Do The Ton November Bike of The Month Winner

Shawn Smith’s Honda 1975 CB400F

I was living in Phoenix, Arizona and saw an ad for a 1975 Honda CB400F outside of Wickenberg. I always loved the sound of the small inline fours and made the 1.5 hr drive to a small RV park. The seller was selling off his Hondas to cover some medical bills. he had 750SS, 550SS, and this 400SS. It was a roller with a motor and a seat. It had started stripping parts off it to build it into a cafe but started to have health issues and so it sat in the Arizona sun for years. As with most Hondas with a free motor, a quick carb rebuild and some 12v power it roared to life. After that, it sat while I figured out what I was going to do for this build. Then my wife and I had our daughter and we made the journey back to Iowa. The 400 made the trip to the midwest. I decided to open a small shop to build and repair motorcycles called Innovative MotoSports, outside of my day job working in IT. I needed a bike to build to kick off opening up for business. After I got the shop set up I put the bike on the lift and stared at it to get a direction. This is what I came up with.

I always remembered the name Kaz Yoshima, who used to build and race cb400’s that he called Z1 beaters. This bike is inspired by Kaz. I started working on the bike in November of 2016 and had it running and riding in early May.

The frame has had the subframe shortened, kickstand relocated, de-tabbed, shortened exhaust mount hoop and new subframe crossmember. All welds and joints were molded smooth. The side stand is a aluminum adjustable unit from a RC51. The alloy swingarm has adjustable shock mounts, two position axle adjusters and was built by Framecrafters. The shocks are custom built Racetech G3’s, the forks have Racetech Gold Valves and Springs. I have a lot of great parts from TTR400 such as the 20mm race axle, billet lower triple tree, brake stay, motor mounts, and cam chain adjuster. The wheels are from Excel Hoops with Buchanan’s stainless spokes and nipples. They are wrapped in Avon Road Rider tires. Brakes are EBC, a thinned and drilled front rotor, braided brake line, and an 11mm Brembo Master is used. Controls are Woodcraft clip ons, Domino grips, ASV levers, and TTR400 rearsets. The gauge is a Speedhut GPS speedometer with a large tach.

The entire motor has been vapor blasted. The crank was balanced and lightened, rods were shot peened, 466cc big bore, JMR Stage 2 Ported head, Webco cam, slotted cam gear, and bored stock carbs with K&N filters. Dyna Electronic Ignition and coils were used. The exhaust is hand bent from OUTEX in Japan with their race baffle.

The headlight is a Clearwater Darla LED with adjustable low beam, and high beam. The wire harness is custom made for this bike in house. Ricks Motorsports rebuilt the Stator and provided the r/r. A Speedcell 4 cell lithium Ion Battery is tucked under the seat. All electrical components are mounted under the seat on a polished aluminum plate. There are two toggles, one for lights on/off, and high beam on/off. The LED tail lite is tinted and flush mounted in the tail fairing.

The front fender and rear hugger are carbon fiber and made by Tannermatic. The tail section was made in house by using foam for the mold and making the tail in 6 layers of fiberglass. The paint is done by myself and is Super Jet Black, GM White, Metallic Gold with Painthuffer Buck Wild Gold Metal Flake. The seat is leather, perforated leather, alacantara, with gold stitching and was done by PLZBESEATED. Every bracket, tray, and spacer is aluminum on this bike.

I built this bike to be a barely legal street bike that could be ready for a track day in 10 minutes. It’s approximately 330 lbs wet and is a blast to ride.

On this bike I ordered everything I needed to make my wire harness from Dime City Cycles. It’s amazing the amount of products they provide and makes it great for anyone turning wrenches on a bike. They had the rolls of colored wire, wire covering, and the correct connectors from Vintage Connections. Surprisingly this bike cooperated pretty well. The biggest pain I had was hand sanding all of the nooks and crannies on the frame to get it smoothed out for paint. My knuckles still hurt thinking about that.

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(via Dime City Cycles)

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