What is the best thing to upgrade?

Hello Thumpertalk,

Long time reader of all these posts. Great information.

I have a 1999 WR400. I am looking to invest some money to modifcations this winter. The bike is totally stock except for the free mods and an GYTR exhaust baffle. So here are a few items that I want to change. Which Mod would make the greatest impact for this bike?

1. Tank and Seat combo

2. Steering Dampner

3. Fully modified suspension

4. Some type of motor change (420 kit, flywheel, lighting,etc.)

The better half has pretty much put a limit of $600.00 for the change. I am a casual rider that maybe goes out 2 or 3 times per month. I am located in the northeastern U.S.

What kind of riding do you do?

Dual sport? Time on the pavement, and most dirt time on wide smooth fire roads where you run out of power before you run out of straightaway, and your buddies pull away from you (but not in the corners)? Motor mods. (#1, good exhaust)

Trails? I hope so. Any single track? Do the seat/tank, should be able to find used stuff around 150, definitely less than 200. You won't believe the difference. Then it get's tougher. I have ridden bikes with custom suspension setups that felt so damned good, it was unbelievable. But, I also love the feel of a good steering damper. I wouldn't know which to do first, I think it depends on the terrain you usually ride.

Is it really hilly, big bumps and whoops, jumps, that sort of thing? Do you ride MX? Suspension.

Or is it more smooth and wide open, but maybe rocky or rutted? Is your idea of a good time an 80 mph blast down a sand wash or rocky road? Damper.

See what I mean?

The best thing to change, hands down, no matter what type of riding or bike you ride is suspension.

I agree get the suspension set right for you will get you the most bang for the buck.

Willy Fitz

Suspension and seat/tank are good, but I would argue for the auto-decompression. You can either get an '03 exhaust cam (stock) or go with Hot Cams, but that feature alone will drastically increase your riding pleasure. It is not too difficult to do, and the ease of starting your bike really helps save your energy for the track/trail/woods.

Then I would do suspension, damper and seat/tank combo.



Exhaust cam: $140

Seat/tank : $200

Used Damper: $400 (?) (triple clamp, damper and bar clamp)

Thanks for the replies.

I ride in the northeast mostly Massachussets and New Hampshire. All Woods trails, no road or MX tracks. It can be very rocky and tight.

It looks like suspension is leading the way in this informal poll.

Hey Enduro,

Thanks for another idea. The cam is probably in the near future for this bike. Even though I really dont have too much issue with the "drill".

She starts pretty dam easy.

How about yz timing :)

I'd buy a tank and seat on ebay for around $100-125.

Fully moded suspension will set you back $400 front and rear. I think the stock suspension is okay for trails but set your clickers out for rocks. On the other hand if your 99 suspension has never been serviced then do it all at once.....

I think the 400 motor has plenty of go for NE single track.

Good luck

I have a '99 WR400 and I've done the mods you're considering except for any engine work.

I did the seat/tank combo before changing the POS D739 front tire and raising the fork tubes. Raise the fork tubes ~1/2" and run a tire for your terrain and the bike will turn. Then decide if you really need to go with the YZ seat/tank.

Personally, I would bite the bullet and do suspension AND a steering damper but I'd do the suspension first because IMO the steering damper may mask a suspension problem. I tried playing with the clickers on my bike to get the suspension dialed in but I couldn't find a setting I liked for the rocks - I spent two days in Downieville and decided then and there the suspension was being sent out. Granted, I weigh 245# and had stiffer springs but I don't think the '99 suspension was very good to begin with for my type of riding. The suspension work was worth every penny - it'd be the first thing I'd do if you can't find a happy setting with the stock valving.

Good luck,


I personaly would get graphics first.... :D

But seriously, getting your suspension done by a good shop should be your first step.. The stock suspension is actually pretty good, but with a little help it could be great. As far as the seat goes, you should be able to get an SDG seat for about 80 bucks with a gripper cover. The bike is a lot of fun with a YZ tank, you shouldn't have a problem finding a good used one for pretty cheap. As far as the steering stabilizer goes, GPR sells a complete kit in a nice package well under what Scotts sells for when it come time... Have fun... :)

Suspension and handlebars have been the most remarkable improvement I've made. Input and control have increased exponentially... then the only expensive thing left is the stabilizer.

Thanks to all for the replies.

I will send the suspension out to either Factory connection which is just up the road from me in New Hampshire, or a smaller shop in Mass that I has been reccommended to me from my dealer.

Best Regards to all.

Orange let us know how you like it

The best thing to change, hands down, no matter what type of riding or bike you ride is suspension.

Yeah, for any bike

I switched to the IMS YZ tank and seat combo and it has helped immensely in how I ride the bike. One of the best mods I have done. At 6'4" my next move is a set of Pro Tapers with a bit more rise.

Good Luck

At 6'4" my next move is a set of Pro Tapers with a bit more rise.

Good Luck

Thumper Racing +1.5" bar risers - you'll really appreciate them.


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