Posts by tag: Super Hawk

Honda April 7, 2020 posted by

Affordable Twin: 1998 Honda VTR1000F Super Hawk for Sale

By the late 1990s, Ducati’s success in production-based racing and general iconic-ness meant a new emphasis on v-twins for many manufacturers. It helps that a v-twin package makes for a great roadbike, with flexible midrange torque and lots of character at any speed. As a bonus a v-twin just sounds like a motorcycle. With 916-level specifications and a price that was lower than a Ducati 900SS, the Honda VTR1000F Super Hawk, or “Firestorm” in some markets, should have been a hot seller. But anonymous looks, road-biased handling, and a few annoying quirks combined to make Honda’s “Ducati-killer” a bit of a miss. Everything about the VTR1000F looked great on paper: a 996cc 90° v-twin with liquid-cooling and four valves per cylinder, lightweight aluminum beam frame, and adjustable suspension certainly fit the bill. Side-mounted radiators looked trick and were supposedly more efficient than a traditional unit. They probably also helped keep the wheelbase short, something that can be tricky on transverse twins like this one, but the location also made them a bit of a liability in a crash. Cam-chain tensioners were supposedly a weak spot, but the engine is generally blessed with the expected Honda-levels of reliability.

So what went wrong? The specifications may have been impressive, but power wasn’t quite up to Ducati 996 levels, and handling wasn’t even as good as the 900SS. At 423 claimed pounds, it was light enough, but the bike was really never designed to be a serious sportbike: the frame was light and had flex tuned into it to provide great feedback on the road, but it was too willowy for serious track use, let alone racing. I read an article years ago about a British privateer team trying to race a VTR1000F, back before the SP-1 was released, and their biggest challenge was stiffening that frame. A pair of carburetors may have seemed pretty retro in 1998, but the big mixers meant great fueling for the twin. Unfortunately, they also meant pretty poor gas mileage and limited range: the thirsty Super Hawk got less than 30mpg and a 4.2 gallon tank meant no more than 130 miles between fillups, with the reserve light staring you in the face at around 100 miles. Bikes from 2001 and beyond had a larger 5 gallon tank, but it still didn’t really qualify as a sport-tourer, in spite of all-day comfort from the reasonable ergonomics.

It may not have been a serious sportbike, but it was a pretty great motorcycle for anyone looking for a versatile street machine. Handsome and competent, without being particularly pretty or even distinctive, it’s been largely forgotten today. Launched at almost the same time as Suzuki’s TL1000S, it was probably a better bike, but the widowmaker Zook stole all of Honda’s thunder and was generally much more exciting, owing to it’s sometimes wayward handling and wheelie-prone character. It’s a shame because, limited range and bland looks aside, it doesn’t have any real vices.

From the original eBay listing: 1998 Honda VTR1000F Super Hawk for Sale

Honda Super Hawk . This is a VTR1000 Superhawk v-twin. The bike looks, and runs great. This is Honda`s version of a Ducati without all the trouble, and expense, and much more comfortable. Bike has low miles with lots of extras, and everything is ready to go. Had to relist due to a Scam buyer. Shipping is the buyers responsibility. I will help load. 1/2 hour NE of Louisville, 1 hour SW of Cincinnati.

It’d be nice if the seller actually went into details about what “lots of extras” means. I see aftermarket levers, reservoir caps, signals, fender eliminator, polished wheels, and maybe an aftermarket seat. Most of it seems of average quality, but your mileage may vary. All-in-all, it looks pretty nice and it can all be reversed, if you want more originality. With 15,800 miles on the odometer and an asking price of $3,199 you’re certainly getting a lot of bike for the money, something that’s characterful and pretty unusual, as long as you don’t mind stopping for gas more often…

-tad

Affordable Twin: 1998 Honda VTR1000F Super Hawk for Sale
Honda June 8, 2017 posted by

Super Low-Mileage Super Hawk: 1998 Honda VTR1000F For Sale

In the mid-1990s when Ducati was dominating World Superbike racing and the all-important bedroom-wall-fantasy-poster competition, it seemed like everybody wanted to get into the v-twin market and “beat Ducati at its own game.” It shouldn’t have been that hard, right? I mean, Ducati made fast bikes, but part of why they were so successful in WSB could be dismissed as them simply exploiting rules that gave an advantage to v-twin motorcycles: obviously, 750cc twins can’t compete directly with 750cc inline fours in terms of outright power, and the rules allowed a displacement advantage to keep racing relatively equal. But it wasn’t as easy as all that, and the short-lived competitors to the Bolognese twins like the Suzuki TL1000R/S and Honda VTR1000F Super Hawk are proof of that.

On paper, it looked like a recipe for success: the Super Hawk was powered by a 996cc 90° v-twin that featured liquid-cooling and four valves per cylinder, so it really was closer in spec to Ducati’s 916 but priced closer to their air-cooled 900SS. The half-fairing resembled the Super Sport as well, although the slick side-mounted radiators made it clear this was an altogether more sophisticated machine and of course it used an aluminum beam frame instead of Ducati’s signature trellis.

But the problem was a distinct lack of focus: where the 916 was an uncompromising racing machine barely tamed for the road, the VT1000F was much more road-biased. Back when these were new, before Honda introduced the much more aggressive SP1 and SP2, folks did try to take the Super Hawk racing, but it was never really designed for that. The frame was designed to allow controlled flex for better roadholding while cranked over, but it was a bit too limp for racetrack use without significant modification.

Of course, the fact that the Honda Super Hawk wasn’t a big sales success doesn’t in any way mean it was a bad bike. In fact it was a pretty great bike, aside from the bland styling and stupidly small fuel tank that combined with mediocre mileage to limit range. Fit a set of aftermarket exhausts or run it dead stock, strap a jerrycan to the passenger seat, and just ride the wheels off it! Of course, the big selling point of today’s machine is the incredible time-capsule condition, sporting a showroom-new 355 original miles, so this is either a great opportunity for a collector, or for someone who regrets not buying one new and wants to rectify that error now…

From the original eBay listing: 1998 Honda VTR1000F Super Hawk for Sale

Here is your chance to buy a new bike at a used bike price. I have for auction a 1998 Honda VTR1000F Super hawk, with only 355 total miles! Bike was ridden by the original owner for just a few hundred miles, then stored in his living room. Bike is in excellent condition, with only a few minor scratches (as pictured). New battery, with carbs and tank inspected and it runs great.

Part of the appeal of the Super Hawk is the famed Honda reliability and the Honda practicality, so it’s a shame about that tiny tank, but considering the low prices these have been commanding for years, you’re still looking at a lot of bike for the money. You might not get Ducati looks, but you get throaty v-twin sounds, excellent road-biased handling, decent comfort, and good reliability. This is a no reserve auction and bidding is pretty low so far, but active and creeping steadily upwards so I’ll be curious to see where the bidding stops.

-tad

Super Low-Mileage Super Hawk: 1998 Honda VTR1000F For Sale
Honda June 16, 2016 posted by

Call and Response – 1999 Honda VTR1000F Superhawk

Honda’s entry into the sporty twin market was torquey and innovative, with Honda’s reputation for reliability.  Though the model fell short in race breeding and wasn’t long-lived, it had moderate ergonomics, nicely tuned suspension, and masterful big twin carburetion.  The VTR1000F  lives on as a great used sportbike, this example is lightly customized and very clean.

20160616 1999 honda vtr1000f left

1999 Honda VTR1000F for sale on eBay

20160616 1999 honda vtr1000f right

20160616 1999 honda vtr1000f left front

With some nifty ideas like connecting rods with cap screws that saved a nut, and a few category-smashing specs like the 48mm carburetors, the VTR’s 996 cc’s made 110 hp.  Another head-scratcher – Honda used different cams and intake manifolds for each cylinder, helping the engine make 71.5 ft.-lbs. torque.  The chassis was also a new design, with the engine and fully stressed member and swingarm pivots cast into the crankcase.  Not so much new in the cartridge suspension and disc brake departments, but the bike tested as an able middleweight handler.  The sport fairing uses the usual air intake behind the front wheel, but ducts air to radiators mounted in the side panels.  The single seat fairing has a nice removable cover for the passenger seat.

20160616 1999 honda vtr1000f right front

20160616 1999 honda vtr1000f left rear

With nearly 20,000 miles, this VTR looks very good – the frame and some brackets have been polished and wheels plated.  Polished mufflers are from Jardine, and signals have been reduced in size.  The boulevard / drag strip look may not be everyone’s style but it’s under control and the immaculate presentation will be appreciated.  From the eBay auction:

Honda’s answer to the Ducati 999.  SuperHawk Firestorm.   48mm Jetted and Tuned Carb.  Largest Honda has put on any motorcycle. Jardine RT1 dual exhaust.  Polished frame, Triple Chromed Wheels, New Chain, New Service and tune up.

This was purchased from a private collection, and 100% ready to ride anywhere.  This is the bike to have.

20160616 1999 honda vtr1000f right rear

European design, Honda dependability with V Twin torque and power.

This is the bike for the serious rider, a true collector’s bike.

20160616 1999 honda vtr1000f left front

20160616 1999 honda vtr1000f binnacle

Not exactly a 999 equivalent, but a willing mount for start or a rider on a budget.  Though the VTR was a sidelight to Honda’s straight fours, they threw a lot of engineering at it, resulting in possibly the big twin with the fewest ridability issues.  New tires might in the near future, but seeming maintained otherwise and ready to ride.  And while the buy-it-now might be a little proud, this sharp light-custom should attract the opener at least…

-donn

20160616 1999 honda vtr1000f cockpit

Call and Response – 1999 Honda VTR1000F Superhawk
Ducati September 15, 2012 posted by

Catching up with ClassicSportBikesForSale.com (Trident Legend, CB77, 860GT)

Hey guys,

Here are a few bikes that we posted over at our sister site, Classic SportBikes For Sale. Enjoy your weekend and ride while you still can this season!

dc

First up is this LP Williams 1976 Triumph Trident Legend. Current bid of $15,100 has not met reserve at the buy-it-now is $25k with a day and a half remaining. Live Auction | Our Post

LP Williams 1976 Triumph Trident Legend for sale


This 1964 Honda CB77 Super Hawk has about 2 hours left on the auction. Current bid of $3150 has not met reserve and the buy-it-now shows $6200. Live Auction | Our Post

1964 Honda CB77 Super Hawk for sale


Finally this 1976 Ducati 860GT Hailwood Replica available in Portland, Oregon for $6k.

Ducati 860GT Replica for sale

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