Sunday evening, trawling through social media’s inane drivel, occupied with wanky migrants memes, endless weekend selfies and other intoxicated occurrences, Misano’s MotoGP ponderings and…this beauty.
This is a mate’s creation: a stunning, uncluttered modern take on Honda’s iconic NC35, a bike I’ve always had a ‘thing’ for. At a fatigued initial glance, I didn’t know what it was before the single-sided swinger’ (and the massive RVF badge) ended the suspense. That fluoro Superleggera paintwork gracing Moto3 bodywork and a Fireblade botty is enough to make anyone dribble.
Other than the frame, crankcases and wheels, there’s very little that remains of an original Honda RVF400. Apart from the aforementioned fairings, the spec’ list is an extensive (and very expensive) one, and one that Rich, the owner, won’t divulge any costing. Maxton suspension at either end adds to Honda’s already proven chassis package, and there’s an onslaught of Tyga parts – a must-have on any trick 400. Less obvious trinkets include Firestorm front calipers, a 1098 rear caliper, an R6 fuel pump and a handmade seat.
If there’s another outfit who knows how to build faster 400s than Rick Leddy at RLR, point us in the right direction. Hondas have, historically, been more fickle and trickier to extract reliable power than Kawasaki ZXR400s, although this puppy is making 75bhp at the rear wheel and probably weighs less than one of Kelly Clarkson’s thighs. Mated to RLR’s handiwork is an HRC airbox/ram-air system and custom radiator.
Rich says: “I simply wanted to create a modern version of such an iconic bike that has had so much success on the roads and circuits. It’s as simple as that and like most projects they get out of hand!”
We’ve always maintained that modern day youth and the new-to-biking have a rough deal when it comes to A2-friendly options. The CBR500R – Honda’s current offering – may be easy to ride and frugally enticing, but it’s about as exhilarating as a night on the town with Ed Miliband – like most of its rivals.
If there’s enough interest, I’m sure we can convince Rich to let us ride it. Because Porn Hub is broken…