Here’s a poster that was on my bedroom wall for many years. I recently found it in the basement, let’s look at the great Honda motorcycles available in 1984 Canada.
I spent the summer of 1984 on my uncle’s farm near Chatham Ontario. One weekend my cousin brought me to Honda House, at that time a combined motorcycle/car dealership and we each picked up a copy of this brochure.
Here’s the small bike page. Like many, the first motorcycle I ever rode was a Honda Z50. My cousin had one on the farm although it was a 1971 model in very poor shape. Just like this one here (although much worse):
Looking at this photo reminds me that those heat shields were missing from the exhaust pipe, and I badly burned the inside of my calf a couple of times while riding.
After it quit running my cousin sent it to me, I took it apart and found a burned exhaust valve. My dad bought me a new valve and piston rings. I just put them in and reassembled the motor, not knowing about ring gapping or valve lapping and it ran just fine. That sort of set the pattern for fixing old Hondas, just repair what was obviously broken, set what was modified back to stock and they would run perfectly.
Also on that page is the 450 Nighthawk, my first real motorcycle that I wrote about here, Mrs DougD’s first bike was a CM450 and she later had a fantastic 500 Interceptor that I wrote about here. My friend Bill had a 500 Shadow for many years and it gets a mention and a photo in this article. None of those bikes gave us much grief at all, and even on the Interceptor once problems were fixed they stayed fixed.
On to the large street motorcycles. Having had a CX500 SilverWing for a couple of years that we rode to Kelowna in this post, I tried to buy the improved CX650E Eurosport at one point. It’s a rare machine, and I couldn’t find one in good condition.
I never owned any of the really big displacement bikes here, although I once looked at a V65 Magna that was for sale. The owner had painted a Trans Am screaming chicken on the tank with a brush, spray painted the wheels gold, and upholstered the seat with real mink fur! None of this was mentioned in the ad, and the owner was quite proud of his creation so the nicest thing I could say was “It certainly is furry.” Needless to say I didn’t buy it.
This generation of Gold Wing are the last ones that look like motorcycles to me, after 1986 they reminded me more of 2 wheeled diesel locomotives. I did have a 1978 Gold Wing for about 6 months, complete with ugly Windjammer fairing.
Unlike all my other Hondas it defied fixing, everything was broken and worn out.
Fixing the initial problems just revealed the next set of problems, and then the next, and the next. Eventually I gave up and sold it at a loss.
This is the one I should have kept, the Nighthawk S. Note that we Canadians got 750cc whilst Americans got only 700cc due to protectionist tariffs. This was a GREAT motorcycle, shaft drive and hydraulic lifters made it virtually maintenance free, it was large enough to be comfortable and sporty enough to carve up a twisty road.
This is the bike I rode on my second trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway with my friend Bill, although by that time he had a CBR929 sportbike and I still had the slower machine. Despite being 16 years old it was in fine original shape, with low kilometres, original mufflers and seat cover. It even had an LCD display to tell me what gear it was in. The only issue was that there weren’t a lot of tires available for it due to the tiny 16″ front rim.
Despite my enjoyment I sold it when the kids were young, I had no time to ride and the money was more useful elsewhere.
I don’t have much experience with anything here, my generally suburban existence hasn’t given me much opportunity to ride off road. I did get to ride a 200cc three wheeler once, like most motorcycle riders I found the handling extremely spooky.
Two wheel riders like me also tended to put their foot down in a corner, where the rear tire might catch it and you could run yourself over. The owner had heavily cautioned me against this so I did not pull that embarrassing maneuver.
I sure had a lot of good experiences with 1980’s Honda products, after all this time I would still like a CX650E or a Nighthawk S again. Are there any here that you know and love too?
Here’s the links to my other posts with motorcycles seen here: