Option between 81 GS550 and 82 XS400
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Option between 81 GS550 and 82 XS400

This is a discussion on Option between 81 GS550 and 82 XS400 within the Craigslist/Ebay forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; Hello all, I have come to realize this is the place for no bullshit advice on these types of bikes. That being said I would ...

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  1. #1
    Junior Member mup1537's Avatar
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    Option between 81 GS550 and 82 XS400

    Hello all,

    I have come to realize this is the place for no bullshit advice on these types of bikes. That being said I would like input on two local bikes for sale that I have not seen in person yet. First is a 1981 Suzuki GS 550 that has been converted into a cafe racer. The motorcycle has had bodywork and paint done. I do not know if the engine has had work done but according to the seller the engine is working great. Lastly, to be mentioned this engine has 25,000 miles on it. Asking price is 1,200 (open to negotiation). 2. 1982 Yamaha XS400. No work done except upkeep and maintenance according to the seller. Visible rust on the exhaust. Possible rust on engine and chain (my speculation based on pictures which are no longer available). Engine has 3,000 miles on it. Asking price is 1,200.

    My goal is to have something that runs. Secondary goal is to plan changes to the bike that accommodate my interests (tracker/brat configuration) and wallet. These bikes offer different things and have different pros and cons. Assuming they each run when I visit them and each do not have any glaring issues what would a more experienced shopper consider with these two types of choices.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

    -M

  2. #2
    Banned Witworth's Avatar
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    You really need to give some more model specific info on the XS400, like is it a " special " or " custom " model?

    The XS would make the better Bratty Tracker style bike. Not if you are 6 feet 4, or a real porker, though.

    You really need to post some good, big, clear, pictures of the bikes you are talking about, to get any good advice.

    Danger, is my business."

  3. #3
    Junior Member mup1537's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Witworth View Post
    You really need to give some more model specific info on the XS400, like is it a " special " or " custom " model?

    The XS would make the better Bratty Tracker style bike. Not if you are 6 feet 4, or a real porker, though.

    You really need to post some good, big, clear, pictures of the bikes you are talking about, to get any good advice.

    Danger, is my business."
    Thanks for your response. I would be happy to post pictures of the bike after viewing it. The craigslist ad is down now and the pictures were not that good for the XS. Here is the GS550: 1981 Suzuki GS550 Cafe. The specific model types are not identified on either bike being considered. So a trained eye would be better most definitely. I emailed the Yamaha seller for pictures.

    -M

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  5. #4
    Senior Member knappyfeet's Avatar
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    It looks clean but the price seems a little high.

  6. #5
    Banned Witworth's Avatar
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    I don't like that 550 much, the miles seem a little high, the seat construction is truly shitful, like you couldn't ride it around town for more than fifteen minutes, kind of shitful.

    Where the hell is Chambalumbana?

    Be patient, and don't let eagerness burn a hole in your pocket, and jump at the next POS you see, because you love it, and they are going to stop making bikes in Japan real soon.

    Danger, is my business."

  7. #6
    Junior Member mup1537's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by knappyfeet View Post
    It looks clean but the price seems a little high.
    Yup it is high. He recognized it when I pointed it out but still values it over KBB because he pumped money into it. KBB puts it around 1200 in solid condition at retail value. He wants it sold though and I won't be paying over KBB (or at retail value most likely) unless more experienced people here give me a reason to. I am attaching the photo for the XS400 that was just sent to me (Imgur). Seller cannot send more because he is out of town.

    -M

  8. #7
    Junior Member mup1537's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Witworth View Post
    I don't like that 550 much, the miles seem a little high, the seat construction is truly shitful, like you couldn't ride it around town for more than fifteen minutes, kind of shitful.

    Where the hell is Chambalumbana?

    Be patient, and don't let eagerness burn a hole in your pocket, and jump at the next POS you see, because you love it, and they are going to stop making bikes in Japan real soon.

    Danger, is my business."
    Haha Chambalumba. Champiangn/Urbana IL. I am not in a rush Witworth but thanks for the reality check. I am however car less (perhaps not for long though) so my purchases are limited to my town which is an oasis in central IL.

  9. #8
    Banned Witworth's Avatar
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    BB value is for stock bikes, not ones messed around with, and a guy sick of it and the amount of cash he's thrown at it. He's overinvested, and will lose in any case and he knows it.

    If the XS is like the one in the imgur pic, it has a bit of potential as a tracker. When the guy says 3K miles on the motor, is this from new, or after he's had a go at rebuilding it?

    Danger, is my business."

  10. #9
    Junior Member mup1537's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Witworth View Post
    BB value is for stock bikes, not ones messed around with, and a guy sick of it and the amount of cash he's thrown at it. He's overinvested, and will lose in any case and he knows it.

    If the XS is like the one in the imgur pic, it has a bit of potential as a tracker. When the guy says 3K miles on the motor, is this from new, or after he's had a go at rebuilding it?

    Danger, is my business."
    They are original miles. No tinkering.

    -M

  11. #10
    Banned Witworth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mup1537 View Post
    They are original miles. No tinkering.

    -M
    Go and have a look at the XS, don't take any cash. Take some good photos. Get him to show you a walk in title. Feel the motor with your bare hand to see it's dead cold. Only start a bike for sale when the motor is dead cold, it's a normal trick for a bike with starting issues to be warmed up all the time to get it over the line. If it doesn't start within three good kicks, with choke, forget it and walk away. Let it idle for 90 seconds, get off the choke and then rev it to say 5K a few times to see if it blows any BLUE smoke, if it does, run away from it.

    Have the headlight on for two or three minutes, and then see if it starts with the button. If it doesn't, it probably needs electrical work or a new battery.

    If is seems like a good deal, have a think for 3 or 4 days and then go back and haggle.

    Danger, is my business."

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