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My CBR400F

I purchased my 1st CB400F in about 1980 or 1981. It was in really rough condition, but since my intention from the outset was to modify it, I didn't really care what kind of shape it was in. I was only 18 years old at the time and I learned an important lesson. I only paid $150 for the bike but by the time I was finished replacing the bent forks, triple clamps, frame, and fried rectifier, I was up to about $500, and I still had a cosmetic pile of s**t. I could have bought a really nice example for that same $500.

It's too bad that I don't have any photos of the bike in it's original condition. There was no digital cameras back then. The earliest photos that I have of the bike were from about 1983, when I put it together with a solo cafe seat from Racers Supply, Borrani aluminum rims, Ontario Moto Tech exhaust, Boge shocks, and fresh paint. (Actually Toronto Transit Red)

I rode this bike off and on throughout the 80's, either working on it when I wasn't riding it, or sometimes just keeping it stored in an apartment closet in pieces when I didn't have a place with a garage. I could disassemble the bike and carry it inside in about 2 hours, and re-assemble it in about 3-4 hours.  Looking back, I should have left it like this, but I wanted the full cafe look, so I found a fairing off of a Ducati 900SS.

When I got the fairing it had a cracked and broken screen which I cut down to fit as shown, and I can't even find any pictures of it with a full screen.

Version 2

Next was an attempt to build and paint my own bodywork. My buddy did a lot of the sanding and bondo work, and helped build the mold for the tail section. Not what I would call a rousing success, but we were kids working with little to no money, and even less experience. I did manage to shed a ton of weight, the finished bike scaled in at about 345 lbs with gas, but the heavy stock hubs, spoked wheels, and fairly large tubed tires meant that a lot of the remaining mass was in the wheels and it rode like a truck. You felt every pot hole and seam in the road.  My buddies hated the dual headlights out front, but I say I was just ahead of my time. (Can you say "Speed Triple?) This photo was taken just before it was stored away in about 1989, I never really rode it much in this form.

Version 3

Version 2 was torn apart, the running gear sold off, and the bodywork shelved. I found a VF500 Interceptor rolling chassis at a local wrecker for a good price, and this gave me the parts to assemble V3. The back of the frame was cut off and monoshocked, new bodywork procured, and it was all re-assembled around the same motor.


Version 4

Next, update was Egli style big backbone frame update.

This one was featured in a British Magazine


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