Yamaha XS400: Hogs in the ‘hood

A Yamaha XS400 is a bike you don't see every day...

A Yamaha XS400 is a bike you don’t see every day…

There is no question that Yamaha XS650 has become one of the most popular vintage motorcycles in recent years, so it’s always nice to see the smaller sibling, the Yamaha XS400 pop up on the streets of Brooklyn…

A rare Yamaha XS400…

The Yamaha XS400 nestled between cars in Williamsburg...

The Yamaha XS400 nestled between cars in Williamsburg…

Although the XS designation may lead you to believe that this bike was very similar to its XS650 big brother, the Yamaha XS400 was a different animal, being almost identical to the XS250 and XS 360.  Produced only from 1977 – 1982, this little parallel twin offered a crank that was 180 degrees offset, attempting to minimize vibration from the power plant.

Differing trim and feature models were offered, denoted by the Special, Special II, and Heritage badges.  This particular model must be from one of the later years, since it displays the alloy wheels.

Despite being in the Yamaha XS family, the engine on the Yamaha XS400 was of different design, with a smaller frame to match.  This example seems pretty stock, complete with engine guard bars, large turn signals and MASSIVE tail light.  Although the XS650 is more popular to modify and bob, there are a few examples out there of people making rigid choppers from these smaller donor bikes.

With an era-light 400lb wet weight, and a large tank (4.5 gallon), this like seems like it might make for the perfect city bike.  Gets you around town, able to split traffic, and you don’t need to refill for weeks!

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