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Karl's scrambler-bratstyle 81 XS400 SE

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Firestone, Oct 30, 2016.

  1. Firestone

    Firestone XS400 Enthusiast

    Hey everybody!

    My name is Karl, I am now 22 years old and I'm from Estonia. Yep another one from Estonia (I reckon some of you know Sandrew, who is also from Estonia, haven't met him in person though).
    I apologise in advance for some grammar mistakes that I will be making in the future probably, cause english is not my mother language.

    So I've been on here a while now and thought I should put a build thread up for my XS400.
    It's a 1981 XS400 SE model that I bought from an old guy from Saaremaa (largest island in the Republic of Estonia).
    He stopped riding it many years ago and it had been tucked away since. It didn't start when we tried, but it looked good and complete, so I bought it.

    It is my first "real" motorcycle and a first build thread as well.
    I had two scooters when I was younger, the first one (Honda Dio, fun little thing) I got from my brother (when my parents bought him a 125ccm Honda Rebel) and the second one MBK Nitro (or Yamaha Aerox) I got basically from selling the first one, but it was in a pretty rough condition so I had to fix it. Actually, I had to fix it twice cause I managed to crash it into a police car, ahh good days right. I learned how to ride a motorcycle with manual gearbox, when riding my brothers Honda. Only rode it few times around my home place though, cause I didn't (still don't) have the license to ride.

    Plans with the XS400: I'm going to get it running and then make it look good (not that it doesn't look good in it's original shape, but it's just not my taste). I am going to go with some kind of scrambler-bratstyle mixup, when you see it you will understand.

    Here is a picture from the day I bought it:
    [​IMG]
    Heard you guys were friendly, so I hope you'll go easy on my mistakes.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2017
  2. Jeff0133

    Jeff0133 XS400 Junkie Top Contributor

    Welcome to the forum,have fun with it...don't worry too much about mistakes, we all make 'em
     
  3. Welcome to this Madhouse, we call a Forum! Don't worry about your English, I'm from England, and I still make some stupid grammatical mistakes!
    Any help that we are able to give you, Someone in this forum will have the expertise, to help you out!
    Again, Welcome Karl

    Merlin
     
  4. Firestone

    Firestone XS400 Enthusiast

    Thanks MerlinDudley and Jeff0133 for welcoming me to the community.
    My neighbor saw it standing in front of the garage and came over. He thought that we should fire her up. Sounded like a plan to me. Hooked it up to a lawn tractors battery (I didn't get a battery when I bought it), poured some fresh fuel into the tank, checked the oil level and after about four years of sleep it was awake once again.

    Only for three seconds though and then it didn't start anymore, but she did sound happy didn't she?
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2016
  5. Firestone

    Firestone XS400 Enthusiast

    Took the carburetors off to clean them thoroughly and found a problem.
    One of the things that hold the float in its place was broken.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2016
  6. Jeff0133

    Jeff0133 XS400 Junkie Top Contributor

    There is a repair for this...
    Tap the broken post put a bolt in and cross-drill it to mimick a post...
    Or just buy a new carb.
     
  7. Firestone

    Firestone XS400 Enthusiast

    That's exactly what we did. Drilled a hole, tapped it and made a replacement part.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    And its repaired.
    After putting these back to the bike, it started nicely and kept on running, so the next thing to do, was to ride it.

    To my surprise it was pretty fast. I kinda expected lower acceleration cause it doesn't have a big engine and its an old motorcycle from the 80's.
    Pretty happy with the way it runs, only problem is the "high rev syndrome". There seems to be some cracks in the carburetor boots. I hope that replacing them will fix the problem.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2021
    MerlinDudley and 16VGTIDave like this.
  8. Thats an expertly made repair/modification! Plus it has saved you a load of cash, now that you don't have to find/buy a new carb body!
    Well done mate!

    Merlin
     
  9. Firestone

    Firestone XS400 Enthusiast

    Thanks Merlin!
    Made some higher quality pictures for all of you guys and got the motorcycle inspected and insured. These are obligatory requirements in Estonia for road legal use and I think that passing the inspection now will make it easier for me to pass it next year after rebuilding it.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Firestone

    Firestone XS400 Enthusiast

    Changed engine oil and filter and started tearing it apart. Took off the lights, mudguards, etc and labeled all the wires and connections. Was a little surprised to find so many wires/connections inside the headlight.

    EHFF6519.jpg

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2021
  11. Pork Chop

    Pork Chop XS400 Junkie

    Great work on fixing the carb. That to me is what bike building is all about.
     
  12. Firestone

    Firestone XS400 Enthusiast

    Thanks Pork Chop.
    I wanted my bike to have same diameter rims, so I started looking for a new rear one. Searched for hours and didn't found anything. Not even from Ebay. Heard that in Germany should be lots of rear drum mag rims. So I searched from German sites. Found some 2A2 type bikes for sale, wrote a letter for ten owners in sum. Only one of them replied that he is willing to sell me one, but didn't reply to my emails after I told him to figure out the delivery costs. And without the postage he wanted 100 euros for the rim, without the brake and tire (he had one rim extra for his bike).
    So I was bummed and started losing hope, but then I had an idea. I searched the rim in Estonian Google and chose pictures. Only one picture of the exact rim came up, clicked on it and was redirected to an old outdated advertisement. Luckily it had a phone number. Throughout the day I called like 5 times and the last call I made got a reply. Someone answered and told me that he does still have it, but he is abroad now, but his father can sell it to me.
    A few hours later I was behind his fathers house door, ready to pick it up and he brings me the disc front wheel. I told him that it was not the right wheel.
    He went back in to look for another one and five minutes later, he was back and this time with the right one. Great! He told me that his son ordered rims a few years ago and got the rear one extra, cause they sold them in pairs and he needed only the front one. Sounded like a win-win to me.
    Payed the man 25 euros (only 25 euros) for the 18" drum rim and a drum brake with brake pads pretty much like new. Full on bargain! Not to mention there are probably only two XS400s in Estonia, including mine.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2016
    Robsteeler66 likes this.
  13. Firestone

    Firestone XS400 Enthusiast

    Took off the handlebar. The original handlebar is so heavy, no wonder that it moved back and forth a little in those rubber clamps.
    [​IMG]
    And bought my bike a set of new tires.
    [​IMG]
    (2x Heidenau K67 18-4.00)
     
  14. Firestone

    Firestone XS400 Enthusiast

    Tried how the new rim fits between the old swingarm.
    [​IMG]
    It is basically a 1-1 swap, only exception is that the old 16" rim is a bit wider (old 2.50/new 2.15), so the swingarm has a tiny bit more room as well. But its not an issue.
    [​IMG]
    Took the front rim off as well, so I could remove the bearings and send rims to powdercoating. Found out that one out of four bearings had a spacer inside. Hope I can take it out without damaging it, so I could press it into the new bearing.
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Firestone

    Firestone XS400 Enthusiast

    Got the spacer pressed to the new bearing.
    [​IMG]
    And bought new seals.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    (These are the pictures of the old seals)
     
  16. Firestone

    Firestone XS400 Enthusiast

    Got the rims coated!
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Firestone

    Firestone XS400 Enthusiast

    Bought tubes for new tires and got the new bearings, seals and tires mounted.
    Threw them back on to the motorcycle and I have to say, it looks better than I expected.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    What do you guys think of the new look?
    [​IMG]
     
    Robsteeler66 and IanW like this.
  18. LuckyEight

    LuckyEight Head-scratcher

    Looks good... maybe just to raise a rear end litle bit?
    nice dog:)
     
  19. IanW

    IanW IanW

    59
    14
    8
    Canada
    Looks great. What is your plan for the seat?
     
  20. Firestone

    Firestone XS400 Enthusiast

    Thanks LuckyEight and IanW for the kind words, really appreciate it.
    I will raise the rear end, but not much, cause the mudguard is going to be higher. I think there will be plenty of travel when I am finished (the mudguard is pretty much just lying on the tire in the pictures).
    I decided to make a whole new seat pan and a seat and its going to be a one-seater (or a single seater or whatever).
    And I will cut the frame as well and make a new rear hoop and a new fuel tank bracket, so the fuel tank would be nicely horizontal like on the pictures.
    So big plans.
    Already measured the rear hoop height and width and used a rubber hose to visualise it :D.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2016

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