My Honda Superhawk 996

Well… I did it again.  After looking at Kawasaki’s, Suzuki’s, Yamaha’s, and a couple Hardly’s… I came home with another Honda… another Red Honda.  This is the Superhawk 996, a V-Twin.  Yes, I sold a Honda with 4 cylinders, 4 Carbs, 4 Pipes… and bring home a Honda with 2 Carbs, 2 cylinders, and 2 pipes… and it’s Twice the Bike.  I am not nearly as fatigued from the ride from Orem, and admittedly I got home a lot quicker.

This bike really and truly is a Torque Monster.  In Orem, on State Street… about 5 blocks from where I bought it, I was nearing an intersection that had turned Yellow.  So I just goosed the throttle like I always did on my Magna… expecting a quick burst of speed, nothing big, just enough to get through the yellow light.  That’s not what happened.  What happened was this hairy beast of a monster let out a roar and I wheelied through the intersection like a madman.    Thankfully there was no Law Enforcement around to witness this because I don’t think they would buy my excuse.

Carving up the canyons on the way home was pure enjoyment.

What’s funny though… the motorcycle “Wave”.  I saw a lot of motorcycles out today… passed by tons of them going the opposite direction.  I used to always get “The Wave” from other bikers.  Not One.  Not that I cared or expected it.  But there it is.

The Superhawk is a strange bike, I’ll admit that.  Very light and narrow for a 996cc machine.  The bike wants to cruise at 80 MPH at 4K RPM’s.  Just really sedate compared to the Magna at the same speed.  It just burbles along… singing it’s song… and then I downshift and open the throttle… and the Superhawk gets straight up PISSED.  The whole tone of the engine changes and the power comes on in a huge way.  110 horses and 80 pounds of torque come to bear… this is a great deal more power than the Magna had… and the Magna is considered a “Muscle Bike”.  Huh.   The Speedo on the Superhawk goes up to 180 MPH.  I didn’t test that… but I believe it can get up there.  I did inadvertantly hit a triple digit speed making a pass on a long straight.  The speed rolled on effortlessly and the bike felt solid as a rock.  I was shocked when I looked down and saw how fast I was going.  I instantly pulled that in…. One doesn’t want a ticket on the first day of ownership… that’s bad luck.

Overall, I am full of Happy Happy, Joy Joy feelings with this motorcycle…. and it looks so good… I don’t think I could ever get tired of looking at it.  In fact, I sat on the porch of Ogre Range just looking at it for the longest time.  Gorgeous bike.

34 thoughts on “My Honda Superhawk 996”

  1. Looks good – and plenty of power on tap – always good to know it’s there just in case you need it : )

  2. Yeah… up until last year, I hadn’t ridden a literbike in the US in a while.

    The last literbike I rode was a BMW R1100Gs, which is a much lower powered, torque oriented motor and gearing (about 80hp). The last literbike I actually owned, was my v65 Magna 1100, which did have about 115hp from the factory (though probably a lot less by the time I got it in 1995), but topped out around 130mph.

    Then last September, I bought a VStrom 1000.

    Holy christ.

    This isn’t even a sport bike, it’s an “adventure tourer”, but still, damn.

    Admittedly, my bike has been retuned from stock, and down geared a bit; but my motor is nearly identical to yours. It’s a 996cc that had about 100hp stock from the factory, but retuned as it is, is putting out about 120hp. That’s almost identical to the superhawk; and it’s only about 40lbs heavier.

    The scary part is, without huge mechanical changes, I can upgrade the motor to about 135hp (new exhaust, intake and throttle bodies, cams, and ECU programming).

    Really, I don’t know why I would ever want to do that. The damn thing is more than fast and powerful enough as it is.

    I literally have never actually pinned the throttle on it on the street in anything below fifth gear (for roll on passing in 5th and 6th). Given the gearing, I’d bet if I did I’d be wearing the bike as a hat.

    Actually, I’m pretty sure it’s got more top end than the long travel suspension, relatively thin “adventure” tires, and the more upright chassis and riding position could handle.

    The best part is, the power is there from 2500rpm up, and from 3500 it’s almost ALL there. None of this 6000 rpm stuff.

    I downgeared it 1 tooth on the shaft sprocket and 2 on the drive sprocket (I also upgraded to a 530 chain); not because I needed lower gearing for acceleration, but because my wife and I can two-up better with the lower gearing; and because the overdrive is so steep that I’m below the power curve (actually I’m barely off idle) at 65mph. I had to get up to about 80mph to get up on the power curve.

    As it is, I lost about 2mpg, and the top speed is now about 130mph; but I’m not really worried about it. The bike fairly leaps off the throttle in every gear but OD now.

    1. There was a VStrom available for my price range, but it was all the way down in St. George, Utah. Too far. Just too far.
      I like the Strom a lot… great machine.

      1. I went down to middle of frikken nowhere eastern Washington for mine, about 100 miles from me; but I also got it for $3750, in mint condition plus some upgrades, and the factory hard luggage.

        Basically I got the deal of the decade on it.

  3. Haven’t been on a bike since 81 when I sold mine to by a Colt Python. Got the itch again and gathering parts to finish rework of a GS 750. Have to clean gas tank, rebuild fuel petcock,and carbs. Will replace battery and tires then see what happens. With time off will take a rider course before daily use. The Honda looks great enjoy

  4. I’ve been sick lately but I’ve noticed a new green tinge in the mirror after reading about the SuperHawk.

  5. Nice find Ogre. Enjoy that sweet v-twin rubble and torque. Mind the side mounted radiators though, a low speed tip-over could be costly. How far are you from Toole? If I ever make it out there for the World Superbike races, we could tear up some asphalt.

  6. Don’t expect waves from the cruiser riders around here. In CA the only “group” that I wouldn’t get waves from are the dual sport riders. Here I only get waves from the (few) sport bike riders and the tourers. Sometimes I wave obnoxiously like a 13 year old that just saw a friend to the “bad ass” Hardly bikers.

  7. We get some snobbish behavior in my neck of the woods (north Texas). I ride my Harley, and I give the wave to everyone on two wheels, I couldn’t care less what the make/model is. The only time I don’t get the wave back is when it’s a big group of Harley riders…..the small groups and soloists out there always wave back, lol.

    Mr. Ogre, keep the shiny side up and the rubber on the road…..that’s a great looking machine! Congratulations!

  8. I’m glad you went with a sportbike, there just isn’t much in the cruiser category that is a real upgrade from a Magna as far as performance goes.

  9. I’ve moved in to the area from Southern Nevada, now living in Pleasant Grove. I’d love to go riding with you some day, but there’s one catch.

    I have the longest ranged Honda street bike built in the last 20 years (ST1300). You have the shortest range. Seriously, I had considered getting a Superhawk, but with a range of 100-130 miles, it just wouldn’t cut it for somebody living in Las Vegas. Just a heads up for ya on the fuel consumption (Superhawks are THIRSTY) and small tank. (BTW, I think the Superhawk is probably the best looking m/c Honda has built in a long time, until the new VFR1200.)

    Frequent stops won’t bother me, as I’m not an uber-miler, so shoot me an email if you want to do some riding (and show me the roads hereabouts).

  10. Ogre, that bike is pretty sweet. I love the Honda sport bikes.

    Last year I took the plunge, and got into motorcycling. I took the classes, got the permit, and started looking for bikes. I did not know if I was going to like dirt riding or street riding so I bought a 2001 Suzuki DR Z400 dual sport in mint condition with low miles for a song. I love it. It is too much fun. I can ride it anywhere. It is currently in the shop getting a new stator, but once that is done I will be out on the road.

    Like most novice motorcycle owners I am already looking for my next bike.

  11. Congrats, Ogre. I always wave, and here (maine) most other people do too. There are always some who won’t, and we won’t say what V-twin they ride, but mostly it’s a bike thing, not a brand thing, and that’s the way it should be.

  12. SuperHawk!!! That is a grin inducing bike. Congrats. I owned it’s little brother the Honda HawkGT, 650cc of v-twin fun. Got to love that v-twin growl.

    This time of year the bikes come out of the garage and I wish I still had one, sigh.


    1. I have ridden a Hawk GT. Great bike. I really liked it.
      Yeah, the V-twin in a bike that has a Lean Angle is big time fun playing with the Torque.

  13. Great bike Ogre! You are right about the v-twin sport bikes. CRAZY! I had the priveledge of possessing, maintaing and unfortunately selling a Ducati 900 Monster. V-twin and scary quick. With the custom pipes it sounded like a badass chevy small block. I really miss it and the wife does NOT!

  14. Reading your comments on the Superhawk truly made me smile.
    I have a red 996 and I thought I was alone in the enjoyment of this bike. I’m 65 and live over the mountain from you in Carbon County. There are many bikes I have driven, mostly inline, but the engine in the Superhawk is a highway dream. Passing convoys of
    trucks and trailers during holidays to just entering the freeway always puts a smile on my face. What a bike!!!!!

    1. Sorry, Brent… I’m actually in South Carolina now.
      The Superhawk is a bike of true character. I hope to get another one.

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