New Honda Nighthawk 250 cafe racer
We've nearly completed this 2008 Nighthawk 250 cafe racer build. We've done similar builds with other bikes, on the theory that removing weight is as good as hopping up the engine (although we sometimes do the engine too).
With this bike, we thought the Nighthawk 250 was a good candidate for our treatment because it's simple, has classic lines, and carries a lot of extra weight. Our subject bike was in great condition, so we decided to retain the pristine stock exhaust and wheels. By removing much unnecessary material and adding a Chinese Honda 125 tank and seat and a lightweight Ballistic 4-cell battery, we were able to cut nearly 40 lbs. Removing the airbox and rejetting gave the engine some extra pep, and a 30-tooth rear sprocket (lighter than stock, in addition to better gearing), gives the bike more realistic and usable gearing, and still surprising acceleration.
In the handling department, clip-ons and custom-made rearsets combine with Bridgestone Spitfire tires, longer rear shocks and a lowered front end to sharpen the cornering and steering response.
In the "office," an aluminum mount for the speedometer and bar-end turn signals and mirror greatly reduce clutter and weight.
Overall, we think it's a great bike, proving that Honda's little 250 has a lot of potential.
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