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CB400 turn handlebars upside down

Discussion in 'Modifications and Projects' at netrider.net.au started by casramsey, Aug 27, 2015.

  1. Morning all! I've been following this site for a while now and seeing lots of good posts and advice. Finally got myself a bike having been without for the last 6 years, and let me tell you - it's awesome to be riding again!

    I got a 2011 CB400 with the intention of slowly cafe racerising it. I don't have a workshop, so I won't be doing anything too serious for a while, but for my first easy mods I'm starting front and top with bars, mirrors, levers, grips, indicators and the like.

    Anyway, my question is, rather than buy new bars, has anybody tried turning the handlebars upside down and back to front on a late model CB400 to get more of a racing position? Looking at it I reckon they'd hit the tank, so wondered if anyone is able to tell me it does or doesn't work before I whip everything off and find out I'm right.

    Any other advice, easy mods and trick bits about late model CB400s would also be most welcome!

  2. Can't comment on the CB400, but I've seen this attempted in the late 70's - must not have caught on.
  3. The only way to find out is to try it. This has been done on bikes since the dawn of time. You would ride to the race meet, strip off the lights and mirrors turn the bars upside down and race. Then reverse the procedure and go home. This was in the days before bike inspections and other safety measures. Just make sure your wearing a leather skull cap when you take it for your first spin to really appreciate nostalgia. ;-)
    • Funny Funny x 1
  4. Certain bars were designed specifically for this(google the bsa lightning clubman), the CB400's were not.
    Handlebars aren't all that expensive, so if you really want to do it, you should just buy new ones, either clip ons or clubman bars, if you're gonna do it, you should do it right.
  5. I like your thinking Paul - leather skull cap, pair of flying goggles and the balls of a lion!

    Kurtz - I was kinda thinking that was the right way to do it for exactly the reasons Paul gave. I'm going to give it a go today and see what happens - I'm pretty convinced it ain't gonna work, but "he who dares" and all that!
  6. Just flipping the bars on those old bikes creates a few problems, mostly with cable lengths and having to shift the throttle, it also makes for terrible ergonomics, on old bikes your feet are quite far forward, it's comfortable, but not good for fast riding, flipping the bars makes it worse.
    Most people who were riding their road bike to a track to race, were riding it around the road in the racing set up, with proper rear set footpegs and race handlebars, they merely removed the headlight/other heavy items to go racing (just look at the bsa gold star, clip ons, rear sets, headlight that is easy to remove)

    The Honda 400 already has foot pegs that are fairly far back, so you wont have to worry about that, but if you just flip the handlebars, it might be "okay", but you'll really be missing out on the benefits of proper racing bars. Clip ons are the best thing you can do since they can be adjusted to the perfect position to give you the best control, they also look the best.
  7. Saw similar thing done on a BMW Airhead Custom not sure of how well it worked for ergonomics?
  8. I can categorically confirm that you can't turn the bars of a modern CB400 upside down.

    The top of the forks get in the way, so they're either too far forward or too far back to be usable - which is a damn shame cos they would've been good if the "U" was a bit wider to fit either side of the forks.

    Ah well, a set of clubmans it is.

    (sorry, took me a while to get round to trying that out!)
    • Informative Informative x 1

  9. Clip ons then perhaps

    33mm Clip Ons | eBay