Friday, 24 December 2010

The 400/4 years

How I loved these - never got the two-stroke thing, and as a teenager you just want to thrash the living daylights out of a rev-happy Honda. First one was bought privately in London, having taken the train up. No other means of getting home meant I had to buy it, but luckily it was fine, except as he took my cheque the seller casually mentioned "It needed a rebore, so I put a Yoshi 460 kit in." Lovely: hit my first ton shortly after joining the M4 slip road.

Unfortunately a car on the wrong side of the road meant it was written off in Cardiff - my pillion passenger surfed to safety on my back, wearing through my helmet visor and jacket. Never mind, my local dealer was keen to buy the wreckage for the 460 kit and engine to prep Richard Stevens bike for the F3 TT. It blew up...

But by then I had the F2 with Dunstall fairing pictured - Dunstall exhaust soon followed, and I must have done 20,000+ miles on that bike in all weathers: the regular commute to Cardiff during winter 1978 every Sunday night usually involved riding in darkness across the Severn Bridge footpath to save paying the toll. God, I got cold

Eventually it went for a GS750, but setting up home with my brother meant trading down to another 400/4. Oh, dear...after a 750 (never mind a bevel twin) it felt gutless as hell, but as in a blog passim Dixon Racing and Pops Yoshimura eventually sorted that out


  1. There was a girl at Vyner Road, Wallasey UK who used to ride a blue F1 version of one of these. Her name was Mandy and she sunbathed completely naked in her back garden. I watched her from a neighbouring house when I was a 14-year-old girl and thought she was SO cool having the nerve to go nude outdoors.

    I've always been too self-concious to sunbathe naked, but at least I eventually owned a 400/4.

    1. Fantastic anecdote - shame so few girls on bikes back in the day tho my sister in law rode