For the most part, the 1974-1976 Honda CB400F (Four) was an upgraded version of the 350 model from the previous year. The most striking change was the swoopy four-into-one exhaust system that snaked around the frame, converging into a single muffler on the right side of the bike.
Also noticeable were the angular fuel tank and flat cafe-style handlebars, all of which gave the bike a more racer-like look and feel than the rather pedestrian 350.
The Honda engine was 408cc transverse inline-four with a bore & stroke of 51mm x 50m and a compression ratio of 9.4:1. The four 20mm Keihin piston valve carburetors were ignited by coils, points, and condensers.
Although aimed at the sporting segment of the motorcycle market, the four-stroke Super Sport CB400F did not have the acceleration of the competition’s two-strokes, particularly the triples from Kawasaki.
But what the Honda CB400F engine lacked in power it made up for in refinement, the small-displacement four-stroke being smoother, quieter and much more economical than the two-strokes.
To help keep the engine in its power band, Honda employed a six-speed transmission-something of a rarity at the time, to push along the 390 lbs. wet weight motorcycle.
The Super Sport CB 400 Four was a very successful motorcycle in club or privateer racing. Kaz Yoshima and other racers were able to take Honda’s little 408cc engine up to 490cc and with the addition of other racer options, this small bore was considered a giant killer.
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