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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The guy I was buying a CL350 from backed out, and I'm looking for a project. I seem to find alot of honda CM400s. They are dirt cheap compared to some of the other bikes I find, and being a Honda I'm sure they'll run forever, however I know next to nothing about them, any thoughts?
 

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Badbiscuit said:
The guy I was buying a CL350 from backed out, and I'm looking for a project. I seem to find alot of honda CM400s. They are dirt cheap compared to some of the other bikes I find, and being a Honda I'm sure they'll run forever, however I know next to nothing about them, any thoughts?
Not a bad looking bike from what I can recall, although I am not keen on automatic transmissions (no idea if they are expensive to fix- which would explain the abundance of bikes for a cheap price) I say if you like it and see the potential,
go for it! especially if it is a really good price.

As a bonus, those comstar wheels look a lot easier to keep clean than traditional spokes!
 

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Jonnydaytona said:
Badbiscuit said:
The guy I was buying a CL350 from backed out, and I'm looking for a project. I seem to find alot of honda CM400s. They are dirt cheap compared to some of the other bikes I find, and being a Honda I'm sure they'll run forever, however I know next to nothing about them, any thoughts?
Not a bad looking bike from what I can recall, although I am not keen on automatic transmissions (no idea if they are expensive to fix- which would explain the abundance of bikes for a cheap price) I say if you like it and see the potential,
go for it! especially if it is a really good price.

As a bonus, those comstar wheels look a lot easier to keep clean than traditional spokes!
Not all the CMs are automatics
http://www.motorera.com/honda/h0400/cus ... sto400.htm

And from what I can tell they apear to be about the same thing as CB400T just dressed a little differently.

Of course I really don't know anything about either one - but I'm learning

Ernie
 

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They're great machines. The whole CB/CM line, 400/450... From 1978 thru about 1984 and the same motor used in '86 & '87's Rebel 450.

They came with engine counterbalancers, so they're much smoother than our vintage Honda twins. I've never heard of any particular weaknesses in them. They had 3-valve heads, two small intakes and 1 larger 'normal' exhaust.

They came in a bunch of flavors, primarily in external style, but some significant mechanical differences as well. CM4xxE version was Economy, with drum brakes and spoke wheels. CB/T 'Hawk' was the 'sporty' version with mags, disk brake up front and even 6-speeds. CM/A with automatic transmission. CM/C for the Custom (cruiser) version with extra chrome, mags, stepped seat, etc. The CB/SC Nighthawk which was a slightly restyled cruiser version. And finally, the motor used in the totally uniquely styled (for Honda at the time) Honda Rebel 450.

All great bikes for what they were - primarily inexpensive lightweights.

Your individual bike's condition will vary...

Kirk
 

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Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I actually scored a cb450 locally, so I won't be messing with any 400s any time soon
 

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Badbiscuit said:
I actually scored a cb450 locally, so I won't be messing with any 400s any time soon

Congratulations

Just wanted to make some comments on the 400T engines

Not too long ago I bought a 78 CB 400 T type II - there is plenty I like about it. And most folks I've heard from seem to think they are pretty good little bikes. However if I would have done a little research first I may have passed.

Some of the things mentioned above that make them run smoother mean more parts to wear out. The balancer, Three valves per cylinder etc. The balancer is chain driven and so is the oil pump so when you throw in the cam chain that means this thing has three chains inside the motor - all of which appear to be shot in mine (18,000 miles) The cam chain is not a simple roller chain it is more like an automotive timing chain, several small plates pinned together and runs about $100.

At any rate, just things to consider if anyone is looking at one of these bikes especialy if you are buying a non-running project. Personally I would have prefered an older simpler design.

Ernie
 

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Interesting comments, Ernie, thanks.

Most of the mid- to late-70s Japanese twins came with chain-driven counterbalancers. A few did NOT come with any sort of tensioner mechanism, so when the chains wore, the balancers could get a bit out of phase, making them not as effective. Later models had gear-driven balancers, or at least a chain tensioner system.

Didn't know about the chain-driven oil pump. :(

On the other hand, 18K seems like not many miles to have all the chains worn out. I wonder if it didn't really get oil changes often enough...
 

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kirkn said:
Interesting comments, Ernie, thanks.

A few did NOT come with any sort of tensioner mechanism,

On the other hand, 18K seems like not many miles to have all the chains worn out. I wonder if it didn't really get oil changes often enough...
This one does have a tensioner but there is no travel left in it.

I agree on the miles / condition thing - and should have mentioned that it looks like it has had poor maintenance.

I'm just a simpler is better kind of guy - especialy when you are looking at 30+ year old machines.

Ernie
 

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Hi, I have a CM400T which was imported from the States then given a revamp in their workshop. I used to have a CB so feel well-qualified to compare the two. Seems to have been a good job, because the machine purrs along beautifully. It appears to me that the CB Dream series was the UK equivalent of the CM Hawk series marketed in America. The CM was built as a distance cruiser with buckhorn bars, a teardrop tank, side panniers and a rear luggage rack all as standard. It has a stepped saddle which is very comfortable as well. Mine even has a very basic cruise control which I have never seen on a British bike of the same age. The teardrop tank lets you see the fuel switch so there's no more groping around underneath to switch to reserve at speed. Not yet sure about the bars as I think I preferred sitting forward a bit more. The build quality (chromework, paintwork, welds etc) appears to be noticeably better on the CM. Could be because it was built in their new Ohio factory fror an American market, whereas older ones and I believe he CBs were from Asia and designed for export, but not sure about that. Otherwise really love it.
 
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