Мотоцикл honda cb 400ss replica
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Мотоцикл honda cb 400ss replica

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Мотоцикл honda cb 400ss replica

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CB400SS given a taste of the ’60s grid

Honda’s own custom version of its CB400SS has made it a retro to be proud of.

The bike has been transformed with aftermarket parts to give it a look like a 1960s GP racer.

All the original bodywork – what there was of it – has been binned in favour of a polished aluminium fuel tank, glass-fibre nose fairing and cafe-racer-style single-seat tail. The stock bike’s uninspiring 29bhp power output won’t be raised much by the addition of shorter silencers, but at least the customised version should make all the right noises.

There’s just one obvious question – why didn’t Honda make the stock bike like this?

The one-off example was shown at the Tokyo Show.

Honda CB400 SS – quick look

In my search for an optimal 400-450-engined travel bike that isn’t a CCM GP450 I remembered the Honda CB400 SS grey imports I’d seen on ebay.

These Japan-only SOHC 400cc singles from the Noughties (about 2002-2009) look very similar to the Chinese Shineray-built 400 retros (branded ‘Mash’ in the UK) which I rode a couple of weeks ago and which go new in the UK for around £4000.

Even more than the Chinese versions, the CB SS really is 70s or 80s technology, right down to a carb. It too has a pleasing retro look and low seat that someone new to a full license might like. But are they worth from £3200 upwards? I nipped over to the shop in west London that sells all sorts of exotic Japanese stuff, including several CB400s for a closer look.



As you may have read, the CB’s engine is a version of the XBR500 we got here in the late 80s – an unusual kick and electric motor that made 43hp. With time and money to spare that might be a motor worth sticking into a trail bike frame. Why not just get an XR600-650? The subframes are too skinny for travel loads. Meanwhile, the 400SS makes a claimed 29hp, the same as claimed by the newer, injected Chinese versions.

I was hoping to see if the 8-year old Jap original might have more poke than the near-new Mash I tried but instead of a burn up along the Westway to Perivale I was limited to a 2nd-gear run alongside the railway arches – my progress further hampered by speed bumps. It’s hard to be certain but even then I did detect a bit more pull from the Honda than I recalled from the Chinese-made Mash. Other differences on the CB include a better operating front brake, a smaller tank, a box-section swingarm and – from the exterior castings at least – a different motor.

Engine: Air cooled, four stroke, single cylinder, 85 x 70 OHC, 4 valve
Displacement: 397cc
Bore and Stroke: 85 x 70 mm
Compression ratio: 8.8:1
Max Power: 29hp 21.2 KW @ 7000 rpm
Max Torque: 31 Nm @ 5500 rpm
Transmission: 5 speed
Final drive: Chain
Front Brake: Single disc
Rear Brake: Drum
Front Tyre: 100/90-19
Rear Tyre: 110/90-18
Seat Height: 790 mm (31 inches)
Dry weight: 139 kg (306 lb)
Fuel capacity: 11 Litres (2.9 Gal)

But like the Chinese-built bikes, they’re just asking too much for these decade-old CBs. My red example had just had about £500 dropped from the price down to £3200, but here and elsewhere in the UK they’re asking around £3800 – nearly the same as the new Shinerays which themselves aren’t bargains.
I got the feeling these CB400SSs weren’t exactly flying out the door, nor would I expect them to. Look at my 2009 ABS Versys bought for effectively £2100. So while I’m still not sure about the Chinese bikes, at current prices and with locally available XR400s, the CB400SS is not a contender, even if it does have the benefits of native Japanese engineering.


Other 400-cc bikes in the similar category include the more modern, Brazilian made Honda NX4 Falcon (left). They do pop up occasionally in the UK dealers going from between £2200 and an optimistic £3700.


Or how about the Honda Bulldog 400 – only a concept and likely to stay that way, just like the 250 Ryoku Yamaha from a couple of years back. That’s a down-sized CB500 twin engine, in case you’re wondering. Round and round it goes.

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    It had a frame similar to that of the CL400 semi-double cradle frame, and mounted a XR400R type RFVC engine. It was a kick start bike with an auto decompression system.


    Manufacturer HONDA Engine Type Air-Cooled 4 Stroke OHC 4-Valve Single Cylinder
    Model Name CB400SS Starter Kick Starter
    Grade Maximum Output (ps) 29ps(21kw)/7000rpm
    Drive Train Maximum Torque (kgf/m) 3.2kg-m(31N-m)/5500rpm
    Model Type NC41 Curb Weight 153
    Displacement 397 Dry Weight 139
    Sales Launch Year 2001/10 Fuel Efficiency by Catalog 39.0 km/L (at 60 km/h)
    Height/Width/Length 1125/160/2165 Fuel Tank Capacity 11
    Seat Height 790 Distance to Empty
    Front Tire Indication 100/90-19 57S Fuel Supply Carburetor
    Rear Tire Indication 110/90-18 61S
    Standard Plug DPR8Z Chain Size 520
    Number of Used Plugs 1 Chain Link Number 104
    Engine Oil Amount 2.2 Battery Code YTR4A-BS
    Engine Oil (Refill) 1.7L Headlight 12V 60w/55w
    Engine Oil (Element Replacement) 1.8L Headlight Type H4
    Front Blinker Rating 12V 15w Headlight Remarks
    Drive Sprocket Teeth Number 15 Tail Light Rating 12V 18w/5w
    Driven Sprocket Teeth Number 35 Rear Blinker Rating 12V 15w
    Motor Model Code NC38E Caster Angle 28.0 Degrees
    Bore (mm) 85 Trail (mm) 128
    Storke (mm) 70 Minimum Ground Clearance 160
    Compression Ratio 8.8 Distance Between Axes
    Ignition Method CDI Type Battery Ignition Streering Angle (Right)
    Engine Lubrication Type Force Feeding Type (Dry Sump Type) Turning Angle (Left)
    Frame Type Semi Double Cradle Mirror Screw Hole Diameter 10mm
    Minimum Rotaion Radius 2.5 Fuel Tank Reserve Capacity
    Front Brake Type Hydraulic Disc Suspension Type (Rear) Swing Arm
    Front Brake Remarks Number of Rear Shock Absorbers
    Rear Brake Type Mechanical Leading Trailing Rear Suspension Stroke
    Rear Brake Remarks Rear Wheel Travel
    Suspension Type (Front) Telescopic ABS
    Front Fork Type Drive Train Chain
    Front Suspension Stroke Differential Oil Amount
    Front Fork Diameter Chain Remarks
    Seat Lowering Allowance Theft Prevention Device Available
    Mirror Screw Hole Diameter 10mm Tail Light Bulb Type S25
    Mirror Remarks Genuine Adapter: Type D Tail Light Base Shape BAY15D
    Electronic Device Remarks Tail Light Base Shape 2
    Fuel Gauge Tail Light Remarks Glass Shape G18 Also Installable
    Clock Front Blinker Bulb Type T13
    Hazard Front Blinker Base Shape
    Clutch Type Wet Multiple Plate Coil Spring Tappet Clearance (mm) EX
    Transmission Permanently Engaged 5-Stage Normal Shift Idling Initial Value (rpm) 1300(rpm)
    Number of Gears 5 Needle Steps (Clip Location)
    Gear Ratio 2.615 / 1.789 / 1.350 / 1.076 / 0.925 Float Level (mm)
    Primary Reduction Ratio 2.826 Air Screw Return
    Secondary Reduction Ratio 2.333 Main Jet Type
    Variable Speed Vehicle Gear Ratio Main Jet Number #108
    Tappet Clearance (mm) IN
    Clutch Cable Length Rear Brake Cable Length
    Choke Cable Length Other Cables
    Meter Cable Length Engine Number (Production Launch)
    Throttle Cable Length Engine Number (Production End)
    Front Brake Cable Length

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