How Long Do Honda Nighthawks Last? 6 Examples

Honda released the Nighthawk at the end of 1969 and created a frenzy that never died.

The original Nighthawk, also called the CB750, is history’s first inline four-cylinder and created a new standard for high RPMs.

The Honda Nighthawk could refer to any CB cafe racer models released between the 70s or 90s; there is a slew of used NightHawks available, but how long do Honda NightHawks last? Let’s find out!

Here’s the short answer to how long a Honda NightHawk lasts:

A Honda NightHawk can last for well past 60,000 miles if the owner maintains it per Honda’s spec service schedule, stores it out of corrosive weather, and rides it frequently. Used per Honda’s specifications, NightHawks have provided 40+ years of riding and still run.

How Many Miles Do You Get on a Honda NightHawk?

A Honda NightHawk can offer over 60,000 miles if it’s serviced, stored, and ridden within reason. Some nighthawks have been on the road since 1983 with over 50,000 miles on them that still run.

Don’t just abide by our gossip on the subject; here are a few instances of high mile Honda NightHawks:

  1. My “ole” Blackie CB650sc has 42K on the clock. Rescues from certain oom in the back of an old guys’ garage where it had been rotting for who knows how long. It was totally stored incorrectly and parked with many minor issues, to begin with. This bike came back to life with more time than money. I tinkered with it for a couple of months, very part-time, serviced it, straightened out the steering, changed the filters and all fluids. Replaced a couple of missing bolts and a headlight retainer for less than 200 bucks. Runs excellent. Honda has been building the CB forever. I have owned five at different stages of my life, some twins, mostly fours, from new to ancient, and all have performed well.

  2. Yep, My 84 has 46,000 tics on her, still going strong. The Honda inline 4’s are darn near bulletproof. Doesn’t use any oil hapdude2.

  3. 40k on my 1983 650. No problems after the stator and R/R were replaced.

  4. My ’92 750 has 49k miles on it. Slight head cover gasket weeping but runs great.

  5. Has always started and can’t make a single complaint about the durability of the Nighthawk. 52k on mine sits outside year-round and has been wrecked twice, to my knowledge. Once by me when a car turned left in front of me and once by the previous owner.

  6. There’s a guy on the CB750 yahoo group that has one with 100K miles on it. Mine runs like a champ, has plenty of pull, and is coming up on 20 years of life. I’ve got 34K on mine, and it does seem to sip a little oil, but I also have had a small leak for a while.

There you have it, real-life examples of high-mile Nighthawks. Keep in mind that many of the owners exampled above likely kept strict maintenance habits. We’ll cover more on ways to keep your Nighthawk lasting long later—read on!

What Is Considered High Mileage for These Models?

The used market considers the Blue Book resale value, not the bike’s longevity. Forty thousand miles is regarded as high mileage for a Honda Nighthawk. A well-kept Nighthawk will last well over 60,000 miles, but the used market assumes all starter bikes are ridden rough and worn by 40,000 miles. 

High mileage only counts if the Nighthawk you’re viewing lacks maintenance logs or if the classic Honda cafe racer has been passed around from beginner to newbie.

  • High mileage on a Hawk that’s been the starter bike of numerous untried riders; prospects are a bunch of novices beat it up for miles and miles.
  • A Nighthawk regarded as having high mileage differs from a Nighthawk with a short lifespan.
  • The life of a Honda Nighthawk has more to do with aspects like how the previous moto-maniac maintained the bike than how many miles it’s been ridden.

The used market may assume a Honda Nighthawk with 40k on its odometer is “high mileage.”

That said, if it’s been taken to the shop or maintained with an upkeep routine and stored out of corrosive weather and ridden within its intended function, that “high mileage” Nighthawk has plenty of life left and could be a good deal.

Adversely, a Nighthawk with only 15,000 miles on the clock might be more expensive and considered low mileage. Still, if its prior owners were four different rookies who took turns dropping, redlining, stalling, stunting, and racing, it might have had less life left.

How Many Years Does a Honda CB Nighthawk Typically Last?

A Honda Nighthawk can last for 40 years if serviced per the Honda spec schedule in the owner’s manual and stored away from corrosive environments. The Nighthawk is a naked cafe commuter. The average cafe is ridden 4,000 miles a year, and there are Nighthawks on the road with over 100,000 miles.

That said, various aspects influence the longevity of a Nighthawk for both better and worse. 

Some of the indications a Honda Nighthawk won’t last for as many years as it should are:

  1. The Hawk was kept or pushed hard in severe weather like snow, humidity, scorching heat, and cold. 
  2. The cafe racer’s prior owner failed to stick to Honda’s Nighthawk-specific upkeep timetable
  3. The Hawk was dropped or redlined frequently or pushed hard during the break-in term. 

More than one of these facets of longevity is owner-influenced, as you may have noticed. 

You may not cause the climate, but if you’re exposing your Nighthawk to harsh weather states like keeping it outside uncovered in the snow or idling it in gridlock on damp hot days, you’re provoking rapid disintegration on some pretty vital components. 

  • You might see deterioration manifest as melted bar grips or sun/rain impairment on your paint.
  • If you constantly keep your Hawk outside exposed, you might notice some gaskets wearing out, curbing the motor’s vitality.
  • Adhering to the recommended upkeep program in the owner’s manual and tending to your machine are two effective and ideal ways to boost the amount of years your Nighthawk will live. 

Not only does routine upkeep support motor lubrication and cooling, but a portion of the service is also examination.

During routine examinations, you can replace your NightHawk’s weather-worn parts before they pose a hazard to its longevity. 

Maintaining regular machine maintenance, either on your own or via the Honda-literate mechanics, is an effective method to retain your Nighthawk for another decade of dependable riding.

The first routine service measure is an oil and oil filter change, but a genuine service doesn’t end there. 

Checking, cleaning, or replacing your Nighthawk’s air filter is the following vital measure, and it’s a straightforward task to do yourself that will assist in expanding your Hawk’s life even longer than that extra decade. 

Unfortunately, some Nighthawk owners think bike upkeep stops there. The owner’s manual outlines crucial components to be serviced and examined to ensure your bike lives out its entire life!

Related: 7 Most-Common Problems With Honda VT700

Is the Honda Nighthawk Reliable?

The Honda Nighthawk is reliable as long as it’s well kept. Its inline four-cylinder motor was one of the most influential designs in motorcycle history, setting a new standard for reliability, longevity, and high-revving power delivery.  

Since its motor is created for revving high, it can push as hard as you want to fly without compromising its legendary dependable performance. 

The Nighthawk is a reliable motorcycle from motor performance to braking power to clutch action.

Again, this is one of the most influential engine designs in history. Some of the biggest brands still make motos like this, not just because of its longevity, but because it’s easy to work on and dependable enough to stay on the road and out of the ship for the majority of the 40+ years some of these machines have been out on the road.

Related: 4 Most-Common Problems With Honda Deauville

Does a Honda Nighthawk Last Longer Than Other Motorcycles?

The Honda Nighthawk lasts longer than other cafe racers because of its motor. Its inline four-cylinder was engineered to rev higher than anything before it. As cafe riding has become more commuter style and less aggressive, the engine’s overqualification makes the Nighthawk last longer than other vintage cafes.

Ride a Nighthawk, and you can feel the edge over other bikes in its category right away. 

The power delivery in the Nighthawk is more readily available than anything else from 1969, that’s for sure.  

A high-revving power delivery helps the Nighthawk’s motor never to overwork itself, fortifying its ability to last longer than its contemporary vintage cafes from over the years.

What Typically Breaks First on a Honda Nighthawk?

The first thing to break on a Honda Nighthawk is its chain, as the vintage chains equipped on old Nighthawks kink or wear over time.

A Honda Nighthawks chain can get damaged:

  • If your Nighthawk’s chain isn’t serviced per the Honda spec timetable
  • If the chain wasn’t adequately adjusted or lubed sufficiently
  • If the rear axle isn’t tautened enough

Note: Harsh weather rusts and deteriorates chains on all bikes over time. Replacing your chain is part of common bike ownership.

Related: 5 Most-Common Problems With Honda Nighthawk

4 Great Tips to Make Sure Your Honda Nighthawk Will Last Long

Here are tips to ensure your NightHawk lasts longer:

1. Adjust Your Valves Per Spec

The Honda Nighthawk’s inline four-cylinder powerhouse of a motor can last a long time if you adjust its valves during every service. Sometimes, they’ll need to be changed.

Failure to adapt your Nighthawk valves will reduce the bike’s performance, burn your valves, and cause engine failure. 

2. Replace Oil & Filter Frequently

Expand your Nighthawk’s life well beyond the high-mile mark by changing your oil and oil filter per the upkeep timetable in the bike’s owner’s manual. Change your oil even more often if you ride in dusty weather, sit in traffic, or ride short distances where the moto doesn’t have time to heat up before you kill the engine.

3. Clean the Air Filter Frequently

Maintaining your air filter by cleaning or replacing it does more for your Nighthawk, giving it a snappy throttle response; it keeps dirt, grit, and grime out of your engine and keeps the bike on the road for years.

4. Maintain Tire Pressure and Condition

Tires are essential to more than just rider security. Tires wear from use, and their condition declines over time. Riding on them past the wear line impacts motor life; so does riding your Hawk at improper PSI. The tires on your Nighthawk need to be to true spec for your bike to function as it’s designed to.

Bring a tire gauge and maintain your NightHawk’s tires PSI to spec, replacing them before they’re worn past a hazardous point to keep your Nighthawk running correctly, thereby prolonging its vitality.

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