college kid with a dream (1977 xs400)

What should i do to the tank?

  • Bare metal with clear?

    Votes: 23 43.4%
  • Bare metal with gold or red stripe?

    Votes: 21 39.6%
  • or save myself some time and just paint it!

    Votes: 9 17.0%

  • Total voters
Man that is a sick car!!! did you build it yourself? I would to love to have one some time down the road but there are a lot of other bikes and cars I have to get first.
Hey dude, sick xs400. Im an engineering student in college and know exactly what building a bike is like with a time and money budget. My 350f is taking 4+years but im gettin there. Funny cause you have some similar ideas than I had like the rising sun guard for the carbs (i went with a no parking sign instead) and cheap tail light..
Thanks I like the idea of using a sign for the "mud" guard! And ya building a bike on school can kinda suck. all the good tools are back home in my dads shop but im working through it. The XS is on the home stretch but I just got a 73 SL350 the other week and got it running last night but the clutch is stuck so iv got to rebuild it today.

What school do you go to? Im a businesses and commuter info systems major at Western Carolina. My roommates are both engineering and there is no way I could do all that math, but I use CAD all the time and would love to work in the field but who knows.
I go to school for Mechanical Engineering Technology at a small state school in NY. It helps to know how to use CAD and have basic machining skills when building your own bike. I was fortunate enough to take two years of welding before college at a trade school. So, that has been very beneficial as well. Engineering is very time consuming. Then, throw in Air Force ROTC and you have limited time to work on your two wheeled love.. sucks. Keep on keepin on'. The end product is worth the hard work and dedication.
I wish I had the welding training! Thinking of taking some classes in welding with my dad after school. Its going to be kinda nice to move back home my dad is really into cars and bikes and he is going to to retiring when i graduate and he just got the door on are 4 car shop! So we will have lots of projects going! Im thinking of getting a cheap dual mig welder maybe for Christmas for myself! Im never going to weld anything crazy so a small welder would be fine. Just something to learn on and be able to take with me places and plug into any socket.

As far as the bike goes haven't been ridding because the battery is flat... Looks like another $40 battery into the budget! But im also hopping to have the bike inspected tomorrow someone is coming to inspect the other project a 1973 SL350 I think he will do them both at the same time. So that means I should be getting my title back soon!
Well its taken a few days to get over the shell shock but the XS400 is broken... Went for a ride last week and did around 15 miles and then I went to down shift in a 35MPH zone and the shiftier was stuck!! it wouldn't move up or down.... So I limped the bike home in 5th gear and after playing with everything I have determined that it a issue inside the case witch means a full rebuild...

I was wanting to rebuild the bike one day but not so soon.. So now im looking into rebuilding it and what kind of cost I will be looking at. Just the piston rings from Yamaha are $120 for 2 sets! that's kinda crazy! So ill keep yall in the loop but looks like things slow down from here.
Well looks like Iv found my issue with the XS! I spent some time looked at the online manuel so I could get an idea of what a rebuild on the bike was going to look like. This is when I found that the XS has a shifting selector in the clutch side cover. I didn't know that that was there, iv pulled off that cover before but never saw it because it was hiding behind the clutch basket. So I though my issue might be with that and not the selector arms in the tranny so I had nothing better to do so I pulled off the clutch side cover. I had changed the oil only 50-100 miles before and the new oil was already black so I don't know what that means... But off came the clutch witch was an easy job and there was the shifting mec. At first It looked fine and I played with it and saw no issue with it at all. But after I worked the shifter on the other side of the bike looking down at the mec. I saw that there was a stud on the back side of the selector that was getting caught on a screw! There was my issue!!!

Here is the shifting selector that hides behind the clutch

Here is the culprit!

And here is the damage
So I can't help but share because we are extremely similar and our bikes oddly enough are pretty similar as well even though I only just stumbled across this. I too am a college kid who came across a 77 xs360. I think its kinda funny that both out seats started off as skateboards. Anywhoo good luck to ya, and I'll be watching.


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Thanks foppert, and it is a small world, but hopefully at the end of next semester I wont be a college kid anymore!

As for the bike Iv got it home now so it will stay dry and safe over the winter. So no more little tinkering and short blast through the mountains till spring. My next project for the bike will be a new headlight I picked up at a junk shop the other day. It looks very slimier to your headlight foppert. Its a fog light from a car from I would have to say the mid to early 50's. Its a 6v but I believe I can replace the 6v sealed bulb and get a new 12v one. The biggest thing about the light is the clear lens, most bulbs are not clear but have shaped glass to bend the light. This light is clear as a bell witch looks grate!!
Lol my headlight was originally off a Meyers manx dune buggy, so I'm stuck with whatever sealed beam i can find. But i love the idea of an old automotive headlight it should look great. How did you mount the key in the triple tree like that, im curious because i just built a set of clip ons and am looking to relocate the ignition.
Nice you got to love putting car parts on bikes!

As far as the key switch it was really easy. I made the plate that I mounted the gauge and lights to. The switch has a rubber boot that goes around it that you have to remove then it will fit in the hole. As far as mounting it the switch has two screw holes in the bottom of it for mounting it to the stock location. I was able to drill a new hole in the plate that I mounted the gauge to and hold the switch in place. The other tab on the other side of the switch I grinned off because it stuck out and hit the tank when turning all the way to the right.

Here in my little plate


And here is a close up. Don't have a pic of the back side.


As for the head light here is a quick look at it!



As you can tell from the stock headlight the reflective film in the back of the bulb is warped from rust under it so it does not give off a good beam and is dim to start with and is useless when it gets dark. I would love to be able to stay out at friends when im on the bike but with that light its just not safe to. So instead of buying a new $50 crappy bulb to put back in it I found this sweet headlight for $10 and Iv found I can put a new modern bulb in it for another $10 So for $20 and some time I can have a better looking brighter light!

But that's going to have to wait until I can get home to work on it. Im also going to install a new short front brake line(thanks to my brother for Christmas) and get rid of that huge long ugly stock one. And while im tearing apart the whole front end of the bike anyway om going to rebuild the forks with new seals. Im also thinking about powder coating the wheels at the same time (the bare metal wheels gets grease on them from the chain and you CANT get it off! so with a shinny coat of powder the grease will wipe right off!)
Looking good so far man. I like the build. Nice and simple, but stands out and looks quite raw too.
Thanks iGreek! Should be on the final leg of the build now. Hopping to have it done by summer.

Got to ride for a little last weekend, also got some shots of it with my 35mm B&W


This one I missed focus on the enlargement... Ill have to give it another go!

Just more pic while I wait for it to warm up so I can bring the bike back up to school


and a kool shot of my dads BMW
Hey you happen to have a link to the eBay seller from which you purchased the clip ons?

Also did you happen to keep the template for your new gauge mount? I'm digging it and have the exact same speedo on my 78 xs400
Hey njcafe84 I love my lil speedo just wish I had a tac some times...

As far as mounting it I didn't keep the template that I used... But I do have a pic that gives the idea.
I used some CAD software Cardboard Aided Design!



As far as the clip-ons go this is what I got,

They feel good and don't put your wrist at any crazy angles or anything, one issue with mine is I think its made for a 34mm fork tube not the 33mm. So it bottomed out the clamp. I made a shim out of a coke can... Seems to work fine (gave it the old smack with a rubber hammer to see if it would slip, but she held!)

Thinking about swapping to a set of dirt bike handle bars or drag bars for the summer... (trying to take it on some long trips)
Thanks for the photos

This is how my bike currently sits with European bars on it....they are very comfortable to me. I'm only 5'6" and can ride all day with them.


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Love the brushed metal on ur bike (wheels, speedo, fender, chain guard) It all matches with the motor and looks really clean. Cleanest XS400 Iv seen!

Ya im about 5'8" so the bars are about as short as they can be. I have to slide back on the seat to keep my back from bending and hurting after a 30min ride.

Im headed home to the bike this week, first time iv been home in 6 weeks or so... missing working on my bikes!
Ordered new fork dust guards and I plan on rebuilding the forks and im going to hit them with some 1500 grit wet sand, then polish them on the bench grinder and see if I can get them to shine!

Also found a souse for new 12V clear bulbs that im going to put in the 50's 6v headlight. So ill have to fab up a new bracket and do something with all the wires in the stock bucket...
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