The Honda VFR400 series of motorcycles were a related series of 399 cc V4-engined motorcycles, which were essentially scaled-down versions of the larger VFR models of the day. They were mainly developed for, and sold in, the Japanese domestic market, in part due to the tougher motorcycle drivers' license restrictions in Japan at the time.
Outside of Japan, the VFR400R (NC30) was officially imported to the United Kingdom for four years, but with a price tag of £5899 (similar to that of the 1000 cc bikes of the time and actually more than Honda's own VFR750F), failed to sell well. This model was also officially imported (in very limited numbers) and sold in Austria, France and Germany for a few years.
Although mainly produced for the Japanese domestic market, VFR400s have been popular as grey imports in other markets (especially so for the NC30 in the United Kingdom, and also for racing purposes in the United States) in the "mini" superbike segment.
VFR400 engines produce a noticeable whine when the engine is running, due to the cams being driven by straight cut gears, rather than chains or belts.
First incarnation of the CBR400s came about in 1983 as the CBR400F as a naked. The following two years, it came as semi and fully faired as the F3 Endurance. 1986 saw the fully faired CBR400R NC23 Aero released. The Aero was superseded the following year by the CBR400RR NC23 Hurricane, which featured the Tri-Arm braced swing arm. The last of the CBR400s came in the form of the CBR400RR NC29 FireBlade, featuring the Gull-Arm swing arm with production ending in 1994. The NC23 Inline 4 DOHC Cam Gear Train engine was carried over.
The NC23 is often referred as the Tri-Arm and the NC29 as the Gull-Arm to distinguish between the two models. The NC23 engine was also used in the Honda CB-1 NC27
The Honda RVF400R (NC35) is a motorcycle introduced by Honda Motor Company in 1994, powered by a V4 16 valve double overhead geardriven cam 400 cc engine and known for its supreme handling capabilities. There were two models, the R and the T, which were mainly identical apart from paint scheme. The RVF (as it was marketed by Honda in Japan) finished production in 1996, though unsold RVFs remained available to purchase from Japanese Honda dealers through 2001. The RVF400R is the smaller sibling of RVF750R (RC45), as the VFR400R (NC30) was to the VFR750R (RC30).
The Honda RVF400R was the successor to the Honda VFR400R NC30, which ceased production in 1992. While at first glance there appear to be mainly styling changes between the VFR400R and the RVF400R, the actual number of changes are vast as the entire bike was redesigned with numerous identical looking components being totally different.
The obvious differences between the VFR400R and the RVF400R are that the front forks are of the upside-down type and the rear wheel takes a 17" tyre (the Honda VFR400R took a 18"), there are two air tubes that feed fresh air to the area just in front of the air box (this is not a ram air system, the airbox is unpressurised) and the headlights have changed from twin round headlights to twin 'fox-eye' lights (this is one feature not mirrored from the RVF750R (RC45) as the RC45 features twin large round headlights).
Unlike the VFR400R the RVF400R was only officially sold new in Japan. The RVF400R outputs slightly less peak power than the VFR400R, but with a stronger midrange. There is a Haynes Manual for the RVF400R.
Like other Hondas with gear-driven camshafts, the RVF's engine makes a loud 'whine' sound when operating. The exhaust note of the V4 engine is also different from that of a more conventional inline four. The 400 cc VFR and RVF models share a unique exhaust note with their larger siblings—the VFR750R RC30 and the RVF750R RC45—because of their 360-firing configuration.
The RVF400R has a reputation for excellent reliability and good build quality, though not quite as high as its predecessor, the VFR400R.
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