Due to my accident after the Claymore rally when I wrote off my CB500T I was off work with a broken collar bone. It was the superb summer of 1976 and I needed a new bike desperately. So far I had managed to do the Swaledale, the Pennine, the Aegir and the Dalesman by getting lifts on the back of friend's bikes but this was not enough. I was losing out and dropping behind because this year I was after another trophy - the Solent Club's Rallyman of the Year! Yes, I live in Bradford but so what?
Funds were low, I only had the payout for my written off 500T so I did the rounds of all the local bike shops. I was looking to get a good deal on a new CB400/4. I didn't particularly want one but it seemed to be the best option for the available money.
Eventually I found a blue one, the red ones seemed to be more popular. It was the original model with footrests on the swinging arm and as there was now a new model Colin Appleyard's in Keighley were prepared to give me a small discount. No trade in, cash deal for £675 on the road.
I took delivery on the 16th August and went back to work on the 19th. During the 500 miles running in period I straight away had a problem, I noticed a front fork seal was leaking. Appy's fixed it under warranty during my first free service. That was it, I had no more problems during my ownership. The oil and filter were changed every 1500 miles and I always did my own servicing.
I have to admit that I thrashed that poor little bike mercilessly from then on. Where I worked there was another 400/4, a red one, we used to race each other home around Bradford ring road every evening. Nowadays you can't do 30 miles per hour because of the volume of traffic!
Weekends were spent going from rally to rally, I managed over 60 that year and the bike just lapped it up. It always did 60mpg no matter how hard you used it. The best ride I had on it was the weekend when I did the Solent, Devon, Mendip and then the Snuff Divers followed by the Antler rally - well over 1500 miles! It was used to go abroad and I did several Continental rallies and yes I did win the Solent MCC Rally award.
It had grown on me, it was a good handling, reliable and economic bike and after 18 months and 39,000 miles it was still flying but in 1978 I decided that for my 25th birthday I would buy myself one of the newly released Suzuki GS1000s so it had to go
- Ted Trett