1978 Honda CB400 Before and After

I’ve owned this 1978 Honda CB400 Hawk II since 2013. I paid $650 for it. I’ve cleaned it up a bit and did a few performance upgrades and I’m into the bike for about $2,000.

Here’s what it looked like when I bought it.

This is what my ’78 Honda CB400 looked like when I bought it for $650 in 2013.

It ran OK, but it was all 1970s. Those mirrors, big fenders and bulky lights had to go. After a couple of years fussing around with the stock carbs, I installed Mikunis. That was totally worth it. I also put on a new sprocket and chain and bumped up the front sprocket by a tooth to give the bike more pop off the line. That worked out well too.

Cosmetically, I got rid of the gauges and replaced them with one small speedo. I replaced the turn signals, tail light and head light. The headlight is the same size as the original, but the rest of the lights are at least half the size as the originals. They went big in the 1970s – literally big. I also chopped the fenders.

In terms of maintenance, in addition to servicing the swing arm and replacing the chain and sprockets, I also install new fork seals. The braided brake line seems to be performing much better than that old rubber one.

The only thing I need to do is finish the gauges and ignition. All I plan to do there is build a custom faceplate to install the ignition switch and speedo. It will cover up some of the wiring that is now visible.

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