1980 Yamaha XS400 Café
The classic craigslist "it ran when parked". This bike was, in fact, all there. It was just in a million pieces.
I happened to have the jeep on the day I made the trip to check out the XS400 I saw on craigslist. No worries! With the engine out of the frame and the wheels loose, I was able to throw the whole bike in the back.
The seller was surprisingly meticulous with how he had taken the bike apart. He had nearly every nut/bolt labeled. And still had the wiring harness looped through the headlight bucket with labels on any loose connection.
It's a motorcycle! Our workspace is relatively small. The bike needed to roll so we could move it around more easily.
This bike came with two tanks and this custom cafe seat that the seller had yet to finish. At this point in the process, we had yet to decide if this 400cc machine would be a café racer, brat, scrambler, or tracker.
I found this TX/XS 500 tank on eBay for cheap. It helped me confirm that I wanted a square tank instead of the teardrop style that the bike came with. This one, however, needed a repaint and would need some custom mounting brackets. Back to eBay to search for something that would work out of the box.
Score! Anytime I can find a clean, useable, vintage tank for less than $200 I'm happy. This one showed up and was pristine inside. The gold striping and lettering demands this build has a gold chain.
The previous owner had spend countless hours polishing these side cases and cam cover. The crankcase, however, was showing its age. We pulled the engine and coated what needed to be coated. We also polished the aluminum to a mirror finish.
We hand craft all of our seats in house. We decided to go with an upholstered café bump on this bike. The seat turned out beautiful, but we would later decide that the fork gaiters and stance of the bike demanded a brat style pancake seat. This cover would end up in the garbage.
We had an old Honda SL350 headlight bucket laying around. On a whim I set it between the forks and fell in love with how it looked. With custom bracket we were able to tuck it in with a bottom mount. It instantly made the bike look mean!
Finished! She's a BRAT. We coated the wheels and instantly got a more custom look. The street tires are Kenda Challengers. BMW style bar end signals (front and rear facing), Lossa Engineering shorty exhaust, gold chain, single gauge speedometer, cone filters, Biltwell grips, dirt style foot pegs, 5-3/4" headlight, fork gaiters, relocated electronics box under seat, and full mechanical update. Everything was gone through and this baby is a ripper.