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Glad to be here and the XS that was meant to be...

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by AmbientMoto, Sep 18, 2020.

  1. AmbientMoto

    AmbientMoto XS400 Member

    Glad to be here at the XS400 forum. Thought I'd share how I ended up here...

    Five years ago I was at my friend Mark’s house, he’s a moto guy and had a few bikes in his garage; he had this old Yamaha motorcycle that he needed to sell. It was old and ratty and the price was right. It kicked over and sounded fantastic.
    This was before I ever had my first bike, but I was looking, and man... that was a great bike. I knew it was well cared for, I knew the history. It was a 1981 XS400. Stock but with a 2-1 exhaust and pods. I bought a Yamaha hat that day because I thought it was the right bike for me.... but it turns out it wasn't. We were in the middle of an adoption so all extra funds went that way. So I unfortunately had to pass, and he sold it to someone else. I ended up buying a CB650SC (Nighthawk) a while later that I took apart, rebuilt, rode and sold, back when café/scrambler builds were all the rage.
    The Nighthawk was a great first bike, but I'll always remember that XS.
    Fast forward to present day. My daughter and I are going to rebuild/restore an old bike for one of her homeschool electives. She will learn a lot in the process, plus it will be great time together. She's excited about the idea, and my wife wants a smaller bike she can ride (she is a bit short for my Versys). So it's a win-win-win situation.
    I called another friend who seems to know everybody and everything and asked if he knew of any old bikes that would be right for the project. He mentioned a guy who had a bike that needed to go because of a move. An old Yamaha. So I call the guy, ask a few questions, and drive out to see it. Way out. In the country, to a barn in the middle of nowhere. This guy has an engine, a frame, a tank, wheels, and boxes of all the parts. And a title. We ended up knowing a few mutual friends as he was in the same industry as me. Then suddenly it clicked. I said “wait a minute... did you get this bike from (my friend) Mark?” He said “yes, how did you know...?”
    It was THE bike. The very bike I had seen years ago in my friends garage, the bike that started my love of motorcycling, sitting in boxes in a barn out in the country! The 1981 XS400. This guy had bought it back when I had seen it, and had gradually been taking it apart to do a bobber build. Fortunately he never got that far... He was also a rider and knew how to take a bike apart properly; everything labeled and separated.
    Needless to say it's in my garage now! And for an amazing price. It’s the perfect bike for this project. The engine has great compression and no leaks. The wheels, forks, carbs and tank are in decent shape, and it even has a few spare parts. It'll need some TLC and new consumables but I'm so excited to bring it back to life. My daughter has already been researching the bike; I've given her some basic specs to look up. She gets to choose the colors but she has great taste so the end result will be awesome!

    Yes, you can fit an XS400 in the back of a 4Runner...[​IMG]
    BBS360 and motoTrooper like this.
  2. motoTrooper

    motoTrooper XS400 Addict

    Congratulations on the reunion, looks quite clean which is always a huge boost in the early bike building process. Awesome that you have a family that shares the love of bikes. Keep posting your progress!
  3. xschris

    xschris a lifestyle not a trend Top Contributor

    It's going to be a project for sure as it's been modified from stock so much. Most OEM stock parts won't fit/work on the frame.
  4. amc49

    amc49 XS400 Addict

    All mounting tabs removed is going to cause a lot or trouble there.
  5. AmbientMoto

    AmbientMoto XS400 Member

    Right! Fortunately, we aren't going for a 100% stock restore. Part of the deal of this bike was a few welding chores; I was bummed that the PO removed them but he's going to help replace a few of the things that were removed. Mainly the exhaust hangers/pillion pegs as I really want a non-annoying exhaust. I've done this once before so I know it will be a journey; finding the right jetting and so-forth. But I enjoy all of those things.
    Gra900 likes this.
  6. AmbientMoto

    AmbientMoto XS400 Member

    Thanks for the vote of confidence:) Should be a fun project.
  7. Gra900

    Gra900 XS400 Addict

    I had exactly the same issue, no exhaust hangers or pillion pegs. Welded on bracket for exhaust and made bolt on pillion pegs

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