Alright, am a new rider, just got my 82 nighthawk450 2 weeks ago and have been doing alot of online reading/shopping, do you know you can HARDLY find anything for these? LOL..well my delema at the moment is height on this baby! Im a 5’5 girl rider and im tip toeing while sitting, I have adjusted the rear shocks to the lowest point which help about an inch and am looking to go to the m/c salvage yard tomorrow to find me some matching, shorter shocks, But I have heard there is a shock lowering kit/bar to readjust the shocks to a ‘further back” position…can I find them? NO..LOL if anyone has and info or possibly pictures of these ( my dad can use his “master metal and welding skills” to help with this) any input or advice there is to give this “new rider” would be greatly appreciated!!
Hey Trusten – The Nighthawk 450’s are excellent little scoots. They aren’t particularly tall, but I can see how it might be a little above your comfort level.
One thing you want to be careful with when lowering a bike is upsetting the geometry of the bike to a point where it doesn’t handle as it should. If you reduce the height too much you may find the bike will steer very awkwardly, because it isn’t balanced properly front to back.
If you haven’t done so, you should try dropping the front suspension in the clamps about an inch. That will also drop the seat height a little more, and is free and quick.
I doubt replacing the shocks is actually worth the effort or cost. With the shocks set to their lowest and the forks lowered a bit the bike should be sitting pretty low. As a new rider having a lower bike is certainly reassuring, but as your proficiency in the saddle progresses you’ll realize that having a strong sturdy flat foot on the ground isn’t as necessary as you might think. Lots of short riders ride tall bikes comfortably. Take for the example a guy like Gaston Rahier (seen in the middle below). He’s one of the most accomplished motorcycle racers of all time and was a very short guy riding very tall bikes!
If your father is a welder you could probably just cut off the shock mounts on the swingarm and move them back a little. A fun afternoon project!
Best of luck with your new ride! Cheers.