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Introduction and Advice Needed, for 83 maxim XS400

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Nat X, Oct 27, 2019.

  1. Nat X

    Nat X XS400 Member

    Hey Y'all, the names Nate and I just wanted to introduce myself and also use this thread to ask some questions and get some advice. I promise to use the search function as much as possible, but sometimes you just gotta send it.

    So last week I picked up my first project bike, a 1983 Maxim XS400. It is definitely a fixer upper, but I was looking for my first street bike to be a bit of a project. The bike needs a battery, a big time tune up (carbs for sure and maybe some gaskets as there seems to be an oil leak), plus all sorts of other maintenance for sure. But when the bike is hooked up to a power source the lights and electric start all work, plus the motor is turning over so I feel pretty good about that.

    But where to start is the advice I need from y'all. I live in Chicago and winter is coming.

    Should I try to put in the work real quick and get it started, then winterize it? I really think I could get it start if I throw enough time and $$$ at it. But it would be a rushed job.

    Or should I drop the motor, bring it into my home and do an over the winter table top rebuild? I could then find an indoor home for the rolling chassis to sort out all the non engine issues. I'm really leaning towards the 2nd option, as leaving the bike outside all winter would drive me crazy! Plus I wanna get my hands dirty over the winter and ride once Chicago thaws out in the spring.

    Thanks in advance! And I attached a pic of the bike after I pushed it over a mile home the day I bought it!
     

    Attached Files:

    buztabuzt and motoTrooper like this.
  2. NewHavenMike

    NewHavenMike 1976 XS360C Top Contributor

    Welcome. Youre aware of what the bike really needs so thats a good start. Winter is coming and I know you guys get it hardcore over there lol.

    You should do is a compression test. I dont really trust a compression test when the engine hasnt run in a long time though. I would never take an engine apart unless I absolutely knew it was bad. Never break the factory seal unless you have no other choice.

    Im going on a whim here but I say the engine is 100% healthy lol

    The bike turns over, thats huuuge. Spray a fogging oil in the cylinders and put the plugs back. What I also do is spray fogging oil into the exhausts and then stick a loose paper towel in the ends. I remove the carbs and fog the intakes and stick a paper towel in the boots. Remove the valve caps and dump oil on the lifters and cam(s). Battery and carbs come inside the house along with the gas tank which is also emptied and fogged.

    I think that is the best approach. Dont rush to rip everything apart randomly. Dont tear into the engine at all, leave it alone. Get the paperback shop manual and read it thoroughly and youll be able to rebuild the carbs over winter and collect parts.

    Aside from the engine. You need new tires and replace the brake lines and flush it all out and get that taken care of. Other than that, the bike looks like its in good shape and you will enjoy it just as it is. I have all these other big bikes and the XS is my favorite one to hop on. I really enjoy the <500cc bikes and I think theyre highly underrated. I recently picked up a Honda CB350 lol.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2019
    buztabuzt and Nat X like this.
  3. Nat X

    Nat X XS400 Member

    Thanks for the advice NewHavenMike!! I think your completely right about the compression check. I'll have to try and bang that out before the winter sets in. I'll be posting again for multiple questions in the future, plus I plan on starting a build thread when I get wrenching as well!
     
  4. motoTrooper

    motoTrooper XS400 Addict

    Welcome to the forum Nat and congrats on the new 1st project! Like lots of us you will probably eventually have projects #2 and #3 making their way to you as you get better mechanical skills and knowledge.:bike:
     
    Nat X likes this.
  5. pcream

    pcream XS400 Member

    Depending on your locations could you find a storage unit to get the bike to? If you can get one, especially with power (for heat and tools), you can use it as a temporary workshop to get everything going. I would say if your compression test is good based on NewHavenMike's suggestion, you might just need a good carb cleanout (possible carb part replacements) to get the bike running. Also don't forget to check/buy sparkplugs, NGK's are pretty cheap and it removes some the variables when troubleshooting.

    Once you get the bike running, really it's up to you as to what is next. You'll probably have a a functional bike, but you'll need a few more things before it's safe/legal. I agree with NewHavenMike, focus on making sure the brakes are in good shape (purging the lines, seals if necessary). You might also need new tires even if your tread looks ok, check the age of them and if it's > 10 years go ahead and replace them as rubber doesn't like sitting for that long.
     
  6. Nat X

    Nat X XS400 Member

    Thanks for the advice pcream! I'm going to do the compression test next Monday, and we will see were to go from there. I'm going to look for a garage spot to rent or maybe even look for a Motorcycle Co-Op in the city. And as far as your recommendation for carbs, brakes, tires and other general maintenance... I'm going to go balls deep on this mother f'er!! Plus I got all winter to collect parts and handle the tear down and tune up. The bike needs lots of love, but I think it has good bones and will be worth it for sure!
     
  7. Nat X

    Nat X XS400 Member

    So finally got around to doing the compression test today. Before I completed the test I pulled the carbs, exhaust and tank. I also fogged the motor. I got 140psi on both cylinders, which I hope is good!!
     
  8. xschris

    xschris a lifestyle not a trend Top Contributor

    140 is still ok, but did you do it after you fogged the motor? If you did it after the oil it would raise the numbers by quite a lot.
     
    Nat X likes this.
  9. Nat X

    Nat X XS400 Member

    Ya I fogged it last week. I figured it might throw the numbers off a little. But I'm pretty happy that both cylinders are showing consistent numbers.
     
  10. Addison

    Addison XS400 Member

    Great looking bike, I also just picked up an 83 Maxim. I get it today! Hope your build goes smooth over the winter. Are you planning on a restoration or conversion to something else? I'm only an hour away from delivery of mine.... can't wait!
     
  11. Nat X

    Nat X XS400 Member

    Thanks Addison! I'm going to collect parts and probably build a flat tracker inspired street bike, that is if everything goes according to plan! I saw your thread and was about to comment on it.....
     
  12. Nat X

    Nat X XS400 Member

    Can anybody help me figure out the handle bar size for a 83 Maxim XS400? I'm pretty sure it is 7/8, but I just want to double check before I order my handle bars, clutch lever and grips this week!
     
  13. xschris

    xschris a lifestyle not a trend Top Contributor

    Most Japanese bikes are 7/8.
     
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  14. I bought digital caliper for >$5 off eBay. Use it lots
     
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