Pete Ludlow's 1975 CB400/4
By Ross Sharp - 10 Oct 17
Peter Ludlow recently became a member to the Bike Shed and here's his lovingly restomodded Honda CB400/4 "I’m a qualified Mechanical Engineer working in IT. I’ve been rebuilding bikes on and off since the late 70’s as a hobby." "I bought my first 400/4 in 1978. Over the years I owned it, I converted it to what was at the time the fashionably racy look, although I don’t remember ever calling it a ‘Cafe Racer’. It ended up with flat bars, bikini fairing, two-four seat, yoshi 460 big bore kit + race cam, mag wheels, fibre glass mudguards, bell mouths and a piper exhaust." "In October 2016 – I decided to get back into classic motorcycles; I found a Blue 1975 US imported ‘barn find’ 400/4 on eBay. The idea was to build myself a Cafe Racer. The donor bike was in pretty poor condition. However, I did find a few good signs – the rubbers, engine internals, disk wear, and overall look of the bike I think confirmed that the 7320 miles shown on the clock was genuine."
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Checked all tolerances – all OK – engine state confirms shown mileage (Peter)
All Engine crankcases, cylinder, cylinder head and side panels Vapour Blasted ( T & L Engineering- Bedford)
Cylinder/Cylinder Head finished in VHT Black (Peter)
Rebuilt using David Silver supplied gasket set + grey ThreeBond elastic polymer sealant
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Sand blasted, rust protected, finished in Black Gloss (J C Auto Finishers)
New Chrome fork stanchions (David Silver) Polished Aluminium tubes (Peter)
Chrome topped generic (WeMoto)
New Rims (David Silver) De-Chromed and finished in Black Gloss (J C Auto Finishers)
Rear Brake hub plate finished in Black Gloss (J C Auto Finishers) Hubs finished in Black Gloss (Peter)
Stainless Steel Spokes (Central Wheels) Wheels Laced and trued (Peter)
New Dunlop TT100’s fitted 3.50 x 18 Front, 4.10 x 18 Rear (Guildford Tyres)
Tank and side panels
Finished in Gloss Black with Dark Metallic Silver panels (J C Auto Finishers) Hand painted 1Shot Fire Red pinstripe (Rob)
OEM Chrome Reproduction 4 into 1 collector (David Silver) Reverse mega Generic Chrome silencer (eBay)
Custom made stainless mounting bracket (Peter / AJ Fabrications Ltd)
7.5” Chrome Headlight mounted on CNC Black/Silver fork brackets (Alchemy)
Black bullet indicators (Alchemy) Rear Light – Universal Classic Styled Rear Light Unit (ClassicBikeShop.co.uk)
Original mudguards were retained. They were de-rusted/de-chromed and finished in Dark Metallic Silver (J C Auto Finishers)
Front mudguard support struts not used, holes filled to clean up the lines. Rear mudguard looks shortened, but in fact is original US version (which were shorter than the UK models)
Speedo and Rev Counter both refurbished (Peter)
Carburettors ultrasonically cleaned, keyster refurbish kits installed. (Peter)
New front disk piston and seals fitted. Master cylinder seals renewed. New front brake hoses and pressure switch.
Seat imported from Italy via eBay. It is a Gulliari style original period seat.
No Frame modifications were made
K&N Filters fitted (carbs had main jet increased one size, and needle valve lifted one notch as per best practices)
DID Gold Main drive chain fitted – original sprockets retained (minimal wear)
Stainless Steel fasteners as much as possible.
It took Peter 8 months to complete the project and he's done a cracking job. There's just the right blend of sympathy for classic originality and subtle custom touches.
Now all we need is a photo of Peter about his bike down here at the Bike Shed.... which he promises will happen very soon.
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