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  • Writer's pictureElder

The Rusty Wanderer Bike Rebuild - Part 1

Updated: Sep 21, 2022

Just over 40 years ago, Yamaha sold a wonderful little motorcycle to some random schmuck. For a few years, that XS400 tooled about and put on about 22,000 miles. Then it sat. For an undetermined length of time. In 2007, my brother acquired it from a friend and in 2009 I bought it from him. Then, in 2011, when I joined the Air Force, it sat again. In a field. With my parents' cows. Until now. Now that I'm done moving every two years and have a real boy garage, it's time to get to work making this old bike run again.

The tires are flat, chain is rusted, front wheel is completely locked up, there's gas in the oil pan, nothing electrical works, the battery is outright missing, and the tank has a hole in it from when a previous owner tried to attach a Nitrous tank for some godawful reason. Once upon a time, the mufflers were straight-piped because a previous owner (probably that same NOS teenager) wanted it Loud™. The frame is straight, but the seat is crumbling, the plastic is all dry rotted and cracking, the gas cap can be opened with a pocket knife, and the engine and carburetor both need a full rebuild. In short... it's a money pit. But that's not going to stop me from wasting my time and energy on getting it running so I can take it to town to go get lunch once a month.

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