Bike Pr0n: Honda CB400 Super Bol D’Or

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We talk a lot about appealing, small to mid-capacity bikes. But how about this Honda CB400 Super Bol D’Or? It’s a Japan and Australia-only model that’s been around largely unmodified since 1992, gaining VTEC variable valve-timing in 1999. The only thing new here is the special edition paint — red frame, gold wheels, tricolor bodywork — but what paint! Why doesn’t every Honda come in these colors? And why don’t we get the 52bhp/29lb-ft/370lbs standard here? Like other sexy little bikes made in Japan, the cost is just too high. The faired version goes for the equivalent of $10,132. To put that in context, the CBR600RR starts at $13,331 in Japan.

Honda Japan via Visordown

  • http://www.ninja250blog.com R.Sallee

    That’s pretty nice looking, with or without the front fairing.

  • Shaun

    Sweet. Manufacturers need to make ‘em desirable and cheap…and they may come back.
    UK gas prices are seriously painful now so now’s the time.

  • ike6116

    I wish CCW was 5 years older and I think we’d be getting mid-capacity, well priced standards out of them.

    A bike like this almost makes me resent the CBR250. Like we’re being teased. “Yeah… you’d like Honda to go this direction wouldn’t you?”

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Well the thing to remember about the CBR250 is that it’s crazy cheap for such a nicely made motorcycle.

  • robotribe

    Workhorse performance should be matched with a workhorse price. If only the Honda bean counters could work their pricing magic like they did with the CBR250. The Yen is stupid high; has been for awhile.

  • stempere

    Not so sure about the gold but damn, that’s one sexy bike and paint…
    And not the first nice attempt on this one, two equally nice visible there:
    http://www.mcqart.com/mcqweb/main_bikes_cb400sb.htm

    EDIT
    Damn the faired one would be a nice commuter, it did get a bit chilly these past months on the corsaro, even with heated grips…

  • Daniel

    I totally like it!!
    Do you know if there is any possibility of getting it in Spain?
    Here we’re limited to 47hp/35kw the first 2 years of license (A2 license which will be implemented in all the EU but Spain did it 2 years before, so there are almost no bikes that get close to 35kw…is much less or much more), so this kind of small-to-medium displacement bikes are what we need, at least for our 2 first years of license…i dont like the idea of having a bigger bike limited to 35kw and dont being able to get all what the engine is capable of…so im getting crazy looking over and over for a bike that i like and that is as close as possible to those 47hp…

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      I don’t think the CB400 comes to Europe officially, so obtaining one in lieu of, say, an SV650, would probably be cost prohibitive.

  • Ian

    Sweet. Barack should have mentioned this bike in his State of the Union Address. “Fellow Americans, I want you all to have access to attractive and powerful small displacement motorcycles.”

  • Scott

    Fairing-tank-seat reminds me of ’83-’85 Kawasaki GPz line.

    • seanslides

      It looks to have some Katana DNA in there as well. I’m really liking this bike.

  • http://www.tony-starr.com tony starr

    the CB400 is a nice little bike to ride too. i had a naked version before trading up to my CB1100.

  • http://pics.zenerves.net/index.php?gallery=vehicules tropical ice cube

    I dunno where to look for, but I think 4-cyl, 16v CB250 Hornets were built in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia – where they remained top-of-the-line products, alongside the CB ONE (400cc), for a while. Now that S-E Asia is going better, starts buying bigger bikes, those factories are re-fitted for new markets. If I am not wrong, this quite invalidate the claim that these bikes would be too expensive for ‘here’:
    1) the market was biased by very high taxes in Japan, so smaller bikes did fetch good money too, the big ones being downright unaffordable.
    2) these bikes are (were) all over the place in S-E Asia, where buyers have much, much less money.
    3) They’ve been around for so long, the tooling costs must be recovered 100 times, they must be cheap to produce.

    It’s all about culture: The Japanese kid was probably paying too much, but can’t afford the road tax on the bigger ones; And we were ready to throw 5-figures cheques on 130bhp+ machines… Us westerners don’t seem to consider putting, say, 6/7000 into a 16valve, 16k rpm 250cc screamer. Because it’s a 250. or a 400 for that matter.

    So we end up with the econobox of motorcycles.

    Something tells me it is much more of a leap of faith to sell a smallish, cheapish utilitarian to a civilisation of hedonistic bikers; I wish they played it dumb and just provided us with some of those arch-recovered-in-tooling-costs 4-lungs machines. (but I suspect they don’t sell in Asia either, hence our loss)
    Sigh.

    • Ducky

      The CB400 is a inline 4, high end motorcycle with really good suspension setup and use of materials. This isn’t something built in the ASEAN nations but is a high end product- licensing laws in Japan means that 400cc bikes actually have a market, and thus people can actually afford to throw quite a bit of money at them.

      • http://pics.zenerves.net/index.php?gallery=vehicules tropical ice cube

        http://cheanlong.blogspot.com/2008/10/riding-kompong-cham-prey-veng-neak.html

        That’s me and my friends riding the countryside; mostly Hornets 250 and some CB400s. We’re not really talking High-end peripherals all around here. And if that’s ‘only’ Cambodia, I must say I have seen the same in Thailand, Indonesia, Laos.
        These are affordable bikes for the local higher hand, or end. Not the super-duper-”would be too expensive for you -kind”. A good 2hand Hornet can be had for $2000/2500 in Phnom Penh or Bangkok.
        Seems fair to me [except I bought the 400 Monster, of course :) ].
        Cheers!

  • Noah

    I love this bike. Its brilliant and also better looking than the 250 we are about to get here in the US. I appreciate it regardless.

  • Josiah

    That bike naked is absolutely beautiful.

  • Zach

    Anyone else kind of perplexed by the rear twinshocks with external reservoirs? I wouldn’t expect that on a moderately modern standard.

  • Core

    I can’t put my finger on it, but something about this bike really grabs my attention, in a good way.