BIKE OF THE WEEK NT400 HONDA BROS
WELL WHO KNOWS A FRIENDLY HONDA BROS? TO KNOW ONE IS TO LOVE ONE, DESPITE APPEARANCES PERHAPS!
Bike of the week
So appearances can be deceptive, don't judge a book by its cover and other apposite clichés...on paper the Bros 400 is heavy, old fashioned and a little weedy. But if you come across one of the old grey imports and have a chance to buy it, probably for not much, you will find you actually have a nice little ride. Kiss the frog and you will have a prince. With its versatile and torquey engine, its great steering and its balanced ride you will go far and for not very much money.
Work Horse Or Red Rum?
It's a sturdy little workhorse, more mini carthorse than Red Rum but that is part of its charm. Apart from it's understated appearance the Bros is a great handling bike, it loves twisty roads using its engine's flexibility and torque. It's just fun.
Best of all they are easy to work on unlike some modern motorcycles. One of their issues can be tired suspension but things like that are easily fixed and sometimes new fork oil springs and shocks can restore it to new – or rather old – heights!
The brakes are strong – RC30 based in fact – and coupled with good ground clearance and neutral handling make the Bros a lovely versatile go anywhere ride. It's nice looking, cheap and a really handy new-rider-friendly bike, just don't expect it to be anything other than it is. The engine is akin to the Africa Twin which means it is under stressed and strong in low gears making it great around town, oh and it sounds nice too.
If you're buying one look for one which has spent its life in a garage and been well maintained. The quality is fantastic if it's been looked after properly and the finish and paintwork is better than many modern bikes – the chassis is tough, they were built to last in those days. If your Bros needs looking after, fettling and a bit of work they are very easy to work on and to source parts for - either old stock parts or pattern parts are abundant.
If you're buying one you might find the chain adjuster/rear wheel hub has seized as this can be a problem on them, but in the main this is the most common fault and not much else to worry about, a simple puzzle to fix anything else.
The tank is a bit small so you will need to tap into the reserve quite quickly – after around 90 miles depending on the riding you are doing. Also there isn't much pillion space or under-seat storage space.
The Bros would suit a rider who wants a trustworthy bike which is comfortable, totally reliable and handles well. It's not the fastest out of the traps but is just a lovely bike to ride which will do what you ask of it without a grumble. Many were used very successfully for despatching in London in the 80s and proved themselves out there on the city streets and on longer runs. All in all a much loved bike – have you ever tried or owned one? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or tell us on Facebook!
08/09/20 - Great little bikes, rode my 400 London to east Germany and back, lot of petrol stops but never missed a beat.
08/09/20 - Still got mine, still got a World's End plate on it.
08/09/20 - I used to ride a 650 Bross, good vibrations 😉
11/09/20 - Still running a modified 400 Bros
13/09/20 - I have been riding bikes for 54 years and the 650/400 Bros for the last twenty, my all time favourite bike. Two friends who know what makes a good bike have bought Bros bikes from me and enjoyed them. I visited Glastonbury, Wells, Cheddar / Mendips on my trusty 650 yesterday. Thanks for supplying spares in the past.
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