A bike you either love or hate, it has a following in both camps. Hal Lacino has it as number ten in his all time “Ugliest motorcycles of all time”. Well I suppose beauty is in the eye of the beholder?
Another bike attributed to the legendary Shoichiro Irimajiri along with the CBX1000, 4, 5 & 6 cylinder DOHC Grand Prix bikes and the Formula One cars. Born January 3rd 1940 in Kobe, Japan he gained a Degree in Aeronautical Engineering at the University of Tokyo. His reign with Honda lasted from 1972 to 1992 when a heart problem led him to resign. After a year out following the Ki kou Chinese breathing method he had recovered his health and joined Sega Entertainment Ltd.
Developed from the unpopular CB350F (not imported into the UK). Cost when new in 1975 £669, about 15 months wages back then. In 2010 road worthy examples are from £900 to £2,900. I have seen the odd unused example fetch around £3,500.
Accessories – Under seat tool kit for roadside maintenance and Owners manual, the clear protective bag for this is P/No.77251-342-000 if you want absolutely everything as was!
A guide to how many survived, David Silver had approximately 1,500 CB400F owners on his books in 2005. In 2004 he sold 108 OEM exhausts and 95 front fenders!!! surely enough demand there for Honda to keep supplying parts for our dream bike? Most speedometers in breakers yards read around 30,000 miles. I suspect that the bill for pistons and cam chain rebuild made most owners scrap their machines, now we all seem to wish we hadn’t!
CB400F – Frame:- CB400F-1007709 to CB400F-1073399 – Engine:- CB400FE-1000001 to CB400FE-1069245 Colours – Light ruby red or Varnish blue CB400F2 – Frame:- CB400F-1073400 onwards Engine:- CB400FE-1084315 onwards Colours – Candy antares red or parakeet yellow
In 1976 Honda entered three standard (other than tyres & gearing) CB400F’s in the Isle of Man junior TT and they finished 2nd, 3rd & 4th, not bad for a bike some call ‘gutless’. I think this tag may apply if you live in a very hilly area, but, on the flat … great. Most parts are still available and large savings can be made by trawling the auto jumbles. The parts hardest to source now include OE style exhaust system, fuel tank, rear fender (U.K. type), chain case, clocks, rear dampers & headlight bracket, this list is now growing day to day.
Since the death of Soichiro Honda, the business men have moved in, the good news however is, that I’m hearing stories of Honda producing some CB750 parts once more and more replica parts are being made. Once restored you will reap the benefits of owning a classic bike, cheap insurance, good fuel economy, almost no depreciation after a large drop the first year and plenty of maintenance to while away the winter hours. Resale value of this machine is quite dependant on it having the original Honda exhaust! A good replica silencer is available around 75% less in cost.
Nearest modern equivalent for the UK, note the exhaust.
2021 Honda CB650R, spoilt only by digital instrument panel.
2021 CB400SF NC42 Available in Japan only – For those interested in what it looks like today follow this link 2021 CB400SF-V