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.