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Draggin the Hawk

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    Draggin the Hawk

    So I noticed a considerable dearth in drag racing going on in the Hawk GT world, and figured I'd help out.

    I already posted up my thread about wanting to rejet the bike since I bought it with pods installed but apparently it only had stock mains.

    So after careful consideration I went to the local dealer and bought 145 mains for both cylinders.

    Then I went drag racing. This is my story:

    There were an awful lot of bikes in line as I rolled up to the staging lanes, and I couldn't help but feel a little intimidated. Everything was wrapped in plastic, and it all advertised ten second passes. All of course except mine. I had by a three second gap the slowest bike at the track.

    Not that I wasn't used to bringing less than dragworthy vehicles. I'd been an avid drag racer with my Volvo wagon for years. I'd managed to rip off a [email protected] in that before.

    I remember always feeling like I was gonna pee my pants I was so excited to race my cars. Imagine how it was on the bike.

    So they called for the bike lanes to mount up, and I passed the clothing inspector with flying colors. I was probably the most heavily leathered there, save my protruding butt and crotch from my patchwork chaps.

    I had no idea how to launch the bike because, well, I'd never launched at a track before. I'd done this almost every time I left a stoplight, but the track had VHT, aka very high traction. I knew it'd want to stand up. If only I'd known how much.

    The 636 staging next to me probably was just as confused as I was about what the Hawk was doing there. God knows what the crowd of 2,000 people was thinking. I was about to give them a hell of a show.

    I went for it. Tree'd up and lit to triple yellow, I nailed the gas to about 3/4 throttle, leaned over the tank as far as I could, and barely feathered the clutch, just as the nose took to the air.

    The bike immediately raised upward way beyond 45 degrees, listing slightly left, as my friends would attest, as I actually quite comfortably set it back down with the drop of the throttle, then nailed it again and took off. The 636 next to me managed to botch the launch too, so we stayed surprisingly even until, ya know, horsepower came into effect.

    I shifted into second HARD and the bars wiggled in my hands. It had gotten up again. I kept on it and kept banging shifts and curling my body against the tank as the Ninja sped into the distance.

    I grabbed my slip and wasn't too shocked when I saw [email protected] on it. That wild attempt at a 12 o'clock launch netted me a 2.31 60', and the rest tells the tale.

    "I thought you were gonna fall over," my friend Andres said.

    Of course I had no idea why my bike, which traps almost 100mph STOCK with a 40lb heavier rider, would trap 5mph slower in modified form with only 13,000 miles on it.

    I went for a second pass, this time determined not to flip over backward. Of course they staged me against a Gixxer 1000 with an extended swingarm. You can imagine how that went.

    I part throttled it as the tree dropped to full green, feathering it out and nailing it hard once the clutch bit. No flying nose. No wild acrobatics. Just rip, boom, and I was gone.

    The nose once again raised up a couple inches on the second gear shift, and I pressed my body against the tank to keep the wind off me as I banged out clutchless shifts, this time clicking it into 5th just as I hit the traps.

    The Gixxer ate me by a mile, but I didn't care. I was having fun.

    The second slip was an improvement: 2.06 60', [email protected] - better, but not good enough.

    I decided to call it a night at that point, because the bike wasn't trapping any higher. I'll probably experiment with slightly leaner jetting, since the bike wasn't making that popping sound at 6,000rpm+, and felt a little slower than it should be up there.

    That's it.
    '88 Hawk GT - back in the saddle
    '99 Suzuki GZ250 - the first

    '87 Suzuki GSXR1100/1207cc - traded to get my Hawk back

    #2
    man i thought I was about to read about a vht crash too soon after you aqcuired your hawk. lucky bastard, I haven't even ridden mine yet, still in the bedroom... shot myself in the foot today at the DMV by unknowingly putting the exact price I bought my hawk for on the title transfer form. $247 in new york state taxes applied! thanks a lot NY!
    props to YOU, though, no matter what!
    ride Red.

    Comment


      #3
      Cool!

      That is a first for me. I have never heard of anyone drag racing a Hawk, although the start of a race seems like a drag race into turn 1.

      Keep us posted.
      BIKES: Honda: RC31 Racebike/ CRF 110 Mini Motard, DUCATI: 748
      Former MSF Rider Coach / Trackday Instructor/ Expert Roadracer #116
      "I'd rather ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow."

      Comment


        #4
        I used to drag race my first Hawk a little bit back in the day, just for giggles. I tried and tried and tried, but I could never break under 13.00 or over 100.00. Always 13.0X and 99.X Drove me crazy.

        I definitely want to get back to the strip sometime, if I put my buddy Rick on it (the way it is now!) it will run in the high-10's for sure.
        J.D. Hord
        Keeper of Engine Nomenclature, 9th Order

        Comment


          #5
          Originally Posted by Hordpower
          I definitely want to get back to the strip sometime, if I put my buddy Rick on it (the way it is now!) it will run in the high-10's for sure.
          Good to hear a god among Hawk owners actually does things in the straight line. I'd like to know what gearing you'd use for a 130mph trapping Hawk. That's something I made a mental note of: My bike redlined in top gear below the trap speeds of every other bike there.
          '88 Hawk GT - back in the saddle
          '99 Suzuki GZ250 - the first

          '87 Suzuki GSXR1100/1207cc - traded to get my Hawk back

          Comment


            #6
            You would have to use the special "C-130" gearing: Push it out of the belly of a C-130 Hercules in flight and then your Hawk might do 130mph in the first 1/4 mile that it falls.

            Hord
            J.D. Hord
            Keeper of Engine Nomenclature, 9th Order

            Comment


              #7
              I think the terminal Velocity of a Hawk would be about 150 mph. Give or take.
              BIKES: Honda: RC31 Racebike/ CRF 110 Mini Motard, DUCATI: 748
              Former MSF Rider Coach / Trackday Instructor/ Expert Roadracer #116
              "I'd rather ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow."

              Comment


                #8
                It's funny, I never thought my hawk could wheelie. Until I said that out loud. At the start of the next race I pulled a giant wheelie!

                I haven't doubted her since.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Isaac... shit, man, you're something else! I wanna drag my hawk now!
                  1988 "BlackHawk" project
                  1989 "RallyHawk" is Chuck's now!
                  1988 "The Gray" Tempest Gray Metallic stocker

                  I can't tell you how peaceful it is. Shinya Kimura
                  People who know ride Hawks. Riot

                  Comment


                    #10
                    hehe i live about 10 minutes away from a pretty good track us41 international dragstrip. when i moved to the area i was curious so i took the hawk paid 20 and ran 4-5 times. my gearing was way off and didnt like the way the bike was running, and ran low 14s at about 95mph. speaking of wheelies, i had an old plug patch in the tire that i had forgotten about. well with the stress the tire was going through at the track it started to leak. so imaging trying to launch with 10-15 pounds of pressure in the back tire lol thats the only reason why i stopped. couldnt take off without the front going up in first and second. after that night i understand why its so important to the stunt riders that they ride around with 10 pounds of air in the rear tire.

                    i plan on going again this season with the rc51 i want to see what that will do.
                    1988 & 1991 hawkgt, 2005 rc51

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I have a good drag racing story here: About ten years ago I took my GSXR 750 to the track to run with some buddies. I had put a new back tire on it the night before (that comes into play later)
                      I made two passes, leaving on the rev limiter in second gear, pretty much feathering the clutch until shifting to third, carrying the front wheel about a foot off the ground until time to shift.
                      I checked my BRAND NEW tire before the third pass and saw that it was already getting a flat spot, so I did a very small burnout that pass. Well, it was cooling off and dew was settling, so the track was getting somewhat slick. I left just like I had the first two times, carrying the wheel barely off the ground all the way through second. I did not realize the back tire was spinning until it hooked up and flipped over backwards right as I was going to shift to third. It happened so fast I did not even realize it was coming up until I was flopping down the track, seeing my bike on its side spinning like a helicoptor every time I rolled over.
                      It happened to be a shootout weekend so the crowd was HUGE, and I just happened to crash right in front of the bleechers. I pretty much felt like a tard. I jumped up, ran to the bike and had it picked up before the track people got to me. I got the handle bars and shifter and everything halfway straightened out and made another pass, losing about two tenths of a second due to a very cautious launch. Or it might have been due in part to the fact that the handlebars were still kinda crooked, or the subframe was tweaked off to one side. Kinda funny, all of my buddies lost time too, after seeing what I did!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I used to drag race my Hawks back in the early-mid 90's. I think... I turned 12.40's and 1.6sec 60 foot times all day long. The weak link was the clutch as far as I could tell. I never had a problem with any other part of the bike, but did eat a clutch every now and then. Barnett springs seemed to help, but the stock plates were the best. It was easy to launch since it didn't have any power and was not that short (by today's standards). It would boogie out of the hole and then just run out of breath when you shifted it into third It did have some mods, but only made about 58hp. The F2 front end was slammed, too.

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