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Honda posted by

Low-Mileage Cult Roadster: 1989 Honda Hawk GT for Sale

Warning!

This post is in our archives. Links in this post have been updated to point to similar bikes available to bid on eBay.

1989 Honda Hawk GT R Side

I’m really shocked there are any Honda Hawk GTs running around still so few miles on them at this point. After all, that’s kind of why you generally buy a Honda, right? So you can ride the hell out of it, without worrying about failing voltage regulators, expensive and frequent valve-adjustments, expensive parts… The bike may look like Honda was trying to create their very own Monster, they way they were trying to beat the 916 at its own game when they released their VTR. Except that the Hawk GT was released in 1988, so it was really more like Miguel Galluzzi saw the Hawk and thought, “What a great idea!” And then proceeded to sex the concept up and use it to save Ducati from financial disaster…

Performance specifications seem pretty tame: a very optimistic 58 horsepower from the 647cc twin, with a top speed of 107mph. But those numbers don’t tell the whole story and the Hawk GT has plenty of Honda racing heritage built in. Designated the RC31, which should give some hint of the bike’s engineering, it also included that very spiffy, Elf-Racing Pro-Arm swingarm. That trick piece is really the only obvious indication of the quality hiding in this modest machine.

1989 Honda Hawk GT Rear

The 52° v-twin may not scream performance, but the smallish displacement kept vibrations to a minimum, and it had liquid cooling and three-valves per cylinder. Power was definitely modest but so was weight. Suspension is a bit budget in stock form, and the bike earns praise today for its nimble handling and stability. If you’re of the “it’s better to ride a slow bike fast” mentality, you’ve found the perfect bike, as the Hawk GT is a simple, lightweight machine that rewards skill and can, in the hands of a good rider, embarrass much faster machinery on a tight canyon road.

This example has just over 4,000 original miles on it and is in completely original condition, although it doesn’t have to stay that way…

1989 Honda Hawk GT L Side

From the original eBay listing: 1989 Honda Hawk GT for Sale

Ill health forces me to sell my original red 1989 Honda Hawk GT650 motorcycle, in excellent condition with very low original mileage. The (desirable) carburetor re-jetting was done by the local Honda dealer. The rear tire has been replaced (due to age of the original). Has original toolkit and manual. Local pickup only.

New, the Hawk GT was a bit of a jack of all trades, master of none, which is a big reason it didn’t sell well here in the USA. But the basic goodness of the package allows you to build it to match your tastes. Want to race it? Bolt on some RC30-styled Airtech fairings, swap in the front-end from a CBR600, and build up the motor a bit. Looking for a canyon-carver? Set up the suspension properly and fit some grippy brake pads. A fun commuter? Fit a windscreen. Or just leave it alone. But above all: ride it. These are unlikely to be especially valuable for a while yet and it seems a shame to let one of these sit when it could be out there, doing what it does best: a little bit of everything.

-tad

4 Comments

  • I owned a Hawk GT for nearly 20 years and did plenty to it – clip-ons, RC31 fairing kit, Racetech fork springs, 900RR rear shock, jet kit, pod filters, braided lines… great little bike. But I had bought a Ducati 900SS/SP that did the same things as the Hawk, only with 30+ more horsepower… so I sold the Hawk GT and used the money to buy the nice first-year-production Yamaha R1 I always wanted, about as different from a Hawk GT as you can get. Nice to see this Hawk for sale, hope it goes to a good home.

  • That is a very fair price for a gorgeous stock Hawk. I love mine, just wish I had bought it sooner. Sure it would be nice to have another 20-30 hp, but that is not what the bike is about. With some suspension work and decent tires (maybe the VFR rear wheel conversion) they are incredibly fun to ride in the twisties. The only part on the Hawk that has not aged well are the stock ’80s look tri spoke wheels that remind me of a Pontiac Grand Am. Swap those out and the Hawk looks almost modern.

  • Cooler than anything (under $100 K) Honda makes today.

    You killed those wheels for me love2lean.

    • Sorry there NOH2OH

      its an easy swap to VFR wheels though. plenty of them out there cheap and all you need is a hub conversion. The 8 spoker from a ’90-’92 VFR 750 looks really nice. I just went with a 5 spoke from a ’98-’08 for mine.

      or if you want to stay with the single nut (like RC30/45) there are plenty of used Dymags and Marchesinis out there floating around in ebay land as well.

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