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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looks like I found the right community. I’m a new rider, just picked up a 2004 Honda nighthawk 250 from a motorcycle school to log some miles/hours before buying something nice.
It didn’t take very many Google searches to see how awesome the café racer build turns out on these bikes and now I’m hooked.
I’m handy, but not very experienced in mechanical work. I think my primary list should be manageable.
Here are some pics of what I got and a sketch timelapse of what I think it can look like.
I’ve already changed out the headlight, but now I don’t know how to manage the jumble of wiring that the previous headlight bucket once housed.

sketch Timelapse link:

Here’s a loose list of mods I’ll attempt and share my progress here.
  • change handlebars
  • change lights and indicators
  • replace seat and shorten frame
  • replace exhaust
  • either cover air box and battery with triangular panel or preferably relocate battery under seat and replace air box with conic air intake leaving that open passage behind the motor.
  • change tires (knobby scrambler-like)
  • trim or remove front fender
  • service drum brakes
Before I make this any longer, here’s a pic of what I have and the time lapse of the sketch showing what it should end up looking like. If anybody has suggestions on the upgrade parts, I’m definitely open to hearing them otherwise it’s going to be from Amazon for most.

My immediate challenges are finding how to control the jumble of wires that were once housed in the previous headlight bucket and finding a exhaust that sounds nice.

**bonus upgrades would be things like painting The gas tank or the motor and perhaps changing the brakes to disc brakes by swapping out the bottom end of the forks on the front and changing my wheels.


Tire Wheel Fuel tank Vehicle Automotive fuel system

Tire Wheel Automotive parking light Fuel tank Sky

Tire Wheel Land vehicle Fuel tank Vehicle
Tire Wheel Fuel tank Automotive tire Automotive fuel system
 

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1985, 86 CMX250C, 81 CM200T, 74 CL360, Invisible to cages, treat them accordingly. Avoids Road RAGE!
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I saw that. I am not a cutter or bobber person, so I hadn't answered due to not having any experience in that area. There will be replies, it's just that some members are less frequent than others. 🙂
 
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You mention replacing the seat and shortening the frame. Not sure what frame modifications you have in mind, but those often require advanced skills to do safely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You mention replacing the seat and shortening the frame. Not sure what frame modifications you have in mind, but those often require advanced skills to do safely.
Thanks for the heads up. My intention is to cut about 6-10 inches (until about the white label in the pics below) of the rear then weld on a semi-circle tube to reinstate the rigidity of that portion of the frame.
As for the seat, drilling and screwing was what I was hoping for. If drilling (depending on the determined size) will weaken the tube, then I’ll consider some sort of wrap around brackets with eyelets for the seat to bolt on to. I can weld and fasten those brackets in place.

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Now I understand. I suspected that's what you had in mind but wasn't sure. What you describe shouldn't cause any problems.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quick update on this build. FYI. I try to keep the work load small to keep the bike from sitting. My projects are typically one or two days long so I can get back out and ride.
I’ll jump right to it:

  1. Changed tires to Bridgestone battle cross ax-41. Might’ve gone too aggressive. Looks great but feels uneasy on leans.
  2. new headlight 7” led. Amazon special. Main issue is I don’t know what to do with the jumble of wires that came out of the previous headlight. Any help here would be greatly appreciated.
  3. wrapped headers and changed exhaust. Installed shortys off Amazon. They sound amazing. Can post a vid if you guys want.
  4. new handlebars with grips and bar-end mirrors. Feels much more sporty. Liking them and may consider something even lower in the future.
  5. removed the air box and battery. Achieved the cherished triangle!! Replaced air with k&n filter and breather filter.
Currently sorting out details on the battery and electronics. And most importantly the seat and gas tank. Would love to hear opinions on the options below it just a vote. I have my faves, but each of the 4 designs below have their own pros and cons for me.
Feel free to let me know your favorite A,B,C, or D in last pic.
Here are some pics of the evolution.

Tire Wheel Fuel tank Vehicle Automotive fuel system

Tire Wheel Fuel tank Vehicle Automotive lighting

Wheel Tire Fuel tank Automotive fuel system Automotive lighting

Tire Wheel Fuel tank Automotive fuel system Vehicle

Tire Wheel Fuel tank Vehicle Automotive tire

Wheel Tire Fuel tank Vehicle Photograph
 

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Quick update on this build. FYI. I try to keep the work load small to keep the bike from sitting. My projects are typically one or two days long so I can get back out and ride.
I’ll jump right to it:

  1. Changed tires to Bridgestone battle cross ax-41. Might’ve gone too aggressive. Looks great but feels uneasy on leans.
  2. new headlight 7” led. Amazon special. Main issue is I don’t know what to do with the jumble of wires that came out of the previous headlight. Any help here would be greatly appreciated.
  3. wrapped headers and changed exhaust. Installed shortys off Amazon. They sound amazing. Can post a vid if you guys want.
  4. new handlebars with grips and bar-end mirrors. Feels much more sporty. Liking them and may consider something even lower in the future.
  5. removed the air box and battery. Achieved the cherished triangle!! Replaced air with k&n filter and breather filter.
Currently sorting out details on the battery and electronics. And most importantly the seat and gas tank. Would love to hear opinions on the options below it just a vote. I have my faves, but each of the 4 designs below have their own pros and cons for me.
Feel free to let me know your favorite A,B,C, or D in last pic.
Here are some pics of the evolution.

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I like D as it looks like a single seater setup.

Do you have that new tank? And did it drop on?

I just picked up a 91'Nighthawk and was trying to get a tank for it. I may be doing bobber style but really like that tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I really liked D too, but ended up going with A. I started liking the flat seat look and fitting the gas tank was going to take more work. (It’s a tank from Amazon. Pretty easy to find. I can link you if you’d like.) Everything about the tank fit okay, but it was about 2.5”-3” short. And although I could’ve secured it that way, I didn’t want to bump my seat and my weight forward by that much. Plus, With these new seats I’m sitting few inches lower adding more bend to my knees. Bumping forward another 3” would’ve been uncomfortable.
These are what contributed to my decision to go with A.

Here’s what it looks like now. Total blast.

Wheel Tire Fuel tank Automotive fuel system Vehicle
 

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Looks good, that seat has my vote too.
 

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Nice build my friend....just found this site because i'm gonna build a cb 250T 2002 model...gonna post everything here..would love to listen to those new exhausts of yours though..
 

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This is in a separate post but I figured I would follow up here since NH had asked but hadnt seen my other post I dont think.

On my 91/92 Nighthawk 250 swap. Still waiting to put the new tires on and I added cheap $10 Shadow emblems to the tank for the heck of it. Used Duplicolor "shift" paint. Refinished engine with AL etching primer on side covers then Duplicolor Wheel Silver, and finally 2000'F engine paint on the heads. Added new 7" housing and LED headlight. Have new shocks for it also. Last pic is pre-emblem and pre-engine paint just to show headlight and LED micro signals.

Tire Fuel tank Vehicle Automotive fuel system Wheel
Tire Wheel Fuel tank Automotive fuel system Vehicle
Tire Wheel Fuel tank Automotive fuel system Vehicle
 

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nice,well done.. wich bike is the fuel tank from?
Its a CG125/Clone tank. Its 9L / 2.4G off Ebay. Was like $56 shipped from somewhere in US.

Had to use a 4x7 diamond plate to make a new mounting point for it as is is shorter in overall length. Also used some plate to mount regulator back under properly 👍
 
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