Jeff Pamer: Sometimes the design of a bike, or an aspect of it leaves a mark on history. The Suzuki Katana’s angular faring, Indian’s swooping fenders, and Kawasaki green – just to name a few. Honda has certainly left a few marks along the way, but nothing quite like the exhaust design on the CB400F. The exhaust lookss like water in a stream gently working its way around a rock. The curves look like the headers just wanted to move that way naturally. The equally impressive thing is that they mass-produced such a complex and beautiful piece of metal work. The exhaust has become so iconic that Honda did a tribute to them on the 2019 CB650R. I could honestly hang a set of the four into one exhaust on my wall in the living room, and not have to explain why to anyone. Probably.
The CB400F was a replacement for the CB350 when it was released in 1975 for the 1976 model year. The 408cc four-cylinder four stroke engine with a single chain driven cam produced just under 40 horsepower. The bike was also given a 6th gear, an upgrade from the previous 350. Honda went after a more sporting look for the CB400F with lower handle bars and rear set foot pegs. The 400 struggled to live up to these design touches, as one of the biggest complaints of the bike was that it was slightly underpowered. When put next to the Kawasaki two stoke triples of the time, it was a tough market to be oriented in. But the Honda four had refinement to hang its hat on. The bike was smooth, quiet, and reportedly a pleasure to operate.
This first year example cosmetically is in fantastic shape, with the signature exhaust in perfect shape. The seller has noted that the bike is all stock other that the headlight which was swapped out for a larger one, guessing that it’s from a similar year Goldwing. The original headlight and mounting brackets come with the bike as well, if you would like to go back to stock. There has also been some recent work done on the bike including a full tune up, new chain and sprockets, and a brake system rebuild that includes the addition of steel braided lines. The bike is also been set up to be stored for the winter with the fuel drained and the brake system left dry as well. The bike runs and idles well with the seller offering videos as evidence if requested.
Find this 1976 Honda CB400F in Seattle Washington for $3,500 here on Craigslist.