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1975 Honda CB400F by Salty Speed Co.

Posted on June 11, 2014 by Scott in Brat. 20 comments


Written by Ian Lee.

To ride a motorcycle, we have to forgo a few things. Weather protection. Crash protection. The ability to eat a burger with two hands while steering with your knees. In it’s place is the awesome sensation that is the reason we do ride. That real feeling of the ground passing inches below your feet and the way you feel at one with the machine as you lean into a corner. Today’s feature bike is owned by one such person, who has forgone luxury in order to be able to enjoy the sweet feeling of throttle roll. Micah, the owner of this 1975 Honda CB400F decided that even with unconstrained access to his Dad’s luxury rental car business, a motorcycle is the way to travel in Melbourne. While scouring the net, Micah happened upon Salty Speed Co’s #002 build on Pipeburn and fell in love. It had to be their workshop who modified his bike. And so it began.


A few weeks after deciding on the Wollongong bike builders, Micah purchased a “not so good looking” CB400F sight unseen. The machine was delivered to the Salty Speed Co’s workshop with one alliterative build brief: Build a black brat bike. The CB was stripped back to bare frame, detabbed and the factory seat hoop ditched. In it’s place sits a kicked rear hoop and battery, both fashioned inhouse at the SSP workshop. The original 1975 fender was cropped and remounted accordingly, while at the front end sits a Shorty aluminium fender from WM Japan. With the need for a new seat to suit the custom hoop, the SSP crew produced a neoprene cushion wrapped in leather. This was mounted on a steel seat pan, and mounted to the chassis using bracketry of their own making.


To ensure brat styling, Firestone Deluxe 4.00 tires have been utilised on the build. These tires have been mounted on powder coated stock rims, laced with stainless steel spokes. All brakes are running new componentry, with the front calliper being rebuilt, and a new Nissin master cylinder being fitted. The factory forks being deemed up to the task, they were rebuilt and the lower section powdercoated. The main modification to the front forks is the fitment of a Dime City Cycles triple tree, and a tapered bearing conversion for the steering head. A set of aluminium clip on bars round out the brat styling on the front end, along with a DCC speedo to replace the clutter that was the original dash cluster.


With bikes of the 70s having a reputation for electrical issues, the factory wiring loom has been surgically removed from the midsize Honda. A brand new Sparck Moto harness has been wired up, sleeved in black braid wrap. Sitting under the new hoop setup is a Rick’s Electrics rectifier combo, with the juice provided by an 8 Cell Anti gravity battery. The ignition switch has been relocated, the starter button mounted on the battery box and switch controls being Posh brand. The engine internals have been left stock for the build, the major performance mod being the fitment of a custom exhaust, and re-jetting of the carbs to suit the pod filter system.


From beaten up CB400F to ‘murdered out’ street machine, Micah’s bike has had the full Salty Speed Co’s treatment. Just the thing for cutting up the laneways of Melbourne. With a full garage of luxury cages at his disposal, we think Micah made the right decision swapping four wheels for two.


  • B. J. Parker

    I’m a sucker for matte black…

  • Jorgan

    Althought the quality looks pretty good, it’s all been done far too many times before. Clips-ons with no rear-sets, firestones, headlight tape, and that terrible MAC exhaust.

    • Flathead

      And you could add: Empty frame triangle, wire wheels, small lights, small fenders, flat seat and a minimum of instrumentation.

      But that’s brat style.

    • JasonT

      Curious – what do you have against the MAC exhaust?

      I just put a set on my CB650SC and, frankly, I’m loving it. It’s got a good sound without being loud and it is a far, far cry better looking that the stock stuff that was rusting away when I bought the bike. The bike just looks 100 pounds lighter…

      • Jorgan

        That you can spot that whoever built it chose the cheapest, most widely available after market exhaust on a custom bike. I wouldn’t have anything against a MAC 4-1 set-up with a different muffler. If all you’re doing is replacing the stock exhaust because it’s rusted out, then buy whatever fits your budget. Not when it’s a custom build and you want to show it off to the world or actually sell it to someone.

        • 1Matt_Hipsley1

          I’ve used the MAC system twice now and in my opinion it looks great, sounds great and is well priced. Sure there are nicer, more expensive systems out there, but clients also have a budget to work within.

    • carbureted

      I gotta agree. They took what I’d say is one of the most beautiful bikes ever produced in stock form and turned it into a cliche, all black bike.

  • Robert Velazquez

    This is actually my dream bike.

  • revdub

    I don’t care how many times its been done. When brat is done right, I love it. And, it was certainly done right here. Very clean and great looking moto. I want it!

    • 1Matt_Hipsley1

      Cheers Rev!


    The rear fender looks like it would rub horribly when loaded and hitting a bump in the road. I would love to drop mine like that but it just doesnt seem feasible. Must be some real stiff springs.

    • 1Matt_Hipsley1

      There is most definitely less clearance that stock, but the photos make it look less than what it actually is. The fender is wider than the tire, so the tire tucks up nicely. Haven’t hit once.

  • EJduffy

    Hi there,

    I’m building a 1976 CB400F currently and am torn between clip ons or slightly higher bars. And am thinking of building 2 seats so can go between a cafe style like this and a two person flat/brat seat. – Is this ridiculous?

    Many thanks

  • Nice. Very clean. Does it bother anyone else that they top triple and the headlight bracket weren’t painted black as well??? The top triple really bothers me.

    • revdub

      I see your point on this. The top triple would look great in the same black as the fork legs.

    • 1Matt_Hipsley1

      This was considered during the build, I think I even lost sleep over it! I wanted to break up the black somehow and the top clamp is oh so sexy polished.

  • Lewn

    I love it.
    Great simple color choice and a nice simple bike, not original but it’s been done tastefully, clip-ons work well the way the bike sits is perfect, cute pods mini fender road legal and practical.

    However I’d pull the silly electrical tape of the light, put some proper tires on it and run the tach cable so it didn’t rub on the front tire. If it was mine I’d so with a stainless exhaust and think about upgrading the suspension and brakes.

    • Bart

      What are some proper tires to you?
      Don’t you think the firestones look great and new tires would ruin the bike?

  • Trent Reker

    clean. no suspension. stupid douchebag hipster tires.

  • Dan Cavalari

    Love the bike,how much clearance is there in the back between tire and fender?