Author Topic: Done any touring on the 400?  (Read 410 times)

Offline Mikep328

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Done any touring on the 400?
« on: February 04, 2024, 11:56:34 AM »
My wife and I are thinking of joining some friends who are doing a two-week tour of France/Italy in May on motorcycles.  They will be hiring motos in Italy.  We would be riding ours from the UK.

My wife would be on her Honda NC750 and though I have a current litre-bike available, I am thinking of riding the 400.   It is now my favorite motorbike to ride for the type of riding we rides on twisty back roads.  But that's quite different  from touring with the necessary "luggage" for several weeks of riding.  I'm also wondering if the hi-revving little four would lose some of its appeal in such use, becoming "buzzy" and annoying rather than fun.  Anybody done this sort of thing on the 400? 

Back in the day I rode my Honda CL350 across most of the USA but I was in my early 20s then and luggage/comfort were of minimal concern! But I don't even know who that guy was!  :)

Offline TrickyMicky

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Re: Done any touring on the 400?
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2024, 08:58:42 AM »
This is purely a personal opinion, but if you consider your bike to be in very good mechanical and safe  condition, then there is no reason not to use it for touring.  One of my main criteria when riding anywhere is to avoid motorways and similar like the plague. These bikes were more than capable in their heyday, but nowadays we are outgunned by virtually any type of family car being driven by someone who has NOT been taught to drive, only how to pass their test. Plus of course, where is the enjoyment of just riding a motorcycle in a straight line?  I don't do the mileage that I used to years ago, but a couple of times a year I visit a lifelong fellow rider which involves a 140 mile ride from Suffolk to Sussex.  No sat-nav, so it's a case of using a map and plotting a route using minor A and B roads all the way. (Apart from the Dartford crossing!). The following few days are spent touring Kent and Sussex using back roads which is totally what these bikes were made for.  I normally(sic) keep my rev limit to about 7-8.000, but in general I cruise at about 60-65MPH and enjoy the ride and the scenery.  Regarding carrying luggage, the kit that is available nowadays is beyond belief, and bear in mind that the bike was designed to be capable of carrying a pillion passenger, so if you are riding solo, weight of luggage should not be a problem. Spare spark plugs, points and condensers,  clutch cable, fuses, and a good breakdown recovery membership card.  I have listened to many people who have told great stories of riding the length of France without using the Autoroutes. Go and enjoy yourself. Regards, Mike.

Offline Rozabikes Tim

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Re: Done any touring on the 400?
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2024, 10:23:44 AM »
Go for it I say without motorways, you see and appreciate lots more. French A roads are very good and often run pretty parallel to the motorway. I drive there regularly all be it in a car. Typically much less traffic and allied stress. French tend to respect bikes with and without engines. The bike should be fine as long as the rest of the group want to really press on
One day I'll have the time to restore it, not just talk and dream....

Offline SteveD CB500K0

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Re: Done any touring on the 400?
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2024, 12:56:43 PM »
Load all the luggage on the NC750 and have a blast!

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Offline flatfour

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Re: Done any touring on the 400?
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2024, 04:34:35 PM »
My friend used his 1970 CB750 for many trips to France and Belgium until it was sold in around 2016. He was riding with myself, my daughter and my brother, all of whom were using modern bikes (me Kawasaki 1400 GTR, my daughter Honda NC700X and my brother a new Honda CB1100).

Each year we would head off to Dijon for the Coupe de Moto Legende and then Spa for the Biker Classic. To reach Dijon we always route via the A26 to Reims and then on to Dijon, on the return we would ride the backroads as time was unimportant.

During these trips, the CB750 never failed (neither did the other bikes, although perhaps failure on something relatively new would not really be expected.

Over some ten years of use, the CB750 covered around 30,000 miles in this manner. We modern bike riders did, however help with the luggage, as we all had top boxes and panniers!

Offline davidcumbria

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Re: Done any touring on the 400?
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2024, 06:36:26 PM »
just my opinion but i have ridden through France a few times. Its further than you think and if you have a bike that is more comfortable for long distances I would use that. ergos, quietness and windprotection at speed are priorities over 'charm and character'. Have a great trip in any case...
500/4 in 79. No bikes for 30 years. 750/4 in 2013, 550/4 in 2023. Also own  R1100GS, RD350LC YPVS , Triumph Street Triple, Yamaha XT250

Offline Aye Gee 1977

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Re: Done any touring on the 400?
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2024, 10:03:26 PM »
As a younger man on a younger CB400F I toured Ireland on honeymoon in 1982, two up and staying in hotels.  In 1983 we went camping in the Swiss Alps via Belgium, Germany and Austria all within a week.  It performed well and was capable of carrying the luggage in hard panniers, tank bag and rear rack.  The second trip resulted in several broken spokes in the rear wheel by the time we returned.

As the CB400F was becoming rather worn-out, it was retired in favour of a CX500B which was a better touring bike, but not something you could love so much.  Quite how either bike would feel today in such circumstances in hard to know

I have just finished restoring the CB400F - and started the engine only yesterday, for the first time in 40 years.  Looking back at my contemporary records, I have been surprised how much time and effort was required to keep a comparatively new bike running well.  Maybe I'll post the various problems and issues sometime.


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