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The adventure of a first bike and the young guy that owns it

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by unitedhow, Jul 11, 2013.

  1. unitedhow

    unitedhow XS400 Addict

    Just bought my first bike. I believe it is a 1980 xs400 special II based on the title, side cover, and drum brakes. It need some work but its what I expected for $400. It currently is not running. It has almost exactly 10,000 miles. It has a dent in the tank. Needs a battery. Carbs cleaned. New tires. New brushings under handle bars (new bars IMO). I know almost nothing about bikes or auto mechanics. I used to own a 1984 bmw e30 and did some work on that (replaced steering arm, valve adjustments, replaced clutch slave cylinder, basic maintenance, and upholstery, got it to pass deq :) so this is new ground for me. I appreciate any help or comments. I will post as often as possible with many pictures (this is also my first forum experience). Glad to have a place like this to get help. So please suscribe and lend me your expertise. This is the only picture I have so far

    image.jpg
     
  2. willem

    willem XS400 Guru Top Contributor

    welcome and congrats on the new bike. Looks like a nice xs. You're saying it's not running, but is it turning over at least? yea start with the carbs and a new battery, and check out this thread for some tips to get you started :)
     
  3. unitedhow

    unitedhow XS400 Addict

    Thanks for the input! I realized that I forgot to ask where to start in my intro post. That thread is going to be quite helpful.
     
  4. unitedhow

    unitedhow XS400 Addict

    So if I have this right when I change the oil and oil filter I should use 2.3 liters of 10w40 motorcycle oil that has MA on the bottle? Any suggestions on an oil filter/oil? I know a lot of guys are using shell rotella diesel but I think I might just do motorcycle specific oil (at least for this one).
     
  5. willem

    willem XS400 Guru Top Contributor

    can't go wrong with motorcycle specific 10w40 for wet clutches. As for the filter, you can get stuff from mikesxs.net or ebay or something.. Lots of stores have them, though.

    When you're filling up with new oil when you've drained the old and installed a new filter, fill it up first until you have it at the right level (in your sight glass) and start the bike. Give it half a minute to saturate the oil filter with new oil and turn it off, let the oil settle and check again. Fill up until at the right level again. Don't just throw in 2.3 liters basically.. But you probably knew this much already ;)
     
  6. willem

    willem XS400 Guru Top Contributor

    actually, you have a SOHC bike so 20W50 is recommended in the manual. And you have only 2 liters of oil in the engine.

    edit: reading back it was 20W40 recommended, but 10W40 would be better. :) still only 2 liters though, but don't just buy 2 liters of oil, it's better to have a little more
     
  7. xschris

    xschris XS400 Guru Top Contributor

    20w-50 (for wet clutches) for the oil and go by the dip stick with the bike on the center stand to check for fullness. Get a manual or download it off the site it will save you a lot of issues:wink2: Welcome to the forum:thumbsup:
     
  8. willem

    willem XS400 Guru Top Contributor

    yes of course the SOHC engines have dipsticks, not sight glasses :)
     
  9. Scorpio1963

    Scorpio1963 XS400 Guru Top Contributor

    Are sure Willem?I have sight glass and no dipstick.:wink2:Welcome enjoy the fun of the project and get her running.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2013
  10. overpl

    overpl XS400 Addict

    Hi and welcome ;] so you wrote that she is not running - can you tell sth more? Did you checked sparks?

    Or fuel?;DD
     
  11. xschris

    xschris XS400 Guru Top Contributor

    My 80 has both:laugh: SOHC 77-79 Just had the sticks. 80 had both I think and 81/82 just glass.
     
  12. Robsteeler66

    Robsteeler66 XS400 Addict

    I've got a sight glass on my SOHC. I think it has more to do with the year of the bike than anything.
     
  13. willem

    willem XS400 Guru Top Contributor

    thanks guys didn't know that yet. Then again, I know very little about the SOHC bikes, just that I think they look better but I'm happy mine is faster :p
     
  14. unitedhow

    unitedhow XS400 Addict

    I did not do any of the things mentioned. The guy told me it needs a battery and a carb clean/possible rebuild. I didn't know to do any of those other checks... I'm really new to this my license came in the mail today... I'm a little nervous now but I think it'll work out and I don't think that I'll lose out much if it doesn't work out. So I've decided that I should do a fuel filter, oil change, and battery then try and start it and go from there. Which leads me to three questions.
    1.does that sound like an ok plan?
    2.what battery should I get?
    3.where can I get one kinda cheap in the portland or area?
    Again thanks all for the input it's already been helpful for getting a feeling for what I've gotten myself into
     
  15. flornz

    flornz XS400 Enthusiast

    Welcome! Not too long ago, I was in your position. If you are intent on riding, you will learn a lot pretty soon, especially from here.
    It seems like you have a lot planned, but concentrate on one thing at a time. If the bike does not start, that's should be your priority (as oppose to the steering arm or upholstery). Check spark, compression, and fuel. Lots of help here on that, and the web in general.
     
  16. unitedhow

    unitedhow XS400 Addict

    Thanks for the encouragement. I will start there. Those are the basics aren't they? spark compression and fuel those are the essentials to a running engine? I won't be able to actually start working on it until tomorrow morning (I thought my job was a bummer before I had this project :) )
     
  17. flornz

    flornz XS400 Enthusiast

    Those are the essentials to be able to start the bike.
     
  18. Scorpio1963

    Scorpio1963 XS400 Guru Top Contributor

    Check any of your local bike dealers,if they dont have a battery for your bike in stock they can order one for you.
     
  19. overpl

    overpl XS400 Addict

    first of all go to Garage section and see one of the stick threads - manuals - find your manual there or by google - manuals from yamaha are pretty accurate and easy to read. For most things you need a basic toolset + parts;)
    Just start with batt, clean your carbs and check the jets - if they are damaged replace them. Also check seals and diaphragms.
    Check the sparks and check your fuel tap - the easiest do to is setting tap to PRI - this will open fuel even with engine off - so you will se does fuel tap is letting the fuel to carbs (don't forget to switch it to ON or RES after that!)
    Also when you will have your batt you will be able to figure does your starter even works - im not sure but your model should have also kick starter - Am I correct?
     

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