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Discussion Starter #1
Five years ago I was at my friend Mark’s house, he’s a moto guy and had a few bikes in his garage; he had this old Yamaha motorcycle that he needed to sell it and started it up for me. It kicked over and sounded fantastic.

This was before I ever had my first bike, but I was looking, and man... that was a great bike. I knew it was well cared for, I knew the history. It was a 1981 XS400. Basically stock but with a 2-1 exhaust. I even bought a Yamaha hat that day because I thought it was the right bike for me. It wasn't the right timing to buy that one; we were in the middle of an adoption so all extra funds went that way. So I unfortunately had to pass, and he sold it to someone else. I ended up buying a CB650SC (Nighthawk) that I took apart and rebuilt.

I'll always remember that Yamaha.

Fast forward to present day. My daughter and I are going to rebuild/restore an old bike for one of her homeschool electives. She will learn a lot in the process, plus it will be great time together. She's excited about the idea, and my wife wants a smaller bike she can ride (she is a bit short for my Versys). So it's a win-win-win situation.

I called another friend who seems to know everybody and everything and asked if he knew of any old bikes that would be right for the project. He mentioned a guy who had a bike, was moving and needed to sell it. An old Yamaha. I call the guy, ask a few questions, and drive out to see it. Way out. In the country, to a barn in the middle of nowhere, and this guy has an engine, a frame, wheels, and boxes of all the parts. And a title. We ended up knowing a few mutual friends as he was in the same industry as me. Then suddenly it clicked. I said “wait a minute... did you get this bike from (my friend) Mark?” He said “yes, how did you know?”

It was THE bike. As in the exact serial number etc, not just the same model. The exact one I had wanted to get years ago... sitting in boxes in a barn out in the country! The 1981 XS400. This guy had bought it back when I had seen it, and had gradually been taking it apart to do a bobber build. Fortunately he never got that far... He was also a rider and knew how to take a bike apart properly; everything labeled and separated.

Needless to say it's in my garage now! And for a stupid low price. Insane. It’s literally the perfect bike for this project. The engine has great compression, no leaks, the wheels, forks, carbs and tank are in good shape, and it even has a decent amount of spare parts. It'll need some new consumables but I'm so excited to bring it back to life. My daughter has already been researching the bike; I've given her some basic specs to look up. She gets to choose the colors but she has great taste so the end result will be awesome!


Yes, you can fit an XS400 in the back of a 4Runner...:)
 

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Check my instagram. I'm building a Yamaha diversion to a scrambler.
Peterscrambler
You can see how I strip the bike step by step. Good luck with the bike
 

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XS400.com is a great resource for these bikes. I spent a lot of time there before my V.
 

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I prefer to take things apart myself when working on anything. I baggy everything with labels, and take many photos.

Already in pieces sounds like putting together a jig saw puzzle. Hope it all goes well for you and your daughter. Home School elective? Never heard of that.

Where in Tennessee are you all?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
@twowheeladdict we're in Maury County. I agree... I'd rather take it apart but as I've done it before and know it was well cared for, that saves us a step in this case.

Home school is great; I already spoke with our umbrella program about how to turn this experience into class credit. It'll be something along the lines of "practical mechanics 101".
 

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