sun completely covered, you don't even need glasses (not true when there is ANY sunlight showing)... Then you NEED them.
Out West, there are journeys of epic proportions taking place to see it, and I wish I could, but I can't, so I won't... 
Poor me... Poor me...
Later Gator

Stablemates / Re: My Prior (MC) Love Interest was....
« on: August 17, 2017, 08:59:24 AM »
That Viffer is (was) sweet! I have an 'inception year' (1983) VF750F Interceptor with 6k on the clock as a project bike, but it's pretty much stalled on the back burner. Work has been too hectic and unpredictable since my job change 3 years ago. But I know it's always there. nice1
Aye Captain!
It sounds like a worthwhile project... Super low mileage too..
That's promising... Mine was under 4K but still started as a basket case (it probably needed a valve adjustment  whoohoo1 )
Actually, the prior owner did 95 % of the work, (and dropped a truckload of dollars into it) but when reassembled the intake and overflow hoses were switched, so as soon as it warmed up, coolant would spew out all over the place.
The prior owner didn't "remember" to mention this issue and my guess is he thought the bike had a major problem, so I got it cheap.
My major fix was switching the two hoses.
I managed to get the few pieces I needed from Bike Bandit, but not cheap..
Anyway, good luck when you get back to that '83!

Your Honda Nighthawk / Re: My '96 CB750 "Dragon Bike"
« on: August 17, 2017, 08:43:39 AM »
I wish.  The ST site has a couple of rides set up to watch the eclipse from different locations.  Unfortunately, my wife has health issues, and for the most part, the only riding I get anymore is back and forth to work.  Considering selling the bikes as they're hardly getting any miles.  I originally traded a Concours for the Voyager, hoping it would enable her to ride, but that hasn't happened, and doesn't look promising.
So sorry to hear that...  I'd put a few dollars into the Voyager before trying to sell it, if it were mine.
If you sell both, your going to miss the two wheeled option... IMHO

As far as the eclipse, it's probably the last total either of us will get a chance to see.
In my case, it's over 1,000 miles and travel across several states to get there.
If I recall, you're in South Carolina somewhere, so you might be able to be in the total path by
I wish.  The ST site has a couple of rides set up to watch the eclipse from different locations.  Unfortunately, my wife has health issues, and for the most part, the only riding I get anymore is back and forth to work.  Considering selling the bikes as they're hardly getting any miles.  I originally traded a Concours for the Voyager, hoping it would enable her to ride, but that hasn't happened, and doesn't look promising.
So sorry to hear that...
As far as the eclipse, it's probably the last total I'll get a chance to see, and I have to travel 1,000 miles across several states to get to a view spot.
You're in central South Carolina according to your profile, so you won't have much (or any) of a commute...
Here's the map from NASA.. Scroll down and there is one for S Ca..

Even if you do have to drive, take the day off on Monday, put your wife and a picnic lunch in the "family truckster" and go make a memory....

Your Honda Nighthawk / Re: My '96 CB750 "Dragon Bike"
« on: August 16, 2017, 03:57:44 PM »
Yeah, some good natured ribbing, but what can I say, I like yellow.
But, in my old age, I like having wind protection and carrying capacity.  I have an 03 ST1300A (in ugly silver/gray) and a 95 Voyager.  The Voyager is kind of ugly - some cracked plastics and torn seat, but is very comfortable, gets decent mileage and handles pretty good.  The ST is fast and fairly comfortable, but I think I preferred the ST1100.
I'm a big fan of the "sun" shade as well. 
I'm right there with you, except for the tent.. Yellow bike, yellow jacket, yellow helmet, yellow striped pants...
I'm also a fairing fan, and the Rifle Sport does a decent job. With soft luggage I have room for what I need.
The Voyager doesn't look bad, and with a bit of new upholstery...  I know wet foam isn't the most comfortable perch.

Your STi is a great looking bike!  I like the silver grey, myself.
It would probably look great in a total solar eclipse...   
Hey ! You're in luck! 
There's one on Monday, and you have a choice of bikes...

Two words - Road Trip!

Stablemates / Re: My Prior (MC) Love Interest was....
« on: August 16, 2017, 11:59:08 AM »
I sold my VFR800 5th gen long ego and main reason fear of overheating.This all gear driven engine is beautiful to listen but creates lots of heat and when stuck in traffic temp shoots way up and if anything goes wrong with the fans you are screwed.I just could not take the stress being in traffic almost all the time here in Boston.Fine machine if outside of city with vast open roads which almost never here hence why I bought the NH lot more happy and been stuck in traffic without issues.
Do miss that VFR sound specially on downshifts.
Your model has probably most complicated valve adjustment and why I think they are relativity cheap to buy on CL since just adjusting the valves are over 1k job.
Enjoy your NH
Yep - I know that gear driven cam sound... 
My VF1000R was pretty, but just too much work to keep up.  It was designed to race, not to be a daily rider...
The other problem I had with it was my terminal case of "right wrist disorder" which is the 2 wheeled equivalent of "lead foot disease".. 
On the VF, it was WAY too easy to achieve free Highway Patrol bracelet speeds...
I also can't handle clip-ons anymore.. After an hour I really needed to get off the bike.
With the 'Hawk - I can ride all day and still feel good in the evening.

I'm probably in the exact opposite of you in terms of traffic - because where I live, there isn't any.
On my 5 mile ride to town, it's unusual to see more than 2 cars on the road.
I know Boston traffic and I used to drive a GS750 in LA.
Probably, my survival was helped by pretending that I was invisible to everyone except the people trying to kill me!

Anyway, be careful out there and wherever possible, enjoy the ride!

Stablemates / Re: My Prior (MC) Love Interest was....
« on: August 15, 2017, 05:06:05 PM »
Oops... Like Emily Latella would say... Nevermind..
I just saw your your '83 Black Beauty 650SC on your new to me thread..
Looks sweet!
Wow - It looks like we both made major changes in hardware (in my case, it was 11 years ago).
Anyway, good luck on the ST1100 sale...
HINT - If you price it high enough, it will never sell... 
Honey, I don't know, I have it for sale EVERYWHERE...

Stablemates / Re: My Prior (MC) Love Interest was....
« on: August 15, 2017, 04:51:04 PM »
Speaking of VFR's I just sold mine and bought the Nighthawk.  whoohoo1
Now if I can just get my ST1100 sold before my wife kills me.  :(
I think your VFR was just a "little bit" newer than my 1985...
Probably a LOT easier to live with as well...
Both beautiful machines!
I think I know why your wife was prepared to "kill you"...
You spent too much time admiring those gorgeous "red metal ladies" in the garage!
Is the issue that she only wants one bike in the garage, and that only happened for a few hours???

Obviously, the next question is, which model NightHawk did you get, and where's the picture?  pics44
Inquiring minds want to know...

Your Honda Nighthawk / Re: My '96 CB750 "Dragon Bike"
« on: August 15, 2017, 09:08:47 AM »
I don't miss it that much, I gave it to my brother, so I still get to ride it on occasion 
I had a Tsunami fairing before the Rifle, but my son crashed and the fairing got destroyed.  I got the Rifle cheap on eBay.  It worked well enough, but wasn't as pretty.  I took the 96 out to the first big NH rally at KSL, and it was called the Barbie set - my tent, jacket and bike matched. 
Barbie Set - Too funny...  I guess if your 96 is still around there is less to miss....
So what do you generally ride?  IS there a choice in your garage, or a favorite?

Stablemates / My Prior (MC) Love Interest was....
« on: August 14, 2017, 08:45:07 PM »
My Prior (MC) Love Interest was this Honda VF1000R ....

From the side....

She was good to me, I doubled my money, but talk about high maintenance...
6 hour valve job every 600 miles (factory recommended)

Much happier with my more sedate, less maintenance and dependable...

Dragon Mate:


Your Honda Nighthawk / Re: New to me CB650SC Nighthawk
« on: August 14, 2017, 07:48:10 PM »
In a word,,,, Dang!
A color change and add some bags and it's the same bike....
Was it reincarnated ?

Your Honda Nighthawk / Re: Black 1992 Honda Nighthawk CB750
« on: August 14, 2017, 05:18:30 PM »

Your Honda Nighthawk / Re: My '96 CB750 "Dragon Bike"
« on: August 14, 2017, 05:13:09 PM »
I love the fork gaiters. The fairing is a bit big for my tastes but I'm sure it's useful. Good to see a NH in such good condition and being used for what it was made for...riding.

How do you like the Progressive rear shocks. I've been thinking of updating my suspension.
Howdy OT
Yep - Update your suspension - You'll be glad you did. 
The shocks work well at soaking up the small stuff while preventing big bangs on the nastier bumps..
Maybe that's why they are ... progressive.....
With my stock shocks it was really difficult (impossible) to set a pre-load that worked full spectrum..
I put in new Progressive fork springs at the same time and they made a big positive difference in handling for me.
Since I ride on dirt the fork boots were a must.. Some people don't like the look, but with boots your forks (and seals) will last a LOT longer.
Thanks for your post.

Your Honda Nighthawk / Re: My '96 CB750 "Dragon Bike"
« on: August 14, 2017, 04:29:21 PM »
That's a beautiful bike.  I had one just like it with many of the same modifications you have done.  I don't really miss it, though.  I didn't have too much sentimental feeling for the '96.

On the other hand, I miss my '84 RWB 700s a LOT.
Thanks for the compliment.
As as far as missing a bike, I think a lot of that is the memories that are made while you had a particular machine...
In my case, my bike got me out of the marriage from hell, so even if that were on a moped, I'd still miss it!

I think one reason there are still some "dedicated" NH fans is because although the Hawks were not at the pinnacle of perfection in any one area, they perform very well in just about all areas.
To refresh your memory....
    Reasonable price
    Good MPG
    Ultra Reliable
    Low Maintenance
    Good Parts Availability (for a 14-26 year old bike)
    Multi-year interchangeable parts
Since it's a "standard" you can actually ride it all day relatively comfortably, take it on a trip with saddlebags... like the Make Mine Vanilla article..
In any case, I find it a lot more fun to own, for all of the above reasons, than my VF1000R was...  Yes, she was pretty, but a bhatch to live with...

Your Honda Nighthawk / Re: My '96 CB750 "Dragon Bike"
« on: August 14, 2017, 04:06:29 PM »
Oops forgot a pic...
The Rifle fairing has a dash, so I added a clock, altimeter (barometer) crusader radar and compass/thermometer.
The radar detector also picks up traffic alerts, and displays a voltmeter and temperature.
The white dot is a flashing blue (when detected) LED radar/laser alert.  It also provides a freeze alert below 33 degrees.
What can I say.. I tend to go "geek"...


Your Honda Nighthawk / Re: My '96 CB750 "Dragon Bike"
« on: August 14, 2017, 09:08:18 AM »
Looks a lot like my old 96, but I had the smaller Superbike fairing.  Good looking bike.
Thank you sir... 
I also looked at the Rifle Superbike, but went for the additional protection (and side pockets).
I'll bet you miss your '96 - I know I would...

Your Honda Nighthawk / Re: My '96 CB750 "Dragon Bike"
« on: August 14, 2017, 09:05:01 AM »
You can delete the code before and after bracketIMGbracket and bracketbackslashIMGbracket and the image will post but you will remove the backlinks (a good thing).
Nice looking Hawk!
Aye Captain!
Thanks for the tip... I updated the post...

Your Honda Nighthawk / My '96 CB750 "Dragon Bike"
« on: August 13, 2017, 03:20:36 PM »
So, I've had my '96 NightHawk for 11 years now, and I thought I'd share some photos I took just after she had a bath...

Thanks (Once Again!) to Mollusc for helping me out with how to post Flickr pics.. 
I updated the post with actual pics....

My '96 front view...

Notable mods: 
Avon Storm 3-D front tire
Fork Boots (I have 2 miles of gravel before I get to pavement - Ding proofs the fork tubes / seals)
Rifle Fairing with sport windscreen
Progressive fork springs

Right Side:

Notable Mods:
Crusaider Radar (antenna attached under front of fairing)
Fiamm Horn(s)
Case Savers / Pegs
Joe Rocket Manta XL Tank Bag
Corbin Gunfighter Seat
Saddlemen Gel Fleece Pad

Left Side:

Notable Mods:
Front Fender Extension
Fiamm Horn(s)
Hel Stainess Steel Brake Line
Case Savers / Pegs
17 Tooth Front Sprocket
Clear Rear turn signal covers

Case Saver / Peg Closeup:

Right Rear Closeup:

Notable Mods:
Progressive Rear shocks
Avon Storm Tire(s)
Gold X-Ring Chain

Since I have a long ride on dirt, it isn't often the bike is this clean!


Stablemates / Re: After 11 years, I got a new bike.
« on: August 13, 2017, 12:37:32 PM »
Nice Bike, MrF,
It's funny, I've also owned my 96 750 for 11 years, and before I did, I was also actively looking at your new bike.
In my case, I've finally got it to the way I like it.
Maybe my bike had better previous owners, because my problems have been virtually non-existent.

Anyway, good luck with the new scoot !!

Keep the rubber on the bottom...


General Motorcycle Discussion / Re: CB750 page at Wikipedia
« on: August 10, 2017, 08:39:15 AM »
Oops... just noticed the 110 / 120 112/122 error..
My bad...

General Motorcycle Discussion / Re: CB750 page at Wikipedia
« on: August 10, 2017, 08:35:11 AM »
My '96 has a 17 tooth front (stock is 15) and stock sized 38 rear sprocket both of which were changed when it was time for a new chain.

Was a 112-link chain (110 is stock) long enough for the 17-t sprocket install?
No, the stock size is too short (not a big surprise, the front sprocket is 2 teeth bigger).
You should get an extra master link (2 instead of one) when you buy your chain, because the 122 is a bit long, and you won't have much adjustment left.
After several thousand when the chain is stretched a bit (or when you run out of adjustment space), remove the original master and one adjacent link and install the new master you wisely purchased earlier (so you now have a "stretched" 120) and you're good. 
It's a little bit of a pain, but if you have a decent set of chain tools, it isn't a difficult job, and you don't have to remove the chain twice to do it.

If you do a lot of interstate, it is well worth it.  If you are mainly a city driver, probably not.
The way you get improved mileage is by the engine not working so hard at a given ground speed.
Where I live, the speed limit is 75, so my bike spends a lot of time as a fast mover.

In the interest of full disclosure, instead of a roll on for passing, you need to downshift to get the bike into the powerband..
With the mod described, 4th gear is like 5th in the stock configuration.
You'll get better mileage because you are turning fewer revs, but of course that means the engine is producing less power.
That's how you get the big mileage bump - there's a big difference between 4K and 5K on the tach.

One other advantage is that the larger front is a bit easier on the chain, as it gets less "pinch" up front.

Keep the rubber on the bottom!

General Motorcycle Discussion / Re: CB750 page at Wikipedia
« on: August 09, 2017, 10:02:34 AM »
My 700s has been dialed up with main and idle jets and K&N filter in box. No flat spots now and very linear. Good from 4K RPM up/no surge on top end to write home about in comparison to weakness down below. It's way too lean stock. It's still not massive down low (don't get me wrong), but it now isn't weak in comparison to up top. Gas mileage only 32mpg. :(
WOW - 32 mpg...  Ouch!
My '96 has a 17 tooth front (stock is 15) and stock sized 38 rear sprocket both of which were changed when it was time for a new chain.
At 4 grand on the tach, I'm doing ~ 78 mph and I consistently get  45 mpg doing it.

Besides the better mileage with a taller front, it makes touring at speed a lot more pleasant.
With the stock gearing, the bike always felt like it should have had another gear past 5th.
Not No More.

I'd highly recommend this mod to anyone who does a lot of interstate driving.

The other mod that I think made a big difference in both comfort and economy, was the addition of a Rifle Sport fairing.
Much better aerodynamics, lots of protection and it doesn't add much weight.  i noticed a good bump in fuel economy after the install.
I got both the shorter sport windshield for summer and the taller touring shield for winter.

Keep the rubber on the bottom folks...

General Motorcycle Discussion / Re: CB750 page at Wikipedia
« on: August 08, 2017, 03:05:19 PM »
DesertDragon - the DOHC 1996 you are referring to is the Nighthawk or the F2?  I'm researching the F2 right now -- I'm not familiar with it at all.

mollusc - someone made the point one time that the Nighthawk was in someways a cheaper bike than the 700S -- chain drive instead of shaft, cable activated clutch instead of hydraulic, more plastic, and some other things I can't remember.
I'm thinking the questions are pretty well answered, but - I can usually find enough change to throw in my 2 cents...
Yep - The 96 (actually 91 to 03 imported to the US and Canada in pretty much the same form have the CB750 designation and are NightHawks...
As Mollusc pointed out, the later 'Hawks were a "cheaper" bike. 
Part of Honda'a research and marketing strategy was to build the bike to a price point, specifically $3000 USD.
To do that, they reused some parts and simplified others (like the brakes and clutch).
They were also making it a recognizable grandson of the original CB750, which had many of the same features..

As far as the other discussions around powerband, the latter CB750's actually hit their sweet spot in the power curve at about 5 grand, so you don't really need to alter the cam timing, especially since the bike (IMHO) has relatively low gearing to begin with.

Some of the comparisons aren't really so much better or worse (cheaper or expensive) as they are about preference.
Is shaft drive more expensive than chain drive?  Costs more to manufacture, but is it better?
As with everything, there's a trade off.  Shafts are less efficient for power delivery, but cleaner and require less ongoing maintenance.
They also "feel" different.  Especially for quick power on/power off situations, shafties tend to have more input into the suspension.

So, I guess it depends on what you like or feel is more significant.

Your Ride Reports / Re: I Went To The Edge
« on: August 06, 2017, 04:04:34 PM »
Cool pics, Mr. Pants...
I would concur in the "built for comfort" vs. the "built for speed" criteria, over the long haul, the former wins.
In my case my Honda VF1000R was sold after I discovered I was allergic to clip-ons.. 
I'm a lot happier with my much easier to live with 96 NightHawk 750, and after a full day's ride I don't need to crawl off the bike and into a chiropractor's office...

Keep the rubber on the bottom...



General Motorcycle Discussion / Re: CB750 page at Wikipedia
« on: August 06, 2017, 03:49:26 PM »
Perhaps a bit off topic, but hey - That's me on occasion.
I owned a 74 CB750 SOHC that had some custom engine work and a pretty loud 4 into 1 Kerker that seemed pretty quick at the time...
Well, at the time it WAS pretty quick because when introduced the CB750 was a "SuperBike!" 
The features it had were light years ahead at the time and its introduction pretty well swamped the competition.
The other "hot bikes" were 650 twins, if you were around back then to remember.

The 750 DOHC NightHawks on the other hand were built based upon extensive user survey feedback for what riders wanted.
Maybe it was just nostalgia, but sometimes people want what they don't think they can have, and when they can have it, they don't want it...

In any case, I remember an article on the 'Hawks entitled "More Mr. Nice Guy"...
The 91+ DOHC Hawks were built for what people said they wanted - Easy to live with, practical, and pretty good at everything.. i.e. a "Standard".

There are a lot more features on a bike to compare beyond horsepower, which is especially useful between thse two...
Here are a few I remember:

                      1974                            1996             
                      SOHC 750                     DOHC 750                           Impact                   
                       bkr3                           bkr3
Wheels            Laced/Spoke                 Cast                                     Adjust vs. No maintenance required
Brakes            1 Disc Front / Drum       1 Disc Front / Drum               Same setup
Alternator        Hanging on left side       Tucked behind cylinders         Narrower engine profile
Cam Chain       Requires Adjustment      Automatic                            Adjust vs. No maintenance required
Valves              8 SOHC screw adjusted  16 DOHC Hydraulic               Adjust vs. No maintenance required 
Ignition            Points/Condenser          Electronic                             Adjust / Repair / Replace vs. No maintenance required 
Horsepower      Less                             More                                    More is better!

While my '74 was a good bike, it required a LOT of maintenance to keep it running at it's peak. 
A couple of forays up to redline and it was time to do a valve adjustment, and adjust the cam chain.
A bump or two and it was adjust the wheel spokes... I fondly remember the dig, ding, thunk..
Well, I do remember, just not fondly :-)

Less easily identified in a list, but my '96 "feels" a LOT lighter and handles a lot more like a sportbike than the '74...
A good part of this IMHO is because the '74 was shod with bias-plys and my '96 has current century radials.
Tires have come a long way since then.

For me the bottom line is that the later versions are the refined great-grandsons of the earlier pioneer.
You can do a lot more riding with a lot less maintenance on the later versions.
That and the newer CB750 is Ultra-Reliable - Something I never could say (truthfully) about many other bikes I've owned.

My 2 cents.



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