Yes – the Binary Biker finally has a new ride. Just in time for Daytona Bike Week 2012!
My old ride, the 1992 Honda Nighthawk CB750 has served me well. It has seen me through the toughest phases of my life, but she was a small bike and after my ride to Kentucky and back, I realized I needed a bigger bike for the long rides I planned to take. The itch to get a new bike has been under my skin for months now, but it was an itch I was reluctant to scratch. I couldn’t make up my mind on what I wanted and, honestly, I was not comfortable dropping a lot of coin on a bike right now. I’ve got a new job, a son about to start college, and I need to get a new house soon – it would be irresponsible to spend money on a brand new ride.
I have a buddy named Eric; we’ve known each other for nearly a decade, and have ridden many times together. His ride was a 2004 Kawasaki Vulcan Classic 1500. Over the years, with the birth of his daughter and other shifting priorities, he has stopped riding. I’ve known this for a long time and have been politely reminding him every few months that if he ever wanted to sell his bike, I would be more than happy to consider buying the bike.
Apparently I finally wore him down. Last week he named a price and told me he was looking to sell his bike. He wanted to reclaim garage space and the bike had sat idle for the better part of a year with only the occasional firing up. I looked for a stick to beat the price with, couldn’t find one, and readily agreed to his terms.
I made a deal with good friend Brock to buy the Nighthawk. He’s going to work with his daughter to turn it into a sweet Bobber, like the one pictured here. Yes, that bike you see is Honda Nighthawk. He’s got big plans for the Nighthawk and I can’t wait to see how she turns out when he is done.
In fact, he has mentioned that he may be willing sell me back the Nighthawk when he is done, because he really just wants to mod the bike, not keep it forever.
I’m seriously considering that. If the Nighthawk could be made into what you see to the left, I would definitely be interested in getting her back.
Before I could sell the Nighthawk to Brock, though, I had to achieve one last milestone on her. A few years ago, at the very beginning of some major personal issues in my life, I rolled 10,000 miles on the Nighthawk with my other really good friend, Big Bad John. I have always, in my mind, associated that milestone with some negative images in my life. I had to roll 20,000 miles before I sold her. I took the Nighthawk out earlier in the week and rode her until I hit the magical milestone, and I sighed in relief. This milestone marks one of the best times in my life, not the worst like the last milestone. It’s a purely symbolic gesture, but it means a lot to me to have done it.
Milestone achieved, I sold the bike to Brock and financed my purchase of the Vulcan from Eric. Win/win for everyone! The Vulcan is a great bike. She’s a 2004 with 15k miles on her, custom Vance&Hines pipes that are LOUD, and a great classic look and styling. She rides great, looks great, and is just all-around cool.
Because she had sat so long, the carbs were all gummed up. I rode her over to Brock’s house, because he has a garage, and we stripped her down and cleaned the carbs. It was a dirty process and I was surprised when we got her stripped down how small the carbs were compared with the size of the bike. I’m going to have to upgrade sometime for more power I suspect.
The carbs were pretty dirty and took a while to clean. We left out a piece when we put her back together again, so she was running rich, stalling, and blowing black smoke and flames from the pipes. We found the missing part and got her back together again.
Honestly, Brock did all the work and I held screws and lights. I’m not very adept at bike mechanics, which is why I always take my bike to the shop. Brock, however, has taken apart hundreds of carbs and this was right up his alley. Now the Vulcan rides like a dream, sounds great, and is just about ready for Daytona Bike Week 2012.
Now all we have left to do is change the oil, plugs, and shine her up for Bike Week.
Carey has already told me that she wants a sissy bar on the back for when she rides. I will try to look for one this weekend at Bike Week. I am very excited to own this bike. I have been planning for years to meet my best friend Ron at Sturgis on year – now I finally have a bike that can make the trip!