Help me with my wheels!

I've come to the point that I really need to replace the rims on my '98 WR400. I'm getting conflicting information about what spoke/rim combinations will fit. Ideally I'd like to re-use the stock spokes with some new Excel rims - some people say no problem, some no way. Anyone have any first hand experience? Assuming I will have to replace the spokes, what's a reasonable price to get them laced up?

I've also looked at going the ebay/classified route for a set of take offs - does anyone know what wheels will fit (i.e. 19" from a YZF400/426?) For some reason, the '98 WR is separated out from the other years in most of the fit application guides. Does anyone know what's different?

Can I only use '98 wheels or will the later ones fit?

Thanks for the help - I'm trying to make this as inexpensive as possible since I just had to split the cases to fix 5th gear :)

Thanks for the help....


Ok - any suggestions on where to order the rims/spokes? I've heard at least a few good things about eastcoastwheels - any other recommendations, preferably on the left coast?



This may be the long way around to your answer but, go to one of the on-line, Yamaha parts websites and look up the front hub for each model year. Another possibility would be to call White Bros and ask them. They build wheels.


If I were in your position, I would consider Chaparral Motorsports. Just buy a set of Excel rims and Buchanan spokes and lace them up yourself. I laced up a set of gold rims for an XR 600 once and they turned out great. Looked pretty sweet too. I wouldn't reuse the old spokes. Sometimes they can get pretty seized and you may even ruin the nipples (i think they're aluminum on the WR). When I did the XR I just cut all the old spokes for quick removal. Just study the spoke pattern and tightness before you cut. Assemble the new one exactly the same and tighten each spoke the same number of turns till they are snug. That way it will require less tuning to get it true. I stuck the axle in a vice and spun the wheel while lightly skimming the edge of the rim with a felt pen to mark the "high" spots and adjusted accordingly. If the spokes still seem loose once the wheel is true, you can tighten them further by turning each spoke nipple equally in small increments till you achieve the desired tightness. Always make small adjustments and remember which nipples you turned last in case you went the wrong way and have to go back. Check your spokes frequently for the first few rides to play it safe. It's a tedious job for sure, but you'll be proud of yourself when you're done. Dirt Bike Mag. did a tech article about rims a while back, but that was after I was done already. Maybe I'll dig through my archives and see if I can find out which issue it was.

Excel rims should cost about 100-130$ each depending on color and Buchanan spokes should be no more than 50$ per wheel. Chaparral should be able to help you with rim size and spoke application. I'm certainly not an expert wheel builder, just did it once. If anyone else has any tips, I would love to hear them, cause my WR400 has a pretty good ding in the front wheel.

Found the article in Dirt Bike Magazine. May 2000, page 82. If you decide to lace your own wheels, read the article first.

I don't know why I'm at home typing on my computer instead of out drinking somewhere. HAPPY NEWYEAR! Guess I'm a TT junkie. :)

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