1985 Honda CB450SC Nighthawk
Solid, nice-looking bike that sets you back less than a year's car insurance premium
Air cleaner needed replacement.
Spark plugs needed replacement.
Choke cable froze.
Throttle cables snapped.
Small split in seat seam that appears to be slowly growing.
Overall, I couldn't have found a better first bike. As others have noted, I'm now jonesing for something with a little more roar (in the 750-1000cc range), but this little bike is just so damn... Honda. It starts up, it runs, and it works. I'm 160 lbs, and an 800 mile trip (mostly at around 62mph) netted just over 50 MPG. Bump that average speed up to 70, however, and you're down to about 38 MPG.
I've heard the 450SC described as "The Commuter's Dream Bike," and I think that's not a bad title. This bike is not designed to be a long-distance tourer (though, as I said, it survived an 800 mile trip with no problems). It's not designed to win races or blow out windows (although it certainly has enough pep to keep up with traffic on the highway or in town). It's not going to get you much respect from the middle-age wannabe "Bikers" at the local Harley bar. It's just a reliable, economical machine that works.
Obviously, with a bike this old, things will wear out, and you need to be perhaps a little more vigilant than someone with a newer bike - but you're also not paying "new bike" insurance premiums.
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 1st July, 2009