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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So guys I'm a noob as my name states. So I have never owned a motorcycle before nor have I ever ridden one, but I come to you guys today b/c I actually now own a 1982 Yamaha XS400 motor looks beat to hell. So I was wondering if anyone could possibly lead me into the right direction or give me advice on how to start working on it. I'm very limited in tools and I'll take pictures of everything as well. So I've tried taking it apart to clean it no luck as it has been sitting for a really long time before I had came across it on craigslist, no frame but I have a set of drum brakes, a front fork which from my aspect doesn't fit for some reason. A horn and yeah.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So guys I'm a noob as my name states. So I have never owned a motorcycle before nor have I ever ridden one, but I come to you guys today b/c I actually now own a 1982 Yamaha XS400 motor looks beat to hell. So I was wondering if anyone could possibly lead me into the right direction or give me advice on how to start working on it. I'm very limited in tools and I'll take pictures of everything as well. So I've tried taking it apart to clean it no luck as it has been sitting for a really long time before I had came across it on craigslist, no frame but I have a set of drum brakes, a front fork which from my aspect doesn't fit for some reason. A horn and yeah.

Adding to it I accidently hit the send button trying to take pictures and load them so I sent pictures of all that I have, please help. I'm trying to learn so I can savor my emotions and hold onto the feelings of great satisfaction when I'm riding that beast.
 

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Welcome by the way!

I think step 1 for me would be to find if the engine will physically turn over.
 

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You absolute madman/woman! I'm going to be watching this one. I can't even imagine putting a bike together from a pile of parts.
 

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Frame?


And welcome
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You absolute madman/woman! I'm going to be watching this one. I can't even imagine putting a bike together from a pile of parts.
Sit back and relax b/c I will be taking pictures as I progressively move through this project, hopefully some of you will still be here when it is finished.
 

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Oh you bet I'll be here! :) I'm good at bringing a bike back from the dead, but seeing one in pieces would keep me up at night.

I dig it, your finished product will essentially be built with your own hands. But yeah, first thing I'd do is see if it'll turn over. From there I'd probably look for a shop manual? It may help you find any parts you may not have.
 

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Oh you bet I'll be here! <img src="http://www.motorcycleforum.com/images/smilies/smile.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Smile" class="inlineimg" /> I'm good at bringing a bike back from the dead, but seeing one in pieces would keep me up at night.

I dig it, your finished product will essentially be built with your own hands. But yeah, first thing I'd do is see if it'll turn over. From there I'd probably look for a shop manual? It may help you find any parts you may not have.
I have a PDF of the owners manual but idk where to get a shop manual not very motorcycle places around where I live
 

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What you have is the SOHC motor. Single overhead cam. It makes about 3 horsepower. The DOHC XS400 makes 45 horsepower. D is for dual, or two. A 1983 XS400 Seca can be found complete and cheap. They also have a front disc brake which is nice. It will stop better than the drum brake but not as good as twin discs.
I paid $250 for my 83 XS400. Two new tires will cost that much. Even with a complete bike there will be work to be done, but not as much as getting that engine running. New coils and other electric parts will cost you more than the $250 I spent. Other bikes in that size range are the CM400 Honda, a 450 Suzuki which would be nice, and a Kawasaki. All can be found for cheap.
They usually need the carbs cleaned and fresh gas.
All these old bikes need new bearings: Steering head, both wheels and swing are. Plan on about $500 to $700 to get all the important bits replaced. Many guys and girls here, can help you. You will need a new battery and probably some light bulbs as well.

UK
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
What you have is the SOHC motor. Single overhead cam. It makes about 3 horsepower. The DOHC XS400 makes 45 horsepower. D is for dual, or two. A 1983 XS400 Seca can be found complete and cheap. They also have a front disc brake which is nice. It will stop better than the drum brake but not as good as twin discs.
I paid $250 for my 83 XS400. Two new tires will cost that much. Even with a complete bike there will be work to be done, but not as much as getting that engine running. New coils and other electric parts will cost you more than the $250 I spent. Other bikes in that size range are the CM400 Honda, a 450 Suzuki which would be nice, and a Kawasaki. All can be found for cheap.
They usually need the carbs cleaned and fresh gas.
All these old bikes need new bearings: Steering head, both wheels and swing are. Plan on about $500 to $700 to get all the important bits replaced. Many guys and girls here, can help you. You will need a new battery and probably some light bulbs as well.

UK
So your advice is to simply just get a bike already built and work on it from there? That's nice and all I'm trying to get the experience of being a shop maker though. If you think I can get that same feeling from tearing one down and rebuilding it then I'll consider it b/c it does sound easier.
 

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So your advice is to simply just get a bike already built and work on it from there? That's nice and all I'm trying to get the experience of being a shop maker though. If you think I can get that same feeling from tearing one down and rebuilding it then I'll consider it b/c it does sound easier.
My post above should say 37 horsepower for your engine.
I think you will find there is enough work getting a complete bike running properly. And cheaper. Very few take engines apart anymore. I simply bought another engine for fine.
By the time you replace all the bearings, clean the carbs, get spark from the plugs, change the tires, and do a bunch of unexpected stuff, you should have a sense of accomplishment. Then you can go riding. Get another bike to work on after that. I just think it is best to get riding in a short and cost effective manner.
I also have a mint 1980 XS1100 that has been sitting since 1992.
All the pieces at the beginning, is the best plan IMO.

UK
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So your advice is to simply just get a bike already built and work on it from there? That's nice and all I'm trying to get the experience of being a shop maker though. If you think I can get that same feeling from tearing one down and rebuilding it then I'll consider it b/c it does sound easier.
My post above should say 37 horsepower for your engine.
I think you will find there is enough work getting a complete bike running properly. And cheaper. Very few take engines apart anymore. I simply bought another engine for fine.
By the time you replace all the bearings, clean the carbs, get spark from the plugs, change the tires, and do a bunch of unexpected stuff, you should have a sense of accomplishment. Then you can go riding. Get another bike to work on after that. I just think it is best to get riding in a short and cost effective manner.
I also have a mint 1980 XS1100 that has been sitting since 1992.
All the pieces at the beginning, is the best plan IMO.

UK
Ok so I will try but I can't find even a frame around where I live less than 1g. That's why I figured I'd try and start from scratch if I'm going to pay that much might as well but if it's easier to learn on a system already there then I'll try it.
 

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Ok so I will try but I can't find even a frame around where I live less than 1g. That's why I figured I'd try and start from scratch if I'm going to pay that much might as well but if it's easier to learn on a system already there then I'll try it.
Good plan. There are others here who have found " barn finds " There are hundreds of them out there. Just need to do some searching. The good news with the smaller bikes, is they did not get crashed as much as the bigger bikes. And they are better to work on, and learn to ride on.

UK
 
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