Posts by tag: CB400F

Honda August 15, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: 1989 Honda CB-1

The Honda CB-1 is everything you have come to expect from Honda: exquisitely engineered, sublime build quality, wonderful ergos, reliability and performance. It also has a few things you might not have come to expect: it is missing bodywork (eek, it's naked!), it is missing weight, and it is missing displacement. All of this equates to rare fun at astounding RPMs.

Featured Listing: 1989 Honda CB-1

Known by many names - CB-1, NC27 and CB400F to name a few - the CB-1 began life as a Japanese home market bike. But unlike many rarities that were intended to stay on home soil, the CB-1 made a break for it and was actually imported by Honda into the US and Canada. Score for us! Also unlike many home market bikes, this one was bigger than a 250. Much bigger, in fact. A stomping 399cc in displacement, the CB-1 was good for about 55 HP. With a liquid cooled inline four cylinder and gear-driven DOHC actuating four valves per jug, the CB-1 was not your average middleweight. And speaking of weight, the CB-1 was no porker, either. At well under 400 lbs, this is a lithe, flickable fun machine that stirs the imagination without draining the pocketbook.

From the seller:
Hi everybody. Here it is! The 1989 Honda CB-1 The first truly naked sports bike that started it all.

It looks and runs like the day it left the showroom. Everything works as it should. You can just get on and ride. There are no scratches, dents, or dings. The paint is perfect! It has never even seen rain! This bike has been well taken care of with regular fluid changes and always filled with super.
New Pirelli Diablo Rosso 2 tires (400 miles ago)
Carbs were cleaned
New fork seals installed
If you have been looking for a mint CB-1 with low miles that runs perfect, this is the one!

All pics show condition of bike. There is a small imperfection on the filter box (as pictured). It comes with owner's manual and 2 sets of keys. It has a clean title.

More from the seller:
It has around 10,500 miles. It may have a few more miles before I sell it. It’s a great bike. You can either pick up in NJ or you can have it shipped. It is the buyer's responsibility to pay for and make shipping arrangements. I have used before and they did a pretty good job. Email me if you have any questions. I'm happy to help.

Listing price: $5999

Contact information:

The CB-1 party started in the US in 1989, but lasted only through 1990. A combination of factors resulted in poor sales, hence its withdrawal from the marketplace. The US was not quite ready for the small bike resurgence we are experiencing today, which is a shame. The CB-1 was missed by knowing riders, yet remains one of the mysterious enigmas in the collector world today. Rare and unique, sporty yet naked, fun but useful - the CB-1 is many things. It has aged well, and this particular example is a prime specimen. Pricing is right on the money for a pampered example. Serious tire kickers should give Jeff a shout. This is a bike that will hold interest through the fads and trends, and will remain what it is - a truly great motorcycle.


Featured Listing: 1989 Honda CB-1
Honda November 21, 2017 posted by

Baby ‘Blade: 1992 Honda CBR400RR NC29 for Sale

The Honda CBR400RR was designed to appeal to buyers in certain countries that were limited to bikes of smaller displacement because of tiered licensing requirements or heavy taxes on larger machines. Racing classes in those markets also existed to campaign 400cc motorcycles, and were hotly contested by the usual suspects: Yamaha, Suzuki, and Kawasaki also had smaller versions of their popular sportbikes. Honda even went a step further, and offered a second 400cc sportbike in their V4-powered VFR400R. Unlike today's smaller-displacement offerings, these were grown-up sportbikes in miniature: instead of a simple single-cylinder engine or an economical parallel-twin, the CBR400 used a 399cc inline four with sixteen valves, gear-driven twin overhead cams, backed by a six-speed gearbox, and suspended in a stiff aluminum frame. Straight-line performance was modest by today's standards, but bikes in the class had handling that was often better than their more powerful, but generally heavier siblings.

Americans saw a variation of this bike in the short-lived CB-1 that used a slightly detuned version of the CBR's inline four, including the sexy gear-driven cams, but wrapped in a steel frame instead of the CBR's lighter aluminum beam design. A lack of bodywork on the CB-1 kept the weight reasonable compared to the sportier CBR and the bike was a good handler, but Americans just weren't ready for a pricey, naked machine like that in the late 1980s. Would the CBR have sold any better, had it been brought over? America had a pretty binary motorcycling culture through the 80s and 90s: people bought sportbikes or cruisers, with little interest in more practical machines. The CBR would have been similar to Yamaha's offerings, whose little FZR400 was actually more sophisticated than the bigger-engined, but heavier, steel-framed FZR600. FZR400 is certainly a cult bike now, but its relative rarity suggests the CBR wouldn't have been much of a success at the time, although I expect it might have sold better than the CB-1.

At the end of the day, without the laws and taxes that conjured the 400cc class into being, there isn't much to recommend the bike over the CBR600 or CBR900, aside from superlative handling. The main appeal here is rarity, agility, and the fun of a motorcycle you can cane the hell out of without needing the skills of a professional racer, or a helicopter airlift ride to the nearest trauma center.

From the original eBay listing: 1992 Honda CBR400RR for Sale

Very rare 1992 Honda CBR400 (baby Fireblade) NC29 legally imported from Japan and currently titled, insured and registered here in NJ. Bike has 13220 miles, fresh Motul (brake fluid, engine oil and coolant) fluids, TSR slip on, new NGK plugs, Continental Attack tires, carbs were cleaned and fuel tank drained/cleaned. This bike is very clean and in excellent condition. Please feel free to message if you have any questions. 

From the relatively low-resolution photos, this appears to be a very nice example of a cool, grey-market CBR400RR, but unfortunately the Buy It Now price is an eye-watering $9,500. New Jersey's DMV may not be as draconian as California's in terms of emissions requirements, but they're even more strict in other ways, so the NJ title and registration suggests that the seller hasn't cut any corners making this legal although, as always, caveat emptor.


Baby ‘Blade: 1992 Honda CBR400RR NC29 for Sale
Honda June 13, 2017 posted by

Big Bike Spec in a Small Package: 1990 Honda CB-1 for Sale

Performance motorcycles have gotten so powerful and fast that they're only even rideable by normal humans because of sophisticated electronics. If 99% of riders need traction-control just to keep their 190hp superbike on the road, couldn't it be argued that they're too powerful? ABS and all the other safety systems are amazing, but should be there just in case the rider gets it wrong, not to keep the rampant power under control. Are riders of these bikes actually having more fun? Maybe, but doesn't something like today's Honda CB-1 make much more sense for most riders?

Plus, if you do get dusted on a canyon road, you can always blame the machinery: "Hey look, this is a 400cc motorcycle! What do you expect?" If you're on a new BMW S1000RR, you really have no excuse for being slow, other than self-control and sanity. The 1990 Honda CB1 doesn't have that same problem, however, with good handling and modest power. The displacement screams "learner bike" but the specifications argue otherwise:

399cc liquid-cooled inline four, sixteen valves actuated by gear-driven overhead cams. Six speed gearbox. The combo was slightly detuned from the CBR400 for street duty, but it put out a respectable 55hp and could push the machine to 118mph, certainly plenty for the street and even a bit of freeway cruising. It lacked the CBR400's twin-disc brakes up front and uses a steel unit instead of the CBR's aluminum beam frame, but the engine is still used as a stressed member, increasing rigidity and keeping weight reasonably low.

From the original eBay listing: 1990 Honda CB-1 for Sale

Overseas they have a tiered licensing system.  50cc, 125cc, 250cc, 400cc, 750cc, and above.  Most young men cannot afford above 400cc, so the 400cc market is full of hot rod bikes.  This is one such bike.  Water cooled DOHC 4 valves per cylinder, direct gear actuation of the cams, no cam chain, six speed transmission, red line at 13,500 rpm, power kicks in at 9000.  Top speed is over 100 mph.  The effect of the photography makes the paint look like it is robin's egg blue, but it doe not look like that in person.  The blue paint is a nice metallic finish.  Accessory windshield is quickly removable.  Heated grips have been added.  Accessory adjustable handlebars also.  All stock otherwise.  Very clean, except for some pollen on the gauges in the photo.  Was my wife's bike but she does not ride it enough to justify keeping it.

There are no takers yet at the $1,900 starting bid and there are just over 24 hours left on the auction. It looks like it's in good shape, although that windscreen needs to go. Like the Hawk 650GT, the CB-1 has developed quite a cult following and with very good reason: unlike the CBR400, the CB-1 was officially imported, but few were sold and they're hard to find now, although they still don't sell for all that much.  It's the Goldilocks of motorcycles: not too big, not too small. And the price is just right.


Big Bike Spec in a Small Package: 1990 Honda CB-1 for Sale
Honda October 13, 2015 posted by

Investment Strategy – 1989 Honda CB-1

Occasionally we see a special bike re-appear after many years and just a few miles, and though it could be seen differently, this is one of those - an anyone-can-jump-on machine, special handling if not performance, with 26 years and 9 miles.

20151012 1989 honda cb-1 left

1989 Honda CB-1 for sale on eBay

20151012 1989 honda cb-1 right

Harkening back to the CB-400F ( and marketed in some countries that way ), the CB-1 is peculiarly recognizable as a motorcycle, and while not a race-replica, you might not throw your daughter's date off the porch if he rode up on one of these.  Sharing but slightly detuning the liquid-cooled 399cc in-line four from the CBR400RR, the CB-1 makes do with 55 hp, geared down a bit so it gets away punctually if not with great speed.  Using a steel tube perimeter frame instead of hydro-formed thin-wall aluminum, it's a neutral handling if not lightweight package.  Built to satisfy progressive license requirements in Japan and Europe, it was value-engineered to appeal to junior riders, carburetted instead of injected, but did come with nice 41mm front forks, Pro-Link style rear suspension, and 310mm front / 240mm rear disk brakes.

20151012 1989 honda cb-1 left grip

20151012 1989 honda cb-1 right front detail

Spiriting away a plain vanilla model and storing it without fluids will eventually pay off big, all a question of patience.  With only 9 pre-delivery miles, this might be the time for this gem.  About the only usual upgrade that would be welcome would be a polished stainless exhaust.  From the eBay auction:

We are proud to offer for sale a Museum Quality Collector example of the rare 1989 Honda CB-1 also known as the CB400F or NC27 in some countries. This bike was developed for the Japanese market and also sold in the USA and Canada. Only offered for sale in models years 1989 and 1990 this is a very rare and desirable bike. The only owner of this spectacular motorcycle purchased it new on March 23, 1991. The bike was intentionally never started  or ridden and has the original Pre Delivery miles on it performed by the selling Honda Dealership. This CB-1 was purposely preserved in As-New condition and stored indoors in a climate controlled environment. The motorcycle has a charged battery in it and spins over quickly on the starter button. We have made the decision to not fill the carburetors or tank with fuel, fire up and run as many potential buyers would prefer to keep the bike in its present condition to be part of a motorcycle collection.

20151012 1989 honda cb-1 right front wheel

20151012 1989 honda cb-1 left rear wheel

Not a legislative requirement and not much of a bargain in the states, the CB-1 was withdrawn after 1990.  It needed the 400-4's cool factor, but over 15 years the game had changed, even for a fun machine with a 13,500 rpm redline.  In the 25 years since the CB-1, it has changed again, with singles and twins in the first-bike market with counter-balancers replacing the multiple cylinders.  Especially in the U.S., the CB-1 is a snapshot, when there were still a few bikes with not much plastic and no room for graphics.  With 7 days to run, the auction has more than 20 bids, showing that there are still some riders out there that want a motorcycle that looks like well, a motorcycle...

20151012 1989 honda cb-1 left engine


Investment Strategy – 1989 Honda CB-1
Honda August 1, 2015 posted by

My First Sportbike: 1990 Honda CB-1 For Sale

1990 Honda CB1 L Side

The Honda CBR400RR we featured last week was never officially imported to the USA, but its naked stablemate the CB-1 was, although in pretty limited numbers and for just two years: 1989 and 1990. It was a strange choice for Honda to make in the land of extremes, where we only seem to like motorcycles as toys from one end of the spectrum or the other: fat, lazy cruisers or uncomfortable, highly-strung sportbikes.

1990 Honda CB1 R Side Engine

But although these did not sell very well at the time, the CB-1, along with the Suzuki Bandit 400 and Honda 650 Hawk, have developed quite a cult following: they're inexpensive, extremely well-built, reliable, and easy to modify into serious little road-burners. Just find yourself a nice CBR600 front end to swap on and go strafe some twisties!

1990 Honda CB1 R Side Engine2

Most small-displacement motorcycles available in America have been very cheap and nasty economy machines geared towards new riders. But many experienced bikers want a sophisticated machine that offers thrills without the fuel consumption or 160mph top speed associated with bigger bikes.

1990 Honda CB1 Clocks

The engine in the CB was almost identical to the sportier RR: valves were smaller, the compression was lower, but gearing was revised so that the bike actually felt quicker around town. The sewing-machine four displaced just 399cc and produced 55hp and could push the 400lb bike to 118mph. More significantly, the CB had much more basic suspension, a single front brake, and used a different frame compared to the racier RR, with tubular steel replacing the aluminum beam construction, although weight was kept within reason by using the engine as a stressed member.

1990 Honda CB1 L Side Tank

From the original eBay listing: 1990 Honda CB-1 for Sale

Not too many sold in the US making it quite a rare sight these days.  I'm the second owner. It is a sweet little bike with nimble handling, low weight and a rev-happy (redline is 13,500rpm) engine. 

Easy to handle by a newbie but good enough for an experienced rider, comfortable.

The bike is in excellent original condition. Paint is shiny and deep. No scratches or dents. Tank is like brand new with an exception of two tiny chips(and I mean - really tiny, see pictures).

The bike has never been down. 

1990 Honda CB1 L Side Rear

With just 2,500 miles on the clock, this thing is practically new, and it's one of the nicest I've ever seen for sale. It's priced on the higher end of the CB-1 spectrum, but still very reasonable at $3,999. Yeah, you can find them for $2,500 but with bikes in this price range, the cash needed to fix them up can very quickly eat into the savings.

A great choice for new and experienced riders looking for a collectible modern classic that will get lots of thumbs up at bike nights and provide thrills on back roads.


1990 Honda CB1 R Side

My First Sportbike: 1990 Honda CB-1 For Sale
Honda July 28, 2015 posted by

Paging Dr. House – 1991 Honda CBR400RR

More appropriately sized for Hugh Laurie than the 954RR he rode in the show, the CBR400RR is a Japan-only model which occasionally finds itself in North America via the grey market.  Name-dropping back to the CB400F Supersport ( well, for riders of a certain age ) the diminutive 400RR is updated in every way and revs to 14,500, making 60 hp available at 12,500 rpm.

20150727 1991 honda cbr400rr left front

1991 Honda CBR400RR for sale on eBay

20150727 1991 honda cbr400rr right rear

Closely related to the CBR900RR of the same vintage, the 400 also has an extruded aluminum beam frame enclosing the 399cc inline four.  Similarly, it has a reinforced aluminum swingarm, the chassis easily coping with the power available.  A smooth wet clutch sends power to the 6-speed transmission.  A steady and nimble handler, the preload-adjustable forks complement the rear shock adjustable for preload and compression.  Suitably-sized triple-disk brakes ( 275mm front / 220mm rear ) can handle the slowing.

20150727 1991 honda cbr400rr left tank  20150727 1991 honda cbr400rr binnacle

20150727 1991 honda cbr400rr left front wheel  20150727 1991 honda cbr400rr right detail

With just over 6,000 miles, this 400RR has had only two caretakers.  The current owner re-bodied the bike in Repsol, but includes the factory fairing.  Updated muffler looks great, and CRG shorty levers are a known quantity.  Describing it in the eBay auction:

Bike runs strong and fast, extremely fun to ride. Everything works and is in great shape for a 24 year old bike. A few things to note:

  • I replaced the stock exhaust can with a ‘Fuel Exhaust’ (carbon, oval), sounds great.
  • I installed CRG ‘Roll-A-Click’ clutch and brake levers, “shorties”.
  • I swapped out the OEM bodywork with ‘Repsol’ plastic. Tank has been painted to match. I will include the OEM bodywork with the successful bid (black/silver/teal scheme).  
  • I have all of the Japanese paperwork from the original owner, including the shipping manifest from Japan to the US.
  • The bike only has 6,337 miles on the clock (10,200KM).

This bike is very rare in the US. It has been meticulously cared for; always garaged, covered and properly maintained.

20150727 1991 honda cbr400rr right rear above

Recent maintenance included carburetor service, which can be a bugbear on older creampuffs.  Maybe you know a new rider or a collector on the smaller end of the scale...


Paging Dr. House – 1991 Honda CBR400RR