In Japan, the government levies lower taxes on motorcycles with engine capacities between 250cc to 400cc. This policy has been around for many decades now and has in turn resulted in memorable 250cc-400cc motorcycles like the Kaawasaki Balius 250, the Honda Hornet 250 and the Honda CBR400RR, to name just a few high performance motorcycles that were built to take advantage of the lower taxation structure. This policy of the Japanese government is valid for even this day and age, and this explains why the 250-400cc class is still big in that part of the world.
While Honda introduced the CBR500R and a range of variants based around the newly developed 500cc parallel twin engine late last year, this year began with an announcement from Honda that it will build a range of 400cc motorcycles aimed primarily at its home market in Japan and other emerging markets in Asia. Why. Honda even showcased a 400cc parallel twin engine, a downsized replica of the 500cc motor, replete with heavy parts sharing. This 400cc engine has now found its way onto three new motorcycles from Honda: the CBR400R, the CB400X and the CB400N.
All three motorcycles are essentially the CBR500 series, albeit with a smaller engine. Stylistically, the new range of 400cc motorcycles from Honda is very similar to the bigger engined CBR500 series. So, the only major difference seems to be that of the engine capacity. As for now, Honda’s mum about the exact power and torque figures that the 400cc parallel twin motor pumps out. The exact specifications of this engine and those of the motorcycles it powers are expected be revealed at the upcoming Osaka Motorcycle Show that’ll kick off from this weekend.
The Honda CBR400 range of motorcycles is expected to be positioned in between the CBR250 and the CBR500 ranges. So expect pricing of the CBR400 range to also fall in between the entry level CBR250 and the top end CBR500 range. Honda India has not revealed anything about whether it plans to bring the higher capacity CBR monikered motorcycles to the Indian market. However, given the slew of high performance premium motorcycles lined up for India, there’s a fat chance that Honda will launch either the CBR400R or the CBR500R in the Indian market in future.