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New xs400 owner. Need opinions to customize.

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by axle, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. axle

    axle XS400 New Member

    Hello all. I just bought a 1980 xs 400 in great shape for $300. It has 10,000 miles on it and nothing wrong except needs tires and the low beam is burnt out. I bought the bike to cruise around town on and save a little gas money. My problem is Im not crazy about the look of this bike. What I want to do is make it Into a bobber type bike on a low budget. I have a garage full of tools (including a welder) and im pretty handy. I have never built a bike before and need some info on where to start. I have a small list of what I want to change for sure. That includes handlebars, seat, blinkers and stock exhaust. I would like to go with straight (drag) bars, smaller saddle type seat, smaller blinkers or just cut the stock ones down so they don't stick so far out and maybe some straight pipes. I would like to keep the electric start and speedo and tach. I can spend some money but would like to keep it to a minimum. Thanks in advance and any ideas are welcome.
  2. Reaper

    Reaper Reaper Ramone

    Welcome aboard. I'd suggest looking through the photos and builds. We have everything here from stock resto, choppers, bobbers, cafe. The XS are one of those bikes where if you have the tools and some imagination you can do anything you want to it. Have fun with it, make it unique.
  3. jmd_forest

    jmd_forest Bldg 1980 XS400 Cafe Bike

    Reaper has some good advice. If you're not a designer, and especially if this is your first build, look at what others have done. If you see something you really like you can copy it, or simply use it as a starting point for your further customization. That's what I am currently doing with our (mine and son's) 1980 XS400. I know my limitations in that I am no designer but I am a good all around mechanic/body man. So .... we found a cafe build we liked and started a "tribute build". The original builder has been very helpful in providing details and answering questions. We've deviated a little from their exact build but it will still be reasonably recognizable as a "copy".
  4. axle

    axle XS400 New Member

    Thanks for the tips guys. Well so far I ordered a new chain and new tires. For the chain I ordered a "parts unlimited" heavy duty 530 102 links. Anybody have any thoughts on this chain? It was fairly cheap compared to a d.I.d and that makes me worried that it might not be the best quality? Also since this is not a sealed chain what is the best lube and how often? And for tires I went with a kenda challenger for the rear and a shinko 712 for the front. Got both tires for $100 shipped. Any reviews on these tires? Also I want some drag bars. What are the diameter of the stock ones and does anybody know where to find some fairly cheap (budget build) thanks again for the help!

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  5. drewpy

    drewpy Excess twin Top Contributor

    chain will be fine, I lube mine after every ride. 530 is a bit of overkill for these bikes so they last long.
    7/8" standard bars on these bikes
  6. Lazer400

    Lazer400 XS400 Member

    Try Craig's list for the bars. if you wanna go really cheap, just measure the length that you want, go to the hardware store and get a length of 7/8" steel. Drag bars are cheap and fairly easy to find. Motosport.com has them for $20. I just ordered some signals from them but the shipping is taking forever.

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