NT650 GT
NT650 pre-build.

I typically keep my writing focused on education, but going forward I want my blog to be a space where I can capture my thoughts about my other interests as well. To that end, I’ll be using this space to document the progress of a personal project that I started a few days before the end of 2016.

I acquired a Honda NT650 GT from a friend and the motorcycle was in a state of general neglect. The battery was dead, rotors and other exposed bits of steel were rusted, and there were several bent or broken components on the bike. I acquired the bike with plans to transform it from a stock street motorcycle to one built specifically for (amateur) road racing on a closed track. My budget and relative lack of expertise in the art and science of motorcycle building will ensure that this project takes the better part of 2017 (and perhaps some of 2018, depending on how I budget my time and money) to complete. However, before I can build it up, I must tear it down.

I began the tear down in my garage and found pretty much what I expected to find; an old motorcycle with good bones that needs some updated components in order to be race ready. So far, I’ve removed the stock muffler, lights, rear fairing, seat, and am working on removing the rear rotor later today. I’ll be selling off the salvageable parts on eBay and Craigslist in order to help finance the build.

My first major project will be the suspension. I’m spending a lot of time on the Hawk GT Forum to learn the best way to go about updating the rear suspension. My username there is JovanMiles. I’m also considering a front end swap from the stock NT650 forks to 2007-2012 CBR600 forks. I haven’t fully commit to doing this front end swap just yet based on the prices of used CBR600 front ends on eBay. I may find it to be more cost effective to simply have the stock forks rebuilt with upgraded internals.

That’s all there is to share for now with this project. I’ll try to keep regular updates with detailed photos and descriptions of what I come across as I work through this build. This series of posts will probably serve as a knowledge base for myself…and for anyone else who happens to be working on a similar project.

As always, thanks for reading. Pardon the typos. Happy 2017! Oh, and feel free to comment if this sort of work is in your wheelhouse.

Honda Race Hawk
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