The Honda Bros HawkGT NT650 was designed by Toshiaki Kishi and was the second Honda with Pro-Arm having the model designation RC31 coming immediately after the RC30. The RC model designation is for bikes up to 750cc, though the Pacific Coast (PC800) has an engine of more than 750 cc and a model designation of RC34.
The bike's main distinction is in its frame and swingarm. The dual spar aluminum frame and single sided swingarm (licensed from ELF) were pretty high tech in 1988. The mildly tuned motor is descended from the VT500 and has been seen, in one guise or another, in several other models.
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The NT650/Hawk GT/RC31 was introduced in 1988 and produced through 1991.
A cousin to the Hawk GT, the Revere was available in Europe. The steel frame, shaft-drive, larger gas tank, longer rear end, and 600cc motor differentiate it from the Hawk GT. The NTV650 replaced the Revere and added the Hawk motor, moving it up to a 650. The NTV650 was replaced for 1997 with the Deauville, basically an NTV650 with full bodywork and hard saddlebags – not too different in general appearance from the PC800.
The Bros came in two versions (400cc and 650cc) for the Japanese market, when Honda stopped selling the Hawk in 1992 they continued the Bros in Japan for one more year. A close ratio gear box (which drops into the Hawk), different wheels, and lower clip-ons were the major changes.
The price for the Hawk GT when new was just a couple hundred dollars less than the CBR600F1 Hurricane, which offered a lot more motor and full body work. In the US sales of Hawk GTs were poor.
Part of the dismal sales for the Hawk was the lack of clarity in its design: was it a standard with a high-tech frame or a sportbike with a low-tech motor and no bodywork? The Revere and its progeny had no such dichotomy as they dispensed with the high-tech frame and swingarm. The result is a workhorse standard that has become popular in the UK as a delivery bike.
The Hawk GT is often described as a cult bike. Many owners modify their Hawks to accent the standard qualities it has as a light, sporty v-twin: torquey power delivery and easy cornering. With a top speed below 120 mph and a 0–60 mph time of about 4 seconds no one is going to fear the straight line performance of the Hawk. Find a favorite section of tight twisty road and the story changes.
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