Garage Find Super Sport: 1976 Honda CB400F

In the 1970s, just as cars were becoming clogged with government regulations and some (most?) automakers were having quality-control issues, motorcycles were getting better and better – especially those from the land of the rising sun. The seller has this garage find 1976 Honda CB400F Super Sport listed here on eBay in Lutz, Florida, there is no reserve, and the current bid price is $760.

I owned a few Japanese motorcycles as a kid, but I had posters of Harley-Davidson motorcycles on my bedroom walls and ceilings, which is strange now that I think about it. I had no posters at all of Japanese motorcycles, none, not even the ones that I owned. Even more strange? I have never owned a Harley-Davidson. That’s crazy, that has to change.

You can see that this CB400F has an incredible amount of surface rust on it, and it’s humid in Florida so I’m assuming it was found there, but we don’t know. Please check out the seller’s fantastic photos, they have uploaded dozens of nice photos to their eBay listing. The seller says that it was recently found and it had been sitting since the late-80s. Honda was a powerhouse in the 1970s with their CB-series bikes, starting with the 1969 CB750. The CB500, CB350, CB400, and CB550 came next. The CB450F Super Sport, a sport version with four-into-one exhaust, was only made for three years, 1975, 1976, and 1977. They’re rare to see today, especially in nice condition.

The first-year CB400F came in Light Ruby Red or Varnish Blue, and the 1976 models were available in either Light Ruby Red or Parakeet Yellow, as seen here. In 1977, the last year of production, they were available in either Candy Antares Red or Parakeet Yellow, but they had revised side covers and were set up as more of a cruiser, with higher handlebars and the footpegs were set forward a bit. Make mine a first-year blue or second-year yellow model and I’d be very happy. The brown seat cover wouldn’t have been original and with all of the rust, check the fork tubes as they have a tendency to rust so that would be a concern here.

The engine is Honda’s 408-cc DOHC inline-four, which was factory-rated at 37 horsepower and 24 lb-ft of torque when new. This one hasn’t been started in over three decades, and there is no key. The seller has added dozens of great photos in their listing, so they get a huge gold star for that! Hagerty is at $2,100 for a #4 fair-condition example and $9,500 for a #2 excellent-condition bike, so it may be possible to keep it under that if the next owner does a lot of the restoration work him/herself. Have any of you owned a CB400F, or ridden one?

Comments

  1. Craig Telgheder Member

    I bought a brand new red 400F from the showroom, named it Maxwell, and absolutely loved that bike. You could redline it all day. An absolute screamer. The sound is addicting. Goes as fast as I ever wanted to on the roads that were available. Worst decision ever to sell that bike. Traded up to a CB 750 and loved that bike too, but not as much as the 400F. Drove it year round in upstate NY winter. If I’d had kept that bike I could have driven it for 40 years and doubled or tripled the purchase price if I sold it.

    If you can afford one of these, buy one. If you like the Honda S2000 convertible, this is the motorcycle equivalent. Small, agile, and loves to be revved. 10K redline in 1976 was rare territory for a bike. That was what motivated me to burn up my savings to buy it. This is one of the gems of the 70’s Honda products. I would love to buy this bike and restore it, but too many projects now. Hope someone gives it the care it deserves.

    Like 16
  2. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    My good friend Zun had one of these, also red. Kept up with the 750s, no problem. Smooth runner, unlike my CB-450, which was vibration happy. I never thought to compare these to an S2000, I always thought of mine as more of a four wheeled crotch rocket.

    Like 5
    • sakingsbury20 Member

      keep up with 750s?…not happening……if that was the case nobody would bother to buy a 750

      Like 9
      • 370zpp 370zpp Member

        Oh, but it did happen saking, many times. We weren’t always driving the 750s over 100 miles per hour.

        Like 4
  3. Howard A Member

    That’s IT! I’m firing off an email to the author RIGHT NOW,,,well, after this post. He KNOWS, with the sale of the GMC, I have a couple extra bucks, and am teetering on the edge of another bike. Posts like his helps the cause.
    The in-line 4 cylinder took the world by storm, especially America, where our only offering had become stale,( Come see the all new hand grips on the 1976 AMF Harley) and these, 4 pipes, WOW. By ’76, however, we had gotten used to 4 cylinders, of all kinds, and wasn’t so groundbreaking. I’m not sure about 370s claim of keeping up with 750s, the 400/4 was more for smooth city cruising, although, I’m sure some poor sap rode one cross country for California riches. These ran out of steam quickly. It did 0-60 in 6.6 seconds and the 1/4 mile was 15.7@85 mph. It was only a 400, with pistons the size of quarters, but it sure would give any twin a run for the money. Great find, with poor memories of that dismal DRZ, a road bike isn’t exactly what I want. I’d still like to go back in the hills, and looking more like the Trail 90, and not the Kaw Z-1B, but hey, never know. Great find, as usual.

    Like 7
  4. art

    Nice find.
    Someone slathered this bike with a “shine” product, too much so.
    One should never apply tire dressing to motorcycle tires (or the seat) unless you enjoy truly wild handling. Lol

    Like 14
  5. LCL

    Be still my beating heart.
    My sister rode the baby brother to this bike, a 350/4. I borrowed it as often as she would let me.
    A sweet ride, smooth, smooth smooth, and what a great sound. It seemed like it could wind forever. You had to work the weight a little, but it handled great. It invited indiscretion. Wish I had ridden faster but I lived in mortal fear of damaging it.
    The trick was to use the higher RPMs, it came alive at 6000 and got better and better after that.
    Was the 350/4 manufacturing practice for the 400?
    Art is so right about shine products. When Armour All came out I slathered it on my motorcycle seat and that was a big mistake. I was all over the seat till I scrubbed it off. My brother put it on the vinyl seats of his 69 VW and we slid across the seats to the doors.

    Like 4
  6. LCL

    Regarding the first 750 – when Honda brought it here they advertised that Dick Mann (America’s own) ran a production model to 169.9 MPH at the Daytona track. That got attention. Made a great poster too.

    Like 5
    • Tony Primo

      Great handle! He must have got all the women.

      Like 1
  7. Lawrence Linders

    This bike has caused flashbacks.

    Anyone recall Bell’s 70s ad that read:

    “If you have a twenty dollar head, buy a twenty dollar helmet.”
    “If your head is worth more, buy a Bell.”

    Like 17
  8. Ken

    Dear Scotty,

    I love, love, love the motorcycle articles, especially Hondas from this era.

    Sincerely,

    A Grateful Reader.

    Like 7
  9. MoparDoug

    My very first bike was a used red 1975 Honda CB400F SS that I bought around 1982. If I remember correctly, these came with a 6-speed trans, 1 down, 5 up. The 4 into1 exhaust was amazing sounding. I still wish I had it.

    Like 4
    • Craig Telgheder Member

      Yup, six speeds and 10,000 revs. In 1976 the only way to hear 10k rpm was at a motorcycle race or wake up in the wee hours to catch an F1 race. I thought it was the coolest thing to be able to buy a production bike with that engine.

      About the 750’s, you could keep up or beat a 750 if you were a good rider on this machine. Most Harley’s also. If there were long straights though, forget about it. Fastest I had was 110 crouched down going down a long hill. This bike wasn’t meant for that. It was no “city cruiser” either. It could eat up twisty roads all day. Find the right gear at the right revs out of a corner and you were off. No chance against the Kawasaki widow makers or Yammy RD’s because they would beat you off the line and you could never catch up. Most others, though, could not believe that a little 400 could be so quick. Nothing like todays bikes with mega hp, but more fun because that engine would sing. Yes, Howard, those were the days.

      Like 10
  10. sakingsbury20 Member

    370zpp, lol, I could keep up with 750s on my xt250 yamaha if we keep it under 70….. I dont think a 400ss would even hit a 100, if so it would be barely, but thats not the point. riders being of equal proficiency a 750 is not going to even know theres a 400ss around. I beat many 400ss, 500/4, 550/4, gs450 and 550, 550 seca’s on my gpz550 back in 1981 on the street and roadracing aamrr amateur class, so i’m taking from from experience…I also told my buddy who had a ’81 kz750 that I could whoop up on him no problem, he beat me so bad I wasnt even in the same time zone….this isnt to say a 400ss wasn’t a good bike, they were, but just like theres no substitute for cubic inches, same goes for cc’s…..

    Like 7
    • Tman

      I wonder how many KZ-GPz 550s are still around. Many race rack schools had them for training in the 80s. How many of those are left? They definitely were 750 killers in the early 90s.
      I have a 1982 Motorcyclist magazine that had a staff member who had 2 very tricked out CB 400ss’ said the the GPz 550 could run circles around the Hondas.
      Not slamming the Hondas. They were great well built bikes that were superior to the 350Fs.

      • Tman

        I meant race track schools and were 750 killers in the 80s.

      • sakingsbury20 Member

        I see them from time to time for sale, gpz was my all time favorite bike I ever owned. the ones I’ve come across, price wasnt outrageous but at 68, is it something I really need, lol……I just putt around back roads on my xt 250 now with a fishpole strapped to my back

    • 370zpp 370zpp Member

      Sorry sakings, but back in the day we weren’t drag racing these bikes, just simply enjoying them for the most part. Perhaps you misunderstood my previous post(s) regarding this.

      Like 1
      • Terrry

        The 750F could scoot quite well, I had a yellow ’75 model

        Like 1
  11. Jerry

    I had a 76, blue one.
    I’m one of those poor saps (Howard A’s comment) who rode it cross country….not once, but twice.
    In high gear it was 1000 RPM for every 10 MPH, so out across Texas it was spinning 8000 all day long.
    Loved that bike!
    Still riding Japanese crotch rockets at 65…..some things never change!

    Like 8
  12. RBowman

    These were “hot rods” … I built a few with a 466 bore kit, 270 degree (sadly a single) cam, heavier valve sprigs and 12:1 compression. Slow off the line … then things got fun up to a 14K red line.

    Like 2
  13. Stan

    Love it. Great comments. More bikes, more fun on the Barnfinds. 🏍 👍

    Like 2
  14. Jim in FL

    I had one of these in high school, kept it at my buddy’s house up the street for a week until I got the courage to tell my parents. Brought it home on a Saturday, and dad spent the afternoon taking mom on rides. So much fun, I rode it all winter to high school in Pennsylvania.

    Great to see all the love this bike is getting. So many stories. They were everywhere. Used, they were affordable, easy to keep running, quick and cool. I preferred it to my cousin’s 750, which was a bulky bike in my opinion. Eventually I sold it to buy a first year evolution Sportster in 86 for $3995, financed by dad. Wish I still had both of those bikes.

    Nostalgia got the better of me. Going to bid on this, Its close enough to fetch over the weekend. The auction is already to 1750 and closing tomorrow so hopefully it doesn’t go too high for my blood. Would be a good project to get running and freshen up – not a full restoration. The tag is 1987, whether I win it or not, will be nice to see it running after 35 years.

    Like 8
    • Tony Primo

      Let us know if you are successful Jim.

      Like 1
  15. Wayne

    If you’re looking to restore I would recommend saying no to this nightmare- not even a decent donor. If the title doesn’t fly, it’s not even a good frame with paperwork.

  16. James

    Love that the title is in the same condition as the bike. I found two of these back in the 80’s for my wife, first a yellow one then later a red one in better condition. Wonderful bike and as has been mentioned a much better overall package than the larger Japanese bikes (or most other brands) of the day. This one well, hard to imagine it’s worth even what it’s bid up to now with all the rust and corrosion unless you’re okay with that. I do love that the title is in the same condition as the bike

    Like 1
  17. outpostbob

    In 1976 I bought a left-over brand new CB400F to replace my 305 SuperHawk. I was dying for a 4 cylinder bike but was unwilling to pay 50-60% more for the Z1-900 (or by then I guess it was the KZ900) like my buddy had. Interesting bike…. it would pull smoothly (but barely) from 2000 RPM. At about 4500 rpm it would wake up a little. And then it seemed like at 6000, there must have been a contact on the tach needle that kicked in the nitrous, because suddenly it was at 9 grand and you were slamming gears as fast as you can. By the time you had wound 3rd out you had broken every speed limit in the land (this was in the days of the nationwide 55mph speed limit.) And you still had 4th, 5th and 6th to go. Pure boy racer bike and no way to drive it sanely.
    At one point, I test drove an ’82 Yamaha Heritage 650 twin. Nice bike, with lots more low end grunt so useful for (sanely) pulling into traffic. But I found on a long steep freeway hill I had to downshift the Yamaha to hold 65; not so the CB400F!
    After about 6 years, (and one tank slapper,) I replaced it with a used ’77 KZ-1000. I found that if I ran 50/50 Sunoco 260 and Cam2 race gas, it would pull smoothly (but strongly) from 2000 rpm. I have been able to drive that bike sanely ever since. (Well… not always sane. But insane by choice.)
    And no tank-slappers.

    Like 1
  18. Scooterluvr

    Nice old scooter but so much for $760, it was $1850 last I checked

    Like 1
  19. JS

    These were very nice bikes. Still no match for an RD400. As noted before they handle well and sound great. They are SOHC. And Scotty, one ride on a Hardley Ablesome will definately cure your problem. We walked into the dealership in Vegas once and there must have been three times the number of bikes waiting for repairs as they had in the showroom.

    Like 4
  20. Greg Gustafson

    Unlike about everyone else on this site, I never owned one of these.

    Like 4
  21. bill tebbutt

    The positive side of this offering is the stellar seller feedback. The negative is that it is non-running, rusty tank example that requires a full restoration. I hope someone takes it on, but I see an easy $3k + investment in this, in addition to the purchase price, to make it nice.

    An aside. If the 400-4 is anything like the 550-4, NOS exhaust systems are unobtainable. There are after market ones out there that work well and look great (there is a UK firm that makes them out of stainless and are mandrel bent, unlike the compression bent factory ones) for all of $300.

    best
    bt

    Like 2
  22. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    SOLD for $1,850.

    Jim in FL – did you end up winning?

    Like 1
    • Jim in FL

      Hey thanks for asking. Yesterday, i took my iPad over to the dmv at lunchtime and showed the clerk the photos of the title. I asked if that was transferable. He said possibly yes, but probably not. He asked if the current owner could apply for a lost title, but the bike was for sale by a flipper. So, we determined that the best option would be to apply for a bonded title. This is a many-step process, costs a bit to file all the forms, and takes some time.

      I’m currently awash in paperwork wrapping up my mom’s estate. While I would look forward to the challenge of getting the bike together and on the road, I just couldn’t handle the challenge of another paperwork exercise, so I let it go. Good luck to the new owner though! It’s renewed my interest in working on an older bike so I’ll probably start looking.

      Last two wheeler I did was a 1974 Vespa. Registering that was a challenge as well, but the girl at the dmv said, let’s go ahead and register it as a moped, lol. So my 150cc Vespa was considered a moped.

      • Jerry K

        I bought a used red 1975 in ‘76, and put over 50k miles on it. I was in the Army at the time stationed in Maryland and rode it 600+ miles round trip almost every month to home in Western NY and back. I’ve owned about 25 bikes and this one was my favorite. It was overly complicated for the time (I believe there were at 3 joints for the shifter) but ran like a Swiss watch. After every ride, I told myself I would change out the cafe bars but never did. Great memories.

  23. Ernest Cathcart

    I love the number of posts about these bikes,my was leaning against a fence post over grown vines, elderly lady said you do the lawn and the vines the bike is yours, best damn lawn I ever mowed, and the most beautiful factory exhaust ever put on a production motorcycle.rode the living hell out of that bike with my punk rock girlfriend on the back, terrorizing that small northern Colorado college town, miss the 80’s, miss that girlfriend, really miss that bike.thanks for the post

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