The Handy Honda Bros
The Honda BROS was first introduced in Japan in 1988 and continued in production until 1992. It was never officially exported from Japan to the UK but a lot of grey imports found their way to Britain where it acquired a faithful following particularly among despatch riders due to its toughness and reliability.
PROS AND CONS
The BROS is an amazingly reliable bike and with regular servicing and maintenance will run and run. If the bike is looked after properly, the usual V-Twin troubles of tyre and chain chewing can be avoided. The BROS can have a tendency to suspension fatigue, as it originally had cheap suspension components, but new progressive fork springs and a new shock can transform it and solve this problem. Other advantages of this bike are that it has strong RC30-derived brakes and excellent ground clearance and the main tank lasts about 90 miles before you need to go on to reserve. The BROS chassis is really a slimmer version of the VFR 400 and is similar to the NSR Race bikes which makes it great to manoeuver as it will turn on a sixpence (anyone remember those?).
The NT 400 BROS makes a good fun first bike with a power output of 33bhp and there are still plenty about if you want to buy one. The little 400 is well balanced, steers well and the engine is flexible and torquey. It also has the advantage of being legal for new riders on a restricted licence. The NT 650 has 45bhp, 60% more torque and taller gearing and can get up to a speed of 110mph which makes it a more practical all-round proposition, although both are fun to ride and full of character. Both bikes are nippy and reliable for riding about town which is why they are so loved by despatch riders and commuters.
HISTORY FOR HONDA BROS BUFFS
The Honda BROS was designed at the same time as the legendary RC30 and included the ground breaking ELF designed Pro-arm. Because it was a quality bike the BROS cost nearly as much as the CBR600 and as a result was not such a big seller as it should have been – only gathering its many fans in later life when its merits became apparent. The BROS was given an update in 1990 and the MK11 featured lighter 3 spoke wheels with a wider front rim, sleeker tinted indicators and a PGM ignition system. The engine is derived from the VT500 unit and has appeared in the newer NT600 Revere, the NTV 650, the Deauville, PC800 and Africa Twin. In the USA the BROS was rebadged as the 'HAWK GT' and sold with a few alterations including more widely spaced gear ratios.
Perennially popular, this bike just keeps on running and spares are still available for the Honda BROS from Wemoto.com.