408cc motorcycle released by Honda in 1975. The CB400 was Honda's sally into the cafe racer boom of the mid-seventies. The engine is still the basic four-cylinder, single overhead cam. Four Keihin carburetors handle the mixing, a single choke lever is located on the left in the standard position below the gas tank. "Honda Super Sport" is on the gas tank and a "400 Four" adorns the side panels. A basic four-into-one exhaust unit with some odd bends as it converges to a single pipe gives it a distinct appearance when looking at the right side of the bike. A front disc and a rear drum handle the stopping. Common amongst the small street racers of the time, the bike has a six-speed gearbox, and revs to 11,000 rpm before redline. Not quite matching the size of the 400 is the weight; it weighs in at 375 pounds dry. The CB400F was one of the first motorcycles to offer the look and performance of a sportbike. The gas tank's crisp clean lines, the insolent flip of the saddle's tail and the mass of pipes that make up the 4-into-one exhaust are all the features which draw eyes to this little bike. The CB400 was undoubtedly ahead of it's time, and like so many innovators, it paid the price.

Only midly popular at home in Japan, and failing miserably abroad in United States and Britain, the CB400F was only in production for three years. Complaints focued on the high front pegs, and the low and wide cafe-racer style handlebars. In 1978 Honda released a version with a more typical rider posture and a sporty yellow paint job, but the CB400F's fate was sealed.

There's quite a community around the CB400, and it's no surprise. A vintage cafe without the typical look of the Triumph Bonneville imitators of the era, it remains fairly easy to find parts for the bike. Servicing is a snap, with a simple toolkit and a shop manual, there are very few jobs a 12 year old girl couldn't handle. The real infatuation simply springs from the fact that the CB400F is fun to ride. Light, small, and sporty, the appreciative glances and thumbs up you get from passers-by more than make up for any headaches. The CB400F was my first bike, and like any first love occupies a special place in my heart forevermore.

General Specifications

Overall length: 80.3 in. (2,040mm)
Overall width: 27.8 in. (705mm)
Overall height: 40.9 in. (1,040mm)
Wheelbase: 53.3 in. (1,355mm)
Seat height: 31.1 in. (790mm)
Dry weight: 375 lb. (170kg)
Fuel capacity: 3.7 U.S. gal., 3.1 Imp. gal. (14 lit.)
Fuel reserve: 0.8 U.S. gal., 0.7 Imp. gal. (3 lit.)
Engine type: Air cooled, 4-stroke OHC engine
Cylinders: Vertical four, parallel
Displacement: 24.9 cu. in. (408cc)
Tappet clearance: Intake & exhaust 0.002 in. (0.05mm)
Idle speed: 1,200 rpm
Carburetor type: Piston valve
Main jet: No. 75
Slow jet: No. 40
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate type.
Transmission: 6-speed, constant mesh
Starting system: Starting motor and kickstarter
Battery capacity: 12V-12AH
Spark plug: NGK D8ESL, ND X24ES

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