Barnaba's Blackfish XS400
By Ali Latimer - 06 Oct 14
Quite often I'm given articles to write that I relate to as I own the same donor or I've done a similar thing with something different, that's been the case for a bonkers modern day scrambler, a special Ducati Café Racer and a Dominator based Tracker, but they have all been from finished bikes, often I'm left thinking 'Why didn't I do that to mine?', Well this time I'm writing about a bike I own that has yet to be done; so I needn't wish I had done what they have, I can now draw on it for inspiration myself. These Yams are always a good donor choice, this is actually the builders 2nd shed build, his first featured here in February this year. This little XS400 would have been equally great as a Brat or Scrambler; but I think the Café Racer styling suits the proportions so well. This is Piotr "Barnaba" Franczak's build and he's done a great job of keeping simple lines, colours and detail that don't over-do anything, but at the same time doesn't leave anything out. The Black and white paint scheme echoes the black of the engine and white of the exhaust wrap, followed by the white grips on black switch gear and levers, a few shiny elements break the Black and White theme up given her a classy look. The paint scheme has given the bike its name, Barnaba says it made him think of an Orca and 'Blackfish' is the outcome... I'd have stuck with Orca, but I guess that would suit a 'porker' of a build (sorry) Blackfish certainly isn't that! The usual Café requirements have been adhered to, light weight single seat with hump, Clipons, Single headlamp and minimal fuss within the frame. The fibreglass seat unit hides a battery box and all fuses and electrics. The tank is the Heritage Special and has the Café-esq knee and handlebar dents. The bike isn't about vast changes; but the right ones and Barnaba says that whilst he loves to customise a bike; he actually isn't a fan of change, so if something isn't broken (visually or physically) then why replace it; so the standard exhaust was kept, and its tone is said to be enjoyable.... that'll be without its baffles then; my standard pipes sound bland! The tech and component list reads like this: 16" wheel rear and 18" front wearing Metzeler ME77 rubber Smaller front light Rearsets moved back Beston handles and 'clocks' from Dime City Cycles Pod air filters Collectors were wrapped with white band Shocks and front light from Red Hot Chili Customs Clip ons and mirrors from Hong Kong Seat is made from fiberglass The frame, wheels and levers were powder coated Engine, front forks and rear brake were polished (engine also painted) Barnaba has done another great job on the ever popular xs400, thanks for sharing with us, we look forward to seeing whatever comes out of your shed next.