Saturday, January 12, 2008

New to me 1984 NightHawk S

So a friend of mine posted on the FBR list a few weeks ago that he was going to pick up a NightHawk S. Well, he goes through bikes about as quickly as my wife goes though manicures and she's pretty well maintained. Generally he'll get a good deal on a good bike, then spend time and money making it better before reselling it at a still killer price. I called him the same day he posted and asked for first right of refusal when he got ready to sell it. I had been looking for one of these for quite awhile and they still show up regularly on Ebay, but apparently I am not the only person with fond memories of the model because the prices asked and offered are still pretty high. As it happens, he found a late model VFR and decided to keep that and get rid of the Nighthawk even before he picked it up. I told him I wanted it and when the email came this morning that he had it home I immediately responded and we set up a time for me to look at it.

My lovely wife Selena drove me over and hung out for a few minutes while I took a short ride. The ride confirmed in my already made up mind that I wanted the bike and I cut her free rather than torturing her with the bike talk that invariably breaks out when a couple of bike guys get together.

The bike is in good shape, not perfect, but not too bad for a bike that's old enough to drink. The bikini fairing is cracked on one side and a bit 'askew' as well as a couple of other scrapes and bruises, but the paint looks surprisingly good and should clean up nice.

Riding it is a bit different than I remember, but still quite good. This one has been sitting for a while and the gas is old so the riding experience may change after everything gets back into the swing of things. The power delivery is soft compared to say my old Speed Triple and the brakes require quite a strong sqeeze before anything like deceleration starts to happen. As I said in another post about the one I bought new; it steers pretty quickly, though maybe not as quick as a modern sporty standard and then it feels a bit strange but not scary. I think some of the strangeness might be frame flex compared to newer bikes.

The point of getting this bike - besides my own little trip down memory lane, is to have a two-up ride so that Selena can ride with me again. She has been bummed about my trading from the V-Strom to the Bandit 600 and finally to the DR 650. I'm keeping the DR for me and the Nighthawk for us. I think it will be a good choice for the kind of riding we do together.

Thanks for reading - Mike

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