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VIN question

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by chkm8, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. chkm8

    chkm8 XS400 Student

    So I'm a little confused. My bike is badged (sidecovers and tank) as an '81 Special II or XS400SH, but the VIN starts with 4R5, which should be a Standard or XS400H, right?
  2. My list shows a 4R5 as an 81 XS400H.

    It also shows the 81 Heritage Special (XS400SH) as 4R4.

    Not sure about the 81's but the 82 Heritage Special had black fenders, forks, brake & clutch levers, foot peg brackets, etc. If yours still has a lot of shiny stuff my guess is that it started out life as an XS400H and the VIN is correct.

    Don't forget we are dealing with 30 +/- year old bikes here. Could have been a lot of Bubba's had it before you and some of them may have "Improved" it.
  3. chkm8

    chkm8 XS400 Student

    Mine has the wire wheels, drum brakes, pull back bars, so I can believe it's a Special II. So maybe my question should be whether or not the Special II and the Heritage Special were both XS400SH or if the Special II was an XS400H? BTW, the frame and the engine match and both are 4R5.
  4. So here is a thread that coincidentally I started about a week ago.


    I would say that based on that thread and what you are telling me that you have a base model, not a Heritage Special. The side covers and tank badging are pieces that could have been easily and likely damaged then replaced over the years from whatever parts were available. Those are among the most vulnerable pieces if the bike was ever dropped.

    Here are two pictures of 82 Heritage Specials that are about 200 numbers apart on their VIN's and were virtually identical in appearance. The one with the top box is my regular driver and the other one was a parts bike that I no longer have.

    Attached Files:

  5. chkm8

    chkm8 XS400 Student

    Hmm...well, I know it's not a Special (no mags or disc brakes). So what is the difference between the Standard and the Special II? Sounds like the Special II was just a standard with different handlebars?
  6. chkm8

    chkm8 XS400 Student

    If it helps, I do also have chrome fenders, not blacked and it is the awesome blue color.
  7. You are getting beyond my area of expertise as I am only really familiar with the 82 Heritage Special but check out the list here;


    Often lists like this come from different sources and are incomplete or inaccurate but this list only shows two XS400's for 1981, an XS400H (4R5) and an XS400SH (4R4). There is no mention of a Special II on it.

    I think that somewhere else on this forum thare is another list as well but I can't seem to find it t the moment.

    Maybe someone else can jump in here. :shrug:
  8. chkm8

    chkm8 XS400 Student

    It's a start at least, I appreciate the help so far.
  9. Flexeril

    Flexeril XS400 Addict

    Thanks 63-coupe for posting that site. It helped me id my xs400. Now I can go hunt for that owner's manual I need.

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