My First Bike


Beginning Rider
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North Carolina
Hey Y'all!

I've made an introduction post already. I didn't include any pictures, as the bike was in my dark basement, and I only had time to work on it at night. I've got it running, and is not in my garage! This is my first bike. I never rode anything but a TTR250 before this bike. I kept getting tickets for riding it on the road, so I found this, and love it!

The bike is a 1982 XS400 Heritage Special. When I bought it, the bike was only running on one cylinder. It had multiple small issues, like any 33-year-old bike would. I got a deal on it, is the only reason I got it. I come from a Harley family, but this bike caught my eye. Now I've rode it some, I love it!

Here are some pictures:






It has a few small problems left. It keeps flooding out as soon as I turn it on, and dumps gas out of the air filters. I ordered a carb rebuild kit today. The tires are bald and old, so I ordered new tires. They're in picture 5. Something caused the turn signal on the back to short out, and the amber lens melted. The pipes have some rust on them. The brakes aren't really the best. It has a big ole' dent on the tank. The seat latch is broke, and the seat won't latch. The headlight sucks! I don't drive at night at all, because of it. I broke the tag light lens. :doh:

I have some fair plans for it. I'm not really going all out custom with it, as I lack the skills of welding. I'm kind of restoring it, but not back to original. I'm going with some different handlebars. These I find are uncomfortable on fairly long rides. I want to go with some sort of different headlight setup. I'm not sure of my options, so I'm going to wait on that. I'm going to install a better bulb, and get a new adjustment screw. Someone rounded the head off on the current one. I want more brake lights, or better ones. I'll probably switch all the bulbs to LED. I've already done this to my truck. I'm going with chrome shorty turn signals. I'm going to get different pipes. The baffles are out of these. It doesn't sound bad, but the rust is ugly. In the winter, I'm going to tear it down. I'm going to have someone paint the tins for me, and I'm going to paint the frame myself. I'll have the guy pull the dent out of the tank. I will probably have the inside of the tank coated as well. I'm going to tear the motor apart then as well. Check out the inside, and replace all the gaskets. Replace anything that looks to worn. The bike only has 8,000 original miles on it! The valves will probably need adjusting.

I do have some questions.

Someone told me that it may need to be rejetted, due to my altitude. I'm only around 3000 ft. It also may need it because of the baffles being out. Is this true as well? If so, what jets do I need to get? I'm clueless about carbs. I'm learning as I go. When I rebuild it, do I just put it back on the bike? Or is there a process to it?

I'll probably have more questions or ideas. I'll post them as I go! As I add new things or fix old things, I'll definitely be posting some pictures.
I got the carb rebuilt, all except the floats replaced. I put the new tires on it as well. I have a 130-90-16 on the back. It is a very close fit.

I jumped on it to take it for a test drive, and it started flooding out again. Tore it apart, to find one of the carb floats had a small hole in it. So I ordered a new set of floats. They will be in tomorrow afternoon!

Still on the search for a seat latch. Found a few on eBay. Will probably end up ordering one this evening.
Thank you! Those are going on my truck probably next week. My truck is my main baby. It was my money pit before I got this bike!
I took her for a ride about 2 days ago. My ramp into my building is fairly steep to be riding up on a bike. It was wet when I was loading her back into the building. I slipped and she fell over (first time she's been laid over). Now I'm in search of a tank in decent shape, and I need to get some new turn signals. Perfect time to get the shorty signals!
It's a little rough. Unfortunately, the dent is in the front of the tank, closest to the forks. I would like to do some knee dents though!
I did have an F150 FX4. 2007 model. I sold it about a year or so ago, to buy a 2000 F350 7.3. I needed something with a little more pulling power. Now I don't need it anymore, and am considering selling it for another FX4! I go through vehicles a lot. haha!
Does anyone have any idea on how hard, labor extensive, and expensive it is, to convert from drum brakes to disk brakes? I really do not like drum brakes. It's a deal breaker when I'm buying a car. If my bike wasn't so cheap, it'd been the same case!


On the fronts, you will need different fork lowers along with the disc brake wheel, caliper and master cylinder. Also will need the disk brake axle.

Rears of course disc brake wheel, caliper and bracket. On the swing arm, a tab will need to be welded to hold the caliper brace. Not sure about the axle, but will need to check the spacers.

In my opinion so far on these bikes. Is the drum brakes if properly adjusted are all this bike will need. Unless you are doing some serious carving or racing the drums will stop just fine.
To be honest, I'm not the best at adjusting these brakes. My rear needs new brakes. I will need to get those on, and it will probably do just fine.
My bike is still having idling issues. The idle speed bounces around from 1100 to 2000. When I come up to a stop light with the clutch in, it will hang at 3k rpms unless I engage the clutch to drop the RPMs down. I'm clueless as to what it is. The carb has been rebuilt. I've put new vacuum lines on it. Any ideas?
My bike is still having idling issues. The idle speed bounces around from 1100 to 2000. When I come up to a stop light with the clutch in, it will hang at 3k rpms unless I engage the clutch to drop the RPMs down. I'm clueless as to what it is. The carb has been rebuilt. I've put new vacuum lines on it. Any ideas?

Have you synced the carbs with a manometer?
What I'm trying to say, is I release the clutch part way to bring the RPM's down.

I'm not sure what a manometer is, or how to go about doing that. I'm not used to carburetors.

Look it up:wink2: Lots of threads on carb syncing with one.