History of the honda nighthawk

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History of the honda nighthawk
Honda introduced the Nighthawk line of motorcycles in 1982. (John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Honda introduced the Nighthawk model motorcycles in 1982 with three different engine sizes: 450cc, 650cc and 750cc. The Nighthawk models were an extension of Honda's CB line of in-line four-cylinder standard or naked-style motorcycles. Between 1982 and 2008, Honda offered six distinct Nighthawk models. Honda didn't offer any new Nighthawk models for four years, from 1987 through 1990, reintroducing them for the 1991 model year.

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Honda CB750SC Nighthawk

Honda produced the 750-cc Nighthawk from 1982 through 2003. The CB750SC Nighthawk was a direct descendant of the original Honda CB750, introduced in 1969, which is in the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum. Motorcycle Online awarded the Nighthawk 750 the first place in a six motorcycle comparison of "bargain" bikes. And in 2010, "Cycle World" magazine named the Nighthawk 750 one of its "Best Used Bikes."

Honda CB700SC Nighthawk S

Honda introduced the 700-cc Nighthawk S in 1984. The bike was designed to be a sportier looking version of the Nighthawk 750. In fact, in Canada and Europe Honda sold a 750-cc Nighthawk S, but offered the smaller displacement model (696cc) in the United States to avoid a tariff on imported motorcycles of 700cc and above. Honda produced the CB700SC Nighthawk S through the 1986 model year, when it suspended all Nighthawk production. This model did not return when the Nighthawks went back into production for the 1991 model year.

Honda CB650SC Nighthawk

One of the three original Nighthawk models introduced in 1982, the 650-cc Nighthawk was the last model to have the SOHC in-line four-cylinder engine. Beginning with the 1983 model year, the CB650SC Nighthawk got a DOHC engine, like the rest of the Nighthawk line. Honda ceased production of this model after the 1985 model year.

CB550SC Nighthawk

Honda offered the CB550SC Nighthawk for one model year -- 1983 -- in the United States, and for a second year -- 1984 -- in Canada. This 550-cc Nighthawk had cruiser styling, with a one-piece stepped seat and sportbike performance and handling.

CB450SC Nighthawk

The 450-cc Nighthawk was one of the three original Nighthawk models introduced in 1982. Honda did not design any new CB450SC Nighthawks for the model year 1984, but continued production of the CB450SC Nighthawk in 1985 and 1986. When the Nighthawks were reintroduced in 1991, the 450-cc model was not among them.

Honda CB250 Nighthawk

Marketed by Honda as "a perfect starter bike," the 243-cc Nighthawk was the last model to be introduced to the line; it was first available in 1991, when Honda brought back the Nighthawks after a four-year absence. It was also the only twin-cylinder Nighthawk. The CB250 Nighthawk was the last of the model family to remain in production, and was itself retired after the 2008 model year.

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