XS400 cafe build

sandmanred

Member
I've been lurking for awhile. Lots of nice work on this forum. I'm relatively new to motorcycles so I definitely need help with with all the mechanics and where to get stuff. This is my 3rd build. I've posted elsewhere in hopes of getting the tech support I need and I'm not always getting what I need. So I'm making a catch up post to cover since last November.

Bought a not running 78 XS400. A little carb cleaning and point setting and a clutch rebuild and it was running. Started with the bars, then the tank then the seat. Actually made a little detour to make a tail cowl but then got asked why my bike only have one seat? So, finish the detour and start a seat for two. I left the detour out for now. I may go back later and do a seat to go with the tail but probably not right away. As it stands now it's ready for shakedown, just need some warmer weather.

The big question right now is the best upgrade for the head light. It still has the stock 35w incandescent bulb. Seems like the easiest is to go to an H4 35w but I'm not finding anyway to do it without changing the whole bucket. The Emgo one I found says it's compatible but the hole on the back is much lower than stock and I'm not sure all the wires will reach. The stock reflector and bulb assembly has special gear to adjust the beam that you don't find on standard replacement reflectors. I'd be open to LED conversion head lamp but then you run into the same problem not having all the gear on the reflector to mount into the stock bucket. Any advice welcome.















































































































































 

adventurco

Nick Ol' Eye
DTT BOTM WINNER
Nice fab work.

You can change to a H4 35w/35w bulb by cutting your old bulb out of the sealed beam carefully with a dremel, and epoxying a H4 housing in place on the back of the sealed beam. Alternatively, Sparck Moto sells LEDs you can retrofit into your existing sealed beam using a similar method.

Lots of vendors sell LED lights that will drop in to your OE bucket as well.
 

sandmanred

Member
Thanks for the comments.

First shakedown run complete. No major problems noted. Now on to a bunch of little details before paint/powder.





 

pidjones

Well-Known Member
sandmanred said:
Thanks for the comments.

First shakedown run complete. No major problems noted. Now on to a bunch of little details before paint/powder.
I like it Just. Like. That.
 

sandmanred

Member
Re-do of front fender mounts underway. Trimmed off plate stock mounting of front fender and replacing with 5/16 round.





 

adventurco

Nick Ol' Eye
DTT BOTM WINNER
Would really love to see some aluminum come out on the tail section. Cuff the fabric a few inches from the back and let some of that metalwork show.
 

sandmanred

Member
advCo said:
Would really love to see some aluminum come out on the tail section. Cuff the fabric a few inches from the back and let some of that metalwork show.
You and me both. There's foam all the way to tail so I can't just remove the covering. I have cowling made, spent a month doing it. But my better half asked me 'why do all your bikes only have one seat?' Implying she might actually go with me if she could. So I figure I should have one the stable that will seat two. That started the seat that's upholstered front to back. I've been trying to keep it so I could swap the seat/cowl with two-up seat but some of the choices I made to mount the fully upholstered seat complicate that. So I might have to go the route of a slip on cowling or get creative with how connect the alternate seat/cowl assembly. Here's a few pics before tank was done that show the tail cowl and a rendering of what the seat might look like with a cowl.

 

pidjones

Well-Known Member
Why not two full seats? Not that hard to change, and not that hard or expensive to build. Better than a painful compromise, IMHO.
 

sandmanred

Member
Alright. Thanks for the nudges. I was going to put off the solo seat but I have to agree I like the cowling. Your suggestions made me go try it on again. I hadn't fit it to the bike since the tank was done. With out the tank the cowl looks big but I think the balance is okay now that they are both there. Last pic is a rough rendering of the seat profile I plan.

I will first re-do the head light mount with some curvy stays like the front fender and probably redo the side covers too to streamline them a bit and also get going on the new solos seat pan.











 

adventurco

Nick Ol' Eye
DTT BOTM WINNER
Looks great, although I agree it looks just a bit too big compared to the tank. Needs to be about 80% that size and I think it would be perfect.
 

sandmanred

Member
Replacing side covers with something a little more fitted. Still working out the mounting but the fit looks OK.

 

sandmanred

Member
Sample back from powder coating. Candy red over brushed aluminum. Thinking about this for tank and side covers too. My only worry is my tank isn't smooth enough.

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cb360j

Member
What is your process for bending the metal for the headlight covers and front fender mounts, i think it looks sweet.
 

sandmanred

Member
Thanks!

I make a pattern pieces of 3/32 or 1/8 welding rod and then bend over this simple mandrel. The piece is this pic is cut-off, I usually leave it long enough that I can bend by hand. You can work your way back and forth along the bar bending and unbending as needed to match the pattern.

For the fender mounts I taped the fender on the tire with holes and the little slugs bolted in place on the fender and the flats drilled and bolted to the forks and then make pieces to connect them of 5/16 cold rolled round.

 
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