DIY Dual Sport guide for the XR400, Part II

Picked up a 1997 XR400R for a song. In WA state you can add the required equipment and have it inspected to make it street legal. Most of the trail systems here require a plate to connect trails that are separated by forest service roads. I put together all the wiring and parts to make a simple and cheap conversion. You may recall my XR250 that I had a while back that was already plated, but I added the dual sport kit to be legal:


Here is an updated and streamlined process that is much more simple and conservative.

And now the diagrams and parts you need:
Brake light switch
OR  a Hydraulic unit:


- $8
- $53
LED Turn Signal Flasher
12V Capacitor (battery eliminator)
Handlebar switch
1. Light blue = Right turn signal
2. Gray = Right & Left turn signal input from flasher
3. Red = Left turn signal
4. Teal = To Horn
5. Green = Horn input 12V
6. Brown = Head light input 12V
7. White = Head light, low beam
8. Dark Blue = Head light, high beam
Voltage Regulator/Rectifer
LED Turn Signals
Michelin T63 DOT Tire kit
Reflectors (orange)


Reflectors (red)



You will need a big pack of various crimp connectors, spade or butt plugs, and 14ga wire, as well as a soldiering iron.

Edited by n16ht5

Wire in the new rectifier/regulator and capacitor. I opted to use a capacitor that I pulled off a scrapped piece of electrical equipment I found in a scrap bin at work for free. The capacitor will work like a battery and smooth out the voltage, but is maintenance free, and weighs next to nothing.


When you wire in the rectifier, the PINK and YELLOW wires are the incoming stator AC feed. The GREEN wire is ground, and WHITE wire is 12VDC+. You will basically just cut off the four wires at the stock rectifier and route them to the new rectifier, while retaining the same wiring harness and plug.




Next wire the tail light brake light circuit. This will go to the brake light sender, which in turn will go to 12V. You will need to run a wire into the light socket. If you push in on the terminal plate inside it will fold out of the way and you can take it apart. The dark blue wire is the wire I added.



Run the wire through this hole, make sure there is no exposed copper on the backside, as it will short out on the spring. Soldier this wire to look like the other side.



I have an LED brake light, but the stock bulb will work


Here is the brake light switch. I zip tied it to the frame and ran the hook of the spring through the same hole as the tension spring. Be sure not to run the wire too close to the exhaust. The other wire goes to 12VDC+, I tapped into the tail light wire harness (the blue wire). After putting this on I have decided to order the hydraulic unit, as the spring rubs against the swingarm. I will update this guide when I swap the hydraulic switch in. It is more complicated, but I think it will work more consistently, as the mechanical unit is prone to being rubbed and bumped.

Turn signals. Run a 2 or 3 conductor cord back to the rear fender from the headlight area and hook up the turn signals. Looking back I should have used spade connectors to make them easier to remove.

Now hook up the handlebar switch and run everything together. In the front, the headlight wiring loom has a blue wire + plug and a green wire + double plug. The Blue is 12VDC+, green is ground.

Handlebar switch wiring:
1. Light blue = Right turn signal
2. Gray = Right & Left turn signal input from flasher
3. Red = Left turn signal
4. Teal = To Horn
5. Green = Horn input 12V
6. Brown = Head light input 12V
7. White = Head light, low beam
8. Dark Blue = Head light, high beam

The LED flasher takes 12VDC+ to the red wire, the black wire goes to the gray wire on the handlebar switch. Everything else is self explanatory.


For the headlight I used a KTM DOT legal headlight from a KTM 350EXC. There are a lot of options if you scour craigslist and ebay for stock headlights off of factory dual sport bikes, or you can use an aftermarket unit. I replaced the dim globe style bulb with an H4 60/55W bulb, which seems much brighter. I zip tied it into place, it feels very secure.

"SAE Motorcycle DOT"


Horn zip tied to bottom of speedometer


Front and rear signals are mounted (you will need to drill large holes and fit them).

Edited by n16ht5

It works!


High Beam


Low Beam


The rear turn signals are just behind the seat on each side. They are very bright for their size, and very hard to break. Check to make sure the brake light switch works.


Mirrors. They work surprisingly well and stay out of harms way. The speedo has a built in backlight, pretty nice.








Michelin T63 DOT tires. Supposed to last a long time, got these of craigslist with only one ride on them



Now I just need to take it to be inspected to Cyclops


Enjoy your plated dirt bike

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Edited by n16ht5

Nice work!

Excellent.  Thanks.  How has the LED brake light bulb worked out?  Any problems?

Edited by GU520

My friends and I have been running the same LED bulb in XRs for last four or five years, no problems. Just search the internet for the bulb number (which number is it?)

On my way out for its maiden voyage


Great, now sell it to me! Ill be there Monday....

I've kind of grown fond of this one :ride:








My friend Tom's XR400




With just the LEDs on only  does the capacitor keep the markers on long or at all?

I don't quite follow... the markers are the blinkers, they blink. ??

The tail light/running light is what I mean. Just asking in case of a stall at a stoplight. Still don't really plan on riding streets at night, but was curious.

Don't worry about it. It only lasts a few seconds but oh well. I like it simple

Don't worry about it. It only lasts a few seconds but oh well. I like it simple

Wasn't overly worried how long it would last like I said and the simplicity of your conversion has me doing it. Have the capacitor and reg/rec on order now and am modifying the tusk wiring harness that came with the bike to make it as clean and "factory" looking as possible.

I received the rec/reg today and don't know how the four prongs are wired into the rest of the system as they are not labeled?

Edited by 702inda509

I haven't received the capacitor yet, but how does that go into the wiring as well? You put it on the DC output of the stator and then it continues on to the rest of the system? I haven't done a lot of wiring, but I'm confident I can this so I'm sorry if the questions are too easy and thanks in advance.



I labeled it.. 12VDC+ is top left, AC input is top right (either one)

AC input (either one) bottom left, frame GROUND is bottom right (as shown)




My friend gave me his stock pipe, unmolested



warm hands



 Here is the one I got from ebay off your link and now after doing hours of internet searches I found the diagram for the plug.







Sorry we must've been posting at about the same time and thanks :goofy: and great on the pipe and the happy hands. Happy riding :ride: Our riding on the east side may be about over by this weekend.

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