A Beautifully Modded 1988 Honda Hawk. Another Honda that was just a wee bit ahead of it’s time.

Edit:it’s an 88 (obviously) and not a 98.
This is a really excellent example of the potential that these bike came with. I still scratch my head how a bike like this went out of production in the US just a few years before the very similar SV650 took us by storm. And this one has been really well done up. I can in fact testify that 64HP in a bike this light is the sort of fun that’s hard to to explain to a 200 hp generation. But it’s real.

Hello. I have been following your web site for quite awhile now and own a few bikes myself. I have a friend that bought a 1988 Honda Hawk a few years ago and has done a ton of work on it making it into a very nice up to date ride for 2011. I think it would really make his year to have his bike and the work he has done shown on your website. It will also be a nice surprise seeing it on your web site. Here is several pics of his bike from where it started to where it is now. I will also list some of the changes he has made.

The changes he has made and additions include. Stock front forks with Racetech springs, Race Tech Gold Valve Emulators, All Balls steering head bearings kit, K & L fork seals, and All balls front wheel bearings kit, Steve Lenac Brake kit (bracket/6 pot caliper/Pro Lite floating race rotor), EBC HH brake pads, Stainless steel brake lines front and rear through the swingarm, Motion pro throttle and clutch cables, Penske 8983 Triple shock, 3.0 Jet kit, Pod Filters, Polished heads, New carb boots, rebuilt carbs and dyno’d at 64hp., Mikuni vacuum fuel pump with custom mikuni mount above the rear valve cover, Full M4 Titanium High Race Exhaust system, KOSO RX2N Gauge, Aztec8 5 3/4″ dual headlights, Eastern Beaver wiring harness, Vortex Clipons and bars, CRG Lane splitting mirrors and levers, VLED Red 92 Brakelight bulbs, Buell Traction Grips, Buell Blinkers, F3 front rim, vfr 5 spoke 5 1/2inch rear wheel, lightened rear rotor, many parts powdercoated, body work custom painted, and many other custom made parts he had made.
Here is a few when he first got it.
And a few during the build process.
He had set it up this way about 6 months ago with the low mount m4 exhaust and quite a few less parts than he has now…

Here is some of the latest photos after all the work has been done. He told me he is going to do more things to it, but here it is now.

Here we have a fe of the finished product:

A few from the build process:

And here’s the Before Pic. Not bad really:



    1. Wow, this was a nice surprise seeing it on here with all the very sexy bikes that are posted up on this website, A friend told me they submitted it to a website, but I didnt know which one. Thanks for posting it up and noticing and an honor to be seen as a bike worthy of posting on this website. It has been a fun project and there is still more things in the plans for the future. Alot of thanks goes to the wonderful friends who I consider my extended family at the HawkGTForum.com for all their help with info and making of alot of the custom parts on the bike.

      Also, I notice the headline is a bit off. The bike is a 1988, not 1998.

  1. I don’t know who wrote the article, but it is no mystery why the Hawk went out of production..none the less, those of us that really ride our Hawk machines do know why we like them..
    Jason has a fine Hawk..It runs well and is a great looker from any angle or distance..Well done Jas.

  2. Hey Howard I’d be interested to know what went wrong with them. I remember when they came out and I was flat out in love with the thing but I was a starving student at the time. I had a few riding buddies over the years who raced them very successfully. Like I said what are the major differences between these bikes and the SV650’s. They seem to be at least the same class of bikes. Was it a lack of support issue or…?? I really AM sort of mystified.

    Inquiring minds want to know πŸ™‚ Thanks?

  3. THe hawk went out of production because you could get a shiny new full fairing CBR with almost twice the hp ror close to the same cost. People had trouble buying the naked comuter bike over the CBR so none sold.

    I have taken down many, many sv650s on my hawk at race tracks all over the country and I will continue to do do as long as mu body puts up with it.

    Congrats Jason, your bike is top notch.

  4. Jas buddy, there you are showing off your blingy GPS again. Glad to see your bike posted up in a new location. I’d like to see Honda come up with a proper, modern day homage to the Hawk and the heritage it deserves. I know we all love our Hawks and I think it would be a neat idea that I think even Honda could profit from.

  5. Rob I think Honda is long overdue for a bike like you mention. The small hornet 600 was a pretty nice try. My worry with Honda is that they’d go down the “way too high tech” road they’re so fond of sometimes and price it out of the market again.

    1. I am 50/50 ont he remake of the Hawk. part of me thing is would be cool but another part of me like the mytique that the Hawk actually has and left as is. I also feel like if they did come up with a new version that the engineers would just screw it up and not really make it what hawk owners love so much in the bikes, but make it what the younger generation riders want in their bikes like a tubed frame, etc. The hawk frame and swingarm is what I like about the hawk and what I think gives it its sex appeal.

  6. I owned one of these back in the day. The motor is shite, and has no guts. A strong wind coming of the Rockies would have it practically standing still. Sorry too many memories of crap suspension, and weazie motor. Honda bland.

    1. Doug, you must have got a a dud for a hawk, because most hawk owners will tell ya that the hawk motor will tear it up in the twisties. Sure, they dont have the hp that todays modern bikes have as stock hawks have about 49hp. With alittle carb work, pod filters, and the right exhaust you can get the hp up. Avarage with that is about 54hp, but some have gotten higher. I got 64hp with mine. For those that build their motor they have acchieved an average of about 70hp and some as alittle above 80hp.
      They arent heavy bikes and as far as the shock it was like a pogo stick shock, thus why everyone upgrades their shock like I did with the Penske 8983 race shock. That goes the same with the forks, Some do as I did and use the stock forks, race tech springs (or progressive) and Gold valve emulators. Most of those like myself that use stock forks also use a brake kit for the front that was designed by the late Steve Lenac (RIP) that uses a Pro Lite race rotor, with a bracket that holds a 6 pot tokico caliper. With that brakes setup and add the F2 front rim with the 120 front tire and not the skinny stock hawk front tire and the hawk stops on a dime with one finger braking. Also, many will upgrade their entire front end by using Ducati, F2, F3, MV Augusta and a few Buell front ends, with some modding of course.
      I guess in all the hawk doesnt suit everyone, but for us that do appreciate and love the hawk we see it as a work of art and a bike way ahead of its time. For those of us who have chosen to modify our hawks we see it as one of the best blank canvases to start with. The hawk frame and swingarm are one of the sexiest things ever put on a 2 wheeled machine.

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