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Affordable V4: 1995 Honda RVF400 with Ohio Title

1995 Honda RVF400 L Side

Rare as hen’s teeth here in the USA, Honda’s little RVF400 [NC35] superbike made it into the country exclusively through grey-market imports, often via Canada. The RVF400 replaced the VFR400 in 1994 and used a smaller version of the bigger 750cc bike’s gear-driven V4 engine.

Like the 750, the 400 used a 360° “big-bang” firing order to aid handling and increase tire life. The theory being that, when all of the combustion events occur close together instead of being spread out evenly, the rear tire is able to “recover” in between power pulses, making break away more predictable. Possibly superfluous with such a small displacement machine, but cool nonetheless, and big-bang bikes tend to sound better as well!

1995 Honda RVF400 Cockpit

Power is relatively unimpressive on paper: between 50hp and 60hp, depending on whom you ask, and that power is all up near the redline, so the bike needs thrashing to make progress, although you’re rewarded with one of the best-handling chassis of all time. Kind of like a two-stroke 250 for people who think two-stroke motorcycles sound like chainsaws…

1995 Honda RVF400 Rear Wheel

The RVF400 looked very much like a miniature version of the RVF750, down to the updated cat-eye lamps and those giant, snorkel-like tubes to feed the engine fresh air, although the bike did not technically use ram-air to pressurize the airbox. The update also saw a change to upside-down forks and 17″ wheel front and rear, which makes it easy to source modern, sticky rubber today, and many of these still see use in club racing.

1995 Honda RVF400 Fairing

From the original eBay listing: 1995 Honda RVF400 for Sale

I have too many bikes and not enough time. It’s time to let a few go to new homes where they can be enjoyed and ridden. This rare Honda RVF400 is the V4 little brother of the RC45.  It’s titled as a 1995, but the research I’ve done on the VIN and color scheme seem to indicate that it is actually a 1996 (the final year of production).  It small when compared to a 600cc sportbike but not super light like my Aprilia RS125.  It was originally marked only in Japan, so the small scratches you see in the pictures are probably no worse than a 20 year old CBR600 would be here in the states.  They probably weren’t considered collector bikes in Japan at the time.  Considering that it’s travelled half way around the world, I think it looks great.  I’d give it a 7-8 on a scale of 1-10.  There is a small paint discoloration between the headlights, a small crack on the right side of the rear fairing, a little road rash on the right mirror bottom and the left headlight has a little moisture in it.  The leather on the rear seat straps also has a small crack.  It’s a really cool bike to ride and nobody in your town probably has one or may never have even seen one in the flesh.  The speedometer is in kilometers per hour and the odometer is in kilometers so I converted to miles for the listing.  Reserve is $7000. 

This bike has a few minor cosmetic scuffs, but the seller’s reserve price seems very reasonable: if you want into the V4 Honda Club and funds are limited, this is going to be your best bet. And your investment is probably secure: in spite of their limited straight-line performance, their links to Honda’s racing heritage, relative rarity, serious good-looks, and responsive handling make these very desirable to both riders and collectors.

-tad 1995 Honda RVF400 Speedo

7 Comments

  • If it’s a japanese market bike it’s restricted in the cdi, speedo speed limit switch and some washers limits throttle opening. The 180k speedo says it is a japanese market bike yo fully derestrict it will need a euro spec cdi.

    Been down this road lots of fun to ride once done have spent a lot of time on one.

  • gear whine is fine…

  • Smokinjoe, not sure were you got your information but it’s incorrect,, they were all JDM bikes. No NC35 was euro spec, there’s no such thing as a euro spec RVF400 CDI and Honda didn’t put in any washers that restricted the throttle opening. They all had a 180kmh speedo from the factory too. The NC30 on the other hand did come in UK and euro spec models. Only top speed is limited via a switch in the speedo and that can easily bypassed with a small 2k resistor same as the NC30.

  • Yeah there is jdm spec and euro spec cdi’s I have both they have different part numbers look it up.

  • How hard is it to find replacement parts (such as a new headlight assembly) for this bike?

  • Sorry, Smokinjoe439, you’re wrong as wrong can be. There were only ever JDM RVF400s, and the only p/n for a factory NC35 ECU is 30410-MR8-901. There is also an HRC CDI, but that’s not euro-spec. It’s marked NKA-9078-5209 but I’m not aware of it having a Honda part number. I’m also not aware of the NC35 having a speed restriction, but then again mine has an HRC CDI so who knows. There is definitely no intake or throttle restriction from the factory. If yours had such things, it was probably fitted for UK licensure.

  • Mike, it depends on the part. Body parts come up from time to time. Engine bearings and NC35 pistons are NLA and getting very rare. There’s still a big aftermarket (Tyga to name a shining example), and CMSNL are a great (if very expensive) source for OEM parts. Lots can be had at Yahoo’s Japanese auction site. Just bought a petcock from there, in fact…

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