Honda Announces Launch of CL400 Single-Cylinder Urban Road Sports Bike

September 22, 1998, Japan


Tokyo, September 22, 1998 - Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has announced the launch of the new Honda CL400 motorcycle, which will go on sale on September 23. One of a new series of Honda two-wheelers tailored to today's varied modern consumer lifestyles, this road sports machine is designed to look like a simple town bike. Yet its deceptively ordinary, but alluring form conceals a powerful air-cooled single-cylinder 400cc engine. Whether cruising downtown or negotiating winding suburban roads, it's guaranteed to provide a comfortably smooth and yet reassuringly pulse-quickening ride.
This particular model was first displayed at the 32nd Tokyo Motor Show in 1997. Subsequently refined for commercial launch, it is expected to appeal to a broad age-range of riders. Thirteen years have passed since Honda last introduced a single-cylinder 400cc sporty motorcycle.



Domestic annual sales target:

5,000 units

The lightweight, compact 400cc engine - complete with impressive heat-radiating fins - nestles within a semi-double cradle frame. The functional urban exterior design blends a variety of individual high-class parts: swept-back twin mufflers gently curving along each side of the frame, an understated teardrop-shaped fuel tank, and a flat, slim-profile seat.
The air-cooled single-cylinder 400cc engine is one that has proved its mettle in off-road conditions. It combines power in the low- and mid-rev range, which makes up the large proportion of everyday driving, with the ability to easily reach higher speeds. To make starting easier, an automatic decompressor is featured. The Capacitor Discharge Ignition (CDI) system also helps facilitate smooth starting.

In addition to an internal balancer to minimize engine vibrations, the CL400 also features a dry sump for a smooth oil supply to the engine and a more compact bike. As a result, despite having a single cylinder, the bike runs exceptionally smoothly.

The semi-double cradle frame uses forged materials for the joints in all sections, reducing weight while boosting rigidity. The steel tubing used balances flexibility with strength. The telescopic front suspension and twin-damper swingarm rear suspension, combined with sporty wheels, give the handling a very smooth feel.

The brakes are smooth and reliable: a single-disc brake at the front and a simple drum brake at the rear.

The CL400 is available in two body colors: the urban-feel Pleiades Silver Metallic and classic Siena Gold Metallic for that specially nostalgic image.

Main specifications:

Model CL400
Type NC38
Length x width x height (m) 2.175 x 0.825 x 1.135
Wheelbase (m) 1.410
Ground clearance (m) 0.185
Seat height (m) 0.795
Curb weight/dry weight (kg) 155/140
No. of riders (person) 2
Fuel economy (km/l) [60 km/h test on flat ground] 36.0
Minimum turning radius (m) 2.5
Engine type NC38E air-cooled 4-cycle OHC
4-valve single-cylinder
Displacement (cm3) 397
Bore/stroke (mm) 85.0 x 70.0
Compression ratio 8.8
Maximum power output (PS/rpm) 29/7,000
Maximum torque (kgm/rpm) 3.5/5,500
Carburetor type VEBA
Starter kick-start
Ignition capacitor discharge (CDI)
Lubrication forced pressure and wet sump
Oil capacity (l) 2.2
Fuel tank capacity (l) 12
Clutch coil spring
Transmission 5-speed return
Gear ratios 1st gear 2.615
2nd gear 1.789
3rd gear 1.350
4th gear 1.076
5th gear 0.925
Drive ratios (primary/final) 2.826/2.400
Rake (degrees)/trail (mm) 28°10'/127
Tire sizes Front 90/100-19 (55P)
Rear 110/90-18 (61P)
Brakes Front hydraulic disc
Rear drum
Suspension Front telescopic
Rear swingarm
Frame type semi-double cradle