New Honda CBR400R

Plus CB400F and CB400X

Posted: 12 March 2013
by Visordown News

The new CBR400R ... small ripple of applause

HONDA has just revealed a set of 400cc machines for the Japanese market. And yes, if you’re thinking they’re familiar, it’s because they’re sleeved-down versions of the new 500cc twins they’re offering over here.

The name ‘CBR400R’ carries a weight of expectation for many UK riders who might have had formative experiences on screaming grey-import four-cylinders like the CBR400RR 'Babyblade', VFR400R and CB-1, so the new twin could come as a disappointment. And with an identical but more muscular 500cc version already available here, the chances of independent importers running to the docks for these ones are slim to say the least.

The three 400cc models are set to be centre-stage on Honda’s stand at the Osaka Motor Show, starting this Friday. The show will also see the Japanese launch of the ‘Cross Cub’ – an off-road-style take on the age-old Cub theme, which has already made a couple of Asian show appearances – and the strangely-named ‘Honda Grom’. Apparently a ‘recreation model with a 125cc engine that conjures up extreme riding’ Honda hasn’t released pictures of the Grom yet, but we suspect it could be closely related to the MSX125 that was recently launched over here.

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Discuss this story

It is quite a smart strategy to reduce development costs while producing that magic "400" to fit the Japanese license class. I believe there's a "Ninja 400" as well that's just a sleeved down ER6-f.

If it means that we get the bigger bikes for less money, more power to them. Well, less power, you get the idea.

Posted: 12/03/2013 at 11:20

would we ever see the gorgeous little gems we saw from the Japanese in the late '80s vfr, cbr, zxr and gsxr 400? what a shame! pity that Japan has been in recession for two decades!

Posted: 12/03/2013 at 14:03

I understand the need to make something cheap.. I understand the need to make something that conforms to power requirements...... But I don't understand why they have to give up on trying to put some soul into a bike.

This new breed of light to midweight bikes strike me as being incredibly dull machines dressed up in a sporty skirt and not much else.

Perhaps they look better in the flesh, but i'm not overly convinced by them yet. would be nicer to see something comparable to the kind mentality behind the sporty 400's of the 90's

Posted: 12/03/2013 at 17:33

The small bike market in China and India is the focus. By comparison our market is tiny and not cost effective. The +800 cc bikes days are number in my opinion. If I take my 1100 out on a weekend ride-out I can see £60 going through the tank. Use my 750 and I can cut that to £40 and go further on the tyres too. Small bikes make sense until I take the Mrs to Rome.

Posted: 12/03/2013 at 20:14

First there was the cbr250, I was thinking hell yeah a 4cyl 250. Nope, psych! Its a lame ass thumper. Honda's misuse of the cbr moniker really sucks. That thumper should be a FT250 or something. The 400/500 maybe CB500T like back in the day.

Posted: 12/03/2013 at 21:16

I think there is a market for low (-er) capacity sports bikes but they need to BE sportsbikes not commuters with a fairing pretending. I don't mind at all manufacturers producing this stuff, although they all seem far over priced but I'd like to see soulful exhillerating. Youngsters are not going to be turned onto bikes for life or stare for hours at these things the way I did a RVF400 NC35 before I could even ride! Instead the 'sexy' bikes are all of a capacity or power that they, in the UK at least, won't be leaglly allowed to ride till 24 years old- a lifetime at 17. Instead they'll buy cars- I sense some manufacturers and governments will be very happy if they do. Shame.

Posted: 12/03/2013 at 21:30

Maybe the attitude over here in Oz is different. These bikes are learner bikes and not much else. You sit on them for ~18 months and then you upgrade. You treat them like the stop-gap they are, a means to an end, and you don't complain.

Posted: 13/03/2013 at 04:07

I’m not really a fan of the CBR500/400 as it's not really frugal enoght for what they are (quite like the 250 though). I also think the CBR moniker is being abused with these commuter bikes in drag, I wouldn’t mind it if they were called CBRXXXF but using CBRXXXR or RR on a commuter bike just devalues the CBR tag.

Posted: 13/03/2013 at 17:48

@ Mike lerud
How can it be a misuse of the "CBR moniker" if they are the ones that invented the CBR in the first friggin place?... just saying, they can do with it as they please.

the real point of posting a comment was to say:

i think the offroad cub bike is a great idea! i think it looks exactly as it should and will probly sell as well as the original cub's (well maybe not that record breakingly well but i recon they will make millions of them.)
The reason:
Its going to be for ultra low income familys living off the land/ working the land in the various plantations around the world of coffee, tea, rice etc. These familys want something a bit more robust than the twist and gos available at the moment and definatly something that can tackle a muddy lane without too much trouble.
couple that with an unbreakable engine that already has millions of followers and spares to boot and they have a winner!

Posted: 15/03/2013 at 13:41

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