Another project…Yamaha XS400 bobber

Am I out of my mind?  Another winter project, this time a Yamaha XS400 bobber...

Am I out of my mind? Another winter project, this time a Yamaha XS400 bobber…

Perusing Craigslist (because that’s what I do!), I stumbled on a bike, clearly waiting for a new owner.  A 1980 Yamaha XS400 bobber.  What???!!!

The Yamaha XS400 Bobber, in all its glory…

She strikes an odd stance....

She strikes an odd stance….

There it was, looking lonely in the photos.  It’s not that I’m typically attracted to the bobber style, but there was something about this bike.  For one thing, it ran.  For another thing, it was dirt cheap?

I had helped Danny a bunch with his XS650, so I feel somewhat comfortable with the medium.  At first I assumed that I would just rid this bike of the extended swing arm, genre-screaming tank, and restore it to a more stock appeal.  The chopping that has been done to the subframe doesn’t not impede the original placement of the shocks, and it wouldn’t be tough to make a new seat…

Pipe couplings on pipes....Not sure that will work...

Pipe couplings on pipes….Not sure that will work…

But as I sit and stare at this thing, it’s beginning to dawn on me that it may be best to finish what someone started.  There was direction and purpose here at some point, it just never saw the light of day….

There is something to say about taking on a project in a style you don’t work in.  It’s a challenge too hard to refuse.  So for now, I think I’ll keep this drag racing swing arm, and even the tank that doesn’t fit.  After all, there’s always something to learn in the unfamiliar, and this might be just the project to prove that point.

There is a ton of info on this bike – and like many of the bikes I have worked on, a rabid fan base that has its very own forum.  Check out XS400 forum for some great details about this model.

Stay tuned for updates, tearing into this puppy should be interesting…

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