1982 Yamaha XS400 Special


Reliable old Yammy


As soon as I bought it, I had the front tire replaced, put new carb holders on, and a new complete exhaust 2-1 as the other was rusted, all to pass the safety. There was an oil leak, which required a new gasket in the engine.

The choke became stuck, making it very difficult to start.

Main fuse blew, and melted the plastic around the fuse clips, so I had to modify it using a fuse holder for that connection.

Replaced chain and sprockets this year.

Replaced spark plug wires this year.

General Comments:

I can ride this bike all day, and often do without becoming too sore.

It began to run rough this summer, and would backfire on engine braking. I ran some higher grade fuel in it for a few tanks and it fixed itself, runs better than ever actually.

It does get blown around pretty good at higher speeds, and anything over 100 km/h gets the RPMs up pretty high.

Kick start is very handy to have, and it will be missed on future bikes I'm sure.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 5th September, 2009

1980 Yamaha XS400 Special


Loved it!


Nothing went wrong with my machine for the two years I owned it.

General Comments:

This was my first bike. It ran well, was a good size for a guy starting out. Fast enough for the city, light enough to get used to parking and using the kick stands and maneuvering around in city traffic. I kept it clean, oiled, polished and it served me very well.

On the highway it was a bit light I think, especially accelerating hard out of corners. At around 100km/hr with a hard acceleration towards a higher speed, it wobbled a couple of times and that slowed me down in a jiffy.

I would consider this Yamaha an ideal around town cruiser, and it looked great.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th March, 2007

1982 Yamaha XS400 Special


Awesome bike for beginner and those just going around town


The electric start didn't work from the beginning, but being a light 400cc bike, I had no problem kick starting it everyday. She would fire right up on the second or third kick on a cold start up.

General Comments:

Bought it for $800 from an older gentleman who had it in storage for a couple of years.

Replaced the front and back tires ($120), and the general tune up I did myself (parts $50). The carbs needed to be cleaned up as well, so it did take about a month before it was ready.

Kick started it all the time and would ride around town to college. Awesome gas mileage! The ten liter tank would last two weeks, and it has a one liter reserve so if you ran out of gas (I did twice), just switch the petcock to reserve and you could start it up again.

I did take the motorcycle on the highway once, and only once. Top speed up a hill was only 100km/h and the ride was uncomfortable with no fairing. It's light weight is not so good when a big rig comes the other way, it blows you all over the place.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th March, 2007

4th May 2008, 16:43

What's the differences between the 1981 Yamaha XS 400 and the Yamaha XS 400 Special?


21st May 2008, 12:35

It is really just the package. The 400 and 400 special are really just the same bike in many ways.

11th Jul 2008, 06:44

Yes, a mainly good bike and reasonably inexpensive to run.

The custom models are the best looking and are now quite sought after - wish I had not sold mine!

Only drawback is the twin points ignition system. It requires regular maintenance to stop it from letting you down, and the points must be set correctly. Or, you could convert to electronic ignition. Very good this as a friend did this to his XS and never looked back. Regular oil changes are essential should you wish the camshaft to last any amount of time. In conclusion, if you can get a good one at a good price, buy it!

10th Nov 2008, 21:36

Does anyone know where to get a camshaft for this bike?

12th Aug 2009, 09:21

How about the Bike Bandit? Or Bike Barn? Or Mikes XS?

14th Feb 2011, 01:13

I can't believe there are not any XS650 reviews.

3rd Oct 2017, 17:55

The XS400 had spoke wheels with drum brakes front and back, and could be purchased in a few different color combinations. The XS400S had mag wheels, disc brake up front, drum in the rear, and came only in black with side covers bearing a gold decal that read "Special".