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Questions on my new 98 Super Hawk

Old 01-02-2013, 02:32 AM
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Questions on my new 98 Super Hawk

I just purchased a 1998 Super Hawk a few days ago. It's very different from anything I have ever owned. I'm more of a touring or sport touring type of guy. But after I road tested an SH for a friend of mine I purchased one for myself a week later. Been reading the forum for the last week but I still have a few questions that I can't find an answer for or something that is unique to my bike.

I am the third owner of this bike. All owners are "mature" adult men (50 TO 70 YO). The bike appears to have been well taken care of and also has no signs of abuse. The original owner installed MIG mufflers, a Factory Pro jet kit, and Traxxion Dynamics suspension front and rear. Owner #2 removed the jet kit and the MIG system. I (owner #3) installed the MIG system but NOT the jet kit.

Questions:
1) The suspension looks stock but it does feel rather firm so maybe it was simply a spring upgrade. I'm just not sure what is included. The rear spring is yellow. I adjusted both front and rear to "normal" as per manual but in doing so I noticed the front fork was raised 15mm up on the triple clamp. Was this part of some upgrade? I would rather have it normal. Do I just loosen the clamps and push the fork tubes back down to the snap ring? Btw, the bike has a pair of VFR bars. They are the same height as the stock clip ons. I have those bars as spares but like the VFR bars.

2) Bike runs really good. Am I ok running with just the MIG system without changing jets?

3) The jets are labeled 178 and 180. I think that is slightly over stock size. The needles have no markings on them. Does anybody know what this kit is and what is it suppose to provide or add to the bike? I don't want to muc too much with the bike but if this jet kit is a major improvement I'll bite and install it.

4) The bike has 9600 miles. When do I start to worry about replacing the CCT adjusters? What happens when they go bad (major engine damage?)?

5) What's the deal with the rectifier? Do I wait until it fails (this is my second bike so I'm not on foot)? Updated version?

6) Anything else I need to look at and/or fix/replace?

I have been riding for over 40 years but at 66 I'm not interested in racing the bike but do want it running as nicely as possible. Of course basic improvements are welcome. If there is a simple procedure that makes the bike better then I'm all for it. I plan to use the bike for local riding. My other bike is my long range tourer.

Thank you in advance. I thought of having a post for each question but you can simply refer to the number of the question above when replying. By the way, I haven't been off the bike since I got it 5 days ago.

tsp
My Motorcycle Blog: Motorcycle Touring

Last edited by Tsperez; 01-02-2013 at 02:35 AM.
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Tsperez View Post
I just purchased a 1998 Super Hawk a few days ago. It's very different from anything I have ever owned. I'm more of a touring or sport touring type of guy. But after I road tested an SH for a friend of mine I purchased one for myself a week later. Been reading the forum for the last week but I still have a few questions that I can't find an answer for or something that is unique to my bike.

I am the third owner of this bike. All owners are "mature" adult men (50 TO 70 YO). The bike appears to have been well taken care of and also has no signs of abuse. The original owner installed MIG mufflers, a Factory Pro jet kit, and Traxxion Dynamics suspension front and rear. Owner #2 removed the jet kit and the MIG system. I (owner #3) installed the MIG system but NOT the jet kit.

Questions:
1) The suspension looks stock but it does feel rather firm so maybe it was simply a spring upgrade. I'm just not sure what is included. The rear spring is yellow. I adjusted both front and rear to "normal" as per manual but in doing so I noticed the front fork was raised 15mm up on the triple clamp. Was this part of some upgrade? I would rather have it normal. Do I just loosen the clamps and push the fork tubes back down to the snap ring? Btw, the bike has a pair of VFR bars. They are the same height as the stock clip ons. I have those bars as spares but like the VFR bars.

2) Bike runs really good. Am I ok running with just the MIG system without changing jets?

3) The jets are labeled 178 and 180. I think that is slightly over stock size. The needles have no markings on them. Does anybody know what this kit is and what is it suppose to provide or add to the bike? I don't want to muc too much with the bike but if this jet kit is a major improvement I'll bite and install it.

4) The bike has 9600 miles. When do I start to worry about replacing the CCT adjusters? What happens when they go bad (major engine damage?)?

5) What's the deal with the rectifier? Do I wait until it fails (this is my second bike so I'm not on foot)? Updated version?

6) Anything else I need to look at and/or fix/replace?

I have been riding for over 40 years but at 66 I'm not interested in racing the bike but do want it running as nicely as possible. Of course basic improvements are welcome. If there is a simple procedure that makes the bike better then I'm all for it. I plan to use the bike for local riding. My other bike is my long range tourer.

Thank you in advance. I thought of having a post for each question but you can simply refer to the number of the question above when replying. By the way, I haven't been off the bike since I got it 5 days ago.

tsp
My Motorcycle Blog: Motorcycle Touring
1. If the front feels remotely close to firm, it has most certaintly been upgraded... Most likely a new set of springs like you mentioned, perhaps springs and valves... Best way to know, is to open them up, and replace the oil, it's part of maintainance anyways, so fresh oil won't do any harm, and then you have an idea what's in there... It doesn't take any special tools, just some patience and meticulous cleanlines... Rear spring is yellow as stock, but that says nothing... Also the rear spring is actually rather on the heavy side, so in terms of the spring alone, it should be sufficient for all but the larger of us... Valving however is another matter entirely, talk to Jamie Daugherty for a suitable upgrade...

2. Jetting isn't really needed in most cases, just finetuning, as in fiddle with the settings... I'd say sync the carbs, and set them, but make a note of the previous settings, it should be a great way to get to know the bike, and it should make it run better...

3. See above, not really neccesary unless you really need the performance, or high/low altitude or whatever special conditions... Read the nice thread on carb setup...

4. CCT's fail without any prior warning, or reason, as in mileage whatever... None what-so-ever... And yes, failure is nearly always catastrophic, since they are a single CCT per cylinder, no other cylinders keeping things rolling along, so it's usually metal on metal followed by tears... There are things that make failure more likely, and there are ways to preserve them better than average, but with a used bike you have no clue... I'd say changing them as preventive maintainance is a good idea... If you choose new OEM's or manuals, is a matter of personal taste, nothing else... Just keep in mind, that changing them can screw things up royally, if you don't pay attention to the quirks of a the VTR engine...

5. One word, Mosfet...

6. Not really, no...
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:51 AM
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Thanks for the reply! And yes, the suspension feels very firm - both front and rear. Bouncing on the bike (I'm at 190) moves the travel like 2 inches.

So do I just loosen the top clamps, bottom clamps, and clip ons to slide the fork tubes back down to normal position? Any chance of messing up the suspension? I got the bike up to about 85 or 90 mph and it handled fine but I am always for more stability. I'm not sure what dropping the front 15 mm did for the bike. I got a friend with a motorcycle jack. Would not want to do that job with a bottle jack.

Once again - thanks!
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by VTRsurfer View Post
1) I'm 5'10"/155#, and I would describe my stock suspension as moderate. As firmness goes, it's about half way between my wife's '07 SV650S (soft), and my wife's 2012 GSX-R750 (firm). It's too soft for the track I'm sure, but it works fine for the spirited canyon riding that I do.

2&3) If it pulls strong from all rpm's, with no flat spots or hesitation, you're probably okay with the present carb set-up. And stick with the OEM air filter.

4) I believe the CCT's were upgraded by Honda around 2002, with a superseded part number. I just replaced my original CCT's with OEM units (preventive maintenance), and my bike has over 67,000 miles. It's been suggested that abused bikes are more likely to experience CCT failure... running low on oil, long stand-up wheelies, extended idling while on the side stand, have all been pointed out as possible contributors.

5) R/R, what Tweety said. The later models have a finned housing. Mine is still original (knock on wood).

6) With such low mileage, how old are the tires? My wife and I both go through 2 sets a year, but with the low mileage on your bike, they could be 10+ years old and rather dried out.

As for the fork height, one of the PO's no doubt lowered it to improve turn-in. A front head stand (always used with a swing arm stand, of course) would be best for supporting the front while raising the forks back to stock height in the triples.
what are your suspension settings front and rear? I am almost exactly your same weight and height, (5'9" at 165#) and I find that the front is either like a pogo stick or mushy and not fun in a corner. I've tried just about every combination to get the front and the rear to work together but the rear remains too stiff and the front not enough rebound.
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Tsperez View Post
..... and Traxxion Dynamics suspension front and rear.....

Questions:
1) The suspension looks stock but it does feel rather firm so maybe it was simply a spring upgrade. I'm just not sure what is included. The rear spring is yellow. I adjusted both front and rear to "normal" as per manual but in doing so I noticed the front fork was raised 15mm up on the triple clamp. Was this part of some upgrade? I would rather have it normal. Do I just loosen the clamps and push the fork tubes back down to the snap ring? Btw, the bike has a pair of VFR bars. They are the same height as the stock clip ons. I have those bars as spares but like the VFR bars.
Not surprising, Traxxion is really bad about making stuff crazy stiff. Stiff is bad, but the R9/R1/GSX-R crowd they tailor to doesn't realize that and wants something that feels "race". Race bikes are often quite comfortable to ride. If it has the stock rear shock and spring then I would expect that is 100% original. For sure put the forks back to stock, dropping that much is only causing you problems. That's easy and free. Beyond that you will likely need to start digging to find out what has been done and proceed with fixing it. When it comes to buying used bikes, I refer to this as "un-Fing" it. Almost everything used needs this to some degree.

Enjoy!
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:20 PM
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Thanks for all the input.
1) I do plan to put the forks back to stock location on the triple clamp. The springs that are in it are not that bad. I would rate it 50% stiffer than my RT when it is set to sport mode using the ESA II function. After I set the preload in the front and set the dampening to stock on both shocks I like the way they feel. It's firm but handles bumps and dips very well.
2) Not planing on installing the jet kit. It already smells rich when I goose the throttle but perhaps that is a "feature" of carburetors. In any case, the engine is running really well. I haven't pushed it yet. I'm still setting it for me and want to do a complete fluid change. I have been running a little Techron in the tank to just clean up stuff in the fuel system. The gas tank is very clean but I believe in this stuff.
3) The MIG sets off the alarm on my Miata so I like that.
4) Tires and battery are good because the PO was using the bike on a daily basis. The same for oil and filter but I am going to change the oil and filter anyway. He was using regular oil but I want to use synthetic oil.
5) I removed a touring wind shield and put the stock back on. It's amazing how well it works for such a small shield. I may consider a shield with a slight flip on top in the future.
6) The bike has the VFR bars and I am adjusting to the far forward lean (as compared to my RT!). I read on the forum that the Apex is a good upgrade but the 4" model adds only about an inch to what I have on right now. I will consider an upgrade if they can be set to max height and somewhat back without hitting the fairing. Right now the VFR clipons switch my headlight to high beam. Other than that they are good.

Once again - thank you all for all the feedback. This is an awesome site for information. So much so that I have not searched for any other. As I stated before, this is my second bike and I am loving it. Only a week with it but my other bike has sat without being ridden. I need to get it out soon.

tsp
Blog: Motorcycle Touring
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