Honda Hawk GT: NT650

Honda Hawk GT front and tank

In 2007, I was living in Lower Nob Hill (Tendernob? Nobber-loin?) in San Francisco and working at Digital Chocolate in San Mateo. After one-too-many nights trying to park my car to avoid street cleanings and getting my window smashed, I decided to get a motorcycle.

I’d originally considered a 250cc, but with the combination of the hills of SF I’d have to navigate plus needing to commute down highways 101 or 280, it made more sense for me to get an engine with more power.

My co-worker, Steve Cohen, recommended the Honda Hawk GT as a smaller bike (I’m short!) that would be good for beginners. I’d go on to purchase a blue 1988 Honda Hawk GT (NT650) from Craigslist.

Single-sided Swing Arm

The single=sided swing arm was irresistable to me: it’s just too sexy, and I can’t help but fawn over other bikes with the same feature. Sure, it’s got some practical advantages, but, honestly speaking: I just really like how it looks.

Honda Hawk GT Single Sided Swing Arm I love looking at these schematics in the manual


I’ve loaded the bike up with side saddles and a tank bag on a long ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles before. The biggest issue was the vibration of the handlebars.

Honda Hawk GT loaded up for touring

There’s also a black version of the Hawk called the Bros that’s a 400cc rather than a 650cc.