Honda Nighthawk 250

Popular Standard for Motorcycle Beginners: Honda Nighthawk 250

It's hard for motorcycle beginners to find reviews of entry-level motorcycles. Magazines prefer to use their print and paper on expensive new models. I myself got started as a beginner on another Honda starter motorcycle, the 1983 Custom 250. That was 22 years ago. I currently ride and love my Yamaha V-Max. The 250cc class is a great size for motorcycle beginners. Start out slowly, build your skills confidently and you will have a V-Max (or GSX1000 or Gold Wing or Valkyrie) in your garage, too!

Honda Nighthawk 250

Years Available: 1990 - ?
Engine Size: 234cc
Motorcycle Style: Standard
Good Beginner Motorcycle? YES...but there are better.
Pros: Decades-proven engine; classic Nighthawk styling on a budget
Cons: Drum brakes front and rear; kinda pricey for a beginners bike
Estimated Used Price Range: $1,400-$3,00 ($3,599 New in 2005)

Honda has been using this 234cc parallel twin engine for decades. For motorcycle beginners in their late teens or early 20's this is a great choice for you. Its engine provides plenty of around-town power and pick-up for recreation and chore-duty. It can also carry the under-200 pound rider satisfactorily on the highways, though I doubt you'll ever be able to manage a speeding ticket. These 250's can manage about 65 with a tail-wind.

1984 Honda Nighthawk S

The Nighthawk line of Hondas was a very respected line in the 1980's. A perfect beginning motorcycle then was the Nighthawk 450, stylish and plenty powerful. Each Nighthawk had its own image: the 550 was more of a Shadow-like cruiser, the Nighthawk 650 was a sport-minded standard, the 750 of the early 1980's sported quad exhaust pipes and was a muscled standard, and the Nighthawk S was a sleek, efficient naked sportbike.

In the late 1990's Honda resurrected the Nighthawk as the CB750. Popular though bland, it appealed to a wide range of ages and skills. The 750 was subsequently dropped in early 2000; the Nighthawk 250 remains as the only current Nighthawk.

My Unenthusiastic Recommendation: ...Ehhh...

I can't give my whole-hearted recommendation for this 250 to motorcycle beginners. At a new 2005 price of $3,599 it is $500 more than the Honda Rebel which does have disk brakes on the front at least. The Honda Rebel, I might argue, is more aesthetically pleasing as well. The Nighthawk 250 is the economic of the motorcycling world.

Honda Rebel - A Better Choice for Motorcycle Beginners