Honda Revere NTV 600/650 Steve “Toast” Solomons

23 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Honda Revere NTV 600/650 Steve “Toast” Solomons
Honda NTV 600

Honda Revere NTV 600/650

Honda Revere NTV 600/650

©Steve ‘Toast’ Solomons

“Quick Licks” – A Short, Sharp, Survey by ‘Toast’


Oi, Mista, wanna cheapo hack? Oi, Siss, wanna know a well kept secret?


Honda set the standard for high mileage motorcycles, with good reliability, over and over again. Too numerous to list here (‘coz I am a lazy so-and-so) but I will mention the Revere’s (most) direct ancestor, by lineage, please hail the all-powerful, ubiquitous, UJM to beat them all – the CX (in 500 and 650 forms) better known as the ‘plastic maggot’.

Ugly, reliable, CX’s did most things well enough to earn the respect of a zillion Despatch Riders (myself included) and earn us a crust. When Honda stopped making it, we held our breath… and, in ’83 – along came – the VT500. Ugh.

It was ok, did nothing well, self-destructed if ridden to the max, build quality was poor. we hated it in droves.

Then, in ’87, as VT sales struggled, we were blessed once more! This time – with – The Revere! In 600cc form (ok, well, 583cc if we are going to be pedantic – as one regular reader of my missives is, and *keeps* pointing out obvious things like this – you know who you are) and later in 650 form (647cc, Dorkus of Dorking); claimed power (I don’t call this power – more sort of motivational force) was around 50 to 55 BHP.

Top speed – was realistically, the ton – 100 MPH – but if you had all day to wait, and the wind at your back (or a closely following Volvo articulated death-trap to push you along) you might just see 110. Eventually; in the fullness of time. Perhaps.


One of the things this splendid little bike did, was do this top speed – all day long; I Despatched on a couple, and sat on the motorways of this fair isle with the throttle nailed to the wide open position for hours at a time, and the speedo would sit at 100 to 105 all day, no probs, no long-term ill affects. What it isn’t is fast; the joy of trying to ride this fast is not to slow down for corners or junctions. Build quality and longevity was brilliant if a modicum of car was taken.

A second redeeming feature was the tyres – Honda saw fit to bless the little ‘Son of CX’ (I don’t count the VT500 – that was more of an premature abortion in my humble opinion) with a humongous rear tyre – 150/70 17 – so grippy rubber fits on, and this thing HANDLES! Wow does it handle – you can lean it over until Armageddon and it goes round corners and roundabouts better than bikes ten times its cost!

Thirdly – yes, folks, there’s more – it’s shaft drive! Brilliant. Superb, with its single-sided swinging arm it’s a fuss-free bike.


They are cheap now; cheap as chips! Going for a mere few hundred smackers on the likes of eBay, Biketrader, etc etc…

Hunt out a low-mileage example (they are about – this thing will see 80K miles without too many traumas – clutches go at 40K but that’s cheap and simple to sort) and 120K is known regularly too, no worries.

Honda NTV 600
Honda NTV 600

Check it over careful-like (see my Bike Buyer’s Guide on here somewhere), and if it’s all original, no naughty-looking quick-fixes to wiring looms etc, everything works and it goes in a straight line, buy it – and have a cheap bike that, if you take care of it (WARM IT UP BEFORE THRASHING – you at the back from Dorking) it will give you good service.

Bung on a set of Bridgestone’s finest Durex hoops and off you go; many have luggage fitted, some have fairings and some don’t.


Do you do a lot of town riding? Fast town riding? Stop and start hard riding?

Fit a fan by-pass switch (you gotta have by-passes – I have) and keep an eye on the temp gauge; if it starts to rise past the normal level, throw the switch and cool it down – the thermal switch in the rad can often be a bit slow in cutting in, leading to unnecessary overheating, which, on a water-cooled bike, will be expensive to repair – and there is absolutely no need for that to happen.


So get out and browse – there are loads about, don’t buy a dog, take your time and buy a good one; if going the eBay route – see it before bidding, insist on it being fully warmed up and then left to tick over to see if it overheats, and if the fan kicks in and cools it down, you know it works – but fit the by-pass anyway.

Check for water in the oil and vice versa. So, go on – get one – you know what they say – “eat shit – ten million flies cannot be wrong”. Highly recommended!

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Honda NTV 600
Honda NTV 600
Honda NTV 600
Honda NTV 600
Honda NTV 600
Honda NTV 600

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