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1990 Honda NT647 Hawk GT

By Paul Peczon

yo check out my 1990 Honda NT647 Hawk GT

In case you didn't know, the NT647GT Hawk is the bike journalist's bike, because aside from being enormously satisfying to ride, it's relatively cheap. Bike journalism doesn't pay a lot and it's tough to decide to buy anything when you have access to a lot of new bikes to take home every day. Hawks didn't sell well when they were new for some reason, and now they're kind of hard to come by. But when you do, it won't be over four grand (US$) and it will make you glad you ever threw a leg over a bike.

The frame is a production version of the GP proddie racer RS250, complete with stylin' single sided swingarm. Ultrarigid, equipped with a 52 degree v-twin engine with character. No, it doesn't make much horsepower, but check this- three valves per cylinder, twin sparkplugs, and a fine, flat torque curve. But none of that matters when you take it for a spin, and realize that not only would it be a nice bike for a beginner, but a spin through the canyons (Oh God how much I miss the beautiful backroads of the US) and you realize that it would be a fine, challenging mount for the advanced rider.
I took mine out to Trackriders at Willow Springs before I left, and had a wonderful day squirting past more affluent riders (who had obviously never raced) on their ZX-7Rs, 916s, and 900RRs. Passing everyone everywhere, on the brakes because it's so light, in the turns because it's all tires (just look at one from behind and you'll know what I'm talking about), and even on the straights because it allows you to carry a lot of speed you keep building on as you exit a turn. The weaknesses it shows when pushed at racing speeds is the forks, and I've fixed that. And the engine, well, in the real world, how much power can you actually use? It's Honda Civic reliable, even on the mild performance state I've got mine. Sure, what I really want is a Ducati 916 with the full corsa 955 kit, but this I can afford. Better yet, I found one, and it's mine already. Nyah nyah.

I smuggled my Hawk to the Philippines the hard way. Totally disassembled it, and took the frame as check in luggage. I traded in a badly crashed but still well running FJ1200 at Christman's Cycle Recyclers for: 1993 adjustable rebound cartridge style 600F2 forks, complete with brake calipers, F2 rotors, a 900RR adjustable shock, and a pair of 1994 VFR wheels. The front is 3 1/2" wide, which means I can run the best tires from any company, and the rear is 5 inch, which means I can run 170s on the rear. A 180 series tire fits, but it makes the bike feel like it grew a couple of inches longer. I also got the rear axle spindle assembly, which meant I was be able to bolt everything right on, just having to make a spacer for the longer axle and a small bracket for the brake mount.

The bike already had F2 clip-ons, but I'm going to leave my control cables long enough to run the other bars I happen to have lying around, FJ1100 low rise jobbies, complete with massive master brake cylinder and huge steel end weights. Sure, they're not the most sporting things in town, heavy and all, but I think a little stability in the front end and a little rise will be nice around town, especially as the 900RR shock raised the tail a good half inch. The rake still isn't too steep. I'll switch back to the clip-ons for the track.

Of course, the poor dear was obsoleted by the VTR1000, but I love her anyway. The engine is stock, but I got a Two Brothers exhaust with the new oval can and the high durability ceramic silver finish and the Factory Config 10 jet kit. But one day just for fun I fitted an old Ontario full race muffler that makes it obnoxiously loud, just the thing for the brutal streets of Manila. After you look through the attached links, you'll realize that I should have researched the net first and just bought the correct jets, but heck, I don't feel bad about sending a little money to Factory for their tireless efforts developing bikes on a dyno. Anyway, I run it with cheap Uni pod filters because the stock filter is really expensive. I'd like to get K&N's for it, and in any case the intake doesn't matter on this particular bike since the real restriction on intake is the mild cam. Otherwise, I'm a big fan of keeping the factory air box to preserve midrange.

Later I'll flycut the cylinders down a little to raise compression and slot the cams for optimal advance. At that point, I'll do a mild head cleanup, matching ports, etc. I also got a Corbin seat. Since they make each one to order, I asked for a black one with no red piping, and I'm glad I did coz it looks bitchin'. At some point I'll put a nose fairing on it and I'm looking for someone local to make an aluminum gas tank. I'd actually like to try to make a pressurized airbox, but don't hold your breath. Ditto for the aluminum rear subframe. It's a minimal bike, but I found stuff to take off and toss, and the previous owner had already done some of that, hacksawing the bungee rails and taillight stuff right off.

The bike alas has been made totally obsolescent by Honda's VTR1000 and maybe even the Suzuki SV650 but I plan on keeping this one for as long as I live anyway, and I've had a lot of bikes in my day. She's a keeper.

Links to other Hawk pages

Dangit, a ot of the Hawk sites I liked are gone. I took out the links. But here are a couple more

http://www.hawkgt.com/ This one has good links

the Hawk Connection - racing Hawks in the Bay Area and selling hotrod parts to support the habit.

http://www.reish.net/hawk/Personal site with tons of great tech info

And heck, there is a whole honda Hawk Ring

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