XR400 vs WR4xx

I'm exploring the used market, and have noticed that XR's run about the same resale value as WR's.

I know I'm in the Yammi forum, but I would like to hear from people that have actually owned both XR's and WR's, what the advantages and disadvantages of both are.

This question has been asked a million times, but here is a basic guideline.

Get the xr if you want something that will run for ages with minimal oil changes.

Get the wr if you want more power with still good reliability.

The wr makes about 10 more hp then the xr.

If you forget the liquid cooled vs air cooled reliability debate, I would argue that WR's are every bit as reliable as the XR's. We are just now starting to be able to make the comparison as the WR 400's have been out now for 7 years.

I had a 1999 XR400 and got on really well with it. They are a bit underpowered and heavy but make very good and trail/enduro bikes. I did read once that someone let an XR400 idle all day in the desert to see what would happen and it was none the worse for it. You havent specified what you want to use the bike for and how much riding experience you have. I've just bought a 2002 WR426 and here are some plus and minus points for both bikes to help you out, please bear in mind though that a plus point for one person could be counted as a minus for another and vice versa.

XR400 Plus points -

Very reliable, plently of usable and easily managed power, flattering for novices, easy to maintain, auto decompressor (easy kick starting), can handle medium distance road work, needs minimal maintenance

XR400 Minus points -

Heavy, old fashioned styling, down on power compared to other 400s

WR426 Plus points -

Smoothly delivered seemingly endless power, stunning looks, light weight, reliable for what is essentially a race bike

WR426 Minus points -

Not really designed to be riden on tarmac, needs lots of regular maintenance, power is probably too much for novices

Hope this helps


Great replies guys. Thats what I was looking for.

Basically, I want to have my cake and eat it too. I ride everything from tight woods, to desert, to sand dunes, and I want a bike that will do it all. I would consider myself a novice-intermediate level. I can ride pretty well, but have a lot to learn.

How about the suspension of the two. I want to be able to catch 5-6 feet of air without bottoming out.

This question has been asked numerous times but it is definitely a very good question. Most of us only have so much money to spend on a bike and we want to make every penny count. The "reputation" of the XR400 being more reliable than the WR hits a nerve with us and can be hard to overlook. I know because I was in your excact same position a year ago. I rode an XR250 that was WAY underpowered and I wanted (NEEDED) to upgrade. My mind was pretty much made up that I was going to get an XR400 because it was more "reliable". My good buddy has a XR400 and he let me ride it and I felt it slightly lug for power when I was going up a hill up near Elkins Flat here in Cal. I knew at that momment that buying the XR400 would not be a good purchase for me (I had dealt with the lack of power in my XR250 and swore I would never have an underpowered bike again). Then I really started researching the WR (here on TT and on the Internet).

Anyhow, I found a new 01' WR426 that a Yamaha dealer still had in his warehouse (from what I understand it is common for dealers to have previous year bike laying around :) ). As stupid as it sounds I had never ridden an WR before but, like I said, I had done a tremendous amount of research (here TT and on the Internet).

Anyhow, to make a very long story short the first time I rode it I was with my buddy with the XR400. After about two hours of riding we swapped bikes. It took me about 2 seconds on his bike to realize I had made the right decision.

It took me 2 seconds to realize that the WR is a far superior bike. The first difference I noticed was the throttle response. The XR throttle kind of "rolled" whereas the WR throttle is really responsive. The suspension is absolutley night and day. I always felt like the XR (both the 250 and the 400) were going to "wash out" around corners. This is not the case with the WR. There is much more power in the WR than the XR and the power is very user friendly. The ergonamics of the WR are far superior. The bike "feels" so much better than the XR.

I think the one fact that says it all is that my buddy (who swore by his XR400) is thinking seriously about getting rid of the XR400 and buying either a WR or the new CRF from Honda.

After riding and researching both I would STRONGLY recommend choosing the WR over the XR. I will even go so far as to say don't waster your money on the XR400 - you will regret it.

Read the forums here about how many miles are being put on the WRs and I think you will find that they are very reliable bikes.

This is just my $.02, but I feel strongly about it.

PM me if you have any questions.


Great replies guys. Thats what I was looking for.

Basically, I want to have my cake and eat it too. I ride everything from tight woods, to desert, to sand dunes, and I want a bike that will do it all. I would consider myself a novice-intermediate level. I can ride pretty well, but have a lot to learn.

How about the suspension of the two. I want to be able to catch 5-6 feet of air without bottoming out.

Just saw your last post. If jumping is something you like to do then FORGET about the XR400. I am 6'05 245lbs. and, although I am not a "jumper" I have never bottomed out my suspension on the WR. Even not being a "jumper" on my old XR250 and my buddy's XR400 I could easily bottom out the suspension just going over whoops and small jumps in the course of our trail riding.

After reading what you have posted I strongly think the XR is not the bike for you. You may want to adjust your question to: WR versus CRF versus KTM. These three bikes are in the same ballpark. The XR400, quite frankly, is not.

Thanks for the tips. I've already looked into the WR/CRFX/KTM issue and decided on the WR...but then I was thinkin' I'd start looking at used bikes, so I could get a bike sooner, rather than later, only to be shocked that the XR's were selling for about the same price as WRs!

Sounds like I'd be better off spending that $$ on the WR. By the way, how much did you end up spending on the new "older" bike, and what dealer did you go though?

Thanks again! :)

If ya make a few minor mods to make it more like a WR, you can get a new 01 yz426f for somewhere around $3800-$4000. I live outside of Houston, TX and the dealer closest to me has two of them left. The dealership is called Hurst Yamaha. Hope that helps.

I had the same "Damm, I can buy a new XR400 for the same price as a used WR" debate. Darn near pulled the trigger on a new XR400 at a dealer over in the bay area. They wanted $5100 OTD. Even though the price was right my gut kept nagging at me not to do it. I am VERY thankfull I did not!

I found my 01' WR426 on cycletrader.com from a dealer in Georgia. Don't remember the name though. From talking to the dealer it seemed like any Yamaha dealer could do a search for available bikes in the inventory of other dealerships.

I paid $4900 for it but the dealer picked up shipping. It may seem like a lot in other parts of the country but the "Green Sticker" emission laws here in CA are such that 03' and 04' WR models are "Red Stickered" which means there are restrictions on where and when you can ride :D:):) and the 05's are $7000+ (my wife would kill me :p )

Therefore, there is a market premium in CA on 99', 00', 01' and 02' models (especially 01' and 02'). When you combine that with the fact that I wanted a "mint" condition bike and not one that had been ridden hard, raced or that had "work" done to make it "faster" (I always worry that there are too many people who have no idea mechanically what they are doing) it really cut into the number of bikes available. Plus, if you buy it from a private party you have to arrange shipping and money exchange. So when I saw this bike I jumped on it and paid the few extra $$. It has been WELL WORTH IT!

The entire time I searched I only found one other comperable used bike near me in CA - and it sold in three hours!

Ask your local Yamaha dealer to do a search for an 01' or 02'.

I just picked up my 2001 WR426 for $1995.00 :):)

Yeah thats right $1995.00 for a used WR426.

I came away smiling like I stole the thing. I bought it from a local Harley dealership, they had no idea what they had.

I also came from the XR250 and was sick of hitting bottum on small whoops and not to mention the lack of power.

I am sure you will be pleased with any WR you get. I recently rode a friends YZF250 and though it is lightyears better than the XR250 I could tell that I missed the power of the 426.

Good luck,


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