Honda CB400F Review from Belgium

1977 Honda CB400F

Model year1977
Year of manufacture1975
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2006
Acceleration marks 6 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 6 / 10
Handling marks 7 / 10
Braking marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.6 / 10
Distance when acquired48979 kilometres
Most recent distance50523 kilometres
Previous motorcyclePuch SG250

Faults:

Cam chain problems: slipper was complete worn (ever replaced?). I have changed the cam chain guide and slipper, and will replace the cam chain. Also replaced plugs (were in a terrible state!), contact points and capacitors.

I had some difficulty finding the best front fork oil, and now I use a mixture of 1/3 ATF and 2/3 20W heavy Fork oil (was recommended to my by a Honda Service dealer, but proved to be to 'heavy').

Main head light is also a problem: too weak and the generator does not deliver enough changing current for more powerful 55/50W or 65/60W bulbs. The problem is solved by replacing as many small lamps as possible by their LED-alternatives and saving so 40% on the current.

General Comments:

A very nice and attractive bike. Gets some attention, especially from older bikers.

It's still quite reliable, and up to going with the present day traffic.

I would not recommend to use on highways with fast traffic, but country riding is very pleasant due to the very good handling. It is not a 'simple' bike: you have to 'feel' when to switch (six gears!), when and how to brake, when to accelerate, but the bike gives you in return the 'real motorcycle feeling'.

Parts are still available in NOS, new replacements or second-hand. If possible, look for a spare engine and carbs at a reasonable price, so you can look how things fit to together and you can experiment before trying to repair/adapt your bike.

Have fun with it!

PS The bike is still sought after to rebuild it to a CR (Café Racer), see Yahoo CB400F community group.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th July, 2006

8th Jul 2008, 05:26

I ran a new CB400F2 (in bright yellow!) from 1978-1979. Must have been one of the last ones as I remember the dealer had a job to find it (the Superdream 400 twin had just come out).

Beautiful machine with a wonderful sound from the engine, and 100 mph on the speedo in reasonably good conditions.

I too found the headlamp weak and fitted a Cibié "Z-beam" 55/60W conversion, which gave great results. No problem with the generator either, but that was with a new bike.

Average review marks: 6.6 / 10, based on 1 review