1977 Honda CB400F from United Kingdom

Summary:

Fantastic, very reliable, economical and fun

Faults:

Genuine Honda coils don't last very well, but are easily replaced by reliable Boyer equivalents.

Electronic ignition is a bonus, especially after pattern points snapped.

Head gaskets tend to go after a while, but it's still possible to enjoy the track at Knockhill with a blown head gasket!

Seats tend to break after about 30,000 miles.

Gear changes occasionally need replaced due to the multi linkage breaking with high mileage and continual use.

General Comments:

Very reliable, I've covered well over 100,000 miles on challenging roads in Scotland, Ireland, Europe, etc with few problems.

Returns 60mpg regardless of how fast I run it. Currently I'm doing an 80 mile daily commute on a mixture of country lanes and city streets.

Superdream wheels and brakes with good-ridge hoses improve braking.

Only drawback is attitude of a lot of guys who think of it as only a womans bike; their problem, not mine. Wonder how many of their bikes will still be going in 30 years?

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd October, 2006

29th Oct 2006, 16:12

I love the CB400. Keep it mate, their opinion is their problem, as you say, not yours. I have a few mates that think little of the CB400 and I often correct them. I would like to own one and would be proud to do so.

I would love to get hold of an old CB400F.

24th Feb 2007, 11:33

Two years ago I piked up a beat-up 75 cb400 for fifty bucks. I rode it hard and often.

By winter it was time for a rebuild. It was remarkably easy to work on (however parts are not easy to find in the US). I added some performance upgrades (mild grind cam, as well as some intake and exhaust work). This little bike is now a head turner.

I get a lot of guff for it being a woman's bike, and many question it's power. I'm over six feet tall and 225 lbs, and still this bike remains very competitive. It is a joy to ride, nimble, and FAST! I have yet to be beaten by any Harley. Why on earth did Honda stop making them?

14th Jul 2008, 13:28

It's so good to hear such comments about a CB400. I hope you are able to keep that thing running for many more years! Most folks I speak to here in the U.S. have no idea what great bikes these are. I sold my 1978 CB400T2 Hawk in 1994 because I did not have time to do some major maintenance that kept it off the road - and I was moving to a new home and did not need the extra expense of moving the bike. Every day I wish I could have kept it.

1977 Honda CB400F from Belgium

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.

1975 Honda CB400F from United States of America

Summary:

A real joy to ride, and a smart looking classic design!

Faults:

Nothing.

General Comments:

The CB400F was produced from 1975-1977 and was a instant success, even though based on the smaller and much less desirable CB350F (of which was my first bike back in 1975).

Bike easily gets 55MPG (not imperial).

Wonderful reliability, starts the first time with no issues, revs quickly and gets off the mark with no hesitation.

The best looking of all the SOHC4 bikes Honda produced in the '70's, a true classic in every sense, but can easily keep the pace today.

Easy to work on and maintain, although I am planning on replacing the mechanical points one of these days with electronic. Rugged engine design.

Performance is brisk with very smooth torque curve, with a redline at 10,500RPM! The bike is quite light for its size and braking is adequate, using essentially the same system they used for the much heavier CB750.

Handling is very nice for a 30 year old bike and can be improved with progressive fork springs and modern rear springs (Progressive in England makes direct replacements for it (but you need to bend the chain guard a bit) ). A real joy to ride!

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th February, 2005