The Yamaha XS 400 (Seca) DOHC

Yamaha XS 400
ER Classics Desktop 2022

There are a lot of recent classics that have completely disappeared from view and our collective memory. Not because they are not good, but because they are just snowed under by time.

The Yamaha XS400 DOHC 'Seca' is one of them.

They are not for sale en masse. But there may be gems in the range. And they cost change. In Germany, a successor for the popular Yamaha XS27-360 was devised in the then highly popular 400 horsepower class. So in Germany you can still find them regularly, but in the 'pinched' 27 hp version. There are also 'gray' imported American and Canadian models.

Quite a nice thing

All in all, the light middle class was quite a modern thing. His black engine had two overhead camshafts, a balance shaft and a well thought-out intake and exhaust system. That motor was also a supporting part in the bicycle part that for the at that time characteristic Yamaha way was built from a combination of pressed steel plate and tubes. That was an approach that saved costs and weight. The result was an agile, but stable-running motorcycle. The then new Cantilever suspension at the rear provided good suspension and damping, even with a sportier driving style. On the other hand, the front suspension was a bit week. The brakes are still satisfactory by current standards.

A very good engine

The engine runs great. The 180 ° twin hangs nicely on the gas and has a nice couple from 2500 rpm. With free-breathing models, the block delivers around 40 horsepower at 8800 revolutions. This makes the XS such a thick 160 km / h. In pinched, 27 pk, version is such an 140 km / h fast. In both versions the clutch works lightly and the M / V drivers enjoy the pleasantly shifting six-speed gearbox.

Many XS for little

You can buy the XS400s that you now find offered or whose existence you hear through via for very little. If you are looking for one, buy the best one you can find. Because any kind of restoration will cost more than the motorcycle will be worth in the coming century. The less beautiful ones are already in the hands of a younger generation of motorcyclists who want to make something beautiful out of their own taste. There is no arguing about taste. And perhaps that approach makes the Yamaha XS 400 DOHS in the long run still very rare and valuable.

Oh yes, before buying feel if there is play on the rear fork. Changing the rear fork bearings is quite challenging. Things tend to get very stuck.


Around € 500 for a neat copy. Certainly no more than € 1.000 for an absolute winner

The pinched 27 pk machines

The XS 400 engines were therefore limited in power in Germany for the popular 27 hp insurance class. If you reduce that power by only making the inlet ports smaller with restriction rings, you will get a motor that does not reach its optimum speed.
By adjusting the camshafts you can lower the speed at maximum torque a bit down and the result is a better torque at 4000 to 8000 rpm.


Give a reaction
  1. Is a very nice bike. I bought one for daughter when she still had to drive small power. She has driven 3 winters and 30000 km with it. Not a single problem apart from a coupling cable and a worn chain. Also allowed to ride a few times yourself? Would idd buy one again (with full power. Thought that the Deutsche pinched version had different camshafts.

  2. I have 2 suzuki sp 370's here, yam xt 250 and xs 250, and cagiva 500e. All unsung iron 🙂 Good job! Nice reading!

  3. Thank you. The approach is to do some younger older motorcycles. They are wonderfully dated but they are not yet running in the crazy prize race of many classics. In the idea of ​​many people they are just used old motorcycles. We must take advantage of this 🙂

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