16th Jun 2014, 01:03

Due to not having a left hand, I have a 1980 Honda CM400A Hondamatic. If you are looking to ride, it will accomplish that for you; it is reliable, trouble free, and inexpensive to operate. Some parts are getting tough to find though.

There are other options out there. I also ride a 2008 Yamaha FJR1300AE. It has a clutch that is controlled by a computer. When you shift, the computer actuates the clutch for you.

There are also other options; Honda put the Hondamatic in the 750 in the 1970's, Aprillia makes the Mana 850 that uses paddle shifters or a foot shifter with no clutch, Honda currently makes the CTX and NC700X that use no clutch and can either be ridden as an auto, or shifted with paddle shifters, Ridley (American made) has a bike with a CVT transmission like a snowmobile or ATV would have. There are others from the 70's and 80's by Honda, Suzuki, and Moto-Guzzi.

I hope this helps.


27th Apr 2015, 21:59

You are a motorcyclist! Just ride it AND smile. Who would you have to prove anything to? Now, if you really do not think you can ride 2 wheels anymore, don't ride it. But you asked the question, so you know you can ride. So, go ride.

I just sold my VW 1600cc trike and my 2005 1100 Shadow (I have been riding for 55 years) and if I can buy a just listed 1980 CM400A at a reasonable price, I WILL JUMP AT IT. 2 wheels, light weight, 1 up fun, and I have a bike I can just jump (well, not anymore) on and go. YES, YES, YES. Olympia, Wa. to the coast, to the various mountains, I-5, carry on the back of our motorhome. It has 2 wheels. I am a motorcyclist and so are you. Remember your rain gear!!!

23rd Jun 2016, 21:36

Hang in there Maggie and keep riding. I can't tell you about the automatic, but I had a manual CM400 and it was a nice handling bike. Not too top heavy. I do know the automatic transmission is a two speed. Probably fine if all you are doing is local riding.

Paddy O

13th Dec 2017, 03:06

Good luck and hang in there. I find just looking at my bike in the garage gives me pleasure. I have a 750 Magna, but would like to downsize. Best of luck to you.

11th Jan 2019, 12:23

I am a 53 year old male and have been riding since I was 8 years old. I have owned 200mph sport bikes to $30k Harleys and anything in between, even a Zuma, MX, enduro, BMW ADV bikes. Here is my point, I am able to buy ANY bike I wish and have very gladly just chosen to buy a CM400.

As someone else stated, I don't have anything to prove to anyone else and I ride for the joy of riding.

17th May 2019, 14:01

Just bought a 1981 CM400E. Had a 1998 Triumph Thunderbird and loved it, but found it a bit top heavy and the old Honda look has probably been stuck in my brain since the 1970s-80s when I first saw the older kids start getting bikes.

So it's been 5 years since your post -- Did you end up buying the CM400?

6th Jun 2020, 07:37

I have recently bought a 1980 Honda CM400T. The CM (the Hawk as the Americans call them) is the same as the European CB Dream series, although they do have an automatic option. The styling is supposed to be more for cruising the wide open road than dodging through traffic, but I don't really see that. The bike is very nippy with great handling, and you don't notice the few extra kilos of weight.

The CM400 is so familiar after the Superdream, with all parts in the right places and mostly similar controls, although I do have the benefit of an early cruise control on the 400. I'm a silver biker who has finally been able to buy the bike I really wanted when I was a lot younger. The CM400 is everything I hoped for. Although the paintwork is a little tired (it is 40 years old after all. Think how tired some people look at 40!), but responded well to T-cut and a little touch-up paint. The ample chromework is beautiful and still very solid. I just used a little cleaner and a lot of elbow grease, and most of the rust just came right off. The engine was overhauled professionally before purchase (carb' clean, safety check, oil and filter change) and runs smoothly, with a beautiful sound that hints at power without being in your face. (The neighbours will hear me go out but their windows will stay in the frames and their dogs won't howl).

Most important of all: she starts within a second every time! This is the big difference to her little sister, the Superdream, which I have just sold, mainly for that reason. The CM400 has wider tyres and therefore greater grip than the smaller Superdream, and a whole world more power when you open her up. The condition is also way better, feeling more solid everywhere.

I don't thrash it so top speed is irrelevant for me, but I want it to be powerful enough to easily overtake slow vehicles, and to give a feeling of power coming out of bends or drifting through deserted countryside. It seems to do this beautifully. The handling is very good indeed, with a tiny turning circle, despite the buckhorn handlebars which still feel a bit strange. Everything is laid out exactly where you need it and the overall styling is something else! So much smarter than the British CB version of the same. I had the side panniers removed which has vastly improved the look of the bike. The mechanic also removed the rusted engine bars, which was a pity. I hope I don't live to regret that, but they were well rusty.

An enthusiast I met at a motorbike fair once told me that he had owned both 250 and 400 Hondas (both CBs), and once he rode the 400 would never go back. Having now got one I can only agree. They're like getting your first real bike after riding a moped for years. Only question is: how long can this incredible bike go on for? Might be like Trigger's broom and need everything replacing eventually, but I guess it'll still be a magnificent machine.