Need older bike buying advice!

Hi folks,

I've done a lot of reading on TT and felt like I've picked up some very good knowledge. I'm in the market for a 4 stroke I can convert to street legal (for about 1% riding) but primarily use for desert/trail riding here in Idaho - basically the WR/XR/DR 400 class. The wife gave me a budget of about $1500 so I know that puts me into the early to mid 1990's from what I've seen in all the local ads.

Since I'm probably looking at a 10+ year old machine, reliability becomes my #1 requirement followed by performance. If I could buy new, I think a WR400 would win but from the info I've gathered on this site, I'm wondering if the older XR's would be a better choice? How do the older WR's compare to the XR's? And maybe a comparison to the early 90's DR's? I'm looking for performance comparisons as well as reliability issues (I understand that maintenance is the most important element here but, in general...).

Any advice/info would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,


Go for an older air cooled XR 400 or XR600. Easy to work on and rebuild. Reliable long engine life due to lower performance stress on engine. Many will already be dual sported. :)

if you are looking in the 1.5k range, I do not think you will find any WR400s that have been well maintained.

Like Indy said the XR400 is a reliable bike, with a wide scale parts avalability, and there are many on the market that have been D/Sed already.

But the DR350s is a bike that I just loved. Not sure exactly why, but I really like these bikes. They are as reliable as the XR400, requires very few mods to turn into a really good trail machine. Mine went through hell and back with no complaints. And I have a buddy that still rides a '97 DR350s and he is consiently one of the fastest guys I know (the 95% rider 5% bike theory). E start and a fair amount of aftermarket parts.

just my thoughts

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