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Considering an XR400

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I am planning on getting a new bike this year and was kicking around the ktm 450exc for a while but then came to realize that I don't want to be doing top ends twice a year. I currently have an '03 dr650 and it is bulletproof, just heavy. I realized this is what I want just in a more manageble package. So my question is how far back are all the 400's the same before they made any real changes besides cosmetics. I'm looking to get used (the wife won't let me get another new one) bike to keep the costs down and the motors are pretty bulletproof so you really can't go wrong. #2 Is there anything I should be on the lookout for, inherant failures besides the usual stuff that applies to all bikes? Thanks in advance, Jon

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first year was 96. 98 saw a revised(stronger) clutch or gearbox, can't remember. expensive to retrofit. 2000 or so saw stiffer fork spring rates (but still not right for most people). cheap to retrofit. mechanically that's all. color changed, big deal. get atleast a 98 or later & you'll have the most kick-arse trail bike.

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My dad owns a '98 XR400, and he loves it. He bought it used, and it had a ton of mods on it though, ie redone suspension, FMF pipe, Acerbis stuff, etc. That thing is bulletproof and has some power. Currently, he wants to add a 426 or 440 kit to it.

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I own a '98 XR400. Like any of the bikes, you have to really buy based on how well it was taken care of. There is no doubt the KTM will be "faster", but the XR motor is indestructable, and there is a HUGE aftermarket following for it. One thing to definatly look out for, and its probably already been fixed on all of the bikes, is the choke plate for 96/97, they can fall off and go into the motor.

Of course i'm not the best example, considering my motor is torn down for spiewing oil for the last two rides. Its the first time the top end has been done, ever. 6 years old, and i rode it an entire weekend burning ~1.5quarts on its last ride without a problem. :cry: Oh, the 440 kit goes in this weekend, rebuilding the rest of it next week and it should be good to go. =)

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I've had my xr400 for 3 years now. Best bike i have ever had. it feels as nimble to me as my xr250 did but it has a lot more power and way better suspension too.

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how far back are all the 400's the same before they made any real changes besides cosmetics. I'm looking to get used (the wife won't let me get another new one) bike to keep the costs down and the motors are pretty bulletproof so you really can't go wrong. #2 Is there anything I should be on the lookout for, inherant failures besides the usual stuff that applies to all bikes? Thanks in advance, Jon
1) I believe '00 and newer are pretty much the same mechanically. Cosmetics aren't a real driver, but the '00 and newer red plastic is much better from a wear stand point. The '99 and older white tank actually turns yellow where your knees rub, so it can look pretty ratty after a while.

2) I don't know that there is an inherent weak point in the XR that you should look for. You should look for the common things: maintenance records, properly adjusted and lubed chain, rust in frame welds indicating cracks, worn/cracked sprocket teeth, excessive head bearing play, good cranking compression, oil condition on the dip stick, etc. If you can crank it from cold, look for excessive oil smoke puffs on startup and after continued running. Others probably have good suggestions.

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I have two 99 xr400s. Every time I ride its all :) easy to ride, easy to maintain, never breakdown, and no race gas or oil to mix. Just gas up and go. One tank of fuel is good for at least 70miles. Just make sure you rejet the carb. My friend just bought an 04 and the difference in power and response after changing to 60/155 combo with 2nd position on needle was unbelievable.....

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xr400 is a great choice. i have a 2002 xr400..the main reason i bought it was reliability...when im 30 miles deep on trails the last thing i want is for my bike to break down. if your loooking for the most bulletproof bike this is it. from what i hear 2000 and newer is the way to go.

xr tator is right about the re-jetting.. i went to a 162-62 combo and got the dual taper needle. it made such a huge difference it was unreal. more power, better throttle response,starts 1st or 2nd kick everytime and idles when its cold with no problem..i also put on an aftermarket air filter and a new less restrictive exhuast baffle(vortip).

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Every time I think it'd be nice to have a more modern bike, I go to the forum on the CRF250X and then I remember why I stick to XR's.

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Every time I think it'd be nice to have a more modern bike, I go to the forum on the CRF250X and then I remember why I stick to XR's.

Same here. I think of how nice it would be to have a WR250F, which keeps me in their forum alot. But then I ride my bike and realize how much I love it, and no extra maintenence it's win win.

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