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The XS400 had a four-stroke, air-cooled, overhead-cam straight-twin engine with a 180° crank angle, which reduces linear vibration at the cost of some axial vibration. The 392 cc (23.9 cu in) engine produced 36 bhp (27 kW) @ 8100 rpm.
The XS400 had with a 6-speed transmission, wet plate, 6 friction disk clutch, chain drive, tachometer, self-canceling turn signals, both electric and kick starters, adjustable rear shock absorbers, center stand, and an automatic fuel petcock. Early and economy models came with spoked wheels and drum brakes, while later and upgraded models received cast alloy wheels and hydraulic disc brakes. Later models also upgraded the early mechanical points ignition system to a modern solid state electronic system.