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Looking at used XR400 - How to check swingarm bolt?

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Hello all,

Long-time TT lurker, first-time poster here.

 

I'm in the market for a used XR400 as a semi-first bike after a 20 year hiatus from riding.  Spent a lot of time on a Suzuki 125 in my youth.

 

1. Is it possible to check for a frozen swingarm bolt easily during a used bike inspection?  I'm not a mechanic by any stretch, but could I check this potential issue with some basic hand tools?  2 ratchets and sockets?

2. What do I need to check exactly?  Am I okay if the bolt will turn?  Do I need to loosen the nut a little and move the bolt laterally in the hole? 

3. What kind of prices are these bikes fetching these days (ballpark)?  Looking at 2 stock bikes, a 1999 and a 2000 in the Southeast.

 

Thanks for any advice offered.

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This is a good question. Although I can think of others to ask. Overall appearance can tell of neglect. Air filter and oil tells of engine abuse. Bent bars and case rash show crashing. Oil leak is a bad sign.As far as prices, what part of the US are you in? West coast prices range from $1500. To $3500. or thereabouts. Year, condition, and plated or not can make a huge difference. Hope this helps!

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Thanks for some other things to look for.  I'm in the Southeast, TN and Georgia specifically.  Neither of these bikes are plated.

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If you loosen off the nut and the bolt will turn, that's good sign #1, but it really needs to be able to be moved laterally. With the nut off and tapping the end of the bolt, if it starts to slide out, good sign #2, means the sleeves aren't corroded to the bolt and most likely it will come all the way out.

Ask the owner the last time he's had it out.

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Thanks Trailryder, neither of the current owners have ever removed the swingarm bolts.  I asked during during initial conversations and they were honest about it.

 

What kind of ballpark price should I expect?  1999 and 2000, both look very stock.

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In good shape, probably in the range of $1500-2k. But sounds like neither has been very good on maintenance, so I'd say the low end of that range or less.

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Just wanted to follow up...

I picked up a 1999 XR400 on Saturday. My first bike in a long time, the XR is a fun bike so far, very torquey. I don't have any maintenance history on the bike, so I'm going to spend some time going over the bike to see what might need attention.

Thanks again for all the replies.

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In good shape, probably in the range of $1500-2k. But sounds like neither has been very good on maintenance, so I'd say the low end of that range or less.

 A very tiny % of owners visit this forum or know anything about swingarm pivot problems.

 Hardly shows the bike has been poorly maintained.  ;)

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Perhaps, but if they don't know any better about that, then what else do they not know any better of? Along those lines, a poorly maintained bike isn't necessarily a deliberate neglect. But when buying a used bike with no maintenance history, you DO NOT give the PO the benefit of the doubt.

A very tiny % of owners visit this forum or know anything about swingarm pivot problems.

 Hardly shows the bike has been poorly maintained.  ;)

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Perhaps, but if they don't know any better about that, then what else do they not know any better of? Along those lines, a poorly maintained bike isn't necessarily a deliberate neglect. But when buying a used bike with no maintenance history, you DO NOT give the PO the benefit of the doubt.

 

 

 Agreed. But just because they have'nt heard about the pivot bolt doesn't mean the oil hasn't been changed regularly either.  ;)

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