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  • Paul

The Mighty Honda CB400

The good looks, we've come to expect

Back in the nineties, when licencing and insurance regulations were just that little bit ‘looser’ everyone in the motorcycle trade, it seemed, were in the business of importing clean, used bikes from Japan.

One of the model genres that we didn’t have, with the exception of Kawasaki, was the 400cc road and sports bikes. One of the legends was the CB400 from Honda.

But nothing lasts forever. We all grew up and bought Fireblades. The ‘parallel import market’, as it was known, quietly faded away.

These days those licencing and insurance regulations are a whole lot more straightforward and leave little or no room for casual interpretation. Yet the parallel market is back, all be it in a smaller way than it was back then.

Bikes such as the CB400 have, along with their larger capacity siblings, evolved to being every bit as stylish and as competent as one could reasonably expect them to do over three decades!

The engine is still a straight forward inline four 399cc unit. This time it’s an electronically fuelled affair that’s a whole lot cleaner that it’s predecessors in the class. Rather impressively it puts out 42bhp. More good news is that this number makes it learner legal while still being just as ridable  for those of us who would regard ourselves as being more than competent older, wiser and  more experienced riders.

X marks the spot

Weighing in at 195 kilos with a low 810mm seat height makes the Honda extremely unintimidating and easy to use by riders who are new.

More good news is that the companies CB 500 range is essentially a bigger version of the same machine. There’s an F and an R as well as an X in production. All are widely available in the domestic market. Many of the parts are interchangeable with the 400s.

A conventional 6-speed gear box is as standard. There are no DCT options.

The current machines are being imported directly by Moto4U in Dublins Rathfarnham. We’ve found a brilliantly priced used one here.

Back in the good old days!


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