Honda CB400N ‘Brigante’ by Emporio Elaborazioni Meccaniche
If your life ever takes a turn for the worst and you decide to fund your insatiable thirst for custom motorcycles by joining a gang that pillages and plunders, there’s a few things you should remember. Firstly, you’ll need to be nimble and light on your feet lest you be caught in the act. Next, you’ll need a nice little secret compartment to stash your ill-gotten gains should the law come a-knocking at a bad time. And finally, you’d best arm yourself with a gun or pistol should the worst come to the worst. Which brings us to today’s build, a bike that fits this bill perfectly and not by coincidence, either. Introducing the latest build from Emporio Elaborazioni Meccaniche with their very aptly named ‘Brigante’ or ‘Bandit’.
“The Bandit follows our philosophy perfectly: to build a special bike re-using other old bike pieces to give them new life and a new dignity”, explains Leo, Dopz and Schizzo from EEM. “The donor bike was a Honda CB400N. We worked on the idea of doing a very short bike, not really a bobber but something shorter and a little different. The real key to the whole build was our decision to use an old Piaggio ‘Ciao’ moped seat.”
“Next we shortened, reinforced and cleaned up the rear frame, changed the rear shocks and mounted two reworked blinkers inside the rear frame to make them seem fully integrated and to leave the seat as clean as possible.”
“We definitely do not like the trend of leaving the space under the seat empty, so we had some fun reworking an old Kawasaki filter to hide the battery and fuses… and fill the space, too. Naturally, we simplified the wires while we were at it and hid them inside the frame.”
“On the opposite side to the battery we mounted and old flask. It has a clip on the bike-side that allows you to open it up and use it for storage. Tools, keys, loot – whatever you want.
The tank is from an old Gilera, which we reworked to fit the frame. The ‘machine gun’ muffler is from a Triumph scrambler which we then cut, built a 2-into-2 under the brake pedal and left its nice internal metal padding visible.”
“We reworked the Piaggio Ciao seat and covered it with leather; the same leather we used to hold down the tank.”
“The colour scheme was mainly influenced by our decision to follow the original gold rim colour and the old colours on the Gilera tank. There’s a small yellow LED headlight that’s been installed upside down, new brake reservoirs, navy brake cables, bespoke EEM aluminium footplates, flat ‘bars like a bobber, a handmade bronzed mudguard, new shock absorber… and that’s just the big things.”