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MOTORCYCLES I HAVE KNOWN AND LOVED

In April of 1995, I had to sell the trusty GS 850 because of temporary money problems. Fortunately, my fortunes turned around quickly and I was able to buy another bike in time for fall. My friend George had returned to motorcycling the previous year after a long absence from the sport; he had done so by way of a bright red 1992 Honda 750 Nighthawk. In the spring of ’95, a buddy of his let him ride a few miles on his Gold Wing, and George was a goner. Within days, he was the owner of a new bright red Gold Wing. At first he planned to keep the Nighthawk to "run around" on, but he soon found that he seldom rode it. He made me an offer too good to pass up, and in September of ’95 I became the second owner of a perfect Nighthawk. It had 3,106 miles on it, and nary a blemish.

The picture above shows me standing at an overlook above Lake Roberts near the Gila Wilderness Area in southern New Mexico, in October 1995. The Nighthawk had carried me the 650 miles from San Antonio to Deming, NM in 11 hours - still the longest distance I've ridden in one day. There I met my friend Hobo, who rode his bike an equal distance from Rialto, California. We spent a three-day weekend running around in the mountains of New Mexico, and had an absolute blast.

It amazes me how few pictures I actually have of the Nighthawk, but I was out riding it so much that I didn’t have a lot of time to think about photos. I put 10,000 miles on it that year, riding every chance I got. (Sometimes, a single parent with a full-time job doesn’t have all that many chances to go riding. I made the most of mine!)

The Nighthawk is a wonderful all-round bike. Smooth as glass, with adequate power, and excellent handling. I was able to ride right on the pipes of friends who liked to really fly through the Hill Country on supposedly more capable equipment. And it is a capable long-distance mount, too. I had a set of soft bags and a tank bag for it, and could carry almost everything I needed for several days on the road. Had I kept it, I’d have added a tail pack or some kind of duffel - with that, I’d have been completely set.

Alas, the money woes set in once again, and in October of ’96 I had to sell the beloved Nighthawk to pay bills and keep a roof over the kid’s head. It was a sad day, and one I regretted ever since.


Click here to go to the page detailing the most important motorcycling experience of my life… so far:

THE HARLEY PAGE

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