It’s done!

The bike was completely disassembled. As I reassembled it, many of the generic fasteners were replaced with stainless steel equivalents. Larger bolts, like axles and engine mounts were re-plated using a home plating kit.

Parts of the electrical system were missing or damaged. The battery and regulator/rectifier had been swapped out for a battery eliminator. I restored the battery and charging system. The turn signals are aftermarket copies of the OEM signals. The headlight shell was replaced with a better condition one from eBay. The headlight rim, lens and bulb are new. The original taillight had been replaced, presumably when the rear fender was removed. I made a bracket and mounted an LED unit that fit the seat cowl.

The rear shocks were shot. They were replaced with shocks from Work Performance.

The engine was completely overhauled. The cylinder was bored to 1st oversize and the head was overhauled by Dana Johnson at Import Machine Service. I replaced the bearing and seals. The crankcase, cylinder and head were all bead blasted. The oil tank and crankcase covers were refinished by hand.

Everything was repainted. The frame, wheels, calipers, etc. were powder coated at Central Mass Powder Coating. The paint and bodywork was done by Pete Petkauskos at Pete’s Custom Paint.


I didn’t realize how much parts can cost buying them a la carte. Fortunately there was a fellow parting out a bike on the XS400 forums and we got all of this stuff as a package deal:

  • Carburetors – missing
  • Sprocket Case Cover – missing
  • Clutch cable – missing
  • Front brake master cylinder – missing
  • Ignition switch with key – missing
  • Wiring Harness – mice and rust damage

First Photos

Found this sad 1982 Yamaha XS400 Seca on Cragislist for cheap. Bought it as a project to work on with my 14 year old son. I thought it would be fun to see if we could get it running again. The bike came from a guy who cleans out houses in exchange for the unwanted contents.

The original gas tank is missing. The tank in the photos doesn’t fit, but was included in the deal. I think it’s from a Suzuki. The carburetors are also missing.


The SRX250 came with a 90/90×16 front tire and a 100/90×18 rear tire.  These sizes impossible to find in the US. I looked for days, but couldn’t find a front tire in this size anywhere.  This size tire is available in Europe. I ordered these Michelin Pilot Sporty’s from the UK. Even with shipping the price was not outrageous.

Before Restoration

The SRX600 runs. At this point, at a minimum, it needs new valve guide seals and a repaint. Shortly after these photos were taken I disassembled the bike to have the frame and wheels powdercoated and the tank, fenders and sidecovers professionally painted.

My 14 year old son was learning how to ride and crashed the bike, adding to the list of restoration tasks.

  • The headlight shell, rim and glass were scraped and replaced.
  • Front fender was cracked and  repaired.
  • The shift lever was broken and replaced.
  • Left engine case scraped and repaired.
  • Headlight ears were bent and replaced.
  • Headlight/instrument bracket bent and replaced.

Registering an Old Motorcycle With Just a Bill Of Sale

When I purchased my SRX600, I didn’t realize it is next to impossible to register an old vehicle without the previous owner’s title or registration. After much searching and querying, I discovered a technique that works in Massachusetts and many other states. First register the vehicle in Vermont, and then use the Vermont registration to register the vehicle in your home state.

It is perfectly above board to register a vehicle in Vermont even though you don’t live there. I suppose Vermont just wants the sales tax revenue.

Here’s the website that I first learned about this technique.

Here’s another write-up of the technique from the forums.

First Photos

My SRX600 had not run in over 10 years. It’s my understanding that it passed through a couple of owners that had plans of restoring it. When I purchased it, the bike was largely complete, but partially disassembled. The front fender, exhaust & calipers were boxed. A small number of new, but uninstalled parts came with the bike: exhaust shield, front and rear wheel bearings, speedometer gaskets, several cables and a few other odds and ends.

There was evidence of several drops. Both clip-on bars were bent, the crankcase covers scraped and a number of small tank dents.