(Please visit one of our advertisers)

No donations or subscriptions are required

   OR   
   
Subscription choices:
Board Karma = 40  (3488 positive of 3870 votes is 40 %pts higher than a neutral 50%)
All Things (Safety Oriented) Motorcycle   
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

You can the entire collection of Safety Tip articles in a 33 Megabyte PDF Portfolio

 All Forums
 Motorcycle Safety
 Sharing of Lessons Learned
 Refreshed Honda; A most enjoyable 20 miles
Member Previous Topic Discussion Topic Next Topic  

bachman1961
Male Advanced Member
2263 Posts
[Mentor]


colorado springs, co
USA

Honda

CB750 NightHawk

Posted - 08/03/2015 :  1:49 AM                       Like

I still have to stop and think to realize most of my years of avid riding and 'experience' were those early days from 3rd grade or so on into high school and a teeny bit into early marriage. Many years of fun on the dirt and trails and really, very little miles on any paved surfaces.
Around 1984 or so I sold off my last bike of that era, a Yamaha DT 175 and the last memorable ride I had was a cold rainy November evening in Michigan arriving home from work with frozen bits in my mustache. The mental image is clear because my wife snapped a photo of me when I walked in the house but I'm feeling as though I'd remember it just as well without ever seeing the photo. That bone chilling damp cold 'jitters' that can be so fatiguing on top of the control one must exercise in smooth, undramatic input traveling on wet surfaces, through the dark night air on universal knobbies.

Around 2002, I acquired a 1982 or 84 KZ650 and this was my first shot at getting on the
road. I'll say it went pretty well and I dabbled at it by using the bike mostly for short work commutes out here in Colorado. The bike eventually proved to be easier to start and warm up in the winter than my old Dodge pick up so many were the work commutes in the brisk nights of Colorado winter if the road surfaces looked promising. On that bike, I believe I scored my first temperature record as a low temp of 17 degrees for a night ride. It was February and I was never more a believer in the benefit of a good full-face helmet than that particular ride.

Within 2 years, that bike was needing some services and attention and as nice as it was for solid transportation, I didn't see myself putting in the work, time or money for a respectable restoration when all of the sudden, I struck a deal on my current wheels, a 1995 Honda Nighthawk. I must have been thrilled at the time because I literally gave the KZ away free of charge.

I don't vividly recall, but at about this juncture, I must have seriously realized the gravity of riding a motorcycle on roads and I suppose it hit me stronger because I'd have been considering all the rides and errands I could run and spending more time and miles on the bike. Up to that point, my perception of comfort and safety was with the short duration commutes of about 5 miles to work on the night shift when very little traffic existed and threats of any sort were rarely spotted.

The fact is, even though I've had this bike for 10 years now, most of the miles I've put on it were over a 3 year period or so. I feared and respected the bike and traffic enough to slowly ease into it and much of that credit goes to this forum and a few others like it. The more I read and researched, the more I realized what I didn't know. IOW, the more I needed to learn more, read more and research more.

If you ride a motorcycle now, you've had a journey as well and I'm sure as in my case, the "lessons learned" could fill a book so I'll close with my most recent lesson learned, hence the subject of this post.

My Honda as introduced to me in 2005 really looked nice, had about 11,230 miles on it and didn't seem to be in immediate need of anything. I didn't get out and ride it much at all in the first few years, mostly just keeping the battery up and some short rides here and there. The front tire was looking a bit ratty, lost some tread depth and the sidewalls were looking spooky so I made a list of things to get done/checked out and took it to a friend. It came back with a new front tire, lost the rear rack and had a straight handle bar installed with bar end mirrors and fresh front brake pads. At this point, I had another 1000 miles or so on the odo. The rear tire never scared me but it was quite worn flat in the center and I figured the next list of things would include a new rear tire.

Somehow, I managed to get another 10,000 miles on the bike and realized the newer front tire could be replaced with the old rear tire. I got a set of BStones and made another list, found an alternate bike mechanic and picked up the bike Friday with a few new things complete. I now have about 20 miles on it with a few work commute rides and the bike feels like a dream.
My new BStones now give me a mated brand of tire, The mech bled the brake line and refreshed the fluid, installed new fork seals (one was leaking) and did a general check and lube of anything needed.
Maybe for the first time in my life, I'm riding a bike on the roads with the conical effect U-shape tire rather than the flattened out old worn thing that I got too many miles out of. The bike rides smooth and quiet, yet the responsiveness feels as though it's now ready and anticipating steering or lean input whereas before, it felt tentative and indecisive by comparison.
Anyways, this last 20 miles I have on the bike was a very solid lesson learned. I can't help but think how so many of those last 10,000 miles I put on it would have felt so different and better. It truly feels like a different bike.
I'm sure the ride and smooth, quiet improvements are partly the refreshed fork oil and new seals and had I not did the tires and forks at the same time, it might have proved more interesting to sample the changes separately but I'm too impressed to care about those details.

~ Brian

rkfire
Advanced Member
1689 Posts


Stratford, CT
USA

Suzuki

Bandit

Posted - 08/07/2015 :  7:34 AM   Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
I know the feeling of getting a needy bike back to spec. But it's been a while.

Between bikes getting better, and more reliable, and that I do all my own maintenance, I don't let issues slide. So, in that way I don't get that rejuvenated experience anymore. Even new tires, I am cautious until they have some miles on them. No matter what they say, I perceive them as less grippy when new. Just my thing, real or unreal. I've tried quite a few brands on this bike and didn't like some of them even when new. At least I found a favorite at a good price these days, and stick with them now.

I sure wish I had your Honda sized tires on my bike. I could spoon them on myself like the old days. These wide, low profile radials are tough to mount. I tried and gave up. Maybe some tire machine in the future. It's a pain in the neck to bring tires to a shop.
Go to Top of Page

bachman1961
Male Advanced Member
2263 Posts
[Mentor]


colorado springs, co
USA

Honda

CB750 NightHawk

Posted - 08/07/2015 :  1:35 PM
rk

Your points are spot on. Ideally there is an almost seamless experience riding a bike that is well maintained and kept up as things start to fade or age.

I knew my tire was getting a flat spot long ago and I've noted the lopsided wear on the front tire and the leaky fork on one side. It probably defies common sense but my work commute of 8 miles round trip and speeds in excess of 35 mph yet sub 45 have allowed me to be less Johnny-on-the-Spot about it. I don't think I overplayed my hand but I don't see doing this sort of thing as a rule and especially not if I had to navigate longer commutes and higher speeds. Being the bike is my recreation, short of getting it caught up or just not having the time or $$ to do so, I'd have let her sit in the garage a while with no riding. That rear tire was close to the margin of that decision.

I'm 100% in the camp as per new tire break in and feel a bit suspicious for now. What's to lose by being a bit extra safe ... Right ? I had a marvelous experience with BikeBandit, fast shipping , great price and even with 'free shipping' ,,, still a great price.

I'm using the BATTLAX tire that I find pretty popular on the standard- style bikes and some of the retro's.

~brian

Go to Top of Page

scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6886 Posts
[Mentor]


Pleasanton, CA
USA

KTM

990 Adv, XR650L

Posted - 08/07/2015 :  4:00 PM
quote:
Originally posted by bachman1961

I'm using the BATTLAX tire that I find pretty popular on the standard- style bikes and some of the retro's.
For future reference, nearly all Bridgestone motorcycle tires are BATTLAX tires. This covers sport, sport touring, cruiser tires and a few other types.
Go to Top of Page

bachman1961
Male Advanced Member
2263 Posts
[Mentor]


colorado springs, co
USA

Honda

CB750 NightHawk

Posted - 08/07/2015 :  5:56 PM

Here they are and as Scott clarifies, I didn't realize Battlax was such general nomenclature.
This is the BT45 front and rear, a tire I find pretty popular on the standard type bikes and some of the retro's. I think many Nighthawk owners use these. I've seen good user reviews when filtering through NH forums and I think the Bonneville came with them as OEM.

I think they were about $240 with free shipping and showed up pretty fast. No complaints.


Go to Top of Page

bachman1961
Male Advanced Member
2263 Posts
[Mentor]


colorado springs, co
USA

Honda

CB750 NightHawk

Posted - 08/12/2015 :  10:51 AM
No big rides but I've rolled over 100 miles on the new tires and I'm as impressed as ever with the ride of the bike. Considering the tire change-out and the new fork seals / oil, I have to surmise the new rear tire is every bit an important part as the refreshed front suspension.

I figure the front tire was a wash of sorts since it was slightly worn on one side but replaced with the same tire this time around. The bike floats over pesky road surfaces like a cruiser.

Go to Top of Page
  Previous Topic Discussion Topic Next Topic  
Jump To:
All Things (Safety Oriented) Motorcycle © Master Strategy Group Go To Top Of Page
  This page was generated in 0.38 seconds. Powered By: Snitz Forums 2000 Version 3.4.05