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Discussion Starter #1
I've been eyeing a 1985 Nighthawk 650 on craigslist that looks too be in good shape. It'd be my first bike and I'm not to mechanically inclined but also not afraid to learn, I just don't have a lot of space or the tools to do much work on a motorcycle. I'm hoping I can get some insight on to whether 80s Nighthawks are good/reliable bikes and if there is anything I should be look for that may be a red flag to not buy, or any notorious problems with Nighthawks. Like everyone, I want to spend more time riding and less time wrenching and to not worry about my bike crapping out on me while riding with my friends. Help me out!
 

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Welcome to the forum.
It is both a yes and a no answer. An 85 Honda is/was a very reliable bike but if you have any trouble who will you go to for parts and repairs? That bike is 30 years old at least. More riding and less wrenching can be had on a bike less than 10 years old for very close to the same price and parts for it will be easy to find. The most important feature of any new rider's bike is explained here.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvYM2Z0usMg
 

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Welcome to the forum.
It is both a yes and a no answer. An 85 Honda is/was a very reliable bike but if you have any trouble who will you go to for parts and repairs? That bike is 30 years old at least. More riding and less wrenching can be had on a bike less than 10 years old for very close to the same price and parts for it will be easy to find. The most important feature of any new rider's bike is explained here.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvYM2Z0usMg
What he said. The Nighthawks in general are very easy to work on. They are a no-frills bike that don't have a lot of extras. I'm not mechanically inclined but I do most of my own maintenance on my '92 Nighthawk, as long as it doesn't involve engine work. The good thing is it has been well maintained, it might just run forever. If you are thinking of getting a Nighthawk specifically, I would look at 91-97 model years. A lot of parts are interchangeable between these years and parts are still available online quiet easily. If you do decide to get an older bike, pay close attention to the cables and of course brakes and tires. The cables get brittle on a bike that old and are susceptible to breaking.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info. I did some searching online for availability on parts, and for the most part, it looks like parts are not too hard to come by, and I have a Honda dealer down the road from my house who said they can get parts(how true that is, is to be determined). The bikes I've been looking at are 84 and 85 Nighthawks, both with under 30K miles and look pretty pristine. On the subject of break and clutch cables, how would i go about checking the condition of those? I have a friend with a '75 GS750 who busted his clutch cable, I just want to research the cost of parts etc. so I can have a little knowledge of what I'm getting in to. Thanks, I really appreciate the info!
 

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Parts are available, and they are very reliable bikes. I had an 82 Nitehawk 750 that I put 101,000 miles on without anything more than regular maintenance. The clutch was starting to slip at 100,000 miles and I ended up giving it to a friend. He spent a few bucks on it and put another 20,000 miles on it. Don't know what happened to it after he got rid of it.
 

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I bought a 85 Nighthawk back in May, and it's been great. I've had a few things to deal with, but nothing major, at all. And this one has 31K on it, so it's no spring chicken. But it's a good bike, has been reliable and a blast to ride.

Issues I've had:
- Turn signal indicators sticky (wouldn't reset when pushing in control following turn). Fixed w/ rubbing alcohol/H20 mixture sprayed in to the control
- Front left disk brake caliper lost a pretty major bolt while riding. That caliper was left just hangin! May not have been tightened by PO? Happily, found OEM replacement at local Honda dealer. Incidentally, he said parts are easy to come by!

Brakes and clutch have been fine; haven't been able to get into the clutch fluid reservoir, the access screws are a bit rounded over.

Love the bike overall, seems very strong.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Good to know! That's what the Honda dealer near me said too. I've read only good/great things about these bikes from people who've owned them in the past. I have an old family friend of my dad's out in NY who has a 78 CB750K thats all original and a newer Harley. He says his Honda is less maintenance and easier to work on than his HD!
 

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Good to know! That's what the Honda dealer near me said too. I've read only good/great things about these bikes from people who've owned them in the past. I have an old family friend of my dad's out in NY who has a 78 CB750K thats all original and a newer Harley. He says his Honda is less maintenance and easier to work on than his HD!
I don't know of another bike that is easier to work on. If cared for, they will run forever. Nice and light and very nimble in the twisties. I've had an opportunity to buy new bikes, but I love riding the Nighthawk so much I couldn't imagine riding anything else.
 
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