The seller of today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Honda has taken a ‘City Bike’ and turned it into a country adventurer. Could that incongruous combination add up to a great deal?
Unsurprisingly, yesterday’s 2016 Ford Focus “ST” sedan garnered some well-earned skepticism. Dodgy in the details, and a bit rough around the edges, that intriguing concept couldn’t pull off its $12,900 asking. Not with the added issue of a salvage title haunting it it couldn’t. That was the assertion of the 89 percent of you who focused in and awarded the car an undeniable Crack Pipe loss.
Do you have a motorcycle operator’s permit? If so, and if you took any one of a number of MSF rider schools in preparation for the practical portion of the licensing test, then you may well be very familiar with the Honda CB250. That’s because the little Nighthawk had been, for years it seems, the de facto bike for casting off your training wheels.
Some say that the CB in the CB250’s name stands for ‘City Bike.” Others claim it to mean chokusetsu baiku or “personal motorcycle.” Either way, the CB250 Nighthawk, with its accessible 29.7-inch saddle height and modest 20 horsepower is a perfect learner’s bike and great for easy maneuverability around town. The small engine ensures that you can’t get in too much two-wheel trouble either. Being a Honda, you can bet that it also wouldn’t let you down.
This 1994 CB250 Nighthawk is something a little different from the parking lot circling cavalcade of trainers you’ve no doubt passed on a Saturday afternoon. This one has been modded into a modest adventure bike, and according to the ad has been used as such accordingly.
First off, a little more about the bike and that name. You might think that the 250 portion of the Nighthawk’s cognomen refers to the displacement of its air-cooled stand-up twin, and you would be close. The actual displacement is 234ccs but of course, CB234 doesn’t sound as cool.
The engine may be small but by Honda’s thinking it still warranted an electric starter. Other aspects of the bike are a little more primitive. The gearbox has but five cogs in it, final drive is via a chain, and braking on the U.S. model is accomplished via mechanical drums. Those latter require planning when coming to a stop, perhaps even warranting mapping out all the stop signs on your intended route before you set off on a trek.
So it’s small and it’s City, how much adventure could a Nighthawk truly offer? Well, on top of those solid but modest specs, this bike has had added a set of semi-aggressive fat knobbies, gaiters over the front forks, a small load platform on the back, and a protective screen on the headlight.
Oh and there’s a set of fiberglass-wrapped straight pipes exiting the little twin and dumping just below the rider’s heels as well.
The seller says that custom exhaust makes it sound like a bigger bike but I’m going to guess that in this case “bigger bike” is a euphemism meaning “loud as hell.” The ad notes that the bike can do 80 which means you can get to the back roads pretty quickly as long as you can put up with the noise. It’s said to offer decent ground clearance for so low a saddle and perhaps those cut off exahusts help there. Just don’t plan on fording any waist-deep rivers on the thing.
No mileage is given but the title is clean and while the engine does look a little beat-on it’s likely got plenty of life left in it. The rusty rear shocks may have less than that though.
The asking price for this Donny & Marie Bike is $1,600, and while you could buy any number of Nighthawks these days since the bike was in production for fully 26 years, you’re unlikely to find one that has gone half-feral as has this one.
The question now is whether anyone should spend that $1,600 asking to start a new adventure. What do you think, is this modded Nighthawk worth that much? Or, for that much cash is this a CB that’s not at all a good buddy?
H/T to FauxShizzle for the hookup!
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