Riding the Honda CB400 Four

First created on 8th Apr 2006.

After a year of class 2B (<= 200cc), it's time to upgrade my license to class 2A (<= 400cc). I actually forgot that I passed on the 15/12/2004, and thought that I could only register after 21/12/2004, because that was the date I got my bike. :-D

There were only 3 practical lessons and 1 theory lesson, but it took me 1-1/2 months to go through them. I took one extra lesson cos I failed one. I remember I took the school's evaluation on Valentine's day. It certainly cheered me up a little. ^_^

Then it's a 3-week wait for the TP test. I decided to take revision lessons since I was still not very good with the courses. In the first revision, I was the only one who signed up for that time slot, so the instructor took me around the courses like I was in the defensive riding course! (In fact, he was the instructor when I took the defensive riding course after I got my class 2B.) I had a lot of fun, but I didn't practise (properly) much, so I signed up for another revision lesson. :-D

Luckily, everything went well on the TP test and I got my class 2A license on 7/3/2006.

Originally I had no plans to get a new bike, since in a year's time I will be getting my class 2 license and then I will be getting my dream bike, which currently is the Yamaha FZ6 Fazer or the Yamaha TDM900. However, I thought it might be okay to get a cheap 2nd hand class 2A bike and I could always sell it away with just a little loss. Thus, I started looking at Super4 and XJR400.

6/4/2006, morning My colleague saw an ad for the 1997 Honda CB400 Four, a pretty rare bike. I liked the retro look, but it was way over my budget. Arranged a meeting with the seller anyway, cos a bike like this doesn't come everyday. (I could be persuaded to increase my budget for such a bike.)
6/4/2006, afternoon Met the seller. My colleagues went over the bike thoroughly. The bike was well maintained for its age, but given its rare status, I had expected it to be kept in better condition. I would rate it at most 6/10.

Since I was satisfied with the bike, I made an offer on the spot. The seller didn't want to reduce the price by much, so I accepted his offer. Actually, I didn't have to do that, since I'm sure my initial offer would be his best offer. :-) (Except that I need to wait for a few days or weeks.)

This marked the second time I bought my bike in the rain. :-D

7/4/2006, afternoon Met up with the seller to do all the necessary paperwork. This bike is now mine!

My colleagues commented that it was a very fast transaction. Well, I had to get it before I had second thoughts!

Seldom get a chance to handle $1000 bank notes.

Looks like I will be eating instant noodles for a while.

No more log card since Feb 2006, so I won't be receving a log card.

We went down to the IDAC at Sin Ming, where the seller thought we could do the insurance and transfer under one roof. But we were told the rules had changed over a year ago.

We then rushed to the NTUC branch at Rochor center to do my insurance, and back to LTA at Sin Ming to do the transfer. Luckily the Rochor center branch was practically empty, or we might not have been able to finish the transfer on the same day. (We reached IDAC at 2:30 pm, we need to reach LTA before 4:30 pm.)

It took about 20 minutes to do the insurance, and under 5 minutes to do the transfer.

The seller complained how come he had to pay the transfer fee (S$66), when it is usually the buyer who pays for it. I just kept quiet. :-D

A group of admirers checking out the bike.

Leong Kim trying out his just-borrowed EOS350 from the ToyShop.

Joined by another group of colleagues who just returned from their team-building.
Leong Kim couldn't wait to test ride it.
Eng Hua regretted not getting her class 2A license!
A bike with four exhaust pipes never fail to turn heads, even for non-riders.

Comparing the CB400 Four with the YBR125

YBR125 CB400 Four Comments
Max power 7.1 kW @ 7k - 8k rpm 39.98 kW @ 10k rpm The CB400 Four is much more powerful, yet it still runs smooth and silent when cruising at 100 km/h! The YBR is very noisy at 90 km/h and vibrates strongly too.
Max torque 8.0 Nm @ 5.5k - 6.5k rpm 40.2 Nm @ 7.5k rpm Will have decent acceleration at last!
Wheelbase 129 cm 146 cm A wider turning radius. Have to learn to lean more when turning.
Smallest turning radius 185 cm 260 cm Will need bigger space to turn. I found it hard to position the bike so that it goes into a parking lot properly.
Seat height 78 cm 79 cm It may only be 1 cm, but it felt much higher. I had to tip-toe on the CB400 Four. It's also harder to reverse because I have less contact with the ground.
Ground clearance 16 cm 13.5 cm I wonder if I can still go over kerbs safely. (I've a habit of going over kerbs to park on pavements!)
Weight (Dry) 106 kg 192 kg Much heavier, but it's bottom heavy, so it feels almost as light as the YBR. But I doubt I can prevent it from falling... (But why is it so heavy? Even the Super4 is "just" 170 kg.)
Fuel consumption 40-43 km/L City: 15 km/L
Touring: 17-20 km/L
60 km/h: 34 km/L
FC is a big minus.
Fuel capacity 12L (1.4L reserve) 15L (3L reserve) Will need to top-up petrol much more often.
Main stand yes no It's a nice to have, but you can't have it all.

More Pictures

(void *) &NHY;