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Hello. My name is kile. I have been wrenching on as much spare time as I can get for about two years now. I recently payed 200.00 for a 78 Honda hawk ll that I took on as a project. My plan is to clean her up, give her some love, and ride for a bit before I resell. The bike was sitting on the Oregon coast for quite a while from the looks inside the carbs. Cleaned those, new oil, new battery, and new plugs. I can get the bike to start up and idle, but when I do I get the right side heating up very fast and smoking white out of what seems to be everywhere on the right side of the motor. It is a thin white smoke that doesn't have a smell to it. Wondering if anyone has any ideas what may be causing it...I lashed the valves proper and made sure everything was tourqued to spec. Any thoughts would be great. Thanks for your time.
From what I've read on here everyone seems to hate these little bikes...

The forum is telling me I am not allowed to post links or photos on my first post so I will in any replies


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If you place your hand at the end of the exhaust pipes, you will probably find that one outlet feels drastically different than the other because it is starving for fuel: It is probably the carb on that side causing the problem. The carb needs to be taken apart and rebuilt completely but as on any multi cylinder engine, it could be many other things causing the problem.

One of our Moderators has recent experience restoring a bike like yours and I'm sure he will offer advice soon!

Welcome to the forum!
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Hello. My name is kile. I have been wrenching on as much spare time as I can get for about two years now. I recently payed 200.00 for a 78 Honda hawk ll that I took on as a project. My plan is to clean her up, give her some love, and ride for a bit before I resell. The bike was sitting on the Oregon coast for quite a while from the looks inside the carbs. Cleaned those, new oil, new battery, and new plugs. I can get the bike to start up and idle, but when I do I get the right side heating up very fast and smoking white out of what seems to be everywhere on the right side of the motor. It is a thin white smoke that doesn't have a smell to it. Wondering if anyone has any ideas what may be causing it...I lashed the valves proper and made sure everything was tourqued to spec. Any thoughts would be great. Thanks for your time.
From what I've read on here everyone seems to hate these little bikes...

The forum is telling me I am not allowed to post links or photos on my first post so I will in any replies


Sent from my moto g(7) supra using Tapatalk
I haven't seen any hate at all on vintage Honda's, I just bought this one to re-live my childhood and I just got it on the road!, I'm loving it so far!. They are great little machines!
I agree with the advice you already got, it's probably one carb clogged up and running lean heating up that cylinder.
I'd suggest you pick up 2 carb rebuild kits ( cheap) , take them off, clean everything, run fine wires through all the jets and make sure the floats and bowls are clean and then re-assemble and test it again. If you want to try an easier fix you could put a heavy dose of fuel system cleaner ( I like Seafoam) in the tank, really heavy, like a 1/2 bottle in a gallon instead of an ounce, run it for a while, then let it sit for 2 days then run it again..sometimes this will work, but more likely you will need to take the carbs off to clean them thoroughly, at the least spray them out with carburetor cleaner spray This is pretty much normal maintenance for older carburated bikes, especially if they sit a while, get used to it.!

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I haven't seen any hate at all on vintage Honda's, I just bought this one to re-live my childhood and I just got it on the road!, I'm loving it so far!. They are great little machines!
I agree with the advice you already got, it's probably one carb clogged up and running lean heating up that cylinder.
I'd suggest you pick up 2 carb rebuild kits ( cheap) , take them off, clean everything, run fine wires through all the jets and make sure the floats and bowls are clean and then re-assemble and test it again. If you want to try an easier fix you could put a heavy dose of fuel system cleaner ( I like Seafoam) in the tank, really heavy, like a 1/2 bottle in a gallon instead of an ounce, run it for a while, then let it sit for 2 days then run it again..sometimes this will work, but more likely you will need to take the carbs off to clean them thoroughly, at the least spray them out with carburetor cleaner spray This is pretty much normal maintenance for older carburated bikes, especially if they sit a while, get used to it.!

View attachment 61224
Sorry if I wasn't clear enough in my post, but I have only found very poor reviews in many places for the 78 Honda hawk in particular. But, with that said, haters gonna hate, right?
You were pretty spot on with your advice, sir. Yesterday I went to pull the carbs again and run them through the ultrasonic cleaner again// I have stopped using wires completely last year due to it actually can destroy the Jets completely in these older bikes / most wire is harder than the soft Jets// and found that in the back of the right side boot I somehow missed a fold in the liner so the right side was getting too much air. Relashed the valves and rechecked the torque on the the head. All was well.
I then ran some heavy marvel mystery oil on my gas, she kicked right over and is running so much better. Thanks for your response. Look into an ultrasonic cleaner. It is worth the investment.


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Glad you got it figured out!
Your case and cover looks awesome, mine is badly in need of polishing. Any good tricks on how you got it looking so good?




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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
first i let marvel mystery oil sit on it in a thin layer over night
then i spray it down with hot water and dish soap
then i put some degreaser on a steel wool pad and do little circles with lots of elbow grease
then i dry it with a heat gun
then i put a cheap buffer wheel on a drill and and use 'mothers' brand metal polish and go over it
then wipe down with clean soft rag


if you get to spots that just will not come out no matter what you do put a wre brush on a wheel and hit it lightly until you get out those spots.
its very time consuming and tiring, because its one piece and then you have to do the rest, cause it makes the rest of the bike look totally dirty, but very rewarding as it fills you with good bike love.

also, defreaser of hot water and dish soap followed by aluminum foil works great for the pipes followed by the 'never-dull' brand of wadding rub cleaner.
cheers!

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The hate on for the Honda, was it was down on power to the other brands, and I think the early ones had a drum front brake. Too, it came after the CB400 4 cylinder bike, so was a bit of a let down. BUT, they are and were a sweet bike. The detractors do not know much, which is often the case with motorcycles.
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The hate on for the Honda, was it was down on power to the other brands, and I think the early ones had a drum front brake. Too, it came after the CB400 4 cylinder bike, so was a bit of a let down. BUT, they are and were a sweet bike. The detractors do not know much, which is often the case with motorcycles.
UK
no, no downplay of hondas to boast about other bikes. these were a bunch of very experienced riders and restoration guys of vintage hondas claiming that the hawks were the most boring motorcycle ever produced..i dont agree.

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Glad you got it figured out!
Your case and cover looks awesome, mine is badly in need of polishing. Any good tricks on how you got it looking so good?




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Elbow grease, followed by more elbow grease. Another vote for Never dull. If it is good enough for the Navy, it is good enough for me.
 
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Those cases and engine were never chrome shiney so don’t have a heart attack trying to get it shiney. Just ain’t going to happen.
 

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first i let marvel mystery oil sit on it in a thin layer over night
then i spray it down with hot water and dish soap
then i put some degreaser on a steel wool pad and do little circles with lots of elbow grease
then i dry it with a heat gun
then i put a cheap buffer wheel on a drill and and use 'mothers' brand metal polish and go over it
then wipe down with clean soft rag


if you get to spots that just will not come out no matter what you do put a wre brush on a wheel and hit it lightly until you get out those spots.
its very time consuming and tiring, because its one piece and then you have to do the rest, cause it makes the rest of the bike look totally dirty, but very rewarding as it fills you with good bike love.

also, defreaser of hot water and dish soap followed by aluminum foil works great for the pipes followed by the 'never-dull' brand of wadding rub cleaner.
cheers!

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Sounds like I have some work ahead of me :).
That’s ok. It took 42 years to get like this. No rush getting it back :)
I think I’ll start with the 2 engine covers, then the forks which need it too.


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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Sounds like I have some work ahead of me :).
That’s ok. It took 42 years to get like this. No rush getting it back :)
I think I’ll start with the 2 engine covers, then the forks which need it too.


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Really if you go after it and do one side one day nose to tail you can knock it out in 5/6 hours each day and she will shine all summer.

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Would 000 steel wool help at all in this process or is that just chrome where it works well?
 
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