Date: Thu, 9 Oct 2003 12:54:40 -0700
From: Todd in SF 
Subject: Fwd from UK list: The Bros/Hawk Designer

>From: Stuart Ballard
>Reply-To: United Kingdom HawkGT List 
>Subject: The Bros/Hawk Designer
>Date: Thu, 9 Oct 2003 05:03:39 -0400
>Hi all,
>I emailed to see if I could find out who
>designed the Bros and got this amazing reply, check out the third
>"Hi Stuart
>the Bros/Hawk was designed by Toshiaki Kishi and was the second
>Honda with Pro-Arm as it has the model designation RC31coming
>immediately after the . . .  yes that one (RC model designation is for
>bikes up to 750cc only, the RC51alias VTR1000 SP-1 sold in the
>states is purely a marketing name and should be an SC!).
>Mr Kishi also designed the Super Blackbird, 1988 CBR1000, 750
>Africa Twin, Hornet 900, 2002 VFR800, Z50R, RC45, and a load of
>other stuff- he' one of the greatest Honda designers and still chunning
>them out. MrKohama did however design the similarly styled Spada
>250, I'm not sure who was first.
>I am a designer for Honda at the European R&D in Frankfurt Germany
>and ride a Hawk myself and am convinced it's one of the greatest
>bikes ever made. Mr Kishi used to be my manager, but I didn't know
>he had designed it when I bought it and later told me where he had
>made mistakes and wanted to improve etc.- too late, anyway most
>people wouldn't notice. The NTV650 was produced as a european
>demand for a more touring Hawk with a bigger tank, shaft drive,
>cheaper construction (steel frame), better comfort etc. but the Hawk
>was still imported to Austria in small numbers where it was better
>recieved than in America which was the sub- target market after
>Japan, where nobody in his right mind wants to ride an
>underpowered, tiny, uncomfortable, short range "standard" bike. I'm
>sure they only launched it in USA to give kudos to the Japanese sales
>drive! anyway I can be happy as mine was gray imported to Germany
>as an unsold USA machine.
>The Deauville is a damm fine thing to ride as well- no prejudice at all!
>try one.
>all the best"
>Well I'm amazed, "one of the greatest bikes ever made", seems we
>have taste then! Wonder what the bits are that he wanted to improve,
>I'll ask.

A minor correction:  The Pacific Coast (PC800) has an engine of more
than 750 cc and a model designation RC34. Other than that, thanks for
sharing a very interesting bit of Honda history with the list. Too bad
Aaron has already published his book.

also, 98+ vfr800, 781cc => rc46.  not sure what all these have in common.
does the PC have a SSS?  shaftie?