oldies but goodies


Nov 19, 2011
Have you had a motorcycle, no matter how long ago, that you fondly remember? You probably had several bikes over the years, personally I had at least fourty (I'm in my fifties), most of them I bought used.
A lot of those bikes came and went, I had a good time with them and then sold them. Maybe I got bored, maybe I needed money, often I moved elsewhere and had to get rid of everything.
Sometimes one realizes years later that something one had was actually special in some way - sometimes it takes time to compare with newer and more advanced products, and maybe you've said to yourself at one point: "Dang, that old ... bike I had years ago, I wish I still had it - it was actually quite a nice ride!"
One motorcycle I had in the mid-80s was nothing special at first sight. Even the specs were not impressive - not a powerhouse, no radical new designs, it didn't make a splash when it came out. As long as I had it I was happy with it, it did the job, nothing outstanding. I sold it a year later and, as so often, I bought a newer one with a few more cc.
It was what was called in the US the "Nighthawk 450" with a 3-valve parallel twin. It was the perfect around town bike, not too big and heavy; it had enough power and offered good comfort on longer trips. Nice upright seating position, slightly forward, a big seat which was actually comfortable for two, not like these small pads they offer these days. It was so smooth that sometimes at a red light I wasn't sure if the engine was running. Cheap to buy, easy on gas, stone reliable, with okay looks (at least it wasn't as ugly as a Gladius!).
It took decades to realize that this simple bike left a lasting impression on me, and - apart from all the newer bikes I really would like to own - I wish they made a simple, economic standard like that these days, for a price anybody could afford.


Here's a good article about it, written in 1986 when Honda decided to stop producing it:


Big, flashy, fancy bikes are most often the ones to be remembered. But have you owned a simple, unimpressive bike you still think of sometimes? If so, I'd like to hear about it!


Aug 29, 2011
Got this beast back in the late 80's, it's a GPz750turbo & I accidentally acquired it from a friend of a friend that happened to work for Kawasaki & tuned drag bikes as a paid hobby. I was actually looking to buy a standard GPz750 or a GPz900.

He had tinkered with the fuel injection & opened the turbo waste gate up for a few more psi of power. He told me to be careful on the test ride, as it will easily power wheelie in 1st & 2nd gear when the turbo kicks in & felt like a big tuned 2 stroke engine when the power booted in......wow.......I don't think I will ever get that surprised & amazed feeling with a big grin factor like that ever again, as that shocker of a bike nearly pulled my arms off . Never had it dyno'd but he estimated around the 140+hp at the rear wheel when he sold it to me.

It would get to 150+mph (250kmh) in what felt like seconds, before it started revving to high on the stock gearing!! It terrorized GPz900's/GS1000's/CB1100's/1100Katanas.

As promised by the old owner it was reliable, in almost two years of commuting during the week & thrashing it at silly speeds at the weekends. Never had to [email protected] with he MAPPING, never broke down, just changed the oil & plugs, stretched a few chains & wore thru a few rear tires during the madness. Tooo many London traffic cops wanted a piece of me & I regrettably had to sell her as a result of police attention.......Sold her for more than I paid nearly two years earlier & the grin on the guys face was priceless after the test ride!! Yeehaa those we're the days!