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Honda NS400R Gallery

In 1983 Freddie Spencer, riding for Honda, became the youngest 500cc World Champion ever. Two years later, in belated celebration, Honda released the NS400, a bike claimed to be a road-going replica of Spencer's machine. The result is a fast, small, very light, two-stroke sports bike, beautifully finished with quite outstanding handling and road-holding. It may be 100cc smaller and considerably less powerful than the brutal all-or-nothing factory racer but they genuinely do have enough in common to warrant the Grand Prix replica tag. Like the racer, the NS400 is a liquid-cooled, three cylinder two-stroke of an unusual configuration, a V3.

Weighing only 359lb with a 54.5in wheel-base, the NS is the lightest and quickest bike in its class. It is fast, nimble and responsive. You can change lines on it as quickly as on a genuine racer.

Unlike many sporting two-strokes, the power the NS makes is not that peaky or rough. Honda use their own version of an exhaust power valve called AT AC (auto-controlled torque amplification chambers) on the front two cylinders to help the power spread at low revs. Even so there is little or no acceleration below 5,000rpm but there is a gradual build up between 5,000 and 7,000rpm, at which point it starts accelerating Ike crazy, screaming revs all the way to the redline. Surprisingly, it does this smoothly. If any two-stroke can be said to have manners, then the NS has more than most.

Peak power is at 10,000rpm, and it falls away immediately afterwards. Kept on the boil between 7,000 and 10,000rpm through six close gears, it is an indecently quick bike. Anywhere between 50 and 100ph, typically piling on the speed out of a comer, it will embarrass even 1000cc machines with the sheer fury of its acceleration. Honda have designed the perfect rolling chassis for their potent motor. On road or track, the handling is always sharp and precise. The steering is quick and comfortable and the bike has excellent brakes.

Bike Image Description
1985 Honda NS400R 1985 Honda NS400R

In the mid 80's each of the Japanese manufacturers was represented in the 'two-stroke Daddy' class, Honda's was the NS400R. It was never quite as fast as the RG500 or the RG500 but it wasn't as likely to blow up either and if you've ever been stranded on the side of the road you soon learn which is preferable. The NS is still a fast and desirable bike and in this paint scheme it is magnificent.

1985 Honda NS 400R 1985 Honda NS 400R
  • liquid cooled, 90°V-three cylinder, two stroke reed valve
  • 30mpg
  • 163kg
  • 6 speed
  • 72bhp @ 9500rpm
1986 Honda NS 400R Rothmans Rep 1986 Honda NS 400R Rothmans Rep  
1986 Honda NS400R Honda NS400 R

387cc, 70bhp. Freddie Spencer racing colours.


1986 Honda NS400R Honda NS400R Japanese iport.
1987 Honda NS 400R Honda NS 400R More Honda NS400R info...
1987 Honda NS400R NS400R  
1988 Honda NS400RF NS400RF  

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