Featured Honda Ns400

Discussion in 'Other Bikes' started by johne, Oct 1, 2022.

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  1. johne

    johne Standing on the shoulders of dwarves.

    Jan 16, 2020
    1,137
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    Where the Wolds meet the sea
    #1 johne, Oct 1, 2022
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2022
    Apologies if you've already seen the pictures in another section here, but I'm very chuffed with my new purchase. I've been after one of these for a while and for one to turn up almost on my doorstep (12 miles away) was a bonus. The previous owner has done a lot of work on the motor and it shows. When I rode it, the engine ran really well (typical 2 stroke, nothing much happens 'til you hit 6000 rpm then it takes off like a scalded cat!)., I'd almost resigned myself to shoving it in the garage for winter and just Sorning it until the Springtime, (Sorn? that's telling the UK driving authority you aren't using it on the public roads, for our overseas friends) but the temptation of riding it straight away was too much, so I've taxed and insured it so I can ride it immediately. The bodywork is showing its 35 years age in places, but I'm just going to ride it whilst the weather here remains benign and when the really bad weather does arrive, I'll consider some cosmetic improvements as and when.

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  2. Pegscraper

    Pegscraper Elite Member

    Jun 12, 2020
    2,298
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    I test rode one of them at a dealer open day in '86. I had a 1000RX at the time and the Honda was a bit of a handling revelation. Getting back on the RX it felt like an elephant with clogs on.
     
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  3. Eldon

    Eldon Elite Member

    Nov 14, 2018
    2,207
    800
    North Yorkshire
    What a great bike they were in their day and even still now.
    A friend, Paul, bought one and an RD500LC in 2015, £7500 for the pair as proper barn finds, cobwebs, mouse nest in the airbox and all.
    We rebuilt the NSR first, the tank, exhausts and frame needed work which is where I came in.
    Paul did a great job once completed and I even saw it once at Squires ( motorbikers cafe).
    Sadly Paul passed away before the RD got back out of the numerous baskets that he'd diligently loaded up months previous with the totally stripped bike.
     
  4. johne

    johne Standing on the shoulders of dwarves.

    Jan 16, 2020
    1,137
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    Where the Wolds meet the sea
    I'll try to get over to Squires on it before the winter takes hold. I'll certainly get to Seaways at Fridaythorpe, as it's not too far from where I live. The NS is without doubt the best 2 stroke motorbike I've owned and I've been lucky enough to own quite a few, including a KH750 Kawasaki.
     
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  5. johne

    johne Standing on the shoulders of dwarves.

    Jan 16, 2020
    1,137
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    Where the Wolds meet the sea
    What happened to the two bikes after Paul died Eldon?
     
  6. Eldon

    Eldon Elite Member

    Nov 14, 2018
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    Umm there were a bit of a discrepancy over ownership between the next wife to be and his two sons.
    I could ask the sons next time I see them. Your bike didn't come from over Leeds way previously did it?
    I also knew another lad called Darren who had one of these back in the day.
     
  7. johne

    johne Standing on the shoulders of dwarves.

    Jan 16, 2020
    1,137
    443
    Where the Wolds meet the sea
    I don't know if my bike has a Leeds connection, but it is sporting a rear numberplate with a York dealership's moniker.
     
  8. Bonnie2014

    Bonnie2014 Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    19
    8
    I had one new in 1988 , paid £2800 from Hallens in Cambridge , an E plate , so a late one. Even rode it two up and camping gear to Assen for the Grand Prix :) Loved it , never should have sold it :)

    1NS400R wheelie.jpg
     
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  9. Hubaxe

    Hubaxe Good moaning! aka Mr Wordsalad :)
    Subscriber

    Mar 25, 2020
    1,688
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    Aix Les bains - French Alps
    Legendary bike ! And in very nice condition.
     
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  10. johne

    johne Standing on the shoulders of dwarves.

    Jan 16, 2020
    1,137
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    Where the Wolds meet the sea
    With rain forecast for this afternoon (Tuesday), I had my first proper outing this morning on the NS. A 50-mile round trip to Seaways cafe at the wonderfully named Fridaythorpe village. (You are permitted to visit there on other days of the week btw. :joy::joy:). The little bike performed great, the only hiccup being when it ran dry going onto reserve, the fuel tap is rather stiff to operate, 20221004_104108.jpg and the engine died before I could get it changed over. I then had a few anxious moments trying to re start it (kick start only) at the side of the road. I will also have to get used to turning the fuel tap on and off as required. You do get spoiled with 'modern' bikes. Lol
     
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  11. andyc1

    andyc1 Lunarville 7, Airlock 3

    Feb 4, 2017
    2,739
    1,000
    N. Ireland
    Lovely bike!
     
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  12. Notso

    Notso Senior Member

    Dec 17, 2018
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    I went to an importer once at Boxhill. They had imported a bunch of 400cc sports bikes from Japan, it would have been around 1999. I don't remember which of the big 4 they were. At that time I don't think there were 400 sports bikes for sale in the UK, often wondered what happened to them.
     
  13. johne

    johne Standing on the shoulders of dwarves.

    Jan 16, 2020
    1,137
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    Where the Wolds meet the sea
    I don't know if it's still the case, but back in the 80's and 90's there were licencing restrictions on bikes over 400cc for the home (Japanese) market so 400cc bikes were very popular there.
     
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  14. johne

    johne Standing on the shoulders of dwarves.

    Jan 16, 2020
    1,137
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    Where the Wolds meet the sea
    Let the tinkering commence : 20221024_120040.jpg
     
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  15. Pegscraper

    Pegscraper Elite Member

    Jun 12, 2020
    2,298
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    Suzuki made a RG400 for the Japanese home market to fit in with restrictions at the time. Similarly, Yamaha also made a version of the RD500 (RZV500) restricted to 60bhp but in other respects was higher spec than the model for other markets. IIRC the upper capacity limit for bikes at the time was 750cc. When I bought my ZX10 in 1988, supposedly restricted to the "gentleman's agreement" 125bhp, the bikes destined for Switzerland were 80bhp!
     
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  16. Eldon

    Eldon Elite Member

    Nov 14, 2018
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    Yes I remember that 125 bhp agreement, I took a zzr1100 out a couple of years later, wow what a rocketship in its day.
     
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  17. Pegscraper

    Pegscraper Elite Member

    Jun 12, 2020
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    I think it was Triumph, with their 1200 Daytona, who put the kibosh on the voluntary limit when it was launched with "around" 140bhp in the early '90's, then the Fireblade came along and rewrote the rule book with a "mere" 893cc and 115bhp giving litre+ beating performance in a bike (almost) the size of a 600. Every race track refugee just had to have one, me included:joy::joy:.
     
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