HONDA's released the 2018 versions of its CB1300 and CB400 models in both naked ‘Super Four’ and half-faired ‘Super Bol d’Or’ forms.
At a glance, the long-running machines look familiar. They’re models that have become classics in their own lifetimes, and have a strong following in Japan. However, the smaller CB400 Super Four has never been a UK model and the larger CB1300 was dropped from the British market in 2013.
While there haven’t been many visual changes to the bikes since the CB1300 disappeared from UK dealers, Honda has kept the upgrades coming. For 2018, both the 400 and the 1300 get increased power and improved emissions.
The CB400’s output is up from 52hp to 55hp, while the CB1300 rises from 99hp to 109hp. Both bikes get new exhausts and improved suspension settings. The 400 also has a revised throttle body, while the 1300 gains an assist-and-slipper clutch that reduces the load on the lever and helps prevent rear-wheel lock-ups on down-changes. The final mechanical change is a tweak to the CB1300’s front brake calipers, which have ‘optimised’ piston diameters to make them more effective.
On the styling front, the naked Super Four versions get LED headlights – something that the faired models started using some years ago.
One thing worth noting is that the changes to the bikes’ emissions, thanks to the new exhausts and other engine mods, are needed to meet the latest Japanese regulations. These came into force for existing models at the start of September, and are largely in-line with Euro4 limits. This suggests that, should Honda see a large enough market for the CB1300 (or CB400) models in Europe – a distinct possibility given the growth in interest in retro machines – there remains a chance it could be reintroduced over here without the need for extensive mechanical modifications.
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