This site started out as a way to track a BMW / Jupiter Sidecar motorcycle project. It has gone in many different directions since its' conception. From motorcycle projects, to personal stories, opinions and family histories. I log most of our boring motorcycle riding adventures and experiences. I have completed my "R100S/6" build and changes are on-going.
I watch the local "Craigslist" on a daily basis since you never know what might show up.
A couple weeks ago someone posted an older Yamaha XS400 for $600.00.
A one owner bike with a mere 2784 original miles on it. The down side was that it has sat dormant for many years with a couple gallons of stale gasoline in the tank.
I went over to look at the bike and ended up making a deal for $500.00. Still has original tires which are as hard as wood. They will need to be replaced prior to riding it more than around the block.
I immediately removed the carbs and fuel tank. Tank has some rust inside so it was drained and filled with vinegar to try to "cook" some of the rust out. I've used that method in the past but not sure if it will work on this....quite a bit of rust in the tank. I'm soaking it for a week or so and we'll see. My hopes aren't too high with the vinegar method.
The carbs were a mess. The floats / needle valves were stuck solid with varnished fuel remnants. The CV carb slides were also stuck. I freed the slides using "PB-Blaster" and got them removed. The float pins were another issue. After soaking for 4 days in carb cleaner they still wouldn't budge. I finally resorted to using a small butane torch and applied heat. That did the trick and eventually the float pins and needle valves were removed.
Unfortunately I got a little carried away and melted the solder on one of the alloy floats and it came loose from the holder. I was able to re-solder the float back together. The float swivels / pins required some filing / sanding to remove the near "concrete like" varnish. I had some replacement o-rings so used them, but didn't have new float bowl gaskets. Decided to reassemble with the old gaskets for now, they came off easily but are a little stiff. Easy to install new ones at a later date.
I recently ordered a new oil filter & o-rings o decided to drain the oil today....oil came out fairly clear looking and no major issues seen. The XS400 does have a small inspection plate / oil screen underneath. Haven't decided whether to remove the cover / clean the screen yet. As clean as the oil appeared it is not likely an issue. The oil filter housing thru-bolt is stuck solid so may need to cut it off to remove. I ordered a new Yamaha filter bolt today so will likely sacrifice the original one to remove. So far I've spent about $60.00 on repairs...will need 2 tires and a battery yet. Will also drain the fork legs and replace the fork oil. This model had front / rear drum brakes so no hydraulic brakes to repair. The chain was pretty loose so adjusted it to proper tightness.
Should easily have the bike on the road for well under $800.00 total, including the purchase price.
I'll definitely keep it for a "rider" for a while....or maybe my Wife might like to ride it. ... Plan on hauling it North to Montana this Spring and I'll license it there.