Project Yamaha XS400 Bobber


XS400 Member
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Western Australia - (South West)
Just picked up this 1980 Yamaha XS400. Its a runner but not registered, previous owner had it on club plates.

50k on the clock, everything works as it should, this model came with the electric leg in addition to the kick start.

First up will be a run over the pits after I get a new rear hoop and tidy up a few small issues.


I had been looking for a project for some time and then this came up. I had initially wanted to go down the Cafe path but on further research found some great examples of bobbers and choppers and I was hooked.


This build is my first and I imagine it will take a long time so, let the fun begin.

This is the style I am chasing and my inspiration for the project.
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Got some work done on the bike over the weekend in readiness for the license inspection Tues

Oil Change
New rear tyre fitted by hand, old enduro skills come into play.
Sorted the Tacho, if this passes the pits I will explain
Secured the seat, dodgy of course.
Degreased the beast and gave her a good clean.

This is where she is at now, all going well it passes inspection and the real build starts.

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Some good inspiration there Mizer, those Japanese custom guys know how to knock out a mean SR.

Good luck with your build mate :thumbsup:
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Cheers Drewpy.......

Well the bike failed inspection today for steering head bearings and an incorrectly adjusted chain and rear drum brake (tho they appear fine to me)

No biggie it could have been pinged for a whole lot more I suppose.

Now to order the bearings, then adjust up the chain and brake for another try
Pulled the front end apart and the bearings went every where, found them all but one. Was a new one for me as I have only ever replaced caged roller bearings.


How close should the bearings be when sitting in the race? to me there is a lot of play.
19 top 19 bottom, or replace with tapered which are a better bearing but sit a bit higher than standard.
OK so I went for the second inspection, guy passed it straight away.

Off to get the rego, am now told at this point I need proof of purchase from previous owner. Faaaaaaaaark me! emails, faxes and phone calls latter all sorted.

So she now has a spanky new plate and I can legally take her for a spin.

Prior to running it over I sorted a few problems and some in true dodgy style.

Cable tied the seat down as the retaining latch is worn beyond repair.

Purchased some new loose ball bearings for the steering stem, cleaned up the existing races then greased them up. Dropped in the new bearings and put the front end back together. Jumped on eBay and brought some roller type bearings for the actual rebuild.

The tacho cable on the bike was screwed and to be honest the gauge looked like crap, I had no intention of running a tacho so the solution was easy. I pulled it apart and binned the guts, then simply painted the back of the glass black and put it back on the bike.................what tacho? it never had one

I may be tempted to ride her for the next month or two before the strip down ........

So that’s all sorted, now for the next phase.......
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I can just see you now, cruising on the bike listening to vintage AC/DC! (Bon Scott was the best)

riding on the highway, going to a show.......
i used to watch all the 80's shite aussie films just coz they had AC/DC soundtracks. If it were a road type movie, they would be in it!
Fella hasn't posted any updates since 2012. Wish he would, looks like he had a good start. Bars looks like straight broom stick. You can make those with some pipe easy.....he's from western Austrailia, maybe the dingo ate his baby?
There are a lot of threads like this. Someone starts a build, gets tired of it and moves on/sells it.
haha!!! yea I just purchased an 81 xs400 and no nothing about bikes so im just gathering ideas about how im going to bob it.
These bikes are easy to learn how to work on. This guy looks like he had installed a rear tire that is extreamly too big for a chain to fit....just my observation.