Honda Nighthawk Comfort Upgrades

May 26, 2011

1982 Nighthawk 650

So I’ve been using the 1982 Honda Nighthawk for commuting to work this spring and it’s been a lot of fun and pretty damn economical to boot. My daily driver of the four wheeled variety at the moment is a Honda Element, it get’s pretty decent gas mileage, but it still sucks to pull up to the gas pump and see the dollars climb up to $50, the motorcycle on the other hand is roughly $10. It rules.

Now that I’ve had some time to acclimate myself to motorcycle driving there’s two things that I’m definitely going to want to change.

Number one is to add a windshield. It’s fine driving around town without one, but on the highway it kinda sucks. At about 60 I feel like the parachute behind a dragster, the wind would really prefer for me not to be on the back of the motorcycle. It’s doable for my commute, but I get a decent amount of fatigue and It really keeps me from going much faster then 60 mph.

Number two is beef up the seat a bit. Right around 40-50 miles on the bike and I’m ready for a break. The seat itself is pretty soft, it’s a very light foam and it’s thirty years old which doesn’t help. After rider for any sort of significant distance it compresses down to nothing and there might as well not be a seat. I’ve been doing some reading/watching videos and it seems like the best approach might just be to keep the existing seat and modify the foam. Buying a totally new aftermarket seat can be pretty expensive and it’s not tailored specifically to me, building a seat completely from scratch will take some tweaking to get it to match up with the bike properly. Just re-foaming the existing seat will be cheap and I won’t have to fuss a whole lot getting it to match up well with the bike.

I’ll be doing some videos of these two little projects coming up to show you all how it works out.

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