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False Neutral #44: Nighthawks & Small Treasures


Since our last episode, Garrett has a new son in the nursery and a new Nighthawk 650 beater in the garage. The latter prompts us to enthuse for Honda’s 1980s Nighthawk range. Turning to new bikes, we discuss the proposed U.S. tariff on European small displacement bikes. I recall my encounter with a tiny, very fake Italian “classic,” which leads the three of us to all get excited about building 60cc roadrace bikes in the classic Italian tiddler style.

The Italian small-bore website I mention can be found at

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Garrett’s 82 Honda 650 Nighthawk

1982 Honda 650 Nighthawk (OE paint)
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1983 Honda CB750SC Nighthawk & Triumph X-75 Hurricane

1983 Honda 550 Nighthawk

1991-2003 Honda Nighthawk 750

1988/89/90 Honda-VTR250 Interceptors

Bultaco Brinco

1973 Aprilia Colibrì
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Malanca Testarossa 4m
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Moto Bulloni (Pete’s photo)

Itom 50 Super Sport
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Itom 50 vintage racer
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Kawasaki KX60

Honda CR60

  • Batshitbox

    My latest discovery in the Honda / Small bike realm is the Honda FatCat. Even Wikipedia has very little to say about it.

    Called the TR200, it popped up in a search for TW200 (Yamaha). Another of Honda’s 2-year only bikes. I’m guessing the tires are hard to find, and are probably not DOT compliant. 8-inch rims front and back! It’s a motorized wheelbarrow.

    Here’s a period comparison between the Yamaha BW200 (later the TW200) and the Honda TR200.

    • The Fat Cat was off-road only, like the Yamaha Big Wheel.

    • Garrett Michael

      the Honda Fat Cat is on my short list of motorcycles to own at some point. I love them!

  • Mitch Horner

    Pete would the MB5 qualify in the 50cc 2 stroke series?

    • Sure, Mitch, I’ve had two MB5s and loved both of them! But the MB5 doesn’t quite have that cool vintage racer look. Also, a 60cc MX motor makes close to twice the horsepower. (6-1/2 HP factory rating for the U.S. MB5, 11-1/2 for the CR60 — more for a KX60 of the same year, even higher for a liquid-cooled engine.)

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