Honda CM400

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The Honda CM series was a street bike precursor to the Honda Nighthawk series of motorcycles produced from 1979-1981. These bikes had a 395cc parallel twin engine that was air-cooled. Features included electric start.

Models included the following:

  • CM400A (Automatic)
  • CM400C (Custom)
  • CM400E (Economy)
  • CM400T (Tachometer)

The Honda CM series all generally resembled the older-style flat-seat bikes from the 60s and 70s, with the exception of a slightly raised passenger area seat and small plastic fairings for the battery and electrical. These are "standard" style motorcycles but do have some elements of the cruiser (stepped seat, increased fork angle, extra chrome).

The CM400 series includes only a speedometer and three indicator lights (neutral, oil pressure, high beam) with a tachometer for the C and T models. The E (economy) model had wire wheels and drum brakes, while the others had "Comstar" alloy wheels and a front disk/rear drum braking setup. While not particularly powerful, the CM400 handling makes it one of the great starter bikes.

In 1982,the CM engine was bored out to 447 cc engine size, and the series renamed CM450. This year also marked the debut of the Nighthawk, with sportier styling, under the name Nighthawk 450. Nighthawks were also built as a 250 twin, and in 550, 650, 700 and 750 sizes, all with 4-cylinder engines. The Nighthawk 750 lasted until 2003. The 250, now simply called the Nighthawk, is still being built and is widely used as a training bike by motorcycle driving schools.