99 YZ400F for newbie....concerns

Hey folks,

Just purchased a 99 YZ400 as my first bike. I'm a real green horn so be gentl on me! I'll probably be putting around on it at first as I learn. Are there concerns with this bike going slow? I've read it doesn't like to put around.

Should I just check / change plug more often?

Don't want to damage it obviously, also don't want to get overly annoyed at excessive stalling if I can help it. Just wondering if there are mods I can / should do while I learn. Tried to find a WR but this was the first bike that came up in my price range so this is gonna be my baby for awhile.

Thanks in advance


Also I've read starting is somewhat of an art on these bikes, but if the right procedures for diff situations are followed (hot / cold) its no problem. Where is the best place to get the starting techniques?

BTW, although I purchased the bike, I'm overseas and can't pick it up till Aug, I'm going freakin nuts!! :)

Forget the starting drill, buy a 450 exhaust cam. If your riding real slow it could overheat and boil over, I would recommend engine ice or water wetter to help keep your temp down.

You have a fine bike. Yes it is heavier than the newer ones and lacks some of there refinment but it will do fine.

All the starting drill is:

starting cold:

1. pull choke

2. 2-3 twists of the throttle

3. slowly kick till it gets hard (engine at tdc).

4. pull compression release and hold

5. slowly kick maybe 1" more

6. release compression release

7. take hand off the throttle

8. Bring kickstarter back to top and give it a healthy kick.

If it dont start repeat steps 3-8

If it hasn't been opened up I would highly recomend checking the valves, and replace the cam chain. Maybe a new set of rings also. That way you know it is all fresh. Shouldn't cost you more than $100 if you do it your self.

Also start replacing all the fluids. Coolant, oil, brake fluid, fork and shock oil.

Then take the rear suspension linkage apart and give it a good coat of greese. Dont forget to lube the swingarm pivot, rear brake pivot and the stearing stem bearings.

riding somewhat slow is fine. Just no extended 1st gear riding. The yz400's liked to get really hot when run slow. The bike will let you know when you are going too slow cause you will get really warm.

Enjoy your ride.

Thanks a million YZMan! Exactly the kind of advice I was looking for. :D

Although I'm not experienced with bikes I've worked on all kinds of cars and small engines since the 70's so will definitely tackle maintenance myself (with advice from TT obviously!). Can you recommend a maintenance manual please. Is the Yamaha manual way to go, or others better?

Also any comments on adding flywheel weight for my bike considering I'm just starting? :)

Thanks :)

You can't go too far wrong following the Yamaha factory manual. It is pretty good actually..... :)

Oh and dont even think of working on the top end of that motor unless you have a good 1/4" drive torque wrench to properly torque the cam cap bolts. DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN THEM. Very bad things will ensue. Trust me I know.

The stock yamaha manual is great to use. Oh and make sure that you have the yamaha tool for removing the spark plug. Makes it soooo much easier.

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