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1988 Honda NX650 Reader Ride | Back End

Dave Povey bought his 1988 Honda NX650 eight years ago, after a mate had been trying for 15 years to get him into riding

Dave Povey’s 1988 Honda NX650

Dave: Why I bought it

I finally had a few dollars to spare and needed some me-time. A mate had been onto me for years, saying I would really enjoy riding – so I started looking around. This bike had just been put back on the road after sitting under a house for a number of years, with a couple of really quite minor issues from my understanding. It had just done 11,000km to the NT for the Off-Centre Rally, so had been set up to do the type of touring I wanted to try. Other than taking it for a short ride to see if I was comfortable with the height and weight, it was a no-brainer as I knew and trusted the sellers.

What he did to it

I’ve done nothing to the bike as it was already done: it has a set of homemade pannier racks as good as any you could buy and the dual exhaust had rusted out so it now has a single pipe into a Staintune muffler. It still has the standard 11 litre tank (12 if it is really empty and fill it to the absolute top).

How does it go?

It goes great! It has electric start, but still has kickstart, which is great if there are any electrical problems – there’s no computers to upset, so it is easy to fault find with basic tools. I should probably look at changing the rear sprocket to get a little more top speed.

Would he recommend it?

If you are looking to head off on long-distance trips, this bike is still worth considering, even though you would have to buy it second-hand and carry extra fuel or get a larger tank. You can’t kill them, they are easy to fix out in the bush and they are fun to ride when set up right. They are a special bike. I can’t see me getting rid of it as it will always have a place – it’s the right bike for the job. (If I were to mention selling, it would go back to original owner Woz, he has asked every year if I am selling…)


• It’s gone around the clock a few times, so that’s thousands of kays.
• Dave’s cousins with a certain bloke, last name Sutton, so it gets all its mechanical love in Sutto’s workshop at Penrith, Sydney.
• Dave bought the bike eight years ago and it was his first.
• He doesn’t intend trading up to something newer. “What for?” Dave is often heard saying over the crackle of a campfire…
• Dave rides the bike on at least two rallies each year, plus regular weekend adventures following faint dotted lines on a map with his mates in the BMW Touring Club.

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