A Long-Running Classic Style

Domestic importer Genuine Scooters steps away from its self-proclaimed territory with a jaunt into proper motorcycle country. The “new” G400C is the flagship for this venture under the Genuine Motorcycles banner with some deep design roots that span decades and brands to bring a genuine classic to the table, if you’ll forgive the pun.

Genuine Motorcycles G400C Design

The astute observer will note the similarities between this bike and the much older Honda CB400SS as well as the Mash Roadstar 400.

This marks a rather ambitious move by Genuine, but I think the factory made a good choice of models for its premier effort in this non-scooter market segment. The astute observer will note the similarities between this bike and the much older Honda CB400SS as well as the Mash Roadstar 400. That’s because Shineray built that model for rebadging, and it continues to produce a made-for-Genuine version. There are a number of marque-specific features that set it apart from the Honda unit and the Mash Roadstar model.

It starts out with touring-style hoops that are beefier than the original version, and the G400C runs lightweight aluminum rims instead of stamped steel to complete the laced wheels. A seven-inch round headlight replaces the 6-1/4 inch unit, and no matter which of the three tank colors you choose, you can count on chrome fenders front and rear. Dual, round cans contain all of the instrumentation to include analog clocks for speed and rpm with a handful of idiot lights, odometer and “gas gauge,” er, I mean trip meter. Yeah, that’s what I meant.

A low-rise bar rides ahead of a 3.4-gallon, teardrop fuel tank that rocks a set of knee-pockets complete with rubber knee pads for a little relief when you decide to start throwing around a little body English. There’s a faux tuck-and-roll cover on the bench-style seat with higher-density foam for better comfort, and the first two of those details play right into the dated look that dominates the G400C.

From the laced wheels to the flange tank and bench seat, this machine is definitely on point with a classic look that is much more than a skin-deep veneer. Bikes like this defined the UJM/standard genre back in the day, and it seems that Genuine counts on a certain amount of nostalgia to drive sales, and who can blame them? After all, retro doessell.

Genuine Motorcycles G400C Chassis

2019 Genuine Motorcycles G400C
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If you're looking for ABS, you're barking up the wrong tree my friend; you'll get nothing but raw brakeage and honest feedback here.

Tubular members make up the single-downtube frame tucked away so nicely between the exhaust headers before it splits into a double-cradle section that runs under the engine. Kenda touring hoops round out the rolling chassis with a 100/90-19 up front followed by a 120/70-18 (up from 90/90 and 120/70, respectively). As much as I love a classic design, I believe some things are best left to the history books, and drum brakes are right at the top of that list. Genuine just chives on with a 160 mm drum out back, but at least the front brakes — you know, the ones that do 70-percent of the work — are modern disc brakes. A 280 mm disc and twin-pot caliper slow the front wheel, and if you’re looking for ABS, you’re barking up the wrong tree my friend, you’ll get nothing but raw brakeage and honest feedback here.

Seat height clocks in at 31 inches off the ground with a narrow waist that makes for a straight shot from hip-to-ground, so short-inseam riders have a reasonable chance of comfortable maneuvers with your Fred Flintstones deployed. The suspension is plain vanilla, but carries Genuine’s influence with special upgraded spring-rates, and the swingarm is 2-1/2 inches longer on this version for a bit more in the way of stability and tracking.

Because of ChongQing Shineray’s history with Honda, the G400C is compatible with a number of official Honda parts as well as an array of accessories for same. In fact, Genuine claims the whole front end will bolt right up to a vintage CB350 as an example of the sideways compatibility.

Genuine Motorcycles G400C Drivetrain

2019 Genuine Motorcycles G400C
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Definitely in the 'economic-commuter' category with a rated 70 mpg.

Power comes from an air-cooled plant that packs away a total of 397.2 cc in a one-lung configuration. The cylinder breathes through a quartet of poppets with a specially-tuned Siemens fuel-injection system to manage the induction. That’s about it for the electronics. There will be no traction control or rider modes for this sled, but I could make arguments for the G400C as an entry-level trainer specifically because of its lack of fandanglery. It will teach the essential skills; there will be plenty of time later to let those skills atrophy under the layers of safety systems that come from an advanced electronics suite.

Speaking of unsophisticated systems, the engine comes with both a convenient electric starter and a charming kickstarter that provides some real-world insurance against becoming stranded by a weak battery/bad connection/whatever. As for power, the factory claims 26-horsepower and 22 pound-feet of torque that has to propel 353-pounds plus rider/cargo.

The five-speed transmission and standard clutch keeps the mill in its usable powerband and turns in a vague claimed top speed of 80-plus mph. That’s enough for interstate work, theoretically, but if traffic is moving briskly you won’t have much in the way of a power reserve. Fuel economy is definitely attractive at something around 70 mpg to put the G400C in the economic-commuter category.

Displacement: 397 cc
Valves: 4 per Cylinder
Horsepower: 26 HP
Torque: 22 lb-ft

Genuine Motorcycles G400C Pricing

2019 Genuine Motorcycles G400C
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MSRP is well in the budget-minded arena at $4,600.

Priced to move, the 2019 G400C rolls for $4,599. You get three colors from which to choose — black, green, or red — with a silver field and tank badge ahead of black knee pads.

Warranty: 2-year / 24,000 Miles
Colors: Black, Green, Red
Price: $4,599

Genuine Motorcycles G400C Competitors

2009 - 2019 Suzuki TU250X
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2019 Genuine Motorcycles G400C
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The TU250X is relatively light at 326-pounds wet, but that could make the ride a bit wobbly in a crosswind at speed, something the G400C handles a bit better.

Honda abandoned its old-school Rebel platform and redesigned it into something unrecognizable, so that moves Suzuki’s TU250X up the food chain a notch. The “TU” keeps to the ’70s theme with a classic UJM configuration and teardrop tank that sports a period-typical graphic over a black or a white background.

Separate seats give the TU a bit of a custom flair, and that’s reinforced by the blackout treatment at the rims, fork sliders, tripletree and headlight can. Instead of chrome, the fenders are blacked out no matter which tank/sidecover color you pick. Suzuki leaves a few cubes on the table with its 249 cc, air-cooled thumper, and that shows up in the power figures. The TU mill cranks out 12.12 pound-feet of torque against almost twice that much from the G400C’s twin, and you can count on 0-to-60 in 11.8-seconds which feels a little sluggish with no real power reserve. In short, you’re going to want to avoid the superslab on a TU.

Both rides have drums out back opposite a single juice-disc up front and nothing in the way of ABS protection/interference. The TU is relatively light at 326-pounds wet, but that manifests itself in the tracking to make the ride a bit wobbly in a crosswind at speed, something the G400C handles a bit better, and that’s great for overall confidence on the interstate. Even though the Suzuki suffers from the reduced displacement, the factory is prouder of the TU250X with a $4,649 MSRP versus $4,599 for the more-capable G400C.

He Said

“As someone who appreciates a classic bike, I gotta’ say I love the backstory for this ride. Born of Honda engineering and built for multiple clients, the G400C enjoys some really deep roots, so this is more of a true reproduction than a mere tribute piece might be. Look closely and you’ll see the platform that gave rise to the café racers and scramblers of old.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “I love these classic bikes; I got my license in the mid ’70s and this style was the hot ticket so this is like old home week for me. I might have gone with the Yamaha SR400 as the competitor, but I can’t gig my husband’s choice for style and price. I gotta say that I’m a little surprised at the quality of the fit-and-finish. It’s nicer than I thought it would be.”

Genuine Motorcycles G400C Specifications

Displacement: 397 cc
Valves: 4 per Cylinder
Horsepower: 26 HP
Torque: 22 lb-ft
Wheel Size: F/R: 19" / 18"
Seat Height: 31"
Fuel Capacity: 3.4 Gal
Fuel Economy: 70 mpg
Top Speed: 80+ mph (restricted)
Weight: 353 lbs
Warranty: 2-year / 24,000 Miles
Colors: Black, Green, Red
Price: $4,599

Further Reading

Honda Rebel

2017 - 2019 Honda Rebel 300 / Rebel 500
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see our review of the Honda Rebel.

Suzuki TU250X

2009 - 2019 Suzuki TU250X
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See our review of the Suzuki TU250X.

Yamaha SR400

2016 - 2018 Yamaha SR400
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See our review of the Yamaha SR400.

Genuine Scooter Company

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Read more Genuine news.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: genuinescooters.com, honda.com, suzukicycles.com, yamaha-motor.com

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