XR400 compared to 426 (ha)

I'm attempting to get my little (6' 210#) brother into riding. He's not a mechanical whiz so I'm looking for something fun on an MX track but somewhat low maintenance. My first thought was an XR400. I know it's not in the same class as a 426, but have any of you ridden one and how would you compare it to a 426? Also what mods are highly recommended before bringing it out to the track? I'm only asking for this comparison because the 426 is the only big 4 stroke I've ridden so it's my only reference.


I have had 2 XR400's and they are good reliable bikes. But I got to the point where the bike was not enough (suspension wise) for MX, and was unsafe for the speed I was going on a track! I would have to say the best mod to the XR400 to be MX capable is the aloop seat and tank. I had .44 springs in the front and gold valves and it helps alot on 50-70ft jump range. I think the XR400 is a great bike for its intended audience...but if your brother gets halfway serious into MX in 4-6 months or so he will be searching for more. I would say get the 250f to start out on...my reason is, it is still fast yet controllable for a beginner rider. It has MUCH better suspension than the XR400, and is just as reliable as the XR IMHO (and I have owned 4 XR's) Just change the oil every 2-3 rides and clean the air filter every few rides and it will last a long time. If you havent ridden a 250f they are a blast (very light and smooth), but personally I am an open bike fan (show me the power)! Let me know if you need any more info on the XR400. I just think the 250f would be a better bike, (unless you are on a budget and are looking for a used bike)! Later,


Here are some pics of my old XR400 which is now my Dad's bike!


And here is some pics of my friend Matt who rides an XR400 (he is getting a 426 soon)


[ November 15, 2001: Message edited by: motoman393 ]

Thanks for the reply! It looks more capable than I had expected. How is the stock bike compared to the bikes in these pictures? My main concern is the suspension. If the suspension is going to require a lot of work for MX then we may as well get the 250F as you suggest. To be honest the number one main reason I would looking at the XR was the assumed price difference. I assumed it would cost less than the YZF. But I have now heard that they go for about $5300 or so (probably more in my area) and if this is the case then we may as well spend the little bit more and get a 250F or 426F. Does the 250F have enough motor to haul around a 210# (plus gear) rider?



since your brother is obviously getting a new bike I would get a YZF! If your brother could handle a 426 then go ahead and get it (since he is 210 lbs) but a 250f would work just fine if he is not ready (I see alot of big guys on 250f's)! The XR will take too much money than it is worth to make it MX ready (just because it isnt made for it). My XR400 wasnt anywhere close to stock in both the engine and suspension (it could hang right with a YZ400 in a drag race, but not a 426) But the stock forks have too much flex in them and feel unstable on big jumps! I would get a YZF if I were in your brothers shoes. Good Luck,


It all depends on how your brother is going to use the bike. Believe it or not, not everyone wants to go on a motocross track and jump a triple. My brother is totally happy trail riding and has no desire to go on a track and dice it up. What level of rider is he? If he is new to dirt bikes and not planning on doing alot of motocross, I would say an XR400 would be an excellent bike. It would be an easier bike for a beginner to ride than a 250F. It takes an act of congress to stall one, they have good low end, and they are bullet proof bikes which still get along fairly well. You can pick up a used one fairly cheap, just make sure its been taken care of. I'm 6'3 215 lbs and I can tell you the suspension on a 250F needs stiffer springs to haul me around, as well as a new top triple clamp as the stock ones keep the bars too close. I love the 250F, the bike makes me wish I was a little smaller and lighter so I could validate having one. However, don't sell the XR400 short. If a guy wants to do some trail riding and limited motocross, it's a very choice. It just sounds like your brother is starting out on motorcycles since your buying it for him and it doesn't sound like he's had a bike before. I will agree with Garrett, the Race Tech gold valve made a huge difference on the forks as well as some stiffer springs for the XR400.


99 YZ400

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