1985 Honda NS400R
Despite Honda’s long history of 4-stoke creations, they did, albeit for a short period, produce one of the finest road going strokers, the NS400R. Not the fastest small bore 2-stroke, but certainly the nicest to ride. The NS400R is sure-footed and installed a confidence not previously seen before in road bikes of the 80’s. It was the time of the race replica, and in 83 Honda finally built a 2-stroke with real GP inspired technology. Three of the four major manufacturers had large capacity, two-stroke, road machines, so Honda produced something different. The NS400R is a marvel of engineering, literally bristling with whistles and bells at every aspect, a fabulous testament of the way things were done in the 80’s!!
Honda engineers & designers left nothing untouched on the NS400R; the exhausts of the two front cylinders have valves that open and close to alter the resonant frequency according to engines revs, while the forks have anti dive valves that progressively stiffen the front as the brakes are applied. This was the period of the acronym, and everything that could have one had a set of letters boldly emblazoned about the machine, names like TRAC and ATAC (Torque Reactive Anti dive Control & Auto controlled Torque Amplifications Chambers). Unlike so many other gimmicks of the time, this technology works well, creating a machine that simply goes about its tasks without fuss or commotion. Handling is sharp, as is the steering, & the small diameter 16-inch front wheel allows the front end to be thrown around freely while the rest of the frame in its short 1362mm wheelbase, holds it all in shape.
Looking around reveals the build quality to be head and shoulders above the rest of the oriental pack of the period; lavish paintwork and snug fitting bodywork is typically Honda at its best. The same can be said for the parts under the plastics. Every component is built to high standards, perhaps a little over engineered if anything. Inside the engine is a lesson in friction reduction, just like the race machine, the crank spinning in special bearings while maintaining a perfect balance, removing the need for power sapping balance shafts unlike the four-cylinder strokers from Suzuki and Yamaha. The NS prefix to the model name refers to the use of nickel and silicon carbide for the lining on the cylinder walls, common place nowadays in most vehicles but advanced stuff in the mid 80’s for all but the latest factory race machinery. A true piece of Honda’s racing technology made street legal!!
This particular example is in reasonably original condition save for expansion chambers. It has a few minor bodywork scuffs and marks, making its patina correct for the minimal k’s used. Presently with our Italian agent in Varese so contact for further details and shipping etc.
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Stock No: AP-NS400
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