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'77 XS400 build thread - cafe racer

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Ezetman, Mar 17, 2016.

  1. Ezetman

    Ezetman XS400 Enthusiast

    Hi,
    This is going to be a bit of a long post as I would like to have a bit of an introduction, throw some photos in here and ask a few questions.
    I bought my first motorcycle a bit over two months ago from a cool fellow up on West Palm Beach, FL who finds vintage bikes, fixes them up to a rideable state and re-sells them. Mine happened to be in a pretty decent shape considering it's from 1977.
    00G0G_1S6lUQOyUod_600x450.jpg
    I got it just like shown with those clip-ons I very much like since I want to make it a cafe. Biggest inspiration is this one.
    Fast forward a couple months to now, bike runs great after having some work done on the transmission (gear selector pin broke and trying to kick into 1st gear I broke the gear shifter as well) and some other minor things like tightening the chain, replacing master cylinder as it was leaking, tried to remove some of the rust and gunk inside the tank with a chain and attempted to fix the dents on the tank (but failed:banghead:, see below)
    IMG_2052.jpg

    I just didn't like how it looked with the gloss black rattle can paint I used so I just used Aircraft Remover again to return to bare metal and applied a clear coat (which I actually like a lot better).

    IMG_2057.jpg

    Now I just purchased this Motolanna cafe racer seat they have back in stock on black w/ black stitching. I will be fabricating the upswept hoop with help from a welder friend once I actually receive the seat to make sure I bend it right. I plan on buying the metal tube from http://www.metalsdepot.com/, It's around $17 for a 4 ft. tube 7/8 OD 16 gauge. Which reminds me to ask some you who are more knowledgeable, is this type of metal the right one to use and weld onto the frame? I will also need to find some mounting inserts like the ones shown here
    s-l500.jpg .
    I also got a rear tail light coming in from Dime City Cycles soon and a couple air intake pods.
    I still have to research which type of battery I should get. I am thinking a Lithium type since it doesn't need to be kept upright and I want to stuff it under the seats hump.
    (Any tips on this highly welcomed).

    Asides from this, I will like to shorten the mufflers to right around where they meet the rear axle. Oh and last but not least, send it off to sandblast and powder coat.

    I plan on updating this thread with new pictures as I do stuff to it. For now I will start slow as I am waiting on the seat. Plus the weather is still nice in Miami and I want to ride before it's too hot:bike:. Unlike most of you folks, summer over here is way too hot to ride in my opinion. Already had a couple days in the low 90's and it's hell when stopped at a red light.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. BBS360

    BBS360 XS400 Guru Top Contributor

    I'm going to be in the same battery situation as you this year. Lithium batteries have been discussed on here before and it sounds like they can be trouble.

    Assuming you are going kick-only there are pretty small AGM or sealed Lead-acid batteries that don't have to sit perfectly upright. I believe anything but upside-down is good for them.
    Should fit under the seat hump.

    I won't lie, I frowned a bit when I saw that the pretty good looking stock paint job was removed, but the clearcoat on bare metal is part of what I plan to do on my bike.
    Looks good. :thumbsup:
    Mine will need some rust removal with a wire-wheel though.

    What type of pod filters did you order from Dime City? If you search on the forum you'll find plenty of recommendations against pod filters and steps that can be taken to get the most out of them.
    If your stock H-pipe is still good, keep using it with the pods.
     
  3. Ezetman

    Ezetman XS400 Enthusiast

    I plan on keeping the electric starter actually. I enjoy the kick but not as much as to it being the only way to turn on the bike. I am still leaning toward the lithium battery for its compact size.
    About the stock paint, yeah I had second thoughts about removing it after the fact but it was too late and I really like the bare metal look anyways. It had a few dents too.

    These are the type of pods I am getting
    .. I measured the intake to be 60mm so those should be it. What's the deal with the H-pipe? I can see some rust but i feel like it's superficial. Other than that looks fine.
    Thanks for your reply!
     
  4. BBS360

    BBS360 XS400 Guru Top Contributor

    The h-pipe is rubber so any rust would definitely be superficial. :)
    Mounting the pods on the h-pipe will guarantee that all jets and air vents are properly exposed and get the proper air flow.
    Rejetting may still be necessary with the non-stock filters.
     
    Ezetman likes this.
  5. Gramatron

    Gramatron Meat popsicle

    Ahh the Hageman build replica. The bike you chose for inspiration is a beauty. I've learned that cafe'ing is essentially seeing some other build and deciding you like part of it hehe. Incidentally I just did the research on he lithium ions. If you're ready to shell out 200 dollars, go for it. But I recommend against buying that tiny one if your keeping the e start. I settled on a small AGM that I will mount on its side
     
    Ezetman likes this.
  6. Ezetman

    Ezetman XS400 Enthusiast

    My seat arrived after a month right for my birthday!
    [​IMG]
    I went down to my parking lot around 3 AM after the party ended to see just how well it fitted.
    As shown in the pic above, the stock frame sticks out of the seat where the rear turn signals go.
    I just chopped it off (right after the suspension)
    [​IMG]

    So here is how it looks now. I also removed the battery and the air filters. Going to install the pods I mentioned above (without the H-tube) and build a metal pan under the seat to hide all electrical and stuff the lithium battery I still need to buy. First I need to build the up-swept hoop where the seat is going to rest and figure out how to attach the seat to the frame.
    [​IMG]
    Oh and another issue that I am still trying to make my mind on is whether I re install the rear mud guard or not. I love the clean see through look but not at the expense of shit getting damaged.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. levdir

    levdir Rounded bolt brigade

    I'm pondering the same thing with the mud guard on my build; I may end up just bolting some perforated steel in place instead. Slimmer and (hopefully) lighter but it will still keep the worst of the debris clear.
     
    Ezetman likes this.
  8. Ezetman

    Ezetman XS400 Enthusiast

    Ah yeah I've seen those, they can be pretty stealthy when painted together with the frame.
    Either way, I was told on another thread it's not as big a deal as I thought so I may just give it a try without the fender once I get it back to riding condition.
     
  9. Gramatron

    Gramatron Meat popsicle

    I thought about the same thing. I plan to install a 6 inch plastic panel back there. I'd go crazy always cleaning crap off of my engine and pods. have you figured out exactly how you're going to mount the seat? I'm trying to work that out myself. I have the same style seat.
     
  10. Ezetman

    Ezetman XS400 Enthusiast

    I have some ideas but not sure yet, I'll update you tmw or Sunday once I get to it during the weekend.
     
  11. Ezetman

    Ezetman XS400 Enthusiast

    I still haven't attached the seat to the frame. However; I have received the 7/8 DOM tube to make the hoop for the seat. So I plan on bending and welding that first before I make the seat pan and figure out how to screw the seat in. However, I am still a bit hesitant on bending the tube myself, I may just send it off to some metal shop nearby and give them the specifications on the angles and have them do it.
    What are your guys thoughts on bending the tube yourself? I came across a post once of a guy who bent his own tube by building some contraption out of wood and even going to the extent of baking the sand (remove humidity) that was used to fill the tube prior to bending.
     
  12. BBS360

    BBS360 XS400 Guru Top Contributor

    Sand bending by hand is more of an art than anything.
    With a proper jig you could probably get something that works.
    Lots of heat involved. You'll probably spend more in gas getting it perfect than it would cost to have someone do it for you.

    I'm all for DIY though.
     
  13. If you don't have a tube bender or some practice with bending with a torch then I would have someone do it if you want it look good.

    If you're fine with it being a little less than perfect and have extra tube incase you really mess up I say go for it.

    I'd say look for a cheap used set of torches and tanks and go at it. The torch set will always come in handy for other things.
     
  14. Ezetman

    Ezetman XS400 Enthusiast

    Already have a couple torches for work, maybe not enough gas from what you are all hinting at it will take to make it look good. Gonna go attempt it right now, will update this evening with pictures.
     
  15. short1

    short1 XS400 Addict

    I had to bend mine myself, couldn't find a shop in my area with a 7/8" jig...If you do go the sand route make sure you bake it first, i've read that if the sand has moisture that you could be potentially making a pipe bomb from the pressure building up while bending. I don't know if it's true but i didn't take a chance to find out. Mine turned out ok, enough leverage and it's not too bad to cold bend it. IMG_20151103_144606.jpg IMG_20151103_144654.jpg
     
  16. Ezetman

    Ezetman XS400 Enthusiast

    I gave it a decent attempt today but I couldn't get anywhere! I said I was going to post pics but honestly, it is just a straight pipe.
    I made my jig out of wood as I seen other tutorials online and decided to wrap it on some foil and heat tape to keep the wood from burning a little longer. Well, all I got was some burnt wood. Then I took the tube and decided to torch it out on the pavement just to see if I could get it hot enough to get some shaping - even if it wasn't the right one- and nope. That thing is indestructible. I torched the thing at the same spot for about a minute and nothing. I am thinking I must've bought the wrong type of DOM tube as I don't believe it should be so hard.
    FYI, I did get dry sand and even left it out for a couple hours outside, it was pretty hot today even for our Florida standards. Even then I don't think I got any pressure build up. I welded one side and just taped of the other end in case enough pressure built up, the tape would give first.
    Anyway, a bit bummed at my failure. I was hoping to get it welded today. Instead, going to take it to a friend who does metal work tomorrow and see if he has a bending machine that can fit the diameter/radius I want.

    PS. Great work on your frame, the bend and paint look great!
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2016
  17. You'll need an oxy-acetylene torch set. The little mapp or propane ones will take too long, if at all, to get the tube red.
     
  18. Ezetman

    Ezetman XS400 Enthusiast

    I used those little propane ones and it never got the tube red. Here are the specs of the tube I bought directly from the invoice, did I purchase the right thing? I noticed the inner wall is thicker than the stock frame.

    DOM Tube .75" O.D. x .120" wall x 20' R/L - 1pc. cut 48"
     
  19. short1

    short1 XS400 Addict

    I used 7/8" dom, pretty sure the wall thickness was .065" I don't think you need something that heavy duty for a hoop. You won't need to worry about getting it red hot either.
     
  20. Ezetman

    Ezetman XS400 Enthusiast

    I took it to a weld shop to get it bent. I agree with you that I don't need something heavy duty. I went way overboard on the thickness of the tube, was pretty clueless about how thick .120" looked like.
    I should be getting it back tomorrow and hopefully I have energy after work to go weld it on already.
     

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