The Nighthawk Lives! How I Conquered the Killer Vacuum Lines From Outer Space

Safety Gear while riding is no jokeFollowing the super friendly advice from the cloud mind at the Nighthawk Forums, I decided to do the cheapest replacements first. The vacuum line was the most likely culprit so I started there.

After replacing the vacuum line, I didn’t really have time to drive up and down the expressway as much as possible until last night.

The best part is that the new vacuum line that I got from the auto parts store cost me less than a dollar! I haven’t replaced the fuel line yet, but that’s just because I didn’t want to take off the tank.

I put on my reflective vest and got on the bike, figuring that I’d stall out on the expressway and I knew I wanted people to be able to see me. It’s not the sexiest gear for a motorcyclist, but I’m okay with that.

I got on I-355, going south since I don’t do that often, and just kept riding, then paying tolls, and riding some more. I remember looking at the watch that’s strapped to my handlebars as soon as I hit 65mph, the magic kill-the-bike number.

I counted: one minute at 65, two minutes, five minutes, ten minutes, then fifteen and a half hour passed. I was soon going 70mph, edging toward 80 occasionally. I never really felt confident that the bike wouldn’t stall on me, so for the most part I was in the far right lane, but I was also able to enjoy myself.

I exited I-355 at exit 1, and then decided to find my way home without using maps or my phone, a common exercise I employ. Also, I ran out of cash for the tolls. $3.80 is a lot for just a motorcycle! It was a nice ride, either way.

The Next Steps

petcock-fold nighthawk 750After spending about two hours out on the bike, I think I can say that the problem has been resolved. I still plan on ordering a petcock rebuild kit, though, because there’s a fold in it that I’m not very happy with.

I get many parts from Bike Bandit, but I wasn’t able to find this on their parts list, so I found a petcock repair kit on another site. It’s only $22, which is a lot less than replacing the entire petcock.

I’ll be taking the bike out again a few more times on the expressway, to test the road-worthiness. You can be sure that I’ll have my ugly reflective vest on, too!


On the night of the 15th, I’m riding back to Michigan to see friends and family for that weekend, so I need to make sure it’s in great riding condition first.

And no, I don’t really think my old vacuum line came from outer space.

6 thoughts on “The Nighthawk Lives! How I Conquered the Killer Vacuum Lines From Outer Space

  1. clark olson

    do you have pictures of where all the vacuum lines go?

    • The top picture of this post is where they go, that’s the most I’ve got right now. They’re all just right behind the petcock.

  2. JHCo50

    Hi again Charlie. I have rebuilt several Honda Rebels the last few years. However, I will be 70 in a few months and I’m tired, LOL! I am finishing up a dirt bike for myself and then it will just be maintenance on my bikes. I have a Kawasaki Vulcan, a Honda Rebel, and the dirt bike. I have one more trip planned, riding through the Comanche grasslands in Colorado. This may be it for me on trips. To be honest the Rebel is my favorite bike. I ride it everywhere. I bought it a couple of years ago. It is a 2005 and had 600 miles on it. Just thought I would share with you. Keep the rubber on the road.

    • I loved my Rebel – they’re good bikes! I can see preferring it to a dirt bike, but I feel like the Vulcan would definitely be my choice for highway riding. If it’s just “around” though, can’t beat that Rebel! My only complaint is how my back felt when I was riding it, but I think that’s all cruisers that do that.

      You’ve probably rebuilt your share of bikes now! I hope your birthday is good. When are you riding the grasslands? I can’t imagine doing that in the heat of the summer, but I’m not very good in the heat.

      Thanks for sharing! Keep the shiny side up!

  3. JM

    What diameter hose is the vacuum line?

    • I honestly don’t know, so I just looked it up on Bike Bandit. looks like it’s 3.5mm hose, and it was maybe 6″ long. Bike Bandit has it for $72, so I’m guessing the -10M in the part number means that it’s 10 meters of hose!

      I think it cost me about a dollar at Ace Hardware, I just took in the old hose and matched it up.

      BULK HOSE, VACUUM (3.5X8000) (3.5X70) (guessing all that’s millimeters)

      Manufacturer # 95005-35008-10M

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