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Hondamatic 450 for touring?

1846 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  longdistancerider
Hi all! I've been really interested in a 1983 CM450A I found locally; does this bike have enough get up and go to sustain highway speeds (75-85mph) for extended periods? I've never ran an air-cooled bike before, so I'm not sure how hard it's pushed by riding hard. All of mine have been much newer. I've never had a bike that wasn't a Honda "under-stressed" design capable of WOT all day so I'm not sure how to treat one like this (if it isn't *also* under-stressed, but I'm not sure).

I'd be moving over from a Honda Helix 250cc which barely hits 70mph WOT on the freeway, making those rides a bit underpowered and gusty... the 10 inch tires don't help much. The Hondamatic also weighs about 60 more pounds which I figure should help.

Any other impressions of the 450A from owners would be awesome! :)
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Unless you are exceptionally robust, it will get you around just fine. One of our members (Longdistancerider) has made two trips across the US on a CM400. I'm sure he'll be along to comment.
I've found that on my 1978 400A, I can hit and hold 70 without a problem. 75, I'm not so sure. I think that's probably close to the max speed for me/my bike as it currently stands... I weigh 185 and probably don't have it tuned as well as it could be. I don't hesitate to get on any roads that average 55-70, but on some of the faster interstates where people think you're slow at 70 mph, it makes me a little uncomfortable.

I'm sure the extra 50 ccs will give you a little better output, but I'm not sure how much.
I don`t have a hondamatic, but have a 450 rebel and 450 nighthawk with 6 speed overdrive for freeway speeds, I have tried the od at 55mph and it made the engine lug on hills, rpms were too low
Performance on a hondamatic is pretty different from a manual between the torque converter sapping a healthy percentage of the power and the wide power bands with only two gears. I would guess a 400A performs more like a 250.
Yeah, I've toured the US twice on a CM400T, first time was pretty much stock and 2nd time quite modified. Stock it ran quite well in the 70 mph area, started straining above that. I suspect you'll run about the same. I'd suggest bumping the front sprocket up 1 tooth and see how that affects your low end performance, it may be too large a change for the automatic
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