Buy second hand Yamaha XS 400 DOHC

Buy second hand Yamaha XS 400 DOHC

Early start

The homely design cost the Yamaha XS 400 dohc top positions in the past. But solid, durable technology makes them attractive for beginners.

Today, the Yamaha XS 400 dohc is a serious alternative to more modern chassis designs, especially for beginners.

A good-natured touring machine in character, it offers almost a passe-partout format with a comfortably upright sitting position and a seat height of almost 80 centimeters. The handiness and directional stability of the cantilever chassis are still impressive today. In addition, the consumption of barely five liters in conjunction with the large tank enables action radii of a good 300 kilometers until the next refueling stop. Only the narrow tires are clearly inferior in terms of grip compared to today’s more modern low-profile formats.

Yamaha reacted very quickly at the time. When sales of the long-running XS 400 with one camshaft – sold more than 10,000 times between 1978 and 1981 – began to decline, Yamaha pushed ahead. The Japanese presented a completely new model for the 1982 season with a powerful double camshaft engine with a nominal output of 45 hp and packed the engine in a modern chassis with a central strut.

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Buy second hand Yamaha XS 400 DOHC

Buy second hand Yamaha XS 400 DOHC
Early start

Despite the completely new design, Yamaha decided not to use a new model name, simply adding the somewhat cryptic-sounding designation dohc (double overhead camshafts) for the double camshaft cylinder head to the old designation for identification purposes.

However, although the new one was lavishly throttled using two new camshafts, a modified ignition system, intake manifold and nozzle assembly for the 27 hp cure, there were only slight advantages over the previous model when pulling through from low speeds. At higher speeds, the old engine was even more powerful than the new engine despite the more violent vibrations. When the 45 hp version had been selling increasingly slowly in recent years (just under 20 percent of buyers chose the open version with 45 hp, the remaining 80 percent were satisfied with the low-insurance 27 hp variant), it became the 1989 model year taken entirely from the official program. But the real sticking point for many interested parties was the appearance that took a lot of getting used to at the beginning of the 80s. The new engine with the alternator behind the cylinder bank was built narrow and compact, but looked a bit lost as a load-bearing part in the pressed sheet metal part of the frame without girders. With the strong emphasis on the edges – square headlights, angular instruments that are not very easy to read, a heavily tapered tank and an unusually tapered tail – the new XS in connection with the too conservative design of the cast four-spoke rims looked unusual, but also inconspicuous. She lacked that certain something.

Typical weaknesses or susceptibility to repair are unknown to the engine. A mileage of well over 50,000 kilometers with the first pair of pistons is common with the appropriate maintenance and proper handling of the air-cooled two-cylinder. The most common defect in machines with a long service life: rusted through rear silencers. Doubly annoying because the manifold and end piece are each made of one piece and cost 1,100 marks for one side. If there are signs of deep-seated corrosion in the silencers, a significant discount is required when buying.

The ignition box under the right side cover went on strike in some cases and had to be replaced, this part also costs almost 800 marks. Reader Norbert Klaßmüller dared to tackle the complicated unit and sealed it with cast resin to prevent the ingress of moisture and the associated misfiring.

The XS 400 dohc was sold around 6000 times in the PS variants with 27 and 45 PS between 1982 and 1990, of which around 4000 are still registered today. No other model variants or modifications were offered in the nine-year career. Anyone who is a beginner who buys an XS 400 today and wants to run the machine for longer than the first two years is better off with the 45 hp version, which can then be throttled down for almost 200 marks using reduction discs. Because retrofitting an original 27 hp version to full power is an expensive undertaking. The retrofit parts alone cost more than 1400 marks (with two new camshafts) without assembly.

A look at the vehicle documents reveals whether a Yamaha was throttled to 27 hp via the camshafts or with reducing disks. The simply throttled version already delivers its maximum output at 7500 rpm, the other only at 8000 rpm. In the most favorable cases, old machines with high mileage are offered for less than 1,000 marks. Even machines with a few kilometers on the meter hardly cost more than 2500 marks. And unless the ignition box is defective or the exhaust ends are rusted through, in most cases the new owner can count on a breakdown-free, inexpensive season.

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