1981 Yamaha XS400 Project

Scored a mostly in tact 1981 XS400 earlier this week for a steal.  Definitely a project but it looks like it’ll be back up and running (at very least) with not too too much work.  Anybody played around with one of these before?  I’m debating going street tracker or cafe on it.  I mostly ride around New York City and up into the catskills/mountains.  I’m looking to keep this on the cheap.  Things I know I need are a clutch lever (ordered), a battery, tires, and almost 100% gonna need some cables and gaskets.  I’m definitely doing a seat/bar swap as well.

Any advice on what you’ve all done before and had fun on?  My other bike’s a 2001 buell blast with a bastardized cafe set up and it’s a ton of fun.

The XS400’s have great little motors, I’ve always enjoyed mine. I typically prefer the 1977 XS400 models because they are a more standard style rather than a cruiser like the later years. But they are good all around bikes regardless. I wouldn’t go ‘cafe’ with a cruiser if I was you, they never look quite right. Just clean it up, make sure it runs/rides nice, and enjoy it as is!

Notes from a Reader:
I own the bike as well. The common thing with the XS seems to be Cafe Racer. I can’t wait till I have money to make it worth something. The only thing I’ve had a chance to do is throw straight pipes on mine and do minor fixing up from accidents.
The only thing I have to say specific to the XS400 that I’ve noticed is the headlight is terrible weak if you ride at night.

Evan Fell

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