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Honda CB400F

(by Guy ‘Guido’ Allen, Oct 2021)


Mini superbike?

It's highly questionable whether Honda's CB400-Four ever deserved the 'mini superbike' tag that was attached to it, however it was a delightful thing to ride.

If you're been fortunate enough to throw a leg over one, you'll know the jewel-like multi has en engaging sound, backing up the promise of the distinctive 'waterfall' header pipes that made the appearance of this model. Sold 1974 to 1977, in Australia it would have cost you around $1500 (US$1100, GB£800) plus on-road costs.

Though overwhelmed in outright performance and excitement by Yamaha's mighty RD400 two-stroke, it was neverheless for the time a respectably qiuick and tidy-handling mount.

Max power from the two-valve air-cooled powerplant (a development of the 350-Four which preceded it) was a claimed 37 horses (27.5kW) at 8500rpm. That was fed through a six-speed transmission – one more cog than was common for the time. Wet weight was 185kg.

Performance was 14.7sec across the standing quarter and a 165km/h top speed.

Two iterations were produced, which were almost identical except for colour schemes. The first models were red or blue with colour-matched sidecovers, while the second versions were red or yellow with black sidecovers.

Honda CB400-four

This example was auctioned recently in the USA by Iconic. It was an exceptional survivor with a known ownership history and went for Au$9600 (US$7600, GB£4100). We reckon that was good buying.

More resources

Honda CB400F

Specs and backgrounder at Motorcycle Specs

Motorcycle Classics feature

Motorcyclist feature

Our other CB400F mini feature!



More features here

See the bikes in our shed


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