New guy to street bikes


XS400 Enthusiast
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Olympia, WA
Hello guys! My name is mike, and i just picked up a pretty nice 81 400xs special ii from a guy at work for $100. this is my 1st ever street bike, even though i have ridden dirt bikes and quads for a handful of years. this bike seems really solid, and i love the way it sits and how wide it feels with the parallel cylinder engine, i cant wait to ride it!
anyways, im looking forward to getting this thing up and goin. trying not to really make any plans other than that, for now...
couple pictures......


she's a little...uh....grimey?...but ill get 'er cleaned up soon. needs new headlight bucket, and rear blinkers. seat. clutch cable. and the guy thought it was HILARIOUS to put the ford stickers on it. yea.....
a have turn signals of your intrested in trading something or a purchase. i also have a lot of other stuff too. maybe a headlight bucket. i dont remember if its cracked or not tho
thanks volcom, ill keep that in mind! hopefully after this weekend ill know where the first batch of money is gonna go. im *trying* not to buy any of that stuff until i know it doesnt need major engine work or something, haha.
it supposedly runs. im going to spend this morning flushing the oil and gas, and i gotta run and get a new battery. then hopeully i can get 'er fired up!
well, i didnt get as far as id like. i had to buy a new battery, and since i had to put in the acid and charge it, it just got fully charged as of last night. so today hopefully!
things i did do are replaced the clutch cable, even though i had to drill out a stud that the previous owner stripped out. and i cleaned out the old nasty gas, which was kind of a honey color.... gross. im hoping the carbs arent gummed up, but im not holding my breath. thanks for the advice with the spokes, ill make sure to go over them thoroughly!
If the gas was that bad in the tank, I can almost guarantee you that the carbs are going to be nasty! You might as well check them over before you even try to start it. Add an inline fuel filter while your at it. You already mentioned changing the oil and it might be a good idea to get a little lube in the cylinders and turn it over a few times by hand depending on how long it's been sitting. Keep us posted!
ok, cool. any particular filter to use? or just get a general one from a parts store? also, i know my quads have like 3 bolts that you have to pull to drain the oil, are these bikes like that too or is there just one drain plug?
well she turns over great with the new battery, and all the electrics work that i can tell. gettin spark, and i took off the air filters, but its not getting any gas. pulled the plugs to confirm. so now to rebuild the carb. fun! any tips on that?
well she turns over great with the new battery, and all the electrics work that i can tell. gettin spark, and i took off the air filters, but its not getting any gas. pulled the plugs to confirm. so now to rebuild the carb. fun! any tips on that?
I would try to clean the carbs before commiting to rebuild. They probably just need a real in depth cleaning. Just take them both fully apart (although I would suggest leaving them together in the rack, so you dont mess with the sync), and clean everything. I usually just use carb spray and compressed air to blow out the passages. There are many products on the market that you can dip the carbs in to clean also. Take a look at all the jets, slides, etc. to make sure they arent beaten up too bad. If they are, has rebuild parts and they are a great company to deal with (from my experience). also stocks rebuild parts, but I havent personally dealt with them. Let us know if you need anymore help, and be sure to post the results. I hope you can get this thing running!!
Nice little ride, just go over the carbs, take your time and check them out, they are the most technical aspect of the hole bike once tuned and sync they work fine. Have fun, most of the members have done and dealt with these for years, they have a lot of knowledge and experience working and tunning these machines. I have read many technical posts from other forums and has helped me a lot. Enjoy the re-build and happy riding, keep us posted. Have a great day:bike:
hardtailed, i definitely think a thorough cleaning would be better than a tear down and rebuild, at least right now. "supposedly", the guy i bought it from had them rebuild only months before it sitting for 4 years, so hopefully things are just gummed up or something. i will for sure look into the dip in cleaners, i like that idea.
silent, yea ive never really messed with carbs before and am anxious to learn! thats the best thing about having a great forum to be on, there is soooo much information at hand! thanks again guys, hopefully i can get to these tomorrow (friday) night!
Hey nice little project you got there, could you tell me being that your headlight wires are already explosed what color wires are running to the headlight , the bulb itself that is > Got a project that this info would help for .