XS 400 cafe racer style...ish build


XS400 Enthusiast
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Northampton England UK
Hi All,

I'm Dan, live in the midlands, in Eng UK. Purchased a 1980 xs400 about 6 months ago and have started to build / convert into cafe racer thing. Lots of great info and ideas on hear. It's now slowly coming together, I'll share some pics. Sure I'll get stuck as in the past so will no doubt, shout out for help! I'm an electrician by trade but have very limited motorcycle / mechanical knowledge!

So far...
Engine was vapour cleaned, new gaskets and screws. Checked and valve clearances
Cabs cleaned, require re building
Frame modified and powder coated
Wheels painted
New tyres and rear sets
Wiring .....nearly sorted
Kickstart only
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Exhaust now on, wiring 95% done. Carbs back on. Tank and rear seat unit have gone off to paint. Not far off from kicking it over and hoping is does not go bang! I'll put up some more pics
I would replace those air pods with a set of black foam uni's if you must have pods. Those emgo pods are about the worst setup for these type carbs. If you still have the stock H-pipe intake boot, putting the uni's on them would be even better.
Hi Chris, good to know - thank you. And yes, I still have the boots. I see mikes also sell some pod type filters. Had issue today. When kicking the bike over the kick start does not seem to travel as far as it should. Neither does it spring back. Bit confused as I haven't done anything with this part. Engine was filled with new oil. And was working before engine was taken out. Need further time to investigate, but welcome any thoughts
Avoid pleated type filters unless they are real K&N filters that are oiled. Even then you should use the stock intake pipe. Black foam uni's work better. Stock boxes/filters are best but will defeat your "look". If your kick lever don't return the spring might be off inside. The are threads on kick lever issues in the forum as this has been covered many times. Just do a search.
Thanks Chris. Have read some posts, re kick start, so know where to start and hoping to solve when I have some more time over this weekend. Let you know how I get on
Got the kick start sorted, spring was in the incorrect position. Bike fired up! Needs fine tuning and as you suggest Chris will sort out the filters. Electrics all finished. Just need to source a suitable speedo / tachometer. Lots left to do but kinda on the home straight.....hopefully
IMG_0484.JPG IMG_0483.JPG Hi all, little help required please. I'm now wondering what carbs I have and if they are correct. My bike is a 1980 sohc (me thinks) Europe model. I ordered a carb kit but some parts do not fit and the gasket is different. They guys at the carb place had my frame number and said the bike was built in 77 and this was what I needed. Now little confused or fear I may have incorrect carbs, pictures below. Any advise mush appreciated


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Thank you, mine is a 2A2. Not sure what that means..as under US model. Maybe it was an import? But looks like it's a 400. Slight fear it may have had a lesser engine in! Checked all frame numbers etc when I purchased the bike. They all match. Are those carbs ok / correct? Thanks. Dan.
Thanks, the build is coming along. Taking too much time and money....I have neither! Also any more time in the garage I think my girlfriend may leave me! But on the home...ish straight. I painted the forks, disks and some minor accessory bits. Vapour blasting on the engine was bit steep price wise but needed doing as it was in a bit of a state. I've done all the spannering and electrics so fingers crossed it does not fall apart on me!
Link worked for me. The bike sounds a lot better than mine right now. I was waiting for some of the experienced guys to chime in re: the carbs you've got. It seems you've got the bike running well enough (even without fine tuning) with those carbs, so I'd see little need to change them out. In all likelihood they're original, but what do I know. I'm waiting on set of stock carbs for my own build.

What's your battery setup? Is that a lithium? Did you end up switching out the points for an electronic ignition?