Author Topic: Another Honda 400/4 for AC500  (Read 29913 times)

Andy Jones

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Another Honda 400/4 for AC500
« on: December 15, 2016, 01:39:16 PM »
Well earlier this month I purchased a new project.

1977 Honda CB400/4 complete with MOT and a Haynes manual.  its the first time I have owned a bike (and Haynes manual) that's older than me :-D

My aim is to race this next year in the PC AC500 class  - probably somewhere towards the back of the pack along with my Dad on his Pantah 500.

I already have lots of shiny bits arriving and have fairing and catch tray on order with that lovely chap at Ragged Edge Racing.  And hopefully this weekend will be doing some measurements so I can give Spike the info needed to make up the seat unit.

Engine wise I will be starting very standard and will look to develop more once I am happy with the chassis.

The fate of my championship winning FJ1100 is still to be decided for sure but I will probably end up selling her.

Anyway here's some pics of the bike as bought watch this space for updates on progress - all advice gratefully received



Tony Benson

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Re: Another Honda 400/4 for AC500
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2016, 02:38:07 PM »
"that lovely chap at Ragged Edge Racing" - Has Spike took on an assistant then?  :) ;) :D
I'm only old on the outside.

Spike Livingstone

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Re: Another Honda 400/4 for AC500
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2016, 04:53:09 PM »
"that lovely chap at Ragged Edge Racing" - Has Spike took on an assistant then?  :) ;) :D

I resemble that remark! :P
DO NOT ACCEPT BADLY MADE CUPS OF TEA.. Do not surround yourself with people who make them... THEY DON'T CARE ABOUT YOU!

The infamous and 'orrible...

Spen

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Re: Another Honda 400/4 for AC500
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2016, 05:01:33 PM »
Andy, Spike already does a seat for the 400-4, complete with number boards....

Andy Jones

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Re: Another Honda 400/4 for AC500
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2016, 05:35:27 PM »
Andy, Spike already does a seat for the 400-4, complete with number boards....

Spen, thanks I did see he has the Westwood model but I wanted to be different and not have it with number boards.  Also think my measurements might differ from Jenny's.

Though could be tempted to change my mind if anyone has any close up pics of Jenny's seat painted and fitted (all the pics were removed from her build thread)

Jenny Westwood

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Re: Another Honda 400/4 for AC500
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2016, 12:37:22 AM »
Hi Andy.

Delighted to see that you are taking on a Honda 400/4 project.

With regards to the seat, the flatteringly named 'Westwood' model from Ragged Edge Racing does have a certain amount of wiggle room to move it back to accommodate a larger rider. Also the sides are flattish so it wouldn't take much to cut off the number board profile. Unfortunately I don't have any photos to hand as my computer is in storage at the moment.

Still, if you send the dimensions to Spike he has a smorgasbord of seats to choose from. Good luck with the build and feel free to ask for any advice. Lots of people were very helpful when we put our bike together.

Andy Jones

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Re: Another Honda 400/4 for AC500
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2016, 11:32:03 AM »
Thanks Jenny.  Perhaps I should just go for the same seat unit as u.  How tall are u?

I must admit without having sorted rearsets I am struggling to decide exactly what the seat measurements should be.  This bike conversion is all very chicken and egg stuff with everything affecting everything else.

Jenny Westwood

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Re: Another Honda 400/4 for AC500
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2016, 12:21:18 AM »
Hi Andy.

Well, the seat unit we use will fit straight on. I would guess that the rear part of the seat is about two inches back from the top shock mounts. I am five foot six and three quarters and even when fully crouched only just touch the back of the seat.

The seat was from a pattern I made which Spike kindly took a mould of. To be honest if I made a Mark II version of the seat I would round the edges off a bit.

If you fancy a different style I'm sure Spike will be able to advise as he has a keen eye for period correctness.

My footrests are mounted at the same height as the swing arm, probably four inches back from the swing arm spindle. It may be best to put a seat on, and some clip on's, and then decide where would be most comfortable or effective for the footrests to be?

...This bike conversion is all very chicken and egg stuff with everything affecting everything else.

You're not kidding. Apparently it's possible to weld on a front fairing mount, only to find there's nowhere for the clutch cable to go. Don't ask me how I know!  ;)






Andy Jones

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Re: Another Honda 400/4 for AC500
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2017, 02:36:25 PM »
Well quick update on where I am with my build.


For the last couple of months I have mainly been doing research and buying new bits.  At the beginning of this month the big strip down started.  From my research I have decided the spec of the bike will be as follows:

Front End: 
Standard forks with Race Tech internals
Possibly with a fork brace to be added at a later date.
Standard front brake set up for now but with braided hoses and best pads I can get.
Clip-ons to be mounted with Venhill throttle. 
I still need to decide on rev counter and oil/neutral light equipment and mounting arrangement.

Bodywork:
I have a great looking fairing, screen and catch tray from Spike at Ragged Edge.  Just waiting on the seat unit.  I still have to figure out all the fabrication for mounting.
I will be sticking with the standard fuel tank.  It will all be painted in traditional Honda red and silver colours but that's a long way off yet.

Rear end:
New Hagon rear shocks already fitted.
Need to sort out sharks tooth and change chain and spockets.

Frame: 
This weekend will see me chopping off all surplus bits of metal.
Hoping to get rearset mounts made up at work.

Electrics:
I have already trimmed down the wiring loom.  However I will be retaining starter motor, genny and battery (at least to begin with).  Hoping to use a small battery hidden under the seat if I can.
Will be fitting aftermarket reg/rec this weekend.
have already replaced the standard points with a Dyna electronic ignition system.  Coils and HT leads were replaced before I bought the bike.

Carbs:
Standard carbs will be used with velocity stacks.  Airbox has been completely removed.  Will be stripping and cleaning carbs this weekend and will have jetting redone when I get the bike on a rolling road.

Engine:
460 big bore kit has been purchased.  I am going to be stripping down the engine this weekend to send off to the lovely people at DM Engineering who will also supply one of their road/track cams.


So cunning plan made.  How hard can it be  :D :D :D


Andreas Jelden

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Re: Another Honda 400/4 for AC500
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2017, 08:07:32 PM »
Andy, ditch the std 400/4 front brake. It's worse than useless (I speak from experience have owned one when I was a young man - a long long time ago).
Also, I have a half fairing and subframe for 70's soho Honda. The subframe is too heavy I'd suggest, but you are welcome to the faing and screen.
Speaking of weight - loose it in spades mate.
Look forward to seeing in action.
Remind me to tell you the tale of me taking my 400/4 round the Nurburgring. It involves a coach and a bow 'bat mobile'. Two frights for the price of one.

Andy Jones

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Re: Another Honda 400/4 for AC500
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2017, 08:18:44 PM »
Front brake - I head the m/c is fine but an aftermarket calliper is recommended.  We will have to see what budget allows.  Depending on what power I end up with might not be much of a problem

Nige Collier

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Re: Another Honda 400/4 for AC500
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2017, 06:06:47 PM »
I raced my 350k4 with standard front brake in the 90's and won races on it, found it o.k ish with decent pads, not nice in the wet though as grabbed  :o

Tony Benson

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Re: Another Honda 400/4 for AC500
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2017, 08:43:35 PM »
Me too Nige and, with the right pads, it was ok in the wet. Lockheed calipers have better"feel" and require more effort but you can't brake any later with them.
I'm only old on the outside.

Rob Wittey

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Re: Another Honda 400/4 for AC500
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2017, 09:21:05 PM »
Trouble is you can't get any decent pads materials for std calipers, bendix carbon ceramics in in ap caliper are leagues ahead

SteveJones

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Re: Another Honda 400/4 for AC500
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2017, 01:24:34 PM »
Rob we managed to find some NOS Vesrah brown semi-metallic compound pads from USA , from research these seemed to be reasonably well favoured for the oem caliper?