Garage-built, “Baby Blue” brat tracker from the Sunshine State…
Andy Jansky may work as a realtor in his professional life, but he’s also the founder of Forge Cycleworks in Vero Beach, Florida. He found this 1980 XS400 Heritage in non-running condition. Working out of his two car garage, Andy surprised even himself with what he created from the disused machine.
We love the boxy style fuel tank — an enormous challenge to source and fit — and the fact that Andy used the original grab-rail to fabricate the rear hoop. Then there’s the paint, of course, which Andy sprayed himself, inspiring the bike’s nickname: “Baby Blue.”
Below, we get the full story on his lovely small twin.
Yamaha XS400 Tracker: In the Builder’s Words
This project began as a non-running 1980 Yamaha XS400 Heritage. Faced with many challenges, and limited to the workspace of a residential two car garage, I was able to take this build farther than any I’d done in the past.
The look I was trying to achieve was a simplistic, brat/tracker. I sought out the “older boxy” style gas tank which was not a simple task… Once the right tank was located, I sprayed a custom blue with medium metal flake on as a base followed by 8 coats of SprayMax 2K. This style tank also meant relocating the rear tank mount on the frame.
I handled a lot of the fab work, the custom stainless exhaust was built by Sideways Metal Fab and the top tree went in for a custom treatment to a local metal shop in Vero Beach allowing for the 1.5″ risers to accommodate the fat bars.
I built the rear tailhoop using the original chrome grab-rail. I fabricated the seat pan using two thin sheets of plywood to achieve the proper angles and glued them together, it was then shipped to Dave’s Upholstery in Edgewater FL where Dave finished it off in diamond quilt.
Once the custom PWK flat slide carburetors were dialed in the bike came to life, throttle response is so crisp it’s “scary.”
“This bike has really surprised me in so many ways”!
The biggest challenge I found during the build was trying create a true balance between family, my professional work (Realtor), and my passion for 2 wheeled machines.
The bike sold quickly last year and I’m on the hunt for another small twin 🙂