1979 Honda CB400A

MODELCB400A Hondamatic
LOCATIONDoncaster, South Yorkshire DN8 

1979 Honda CB400A

Current bid: £750.00

1 in stock

  • A rare collectors bike
  • First Registered 11 June 1979
  • Semi automatic
  • 400cc Twin
  • Metallic Blue
  • Good condition
  • Part of a private collection
  • Please scroll down the page past the video to see the bidding and to read a full description for this Honda CB400A 

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  • A rare collectors bike
  • First Registered 11 June 1979
  • Semi automatic
  • 400cc Twin
  • Metallic Blue
  • Good condition
  • Part of a private collection

When it comes to innovation, Honda have often led the field. The mighty CBX 1000 Six, the astonishing CBR Fireblade and right back to the Super Cub.  

Honda launched the “Hondamatic” transmission on their popular CB750 in 1978. The plan was to bring in new riders to the brand. However, Honda quickly figured out that newbies may not want to start on the big 750 and as a result, just two years later the Hondamatic transmission found its way to the CB400A.  

The name implies that it is a conventional automatic. This isn’t strictly accurate. This bike is more of a semi-auto. It doesn’t have a clutch, instead the CB400A has a two-speed fluid drive. Two changes take the Honda from low to high. Power flows from the crankshaft to the transmission through a vane-type hydraulic torque converter. 

A rotary vane pump connected to the crank drives the oil through a stator setting the bike moving. The engine in the CB400A was upped from the 356cc parallel twins to 395cc – but called the ‘400’. 

Tech Specs 

  • Air cooled SOHC parallel twin, 3 valves per cylinder, counterbalanced
  • Two 28 mm Keihin constant velocity carbs
  • 2 speed, clutch-less hydraulic torque converter

Chain final drive 

  • Steel tubing backbone frame
  • Telescopic front forks
  • Twin rear shock with swing arm
  • Single 10.8” front stopper, single leading shoe rear drum
  • Hand-lever activated parking brake
  • Front tyre: 3.50 S 18 tubeless, rear tyre: 4.60 S 16 tubeless Comstar wheels 
  • Seat height: 29.9” approx.
  • Weight 392 lb

Riding a CB400A is said to be about as easy as any motorcycle could ever get. After a short warm-up, push in the choke, click the foot shifter up from neutral one spot and you’re in ‘low’. 

Twist the throttle and it accelerates amiably away. At about 45 mph, click the foot shifter up one more time and you’re in ‘high’ gear, which is good for motorway speeds. Where the rev counter is usually located is a helpful gear position light. 

Our vendor, tells us 

“Both exhaust silencers and down pipers were replaced. The fuel tank was replaced as the wrong one was fitted. A new paint job was added. It was originally red and now is blue. A new battery was fitted. The engine is okay therefore nothing has been done to it. A replacement parking brake control was fitted. The CB400A has had a replacement seat. Both front and rear mudguards were re-chromed.” 


By 1983, the Hondamatics were no longer being produced. That low production run makes this CB400A rare.  

Contemporary interest in automatic or clutchless shifting transmissions has re-emerged in recent years. So-called DCT transmissions and of course up and down quickshifters are more commonplace. 

The Hondamatics were ahead of their time. Maybe too far. Either way, it looks like their time has come. This rare classic bike is a great choice for any classic bike enthusiast or collector/investor. 

Good luck! Please remember, our site uses anti-sniping software which ensures fairness to all bidders. So, if a bid for a lot is received in the last minute, the auction will go into a 2-minute overtime period for each subsequent bid.

Bike Location: Doncaster DN8 – it’s the responsibility of the buyer to make collection / transportation arrangements directly with the vendor.

Have a question about this Honda CB400A? Please contact the Evoke team at auction@evoke-classics.com and we will speak to the vendor on your behalf.

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Bidder Bid amount Bid time
f******************9 £750.00 2023-05-30 18:10:19
j***********s £500.00 2023-05-17 18:51:47
Start auction £500.00 16/05/2023 11:00 PM


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