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New XS400 owner, How much is too much and various other stupid questions

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Adams77, Sep 30, 2010.

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  1. Adams77

    Adams77 XS400 Member

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    Picked up a basket case 81 xs400. Aside from compression and spark (little black boxes worry me) what else should I look for. Are there any notoriously bad things with these little guys?

    And would anyone know the thread pitch for the top-clamp bolt for the triple tree?

    more to come.....................
     
  2. Adams77

    Adams77 XS400 Member

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    The price was right, it is missing a lot like foot controls, hand controls, exhaust, and needs all new cables for brakes and clutch. But..........the wiring was stock and in tact and the bike does not appear to have a lot of miles(I could be wrong on that one).

    I am going to try to get it running and go from there.
     
  3. Beau

    Beau I like metal.

    Go find a running one and save yours for parts. When there are running, titled, clean bikes for $600, it's not worth paying for all the little crap to get a basket running. Cables, foot pegs and all the other little things missing will add up pretty quick.
     
  4. Adams77

    Adams77 XS400 Member

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    I can definitely get this bike going for less than that, if the engine/tranny are in good shape.

    The most expensive thing I can see would be tires, I can make nearly everything else.
     
  5. mrriggs

    mrriggs XS400 New Member

    I think you should consider Beau's advise and find a running bike. You may be surprised what it will end up costing to get that one running. I picked up an XS750 for $100 that was 100% original all the way down to the tool kit under the seat. The only parts missing were the front brake calliper brackets (the pads were rusted to the disks so the guy unbolted the callipers and lost the brackets). I kept track of every penny I spent down to the last nut, bolt and drop of oil. Just to get the bike on the road it ended up being about $1300 and that was doing all the work myself. That only includes mechanical stuff, I didn't do anything cosmetic. The single biggest expense was the tires but it was mostly purchases of $20 or less. If I hadn't added it up I would have estimated it to be about $500. Projects like that will nickel and dime you to death.

    On the flip side, when I finally bailed out of that project and parted it out, I made enough off of it to build my 650 chop. So that would be my advise, don't waste the time and money on it, part it out and use the funds for another bike.

    If you do go ahead with it, I'll be happy to help you out. I have an '81 XS400. I'm at work now but can check the thread pitch when I get home.

    The only quirk I can think of off hand is the starting procedure. When I bought the bike originally it was cheap because the guy couldn't start it. There was nothing wrong with it, he just had the idle speed screw turned up too high. When the bike is cold you need to give it full choke and NO THROTTLE. If you touch the throttle at all it will not start. Once it's running you need to let it warm up enough that it will idle with no choke. If you try to take off any sooner than that then the bike will die about two blocks down the road no matter what you do with the choke and throttle. I ripped my hair out trying to find some reason for it, and to this day I don't know why it does that. But if you let it idle for two minutes before taking off then it runs perfect and never misses a beat.
     
  6. 9c1cap

    9c1cap XS400 Enthusiast

    Top clamp bolt is 14x1.25 Pinch clamp bolts are8x1.25
    Just finishing up a rustoration on a 400. http://www.xs650.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3667
    This bike was a non-runner, low compression on left side. Exhaust valve was bent. Replaced both valves and she runs great(carbs cleaned and rebuilt of course). Less than $600 in the whole build.

    Only drawback is theres no good source for parts. Some 650 stuff will work, the carbs on this one were plain ol bs34s, but motor-wise theres nothing. Luckily theres still some NOS stuff floating around if you spend enought time searching ebay for em.....Thats where I found the valves. Good luck man as long as her vital signs are strong, bring that sucker back to life!!

    Craig
     
  7. Adams77

    Adams77 XS400 Member

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    I think I should clarify my intentions for the bike.

    I am building a rider....not going to paint it or take it back to stock, just going to put some miles on it.:thumbsup:

    I love reading the posts on the nut and bolt resto jobs, but thats not my cup of coffee. Most of my bikes double as off road vehicles depending on the mood I am in. And yes you can jump a gsxr 600 over the culvert into a cow pasture:yikes:

    The laws are easy down here in GA, no inspections. So I will have a headlight and tail light and that is about it (but that is all my BSAs came with from the factory).

    Thanks for the info, I will do my best to keep this updated with pictures (threads with pics rule).
     
  8. Ebola Monkey

    Ebola Monkey XS400 Enthusiast

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    I revived one this summer for my wife...

    Biggest problem with them is the electrical system is shit. Damn thing can barely power the headlight, and tail light.

    As mentioned, BS34 carbs, jets, and everything available from mikes, or anyone else.

    Relaced a wider rim to the front hub, handles way better with a wider front tire.
     
  9. jigm400

    jigm400 XS400 Enthusiast

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    so cal
    Just as a heads up if you are talking about th bolt size on the OEM handle bar mounts they are (through the triple clamp) 12mm bolts necked down to 10mm thread. the thread pitch is 1.25. the triple clamp bolts (holding the fork legs)are 8x35s with a 1.25 thread pitch the bolts holding the handle bars down (through the upper handle bar mount) are 8x30 1.25 thead pitch. if you can get the bike together for a resonalbe price it is a blast to ride and gets great gas milage. carb rebuild parts are available even the slides. the big thing is you will have to choke the bike every time you start it, even if it is 100 degrees out side. but shut the choke of as soon as it runs through its high idle or you can foul the plug.
     
  10. 9c1cap

    9c1cap XS400 Enthusiast

    Adams I hear ya if I did that bike for myself it wouldnt look anything like that. I dont paint/polish my own shit! Just showin ya that the parts are out there if ya look, and it IS possible to make em roadworthy again without sinkin a bunch a loot in em....

    Craig
     
  11. Adams77

    Adams77 XS400 Member

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    Cool

    This is the last pretty bike I built.

    (sorry if I am breaking any rules....its a h0nd@) I had less than $600 in this one even after the $300 in powder coating.
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Travis

    Travis Staff Member Staff Member


    Prove it! with a video! :eek:

    Also very nice Honda! I don't know my honda engines very well? CB750?
     

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