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Just bought a '77 XS360. Not quite a basket case but...

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Spiffarino, Dec 21, 2019.

  1. Spiffarino

    Spiffarino XS400 Enthusiast

    Yesterday I took in a homely little 1977 XS360. It was somebody's cafe racer project that eventually wound up in the hands of a young dude who wanted a fun ride, but after several months he got fed up with trying to make it run and sold it on the cheap.

    It's pretty cut up and would cost a ton to make a nice, original bike. Instead, I want to make it into a seventies-style scrambler. I've had a lot of motorcycles but this will be the first one I'm going to tear apart and try to fix up. Before anything else, though, it needs to run.

    Here it is in all its orange glory.
    IMG_4587.jpg 59859375307__1EE19AF7-66AE-40B4-B12C-566FE5122F2F.JPG 59859379139__662BCE77-3B16-43B5-865C-B8FF6AC87595.JPG
    No battery, seat from Lord knows where, and barfing up wires. I'll need a lot of help and this seems like the best place to find it. Thanks in advance!
  2. NewHavenMike

    NewHavenMike 1976 XS360C Top Contributor


    You can find used parts here in the classifieds as well as EBay. Ive purchased NOS wiring harnesses before and you should have no problem finding one used.

    The seat looks like its from a Yamaha RD, looks exactly like my RD250 seat except it normally has a strap over the middle. The strap can be cut off though.
    Spiffarino likes this.
  3. Spiffarino

    Spiffarino XS400 Enthusiast

    Thanks for the advice. The wiring is an absolute mess and I'm thinking it should all be replaced.
  4. Gra900

    Gra900 XS400 Enthusiast

    Bike looks pretty ok. Reasonable tyres, good forks.
    If you want to rewire lookk for Drewpy on the forum who did a great how to
    Good luck
    Spiffarino likes this.
  5. NewHavenMike

    NewHavenMike 1976 XS360C Top Contributor

    A word on the fusebox, the fuses can be trash and still look brand new. The clips loosen and break easily and it can get nasty in there. Its just a delicate component. Dont believe your eyes when it all looks good upon inspection lol.

    Last time I checked, theres reproductions available. I wouldnt buy one because its the same design.

    Cycle Terminal has everything you need for wiring components... except wire. OEM style harness plugs too so you dont have to cut wires off the original wire harness. This keep everything plug and play when you want everything original. I did end up cutting the heap of wires that leads to the fuse box and going direct into a new style box. Theres a ton of extra length going into the headlight bucket too.

    I used the Metri-Pack 280 4 Circuit fuse box and probably will with all my other bike projects.


    In any case, I recommend purchasing a copy of the shop manual.

    Does it have spark? These bikes need a battery to start and run. Does the neutral and oil light turn on with the key? You only need minimal wiring to get the bike started. If you can get spark and it feels like it has decent compression, that would be enough for me lol
    Spiffarino and Gra900 like this.
  6. Spiffarino

    Spiffarino XS400 Enthusiast

    Ice cold the bike had 120 lbs. compression in each cylinder (it was 28ยบ F when tested), so I'm fairly confident the engine is in good nick. The neutral and oil lights came on with a turn of the key and I thought I saw a spark, but it's kick-only and hard to tell in the daylight. I had to reconnect a couple of wires to connect it to the new battery and after that the lights won't come on. Unfortunately, I won't be able to do any more eval on it until after Christmas.

    Shop manual is bought and on the way so thanks for the tip! Also much obliged for the advice about the electrical parts. There's no fuse box...I guess the PO thought he could run everything inline without protection and it'd all be fine. Sheezz.
  7. Spiffarino

    Spiffarino XS400 Enthusiast

    Thanks for all the great advice. The kindness you show to strangers with bikes is pretty amazing. I hope when it's all over I have something that's worthy of your time!
  8. xschris

    xschris a lifestyle not a trend Top Contributor

    120 is very low for these bikes. 125 is about the lowest for a running motor. I had a spare xs400 motor with 115 lbs but the rings where seized in the pistons so you can still get compression even with bad rings and pistons. A new motor gets 155-60lbs. Do a wet test and see if it changes any. A valve adjustment may also help.
    Spiffarino likes this.
  9. Spiffarino

    Spiffarino XS400 Enthusiast

    Damn, ain't hope a mind-altering drug?

    I'll do a wet test when I get home and I'll soon see what's in store. Thanks.
  10. Spiffarino

    Spiffarino XS400 Enthusiast

    There's an '80 XS400 available in my area that's really cheap. It has a running-but-very-leaky engine, drum brakes like my 360 does, good wheels and a few other bits that look better than mine.

    Question: Is a '77 XS360 close enough parts-wise for this to make a good donor bike? TIA!

    Forgive the long delay in adding to this thread...unexpected family crisis.
  11. xschris

    xschris a lifestyle not a trend Top Contributor

    I would use the xs400 motor carbs and ignition. Make sure it's an actual 80 motor as the 81+ sohc xs400 motors have a different lower rear mounting hole size. Find the vin number on the motor to know for sure.
    Spiffarino likes this.
  12. NewHavenMike

    NewHavenMike 1976 XS360C Top Contributor

    The 360 rear sprocket might have an extra tooth. Its good for the street but on the highway youll be running short. I ride at highways speeds for most of my 90 mile daily commute like this, you would benefit from going down on the rear or going up on the main. Its not a huge difference, but if youre going for top end its not going to cut it.

    There was a big difference when I bolted the 400 block in.
    Spiffarino likes this.
  13. xschris

    xschris a lifestyle not a trend Top Contributor

    For sprockets I would use a 16-37 for a 18" rear wheel setup. The xs400 motor will have 10+ more hp than the 360.
    Spiffarino likes this.
  14. Spiffarino

    Spiffarino XS400 Enthusiast

    10hp extra is enormous and reason enough to check it out - thanks for the tip.

    One more question about the xs360-2 motor (since I want to get it running regardless): Do you know of a good source for new ignition coils? There are tons of them available online, but the only ones I've found specific to that model are very old and very used.
  15. xschris

    xschris a lifestyle not a trend Top Contributor

    Search by part number or what ohm specs for the coils should be. The 77-79 xs400 also used the same type. As long as the used coil has the proper ohms it should be good. All my bikes are using original old coils.
    Spiffarino likes this.
  16. Spiffarino

    Spiffarino XS400 Enthusiast

    The wet comp test results were disappointing to say the least. Left cylinder diff was 20 lbs. and the right jumped about 40. The engine is probably shot.

    I'll crack it open and see if it's worth rebuilding and maybe sell it or keep it as a spare, but as of now I'll be checking out that donor bike if it's still there on Monday.

  17. Spiffarino

    Spiffarino XS400 Enthusiast

    It's a 14V serial, so definitely a later engine. I will probably still buy the old bike because it's very cheap and, other than the engine, it's a true 1980 with drum brakes and comes with a basket of parts and hardware. If the engine won't fit expect one to come up in the XS400.com classifieds. :D
  18. xschris

    xschris a lifestyle not a trend Top Contributor

    14v is a 82 sohc xs400. I have one. Rear wheel is 16" not 18" like the xs360. If you use the 16" rear make sure to get a sprocket for the 80-82 16" wheel as it has an offset to help clear the wider wheel.
    DSC03772.JPG My 82.
    Spiffarino likes this.
  19. Spiffarino

    Spiffarino XS400 Enthusiast

    Thanks for the tips!

    The donor bike looks like a 1982 XS400 Heritage Special and it's nearly intact but very leaky. The engine starts right up and makes a good noise, but it definitely looks different from the '77 360. As for the wheels, I dig the stance of the old bikes and want to keep the old ones if it'll work.

    Breakdown starts tomorrow and I hope to have some photos soon.

    PS - Your '82 is a knockout.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020

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