Hawks are a cult bike. I'm a card-carrying member. We're odd people, but the group is tight, extrememly knowledgable and infinitely helpful. If you can operate a screwdriver without causing bodily harm to yourself or others, the knowledge on the Hawk List (HawkGT.com) can get you through pretty much any problem.
The bikes are extrememly customizable. I have a CBRF2 tank, a Monster tailsection and custom underbody exhaust, all of which I built for less than $250, including purchased parts. Many hop-up parts exist to make them as quick as you'll ever need for 98% of real world situations. They have been campaigned successfully in a broad variety of racing classes - the two (?) time Battle of the Twins champion and motor builder, J.D. Hord, is a regular contributor to the List, and a frequent guest at many rallies.
My Hawk was my first bike and my only bike to date. It's my sole mode of transportation, it's my backroad scratcher, and it's done many multiple-hundred mile trips. It has yet to let me down. It was an excellent beginner bike and has grown with me as my skill has developed. Yes, they have high mileage and a less-than-rock-bottome buy-in price. But, they're dead reliable, cheap to own, and come with the best owner support group out there.
There are newer bikes and faster bikes, but none like the Hawk. It's every bit as good as you make it.
Look a few hundred dollars north of the Honda Hawk for the Moto Guzzi Breva 750. It's a beautiful machine with lots of character and, from what I've heard, excellent reliability. Retail is $7,500, but I'm willing to bet Guzzi dealers are more likely to cut you some slack that the Honda dealers are on a 599. Read some reviews on it before you decide.
Honda Hawks are way cool. They are so cool, all other bikes pale in comparison to to ultimate cool coolativity that is the Honda Hawk. It is the perfect bike. It is nearly godlike. In fact, if Jesus were alive today, he'd be riding a Hawk. Because Jesus was way cool. And so are Hawks. You can adapt a Hawk for just about anything you want it to do. Racing? Sure. Commuting? Well, duh. Around town? Supa-mastah! Long-distance endurance riding? ...OK, not the best choice, but you could still do it. And that is so cool. A bike for all seasons. The ultimate bike. Perfect for beginners. Respected by those in the know. To ride one is to make grown men weep as they look wistfully at your ride and say, "I remember when I had one of those *sob*" People will come up to you and say, "Wow, man, is that a new Ducati or something?" And you can in all honesty reply, "Naw, man, this is a Honda Hawk--it is way rarer, much better, and infinitely cooler than that Italian trash." Check it--Honda Hawk: water-cooled three valve head, v-twin, 1988; Ducati ST3: water-cooled three valve head, 2005.Hawk: nekkid standard, 1988; Ducati Monster: nekkid standard, 1994. Yeah, Hawk, way ahead of its time. And way, way cool. And chick magnet? Hell, yeah! (Unless your name is JoEl.) There's even this quirky moto list filled with Hawk cult followers. Bunch of freaks if you ask me. Check out www.hawkgt.com. If you ping the list, you will get all the advice you'll ever need and a lot you'll never need. Cool people ride cool bikes and the coolest list is the HawkList. Plus, they're a helpful bunch who might be able to point you to a decent bike in your area at a good price. Figure on paying up to $2.5k for a nice, unmolested, reasonable milage bike. $1.5k or less for a beater. $3.5k for a nicely modded Hawk. Sensible mods include suspension upgrades (racetech fork internals, fox rear shock), uncorking the engine (pod filters, jet kit, and pipe/can), and stainless brake lines. Next stage is alternate front ends, upgraded brakes, VFR rear wheels, 700cc engine by Hord (tm)... People do all kinds of mods to these bikes, so finding one absolutely stock might be difficult. 20k on a Hawk is nothing, NOTHING!!! Seen many strong (and way cool) Hawks with 50k running well, some examples with as much as 100k+. You will not go wrong with a Hawk because they have a classic style that is design icon worthy. Warning: if you get one, you may not ever part with it. Prices are dear because people love them and hate to give them up. If you get one you might have to remove the "They can have my Hawk when they pry my cold, dead hand off the throttle" sticker off it. Because Hawks are that cool. Get a Hawk, join the Hawk side, be cool.
Oh, yea, you can also get a Monster 620 Dark ($6595) or a Multistrada 620 Dark (7495) at your friendly Ducati dealer. Then you won't have a bike that's cool because someone thinks it's a Ducati, you'll have a bike that's cool because it IS a Ducati.
If you're after a "do it all" v-twin, you may also want to consider a Suzuki VX800. Built from 90-93, it's a tweaked Intruder motor w/shaft drive in a standard layout. They live forever and prices range between $1K - $2K. It's bigger than a Hawk GT (which I've owned) and is more at home on the open road. Think naked sport-tourer and you'll be pretty close. There's also an avid rider community like the Hawk GT that offers all sorts of help (www.vx800.net)
I just went through the exact same process as you! Those are all great bikes but the 599 looks sexy, is as mashupable as a hawk - hell, the thing is steel-framed and carburated. Not too long ago I picked up an 04 with 350 miles for $4900. As you say, they are rare! Rare is good. I've seen 25 ducs (and 100 sv's) for every 599 I see. Everybody wants to know what it is and how it goes and I like the conversation. And the lack of plastic goes a long way toward keeping the rice jokes at bay.
I had an older, hawk-like honda and it was absolutely bullet proof and amazing but in the end, I didn't want a collectable, I didn't want to think about cold weather starting problems, or less than very modern brakes or weighting and suspension. The first time I was involved in a near accident on the old honda I started thinking - there is no substitute for modern. Cars stop faster now than then and I want a bike that can too.
I put 700 miles on it in the first four days and it was all grin all the time.
The owner support for old Hondas is absolutely amazing.
New honda might not need it as much, though.
Sounds like you can't make a mistake - they're all good choices.
1 - 20 of 40 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.