My 1982 Honda Nighthawk 450cc needs a simple tune up.

Evan, what parts do I need in order to pull this off?

Well Wess, it depends what you’re trying to do. If you’re just changing the oil, adjusting the carbs, and adjusting the valves then you don’t need anything but an oil filter and some tools. What specifically are you trying to do?

I don’t think the bike has had an oil change in years! Definitely an oil change. I was thinking it might be beneficial to do a “general maintenance” tune up as I have done very little but replace the tires and fix a brake issue.

I don’t have much by way of tools…what would I need to adjust carbs and valves? The thought of doing those two things scares the crap out of me…NEVER done it, NEVER seen it done.

Thanks man,


Hi Wess –

You really won’t need a whole lot of tools to work on the carbs and valves. A standard set of metric wrenches, 10mm, 12mm, 13mm, and 14mm, along with a few screw drivers should let you do most of it.

You’ll need some basic sockets to remove the valve cover, and you’ll need valve feelers to adjust the clearances properly.

If you buy a set of mechanics tools from Craftsman at Sears you’ll probably have everything you need (valve feeler gauges probably don’t come in the sets, but are sold separately).

Working on a bike is generally quite easy, even for a novice. Just follow the steps in your manual, read as much as you can online, and you’ll be fine. Take your time and have fun with it.



I picked up some oil and a new filter, along with the gaskets. When I unbolted the oil cover I barely had 1/2 quart of oil come out. Am I missing something? Is it possible that it only had that little bit of oil in it, or am I missing another oil compartment somehow? The honda dealer sent me home with 3 quarts of oil, saying that I should need around 2 1/2 quarts.

Could it really have been down nearly 2 quarts of oil? That is awful.



Hi Wess,

The CM450 (and all Honda CM’s) are wet sump motors. If I remember correctly the CM450 oil capacity is just a shade over the 2 quart mark.

You need to drain oil from the oil drain bolt on the bottom of the motor AND from the oil filter housing. Did you get both?


I did the filter housing first, then just unplugged the bolt and THERE IT WAS! Just finished cleaning up, thanks for your help with the oil change.

I do have another question. The previous owner of my bike decided it would be a good idea to put straight pipes on it. Despite it’s little 450cc’s, it is loud and slightly obnoxious. Do you have any idea how I could quiet the thing down without spending $200 (only spent $300 to buy it) to purchase a new exhaust system?


Hi Wess

Are the pipes one solid straight pipe? Or are they the original headers with a straight pipe clamped on as an extension?

If they are a full solid pipe then really your only bet for a cheap exhaust is watching eBay and checking out your local scrap yard. If you have the headers then you could mount up some inexpensive new dunstall or similar style universal mufflers. You can usually get a set of those for around $100.

If you plan on keeping the bike a while then a new exhaust isn’t a ‘terrible’ investment. But that $300 sure can go a lone way when replacing brake pads, tires, cables, etc.


Evan Fell

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