Cafe Racer SSpirit of San Sebastian, Spain, consistently turns out some of our favorite builds. We’ve shared their R51 scrambler and, more recently, we featured their Honda CBX custom, whose six-into-one custom exhaust sounds like nothing so much as an F1 car loosed on the public streets. Now the boys from San Sebastian are back with another “CBX”…only this time, it’s quite possibly one you’ve never heard of: a 1982 CBX400F.
The CBX400F (1981-1983) followed in the footsteps of the beloved CB400F, but it was superior in almost every way: power, handling, braking, comfort. The only catch? It was only available in Japan. The bike, which offered 48 horsepower and redlined 11,500 RPM, could outrun all of the 400-450cc twins, and a great many of the 500-550cc bikes of the era. In 1982, Cycle Guide said of the bike:
“The CBX400F wails like a runaway air-raid siren as the engine approaches redline, and the shrieking resonates inside your helmet so loudly that it’s all you can hear. The intake roar alone is menacing enough, as though you and the seat are about to be sucked into the 26mm Keihin CV carbs at any second. And you can’t help but feel that something—a piston, a rod, perhaps one of the 16 valves that is being hammered open almost 100 times a second—is going to come flying up and eunuchize you on the spot.”
That’s a description that even the great Hunter S. Thompson would admire, and it only makes us lust harder for this unobtanium machine. We’ll let Hugo from Cafe Racer SSpirit give you the rest of the story.
CBX400F Cafe Racer/Brat: In the Builder’s Words
We were seeking a different build. We were also interested in building a medium displacement bike for city riding. Low cc, but with some power. We came across a very interesting bike, and thought something nice could be done. The bike was pretty low mileage and needed some attention. It was a great opportunity!
The CBX400 was a bike which was just sold in Japan. At this time, it was pretty much a futuristic machine, with many technological advances. It reached 11k rpm and developed 48 horsepower, which is more than 10 horses and 1500 rpm higher than the CB400F.
We wanted to build a clean bike. Stock tank was just not appropriate for the build, so we decided a Kawasaki one would fit it much better. We couldn’t have chosen a better tank!
The subframe is an interesting part also because of the monolever. We proceeded to do the U subframe and next step was changing the monolever to a more sporty one. This change not only improved the handling of the bike, but also thanks to it, the Firestone Deluxe had more space in between with the back fender.
The result, a good looking 400cc bike, with a thin & elegant tank fitted and the motor standing out also. In relation to the exhaust, we had very good experience with the Marving Race exhaust fitted in previous builds, so this was the one we fitted. The Marving exhaust works very well with the K&N filters.
For the color of the tank we got inspired by the BMW 1M. As we said before, it’s a little but powerful bike! Since the tank is Kawasaki also, the orange color suits it also perfect!
Chrome front and back headlights were chosen so that it could get along with the exhaust and rims also.