HONDA CB400 (1992-on) Review

Published: 15 January 2010

"A junior, Japan-only derivative of a larger model, in this case the CB1000 'Big One'"

Honda CB400

"A junior, Japan-only derivative of a larger model, in this case the CB1000 'Big One'"

  • At a glance
  • 399cc  -  52 bhp
  • 46 mpg  -  216 miles range
  • Medium seat height (760mm)

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

The Honda CB400 Super Four, like most 400cc grey imports, is a junior, Japan-only derivative of a larger model, in this case the CB1000 ‘Big One’. As such it’s a chunky, good-looking, well-equipped roadster that’s both novice-friendly, reasonably versatile and sporty, too. Expect usual grey import foibles (secondhand, sometimes difficult parts/servicing availability); don’t expect giant slaying performance. Cute, likeable and fun, though…

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

The Honda CB400 Super Four is a brisk, lightweight bike that is easy to throw in and out of corners. Handling is generally excellent, it’s a doddle to ride and it pulls up well, too, thanks to the twin 285 mm floating discs with 4-piston Nissin calipers in the front and the 235 mm disc with a single piston Nissin caliper at the rear.

Engine 4 out of 5

The Honda CB400 Super Four has a straightforward but decent inline four-cylinder, four-stroke, liquid cooled 400cc engine which is very smooth and responsive at low throttle applications. However, at full throttle it feels a little restricted the engine and its potential for more performance is obvious. Later versions are fuel-injected. 

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

Again, the CB400 Super Four boasts typical Honda quality, refinement and a long production run which has ironed out all ailments, so no quality or reliability issues worth mentioning. On the other hand, many UK examples may have had a hard life in the hands of novice riders, so watch out for damage/abuse/neglect.

Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5

The CB400 Super Four has been a continued sales success for Honda in Japan and with good reason: it’s a great all-round bike and, although not as cheap as some, is decent value, too. From a UK buying point of view, that is queered slightly as the bike is only available used, as a grey import, so supply is limited and condition variable. But on the whole, a good value buy. Find a Honda CB400 for sale

Insurance group: 8 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

The Honda CB400 Super Four boasts both typical Honda quality and the best part of a decade of refinement (on later models at least) so it stands out among grey 400s as being both decently-equipped and classy: the classic, chrome-finish dials and gauges, for example, are precise and easy to read. Later models have ABS. Compare and buy parts for the CB400 in the MCN Shop.

Owners' Reviews

5 owners have reviewed their HONDA CB400 (1992-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.6 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.2 out of 5
Engine 4.6 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.8 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4.4 out of 5
5 out of 5

CB400 NC36

15 January 2014 by dsimmo

I brought a 1998 CB400 Four 50th Anniversary Edition about 18 months ago. I use it for social riding, keep off motorways and only use for for A&B roads. It's a great bike, comfortable, good road holding, smooth engine, economical. The twin front and... Read more single rear discs work great. I will ask Honda UK at the London bike show why they won't bring it over here as I am sure they will sell plenty of them.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
4 out of 5

cb400sf version s

06 August 2013 by Anonymous

I have had a cb400 for 10 years. I have the version s which I think is the best. It has a 17" front wheel Brembo calipers, showa rear shocks, for some reason it seems a touch roomier than the standard super four. The later Vtech is too complicated... Read more service wise. These bikes should have been imported to the uk officially as they are brilliant commuters or first big bike. They are really forgiving and quite capable, long term you may get tired with the weak or revvy nature of the motor. The motor is very tough and will take a severe hammering. Motorway riding can be stressing as the engine is constantly above 7,000 rpm at 70 to 80mph. Fuel consumption is great at regular speeds and if I use motorways I cruise at 60ish. The handling and ride is great. Build quality is fantastic. Mine has a few upgrades but ideally I would like to put a cbr600 motor in it. If you are wondering whether to buy 1 or not then yes the CB500 is a good alternative but the cb400 is smoother and better built.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
5 out of 5

CB400SF BIG 1

02 December 2012 by SadPanda1993

This bike is perfect for being restricted! i was looking for bikes to comply with my license for ages but i kept coming back to the honda. first off a 44 is ideal because you dont have to restrict it much to begin with. i have riden it without the... Read more restrictor and there isnt much difference expect on motorways. the bike its self is very stable and perfect for flicking over and pulling of cracking cornering. the equipment is fairly basic but nothing is missing. would reccomend a MPH converter to avoid confusion though. never had a problem with reliability. bit fussy in the cold but with the choke on the handlebars it makes life easier. never let me down yet. the engine and exhuast sound amazing and sounds like a much bigger bike. overall i am finding this to be the perfect bike for getting about during my restriction period. cheap, reliable and will put a huge silly grin on your face.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

CB400SF BIG 1

19 March 2012 by wippet1967

I've got a grey import 1993 which is terrific. Simple, cheap and is a great 'B' road bike. Motorways are easy, but without fairing the normal buffering by the wind makes it as tiring as another non-faired bike. Starts reliably and does... Read more everything on the tin. Its not an international tourer, but it didn't cost a faction of the price, but provides the same fun. I choose the routes for the most fun. I wonderful bike.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
4 out of 5

CB400SF

16 May 2010 by Anonymous

I had a 95 model that was a grey import, quite a long time ago now and quite a few bikes later I honestly think this was the best bike I have ever owned. Ok it was not all that fast but it was fast enough for fun but also suitable to ride all day... Read more without being at all uncomfortable. Lack of fairing amounted to the usual windy ride but I didn't mind it then and I still don't. The economy was unbelievable for a 4 cylinder revy machine and the engine was so smooth it really was a nice ride, so much so that I know my Father used to sneak out on a sunny sunday afternoon occasionally, he still doesn't know that I know that!! The build quality and finish was far better than any Honda's built in europe and other parts of the world and I still think that it is the same now, if you see a late Grey import they are far superior in quality of finish. When I bought it it was more expensive than alot of bikes available at the time bit it was worth every penny. I never had any problems getting any parts the insurance was cheep even though at the time I was still a young lad. My brother was so impressed that he got one aswell, although his was a bit newer and it was the SF version R, so his bike got a bolt on can, with a different front pipe which gave more ground clearence at the cost of no center stand, a black painted engine, lower gearing so that it had quicker acceleration and slightly rear set pegs with a bikini nose fairing. I am not sure but I think I read once that they made a SF version S aswell which was also a bit sporty with the normal round headlight. To my knowledge you can still get this bike new in Japan, Australia and New Zealand although now it has a Vtec engine and ABS is an option. If I had enough money now I would get a brand new CB400SF Vtec imported to keep for sunny days to enjoy a truly brilliant bike, a proper Honda. On a different note if you fancy a short tour of Brittany by bike then check out www.longwayroundbrittany.co.uk

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
Read all 5 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 1992
Year discontinued -
New price -
Warranty term One year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 8 of 17
Annual road tax £38
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 52 bhp
Max torque 39 ft-lb
Top speed 115 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 46 mpg
Tank range 216 miles
Specification
Engine size 399cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled 16v DOHC transverse four, 6 gears
Frame type Tubular steel double cradle
Fuel capacity 18 litres
Seat height 760mm
Bike weight 168kg
Front suspension Telescopic forks, no adjust
Rear suspension Twin shocks, preload adjust
Front brake Twin 296mm discs, four piston calipers
Rear brake 240mm disc, single piston caliper
Front tyre size 110/80 x 18
Rear tyre size 140/70 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

1992 - CB 400 Super Four (Project Big-1) NC31 launched in Japan
1997 - 2nd generation, fuel injected and face-lifted NC36 version launched in Japan.
1999 - updated CB400 Super Four / Super Bol D'Or NC39 launched in Japan
2007 - updated CB 400 Super Four / Super Bol D'or NC42 launched.

Other versions

Bol d'Or (2005-11)

Photo Gallery

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