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Review: 2009 Honda CB400 Super Four, the Killer Wasp (LAMS Approved)

December 11th, 2007
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If you’re after a bike that shouts out pocket rocket, then the Honda CB400 Super Four is for you. No joke, this bright yellow wasp moves around as if it were on Red Bull; ready to chase down and sting just about anything on the roads. I mean this thing has a fit and keeps kicking if it’s not driven hard, so what else is there to do than just give in?

2009 Honda CB400 Super Four 2009 Honda CB400 Super Four

With only a glance, the bright yellow paint and red suspension springs set the tone for what the driving experience entails. The CB400 Super Four plays it safe with a not so special familiar design, showing the usual curves and highlights that don’t seem to drift away Honda’s design studio. But, safe is not always a bad thing; the CB400 Super Four proves itself with familiarity and a sense of sensibility. We all like things that simply… just work. The dials and gauges are precise and easy to read; coming in a chrome finish instrument cluster with a classic design that requires no time to become familiar with. Sitting there with my Draggin Jeans everything just feels in place; with reach and ride position being comfortable with a sense of home.

2009 Honda CB400 Super Four 2009 Honda CB400 Super Four

Take a closer look at the naked body you’ll note the inline four-cylinder, four-stroke, liquid cooled 400cc engine. Coupled with this is Honda’s HYPER VTEC (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control), a system that Honda have perfected over the years.  Some still say that the trade off for low end torque is not acceptable, but when you’re driving hard and the revs are kept in the power band; there should be little to worry about. With the addition on the improved technology, Honda has also improved on emissions levels and the fuel economy has been optimized further than that of the previous model, a bonus for those who are looking for excitement as well as the daily commute.

2009 Honda CB400 Super Four 2009 Honda CB400 Super Four

Being quite a sporty bike, the CB400 Super Four isn’t the best bike to clock up those highway miles on (keep in mind that the dampers can be adjusted, however still stay quite firm); but that’s not what this bike is all about. A swift, lightweight bike that is easy to throw in and out of the corners is what makes this special. It’s just so easy, the bike loves the corners and so do we! It’s always important to understand how the bike will behave in different situations, I advise you always observe the revs; as when you approach 6250rpm the HYPER VTEC kicks in, and you don’t want to commit to a corner just before that decides to rock. You just keep on that throttle as the rush from that HYPER VTEC keeps the blood rushing through.

2009 Honda CB400 Super Four 2009 Honda CB400 Super Four

When you start to really get going the light weight CB400 Super Four also pulls up very well, all the credit should go to the twin 285 mm floating discs with 4-piston Nissin callipers in the front and the 235 mm disc with a single piston Nissin calliper at the rear. To step things up even further, you can throw in another $1000 for the ABS version which has 285 mm dual hydraulic discs with combined 3-piston callipers, floating rotors and sintered metal pads for the front and 235 mm hydraulic disc with single-piston calliper and sintered metal pads for the rear. The ABS version also comes with a retro red/white or blue/white paint finish as standard, so it might be worth considering.

2009 Honda CB400 Super Four 

The CB400 Super Four has been a huge seller overseas since 1992 for good reason, it simply does everything it should and the build quality is what you expect from Honda, nothing but impressive. Those of you on learners will be glad to hear that the CB400 Super Four is “LAMS” approved which means there is now an alternative for new riders who want to start off on something a little bigger than a 250cc motorcycle.

2009 Honda CB400 Super Four 2009 Honda CB400 Super Four

From a price point of view, the CB400 Super Four is great value at $9,990 for the standard model and $10,990 for the ABS model, both excluding on road costs. I don’t see any reason why this bike won’t be seeing a ramp up in sales, especially given that it will now be LAMS approved; it’s a perfect bike to learn on and is even great for the daily commuter. If you’re after great value and something to excite, the CB400 Super Four is hard to go past.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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