You are power hungry, eh? You want that kick-in-the-seat-of-the-pants every time you take her to the roads? You are tired of the Indian manufacturers and want to graduate to something bigger and better? The much-anticipated KTM Duke 390’s spec-sheet impresses you, but you are not really a sucker for its exhaust note? More importantly, do you care a tad more for the wind that howls and beats down on you once you attain freeway speeds?
If your answer was in the affirmative, then you have something to look forward to from Japan’s motorbikes-to-robots manufacturing behemoth Honda. A trio of motorcycles took centrestage at the Osaka Motor Show in March this year, and it included a full-faired bike (CBR400R) alongside a semi-faired one (CB400F), as well as an adventure bike (Honda 400X). Do they look somewhat similar to you? Yes, we too agree as they are de-glam versions of the 500 cc models from Honda with the same CBR badging. According to some media reports, these CBRs are India bound.
Affordable-Performance seems to be the buzzword of the moment, and all auto biggies do reiterate that. Honda seems to have done a KTM here by bringing out three models that share quite a few parts other than the mill, and hence you can expect the pricing to be aggressive.
The mill is a 399 cc 4-stroke parallel twin arrangement. It’s 67 mm bore is exactly same as that of the 500 cc mill from Honda, but the the stroke is a bit shorter at 56.6 mm. It employs DOHC and water-cooling. Counter-balancers are placed for reducing vibrations, and a roller rocker arm reduces friction. There is quite a bit of DNA carried over from the bigger Honda siblings. An internal relief oil structure similar to that in the CBR600RR is claimed to reduce friction and improve aeration efficiency. Honda’s renowned PGM-FI takes care of the fuel feeding. As if a vindication, mileage tests under standard conditions gave an impressive efficiency of around 39 kmpl, with the speed maintained at 60 kph.
Single petal discs take responsibility of stopping the motion at both the front and rear. Combined ABS is available as a premium option. All the three bikes’ skeleton is a diamond-type frame. Telescopic forks take guard at the front against deformities on the tarmac, with a greater 5.5 inch travel on the 400X as compared to the other two. The rear employs a Pro-Link monoshock with nine-position preload adjustability.
Honda CBR 400 Specs
Now, time for some figures and numbers. Honda claims that these 400 cc engines will pump out an impressive peak power of 46 PS @ 9500 rpm and a peak torque of 37 Nm @ 7500 rpm. Now, this is where things start getting interesting. With hordes of enthusiastic bikers waiting for the Duke 390, this Honda CBR400R may play spoilsport. At a hefty 192 kgs, it’s sure to be left behind at the traffic signal’s green light by the Duke 390. But it does have a few aces up it’s sleeve. A twin-parallel motor, along with a taller gearing and a wider powerband will make it a boon for many riders. The icing on the cake is the fairing on the CBR400R which staves off the wind-blast. Still, if you don’t care a bit about it but don’t prefer KTM’s trademark in-your-face styling, there’s the CB400F for you. And if you like charting unexplored routes, Honda offers you it’s 400X.
Honda CBR 400 Prices
Honda has a golden opportunity to take a stand against Bajaj-KTM, but as always the most influential factor will be the pricing. Honda has released the prices in Japan, and we can reach an approximation basing on that. The CBR400R will cost somewhere around INR 3.70 lakhs, while the semi-faired CB400F is slightly lesser taxing on the pocket at around INR 3.50 lakhs. The 400X is also priced at INR 3.70 lakhs.
For the C-ABS on all the three models, you have to shell out around 30 k more. These prices are on the higher side when compared to the Duke 390’s expected price, but you can expect these prices to come down by some percentage after localization in India. Currency differences have also not been factored here.
So, which will you choose between Bajaj-KTM and Honda, if the 400 cc trio of Honda struts over to India?
You can read more about the CBR 400 at Honda’s Official Japan site
Also Read: Honda’s CBR300R Plans Busted