What did you do with your XS today?

The CB750 runner went to the shop Thuesday, so yesterday I picked up where I left the XS400 project.
The goal now is to clean up the handlebars, mostly from some earlier customizations from previous owner but I'm grabbing some more stuff when I'm there. Yesterday I got to the point of cutting cords inside the headlight. A bit scary, but I got rid of most of the non-OEM stuff and everything is labeled so it should go back togheter agian. Need to make a temporary controlpanel to test function while I'm moving along...
Pulled the '79 out of storage after 5 years of no action. New battery & fiddling for 20 minutes with the janky oem fuse box (glass tube fuses) and it fired up on the third revolution... on 5 year old gas! I did give the tank the 'ol smell test, and it smelled fresh, to my surprise. But, I was rather chuffed that it just ran without any drama after so long...

Now, to fix the blown out muffler.
I went for a ride to meet a fried at his place so we could go for a cruise together. I got there just fine but as i pull my clutch lever in to shift int 1st .......snap goes the cable. Well i learned something today if you are going to resurrect a basket case you are best off changing the important cables such as clutch throttle and break cable(if so equipt) Oh well no harm done just have to wait for a clutch cable I should have it next week.
Put 'er on the road for real for the 1st time in 20+ years.. front brake needs some more bleeding but its getting there. Meantime its a sweetheart of a bike, easy shifting and quite maneuverable- better than I was expecting. Not a lot of top end, I found I had to keep the rpms up and expect to gain speed at a more reasonable pace than my 1000cc suzuki does lol. Suspension is very comfy, mirrors good.

The big variable is how the tank comes out- POR15 liner curing till the weekend then I'll give that a try before sanding and painting. Its funky riding around without a proper tank just a little minibike tank hanging from the handlebars and a screw plugging the vacuum port lol- but I'm on a bike and anyone laughing is in a cage so I win anyway :)
View attachment 32636 Installed a toggle switch under the tank in order to eliminate the key switch. Pretty happy with how this turned out. I had to gut the ignition switch when I first got the bike because it came with no keys. No more pulling keys, knives or screwdrivers out of my pocket to turn off the bike!
My bike came without keys. I took it to a locksmith and he picked the lock and made a key.
Rather than just riding aimlessly, I have taken to navigating to points of interest to me using routes off of the beaten path. Lately those places seem to be historic ones. So, here is a pic of Trusty Rusty at the Revolutionary War monument to the Battle of Chestnut Neck near Port Republic NJ.

Perfect fall days are such a great time to be out riding.
My bike has been without a seat/helmet lock since I bought it. I finally found one from an XS650 that works with my key blank and after some cleaning, rust removal and painting it was put on the bike today.
Seat Lock.JPG

The best part - it is keyed to match my main switch and gas cap. I learned a lot about Yamaha keys and locks when working on this thing. I suppose that will have to be another post - eventually.
Just uncovered my 78 and fired it up. It was a little grumpy but it coughed to life and seems to be running well. I fired it up last back in January on a 20 deg F day and it was missing. Guess it was just too cold. About to taker it out for lunch for a pre-season shake down. And I don't want to jinx myself, but this is year 3.5 for the battery and it seems fine. I'll have to take note of the brand as it came with the bike, and I'd gladly get another as a replacement.
Trusty Rusty is back on the road for the season; better late than never. I also got my first "destination" ride in for the year with a visit to the Cedar Bridge Tavern site. This was the location of the last engagement of the American War for Independence which occurred between two local militias that were still duking it out for some time after the official surrender at Yorktown. Surprisingly well done information inside the building, but the only ways in are via packed sand (mostly) roads. I did end up in some soft stuff where inputs to the handlebars went vague and the rear wheel got used for steering, but I lucked out and managed to keep the bike moving and off of the ground. Once at the building I got off and took a pic while I let my sphincter relax.

Well...it's not what I did today but more so what I've done in the last couple weeks. My aftermarket speedometer went out on my '78 XS400 cafe build around June, 2022 as I was getting ready to move to a new home - with a seemingly endless list of other projects to get done around the property as well as other hobbies (woodworking and blacksmithing), the Yamaha took a backseat for a while. I figured it's been sitting long enough, I miss scooting around on it.

I replaced the speedometer cable, and after a bunch of troubleshooting including noticing the cable wasn't spinning when disconnected from the speedometer and manually spinning the front wheel, I identified that the two lugs of the speedometer drive were not engaging with the recesses of the wheel hub - I probably didn't have them lined up correctly at some point and flattened the lugs as I torqued the axle bolt. I went in with a screw driver and pried them up maybe 1/8" and bingo. I'm good to go...or so I thought... I dumped a bunch of seafoam in the tank hoping it would atone for the sins of not putting stabilizer in the gas for the last two years and took off. Honestly it ran like a champ...for maybe 1 mile...then I lost the right cylinder and had to limp home. I repeated this a few times and at exactly the same spot, I'd lose the right cylinder. Discussing with my father, he said it sounds like the coil is getting hot and shorting out. I replaced both coils and NOW I'm good to go. A couple days ago I cleaned a re-lubed the chain and I should probably do the same with the air filters - otherwise, I've had it out a couple times on 50mi cruises without incident and I can almost always fire it on one kick.

Upcoming plans include revisiting my speedometer & tachometer mount to better insulate against vibration as the gauge needles get pretty wonky after a while e.g. speedometer needle bounces between 55 - 65 as I'm cruising at steady speed. It's intermittent though - sometimes it's plenty stable. Additionally, I'm going to make a second attempt at making my own cafe style seat with the hump in back where I can stash the battery, regulator, fuses etc. I attempted this back around 2015 and screwed it up plenty...never went back to it.
Today I got in a nice ride and visited an aviation crash site in NJ. No, not the Hindenburg fire/crash site at Lakehurst, but another notable one from way back.

It is the site of the crash of Mexican aviator Emilio Carranza who was attempting to fly non-stop from NYC to Mexico City coming up on 96 years ago. He was using the same make of plane that Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic in and went down during heavy thunderstorms. The marker in the background was paid for by money raised by Mexican children and shipped to and erected in the NJ pine barrens at this spot where Carranza's body was found. Fortunately for me, the weather today was fantastic, and I make it home without any trouble.

For my fellow Americans - happy Independence Day! Enjoy, but be safe in your celebration and your riding.
Drove my 81 special to a new town about 45 minutes away. wanted to check out a fishing shop that fixes poles. not sure they will be able to fix mine. Bike did great. bought a new pole for taking on the bike.
I frequent another forum for my 3 wheelers, and they have a thread like this. Its kind of an on going thing, thought it might be cool here, Instead of " how do I clean and adjust my carbs"! lol Today I re-mounted my front turn signals and the chain gaurd, cause its shiny and my bike needed abit more bling! then I putted around the nieghborhood. Also adjusted the chain. Whos next?!! I just thought, Maybe I put this in the wrong spot, it might get more action in the garage?:shrug:
Rewired a new high/low and turn signal switch in, but I’ve also got a question, I’ve got a 79 xs400 and I’m wondering if anyone has a part number for the best iridium plug to use?