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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got my '78 Hawk Hondamatic running very nicely now. In fact, I took it for a 100-mile cruise into the Texas Hill Country last Sunday morning! However, I'm wondering what y'all are finding to be a comfortable cruising speed on these bikes. My feeling is that 60-65 mph seems to be a sweet spot. I know it will go faster (and I've gone faster), but I don't want to push it too hard. The problem is that we have 65-70 mph speed limits on highways around here, and I don't like being the slowpoke. What's your experience?
 

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Yours is a bit older than mine but i dont feel comfortable above 55 on mine. Partially because of how windy it is up here and i feel like ive gotta have the throttle open too much to maintain the speed. One bridge i go across for work has a speed limit of 70 that i slow people down on, right laners dont mind though
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've had mine up to 70-75. It doesn't feel too bad, but I don't want to push the old girl too hard...
 

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I run my 400 T at 70 or 75 all the time on the highway without issue. I've pushed it faster, but not sustained over 80.
 

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I feel like 55-60 is a good speed on mine. I've been over 70, but felt like she was working pretty hard for it. I ride at 65-70 sometimes to keep up with traffic but don't particularly like it, especially on windy days where I feel like I'm being buffeted around quite a bit. I avoid the PA turnpike and other interstates where 75+ is commonplace.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I should have said CB400A in the title, since that's what I have. Oops. But the bikes are so similar that this is a topic for both! I'm sure the T easily cruises faster than the A, since it has more horsepower and a much higher top speed...darn it.
 

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...especially on windy days where I feel like I'm being buffeted around quite a bit.
It doesn't matter much what size or weight your bike is, there will always be wind buffeting in highway speed traffic... most bikes are completely stable in these conditions despite the "squirming around" feeling. Larger vehicles like semi-trucks, box trucks and bigger vans bring a lot of wind turbulence but you just keep your hands on the bars with a gentle but firm grip, not a death-grip, and let the bike deal with it. It's been my experience (especially with early Gold Wings at higher speeds) that not fighting the movement of the bars and bike a little under those conditions is the best approach, otherwise it can cause the opposite reaction and things can get worse
 

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It doesn't matter much what size or weight your bike is, there will always be wind buffeting in highway speed traffic... most bikes are completely stable in these conditions despite the "squirming around" feeling. Larger vehicles like semi-trucks, box trucks and bigger vans bring a lot of wind turbulence but you just keep your hands on the bars with a gentle but firm grip, not a death-grip, and let the bike deal with it. It's been my experience (especially with early Gold Wings at higher speeds) that not fighting the movement of the bars and bike a little under those conditions is the best approach, otherwise it can cause the opposite reaction and things can get worse
I agree with all of this. One thing I'd say about the 400s is that most seem to be on the road without any fairings. I think at high speeds, heavy wind gusts are a little uncomfortable with nothing helping the rider cut the wind. I find myself leaning down a bit for better aerodynamics, and that's not a great cruising position.
 

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I agree with all of this. One thing I'd say about the 400s is that most seem to be on the road without any fairings. I think at high speeds, heavy wind gusts are a little uncomfortable with nothing helping the rider cut the wind. I find myself leaning down a bit for better aerodynamics, and that's not a great cruising position.
I've ridden bikes with and without fairings, both the handlebar style and the frame-mounted versions like Windjammers, and it doesn't much change the dynamic of wind buffeting caused by turbulence from vehicles around you in traffic. Out in open air, with or without any wind, fairings help cut through with less buffeting, but unless you're on a loaded-up Gold Wing or dresser Harley that weighs 800+ lbs, the turbulence in traffic (especially that caused by the larger, taller vehicles like trucks) is going to make the bike move around a bit. On our trip to Barber a few weeks ago, I noticed that even larger vehicles like the 26 foot motorhome and 20 foot enclosed trailer behind it that we were traveling in was dramatically affected by every passing semi and large box truck, even more than I'd expected, despite the gross weight that you might think would help keep it more stable... the power of wind movement is so much greater than many realize it is, and is often overlooked in shorter, more aerodynamic vehicles like our cars mostly are today
 

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A CB400A in good condition should cruise at 70 mph all day long and give you 50-55 miles to the gallon of fuel. I agree with staying off the super freeways. Winding and hill areas of course are different. IMO ride where you are comfortable.

Bill
 

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I agree with all of this. One thing I'd say about the 400s is that most seem to be on the road without any fairings. I think at high speeds, heavy wind gusts are a little uncomfortable with nothing helping the rider cut the wind. I find myself leaning down a bit for better aerodynamics, and that's not a great cruising position.
I have never ridden a bike with a fairing but I would think it would make dealing with crosswinds worse just because there is more surface area but I'm just guessing.
 

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I have never ridden a bike with a fairing but I would think it would make dealing with crosswinds worse just because there is more surface area but I'm just guessing.
You may be right. Ancientdad brought up the truck crosswinds issue. That's not really something I worry about typically because you can see them coming. For me, personally, it's the random headwinds at high speeds that make cruising at high speeds uncomfortable. So I slow down a few mph to adjust. Just my preference.
 

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I live on an island and the wind blows pretty regularly, I'm often riding in crosswinds exceeding 20mph. Rarely am I going faster than 60mph in these conditions but you def have to be careful of those crosswinds or you can get blown into the other lane of traffic of off the road all together.
 
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You may be right. Ancientdad brought up the truck crosswinds issue. That's not really something I worry about typically because you can see them coming. For me, personally, it's the random headwinds at high speeds that make cruising at high speeds uncomfortable. So I slow down a few mph to adjust. Just my preference.
and if it makes you more comfortable, then by all means follow your feelings about it. My reference to big trucks was actually more from them coming from behind to alongside you, and the massive wind displacement they can make that can move you over or buffet you around a bit as they pass

I live on an island and the wind blows pretty regularly, I'm often riding in crosswinds exceeding 20mph. Rarely am I going faster than 60mph in these conditions but you def have to be careful of those crosswinds or you can get blown into the other lane of traffic of off the road all together.
and that is a very valid point about strong crosswinds directly perpendicular to you, much the same as a semi blast along side but potentially worse. Being aware - as our heads have to be on a swivel anyway, since what we ride is generally less visible (if not completely invisible) to the masses in cars as it is - makes all the difference and allows us to be prepared for those little sideways "gusts" with a little handlebar adjustment creating a slight lean into it to avoid being pushed too far... I've said it for decades: if everyone had to learn to ride a motorcycle before being allowed to drive a car, as I did, there would be far better cars drivers and far less car vs. bike accidents, as it makes you a better driver of a 4 wheeled vehicle by far
 

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Plus one on tipping/leaning the bike into a crosswind, it allows the bike to track straight and is less susceptible to the sudden gusts.
 

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Most definitely, leaning into the crosswind works well even though it feels kinda weird to be leaning over a degree or two while going straight.
 

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I have never ridden a bike with a fairing but I would think it would make dealing with crosswinds worse just because there is more surface area but I'm just guessing.
It's kind of mixe bag, yeah, more surface but also more weight. I had an XS1100 with full bags and fairing and it seemed like you felt gusts more immediately but it had less effect on the handling of the bike due to its massive weight. I had a Nighthawk 700s as just light enough bad wind gusts could be scary. Could be the tiny 16" front wheel too though.
 

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It depends on the fairing size. I'm using a bikini fairing from a Ducati Monster that's just enough to knock the wind blast off my body. No effect with crosswinds.
 
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