TVC's CB400 Blue Bat
By Anthony van Someren - 09 Jun 13
Having spent the last 13 years in the UK Thiago Vidal has returned to his native Brazil, but this hasn't dented his enthusiasm for custom building. Making a cafe racer from a CB400 was one of Thiago's childhood dreams as his dad had one when he was a child, so he decided to make it his first home build in Brazil. Thiago found it very difficult to find a donor bike in good condition and at a good price. With the revival of interest in retro and classic bikes, many are either restored classics for big money, or in a very poor state. He eventually found one that wasn't too far from home that could be ridden home. Due to complex legal rules around custom building and bike registration in Brazil, which we don't pretend to understand, Thiago had just 30 days to start building the bike. Thiago changed the rear suspension and swingarm, lengthening it by 50mm. He fabricated a support for a shock absorber that he brought over from the UK. He kept the OEM suspension at the front of the bike, although repaired, as well as the original wheels. To save on costs many parts were recycled or made from scratch, including the handlebars. The tank and the tail are made from aluminium, as was the headlamp, which also houses the speedometer. The tail light came from the UK as Thiago couldn't find a local source. He shortened the exhaust to extremes, which would normally mean a very loud bike, but to keep the noise to decent levels he made a mini-baffle. After the fabrication was complete Thiago had to decide about the paint, which was eventually inspired by his Black & Blue Ford pickup truck. The appropriately named Blue Bat then had to go through a second vehicle inspection by the Brazilian authorities who, despite not being used to dealing with custom bikes, passed the bike for use. See more from Thiago on his Facebook page. His next project is going to be an XL250 which he is also turning into a cafe racer. We look forward to seeing it.