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SUSHI ‘TACO. A Delicioso Honda CB400 Tracker by T. Jasin Motorcycles

Posted on July 24, 2017 by Andrew in Enduro, Tracker. 20 comments

Hot on the heels of their CB250 from a few weeks ago, Poland’s T. Jasin Motorcycles have just rocked up with another killer Honda – this time it’s an ‘83 CB400 that’s clearly just been to Spain for its summer holidays. Deciding that the Bultaco MX livery was the perfect vibe for this Comstar’d and knobby’d little champ, the Japan-loving Jasin brothers have left the thing co-branded to add a little frisson to the mix. And boy, don’t they mix well?

Warsaw. The name conjures up images of a grey, post-communist city that’s had the proverbial stuffing kicked out of it over the past 100 years. It’d be the last place you’d go for a holiday, right? Well, contrary to the stereotypes, Warsaw in 2017 is a thriving city that wears its tumultuous past as a badge of honour. It’s jarring mix of restored gothic, communist concrete and modern sheen make it one of Eastern Europe’s most interesting cities. The booming custom bike scene is a real testament to just how far it’s come and this eccentric mash-up of a bike is just the kind of creation we’d expect the city to produce.

“It’s a Honda CB 400 twin from 1983,” says T. Jasin. “Again, we’re showing our love of Honda’s bikes by choosing another of their back catalogue to build with”. But clearly, Honda isn’t the only company that’s getting some love here. “We wanted to add a little Bultaco to the flat tracker inspiration we had chosen to go with”. While a Honda logo was the duo’s initial design idea, the thought of the Bultaco visuals added so much wow they decided to keep it.

Again the two ventured into Poland’s non-touristy rural surrounds to source the donor bike. While you’d guess that most of the country’s barn finds would turn up less than desirable Russian basket cases, it’s clearly not always the case. Countless years of substandard transport, of both the two and four-wheeled variety, saw a wave of Europe’s second-hand vehicles flood East after the collapse of communism. Clearly the locals had realised that daily mechanical disasters weren’t necessarily a fact of life.

“As with all our builds, we prefer to tear the bikes down to their component parts before we start”, say the boys. As any shop that’s been in the game for a while will tell you, short of using brand spanking new donor bikes, it’s the only way you can offer your customers a bike that you know will stand the test of time. Everything else is just guesswork.

“We then started the build-up. The main components used included some Continental dirt tires, an old red MX tank with a new Bultaco logo, a matching gold frame, a bespoke padded seat, some high ‘bars and some low-key twin exhausts”.

“Every new part of the tracker was hand-made, but the biggest job of all was probably the polished aluminium side fairings. That and making the bike street legal. That part’s always a challenge, as it often forces you to go against what you’d imagined in your head”.

“For this build, the hardest part was probably cleaning and grinding the Honda’s frame. It may not seem like a major deal in the scheme of things, but it presented us with a few challenges that took a lot more time than expected,” say the boys, with a weary tone.

“The best part is riding it. There’s something very ‘swagger’ about it”.

“The best part of this tracker is riding it. There’s something very ‘swagger’ about it. It just makes you feel cool to pilot it. Maybe it’s the colour scheme or the riding position, but you almost feel like Steve McQueen when you’re on it”. McQueen, you say? We’ll take 12. Now where’s our groupies?

[ T. Jasin MotorcyclesInstagram | Photos by Filip Okopny ]

  • Bultaco Metralla

    No this does not mix well, it is everything a Bultaco wasn’t

    • John in Pollock

      I agree. In fact, I personally hate it when a bike is built brand confused. I guess I’n just picky.

    • Your Bultaco chops far outweigh mine, dude. I ain’t gonna argue the toss… 😉

  • Dave Coetzee

    I must admit I’m not as excited about this bike of theirs, as I was about their 250 although it’s very similar.
    It may either be that us older critics let a few “not quite to our tastes” slip through undetected with a first of latest trend builds, or it’s just that I had a bad day at the office.
    I was wondering whether that “old red MX tank” was from a Yamaha DT MX?
    The fork rubbers look rather overly compressed (lack of fork travel?) even with no rider aboard.
    I’m not sure whether the gap between the tank and “bespoke padded seat” is a tracker trait?
    I think the white section on the tank would look better in bare metal or chrome, to match the side-covers, or the latter also finished in white.
    Last personal preferences would be to centralise the single clock and lower the headlight.

    • Much respect to a guy who considers his state of mind before slamming build. Nice.

  • BobFalfa

    I would not have labelled it Bultaco, it could have been badged Honda in a Bultaco style…..BUT this non-existent rear mudguard thing and the hairdresser or USA bike builder, (are the two professions the same,I ask myself ) “hang the plate on the side” piss me right off……It’s a twin one exhaust per side bike , so put the damn plate in the centre, it gives the thing a balance, lets call it symmetry . it’s one of the rudiments of style

    • Good point re: Honda logo in Bultaco style. That would have nailed it.

  • Marcus Quinn

    It’s ok just don’t put Bultaco on it. Taking a rather dull 400n and breathing new life into it is admirable but passing it off as anything other than a cheap way to build a custom is not.

    • I’m pretty sure they aren’t ‘passing off’ anything, as that implies deception. They’ve just made a design call that you may not agree with. They were completely open and up front when asked about it…

  • guvnor67

    It definitely has a few faults, and the mixed identity thing wont/doesn’t wash with lots of folk. . But. . If you think of it differently, say as a build a fella might build in his shed with what he had, well then it’s kinda kool, groovy, funky. And, despite being of confused gene pool, it has personality in spades.

    • Nice way of putting it, Guv.

      • guvnor67

        Thank! I could be wrong, but I reckon if they’d tried to build something like this back in say, those nasty cold war days, we certainly wouldn’t be reading about it. I smile when I see builds out of places where you wouldn’t normally expect custom motorcycles. Look at the builds coming out of India or Indonesia as an example!

  • I’ll admit to being a little hesitant on posting the bike once I realised that the tank wasn’t a Bultaco item. As @davecoetzee:disqus correctly guessed, it’s from a Yamaha DT250. While that didn’t really make sense to us, we still thought that the bike was cool enough to be worth a post. Besides, as the saying goes ‘there’s no accounting for taste’. While it might seem a little strange to us, we’re not Polish bike builders trying to sell custom bikes to local riders. Thoughts?

    • guvnor67

      That’s true, and also, think of how many horrors have been built by professionals, bikes worth $100,000 that are unrideable fuglyness. Besides, apart from it’s confused id, this bike is pretty good. Change the paint and KAPOW!!!

  • Jeff Wilkening

    What is it? A Bulhonda?
    Randomly drilled lightening holes look tacky.

    • ‘Hontaco’ sounds better, I think…

      • Pete

        Considering that it doesn’t have any Bultaco parts on it and in no way resembles anything that left the Bultaco factory it should be called neither..

  • ShS

    Anche con una cilindrata diciamo piccola… vengono fuori dei mezzi particolari, mi piacciono le medie cilindrate… ottimo