The ups and downs of owning a classic motorcycle
Don Hughes and his 1976 Honda CB400F.
Bike: 1976 Honda CB400 Four
Owner: Don Hughes
Location: North Vancouver, British Columbia
Occupation: Full-time motorcycle restorer
Etc.: Don also owns a rare Aurenthetic electric scooter
Don’s reputation for taking care of stray motorcycles has spread so wide that many “projects” come looking for him. So it was with his 1976 Honda CB400 Four.
“I got it from a chap in Kelowna. He was the original owner and 90 years old by then. The bike hadn’t been run for 10 or 12 years. It has 11,000 original miles. It’s all original, and it doesn’t look like it’s ever had anything done to it,” Don says.
That didn’t mean it required no work, of course. The carburetors were completely gummed up with oxidized gasoline, requiring a full strip and rebuild. Don also had to overhaul the hydraulic system, rebuilding the brake master and slave cylinders, which were seized solid. Apart from that, though, it was mostly a matter of cosmetic work and getting the little Honda caught up with its routine maintenance program.
“Other than that,” Don says, “it’s just the way it came. I don’t think he ever rode it in the rain, and it runs like a Swiss watch.”
At the end of our photo session, I help Don load the CB400F onto his trailer. He’s sold it to a collector, and has to deliver it the next day.
“The CB400 is one of my favorites,” he says. “I’ll most likely end up finding another one.”
Read more about this motorcycle:
• Honda CB400 Four: Less is More