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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone! I'm new to motorcycling and recently picked up a 1982 xs400 Seca. I had it out a few days ago and noticed that it seemed a bit wobbly. Got it home tossed it up on the center stand, with engine off, spun rear wheel and noticed a slight wobble. Started the bike up, put it in gear and saw the same thing. The wheels are cast aluminum and I can't see any noticeable deformation. Not sure if it's bearings, swing arm related, etc... Also not sure if it's something that I can tackle or if I'd be better off having it done by a shop. Any and all help is greatly appreciated!

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the quick replies. Tire is a Metzeler. Its dated from midway through 2018 and still has tons of tread left. I'll take a look at the bead line here shortly. Should I just remove tire, drop PSI and try to reseat the bead? If that doesn't do it, remove tire, reinstall wheel on bike and check that it's true? Then if all else fails take it to the pros?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yep you guys were right here's the left side of the tire if you're sitting on the bike. Right side looks pretty uniform. I hadn't noticed it too much prior to a few days ago, but I also don't really have anything to use as a metric for what a "good" condition bike should be lol. So I'll remove the tire, pop the bead on that side, soap and water the tire and bead and seat it correctly. Any tips on getting it seated as it should be?
60316
Tire Yellow Tape measure Automotive tire Automotive wheel system
60317
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Krusty!
I thought all Xs400rj/k s were DOHCs? But yes mine is. It's a six speed and I can't give a definitive answer on the 60mph rpms as my tach crapped out about 300 miles ago. It ran when I first picked the bike up for a brief period before it started screaming like a wild banshee. It sounded like the bike had a kazoo as the tach...definitely got a lot of funny looks ? . I had to replace the speedo as well and noticed that the back of housing was cracked on both of them where the cables attach so I assume the gears slipped and it stripped out.

Going to try to reseat the tire hopefully in an hour or so, but have a few other priorities to square away first. Would love to have taken it out today (60 here in Ohio today!) But not sure if I'll get everything wrapped up in time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Okay quick update. Removed tire, broke bead, lubed tire and tried to re-seat the bead. I didn't hear an audible pop, but no air seemed to be leaking from around the tire. Should I remove again and try to re-seat until I hear the pop? The bead lines looked a lot better than before but still not quite perfect. I reinstalled the wheel onto the bike, and still noticed some wobble. Debating whether or not to take it to a shop so that they can check that the rim is true and properly seat and balance tire. I'll be out of town this weekend and won't have time to tinker until the first of next week. I guess that'll give me the weekend to decide whether or not I want to wuss out :rolleyes:.

HOG & SF- I brushed on a bunch of tire lube, maybe I should have used more? Or it just didn't seat? Do you pull the tire to clean the rim? There was some buildup that may have inhibited from seating correctly, I may try to pull tire clean the rim a little better and re-seat.

UK- I've found a few places that have the cables here's one on amazon https://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-341-83560-01-00-TACHOMETER-CABLE-341835600100/dp/B00AJQJNYY assuming the '82 and '83 used the same cable. Ebay also has used ones but not sure how much life they'd have in them. I found a NOS tach on ebay for $140 and haven't been that desperate to pull the trigger yet lol. I've had a blast on the bike so far. I've replaced fork seals, rebuilt front caliper, new brake lines (old lines were the originals from '82 :oops: and my were they spongy), replaced master cylinder, switched out to LED lights, and maybe a few other small things that escape me. Did you replace your rear mono shock at all?

Thanks again for all of the information!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Quick update, and happy New year! Took the tire to the shop and had them balance and take a look at it. When they seated the bead it never popped. He rebalanced on machine. One of my chain adjuster bolts was bent so I picked up a new one as well. Put the tire back on the bike, tried to adjust to least amount of wobble. Torqued everything to spec, started bike and the wobble was still there. I took off the chain guard and noticed that one section of the chain looked like it had an inward bend so I pulled the chain, brushed the worst of the grime off and left to soak. Without the chain on I spun the tire and noticed what may have been some lateral movement between the sprocket and frame.
May just be because the axle isn't currently torqued to spec? I'm going to head back out to the garage shortly, clean the rear hub assembly/sprocket, brush and lube chain again and try to get it all back together before next year! Will update after that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Thanks HC and UK! Been a busy week with work,etc... I'm kind of thinking about going ahead and getting a new set of tires. Going to take advantage of my day off today and do some proper internet surfing and try to find some tires. Both seem to have plenty of tread left but the front is 5 years old ('15) and the back is an '18 and not popping.
With that being said, how often do you replace your tires? Only once the tread warrants it? I read in Lee Parks' Total Control that the rubber compounds start to become more rigid and that it's best to replace on a sport bike about every 3 years and around 5 on a cruiser (is this because a cruiser generally doesn't push the traction limits as much as a sport bike?) Chain has been thoroughly cleaned and soaking in the manual's recommended 10w-30 for a few days.
Going to try hair dryer trick to see if it'll pop. Has anyone tried the zip-tie trick for removing/ installing tires?

Anyhow, thanks again for all the info and will continue to update.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Back again, finally got some tire irons and got the tire off and the inside of rim had a lot of hard goo dried into it. I used a Dremel with a brass brush the get the worst off until my brush crapped out. Then used some cleaner and some #0000 steel wool to get the worst. There did seem to be a lot of build up where the bead wasn't seating so wondering if that wasn't simply the cause of tire not wanting to seat.

Before:
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After:

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Still not 100% crud free but about 400x better than what it was. I then installed the wheel and chain back onto bike.


Still not sure if that chain "snaking" is normal but the rim seems pretty good (aside from bike vibration) I think??
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Thanks for the info and opinion! I'll try to find time tomorrow after work to get the tire on and check those bearings. I'm hoping they're good ?. I do have the service manual and will definitely check out procedure in their if I do replace. The manual is great but doesn't offer much in the form of technique.

I just had the chain soaking in 10w-30 for about 3-4 days after a thorough scrubbing, I think it may just be a slight optical illusion when the master passes, or the master link causes a slight twitch when it hits sprocket?

On the bearings could you use 3/4" or 1" PVC/ Cu tubing with cap. Not sure of size but maybe even the female end of a coupler would be similar to outer diameter?
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
So I checked the bearings they felt smooth but may replace before too long. I reinstalled the old tire and still saw some wobble while it was on the center stand, but it was much more subtle. Put everything back together and took it for a ride today finally. I got up to 75-80ish and didn't really notice any appreciable wobble. It may be that the tire is just deformed? I'm still waiting on new tire to get here and will update once I get that spooned on. Thanks again for all the insight!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Finally got the new tire on today, still not hearing the "pop" but the tire runs super smooth and the grip feels much better. Took it for a year ride after getting it installed. The rain started coming down pretty good about 10 minutes into the ride but the new tire hung onto the twisty roads. Hopefully going to swap the front tomorrow afternoon once I've got some free time.

On a side note I've got, what I'm going to assume, is a nice little air bubble in my front brake lines. I have to pump the front once or twice to achieve compression. Ive tried the ziptie method to try to purge bubbles through reservoir. Firm when I first cut it but then gets a little worse. Hopefully get that sorted out tomorrow as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 · (Edited)
Thanks for the info! Makes sense but I didn't think about the break-in period for the tires first. I guess what I meant by sticky was the rubber itself seemed a lot more pliable than what was on the old ones. I wasn't going too fast, speed limit was 55 and I tended to slow way down for a lot of the curves. Most of the roads here in SE OH can get pretty twisty and an unfamiliarity tends to lead to some panic over blind hills followed by sharp turns at higher speeds. How long/ many miles would you say it generally takes to break in the tires?

Like I said before, new to all of this so I have very little experience riding/ riding in the rain under my belt. Only around 500ish miles in the mostly dry. I try to put in an hour doing swerves, u-turns, low speed maneuvers, emergency stops ( only up to about 30-35ish mph for now), some trail braking, etc. every time I head out. Almost got a knee down doing circles in a lot the other day, well... at least dragged a peg for two microseconds. we I'd like to think that being a bit older than most novice riders left me a bit conservative on the throttle. I've also never been on the bike on that road and once it switched from a steady rain to a mist I couldn't see much. A true learning experience ?. On a side note I found out that my jacket isn't completely water proof!

Hopefully get the front spooned on later today, swap my bleeder screw on the front caliper and purge any air in the line. Krusty, I'll let you know how the tires hold up and at higher speeds once I get them broken in. Yesterday I only got up to about 60-65 on the straights.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Thanks Krusty! That was my plan with the circles. Not trying to emulate the gp guys on the road ?but it is nice learning the limits in a more controlled environment and getting comfortable with lean angles. I found a guy in Germany on eBay that had a tach for buy-it now of $140 u.s. but I haven't pulled the trigger on it yet. A few other expenses have gotten in the way. I thought about getting aftermarket speedo and tach but put $100 in and got the NOS speedo so probably going to stick with the NOS tach.

I do practice counterbalancing on slow maneuvers and u-turns but haven't thought to apply it in the rain. Thanks for the tip there. I plan on taking a few classes but none are available in my area over the winter. So far my learning had come from a few decent youtube channels and reading David Hough and Lee Parks and trying to emulate the practice advice they give. That and the years of bicycle commuting I've done.

I do love the smaller displacement bike and don't really have too much of a desire go larger for the time being. My skill level definitely does not exceed the ability of the bike and the added fuel economy is a big plus. In the next handful of years I would like to add either a Himalayan or TW200 to the garage because I like their looks, mechanical simplicity and they're both fairly inexpensive. I know the 200 would be a substantial step down in terms of power but the ideal of adventure that it offers is tempting.
I don't really plan on riding two up, unless in a pinch so the bigger displacements don't (currently) appeal to me as much.

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Here's a few of the bike from this past weekend in the middle of nowhere. Last owner painted it, dropped it and creased the right side of tank. Most of the paint is okay but I don't think he prepped any of the old. It was originally a red one. Once the weather warms up I'd like to put some filler in and smooth it out and repaint (tank and some of the plastic side covers at the least) if I get the time, money and gumption. Would love to see yours too! Now I've got to stop procrastinating and get out to the garage and get that front tire on sort out the air in my brakes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
SF the 400 came in two packages. The single cylinder plain Jane, and the DOHC of the Maxim and Seca. I've heard the DOHC are better motors but the single cylinders had a longer production run and seem to have a cult following in West Europe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
Good price! I got mine for $600, needed the speedo and shortly after the tach and most other consumables. Rear drum still grabs really well but I have a set of shoes and springs to replace. I'd like to get a new tank at some point possibly down the road as this one has been coated and is a bit dinged up. They seem tough to find but I've heard stories of people finding them at old dealerships.

Interestingly enough I found a '82 600 Seca for grabs for $500 on CL. Had I had a little more time and money on my hands it'd probably be sitting in the garage now ?. Don't know much about them but just to add to the Seca collection lol.

Just ordered the tach off of eBay. I'll keep you posted as to what revs/speeds I'm getting once I install it. Might be a bit as the only one I found is shipping from Greece...

Krusty, I noticed the Canadian flag, do you still ride in winter?
 
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