'98 used xr400r, what to look for

Hello all,

I've been wanted to get into dirt riding for some time, been riding my whole life but not on the dirt since I was a kid. The XR-400 looks like a great place to begin, since it's real reliable and light, and I might never outgrow it. I know what to look for in a used street bike, not so sure about dirt, except to ask how often they change the oil, valves, clean the air filter and change the oil. Anything specific I should look for in a '98? I've also found a cherry 2002 xr 400 but of course it costs more.

Anyhow for starting out, would you consider a '98 XR or something newer? I'm wary of older dirt bikes. I judge the owner more than the bike. But the XR seems unchanged from year to year and parts are easy to get. I can work a wrench. It also seems easy to dual-sport for connecting trails.

Thanks for any guidance.

Greg, Seattle WA

when you arrive, check to see if the motor is warm. you want to make sure you hear it run and ride after it has warmed from a cold start.

check the compression, if you can.

check the oil and the dipstick. you want to make sure the oil looks clean and the dipstick is not discolored. could be an indication of overheating.

put it through the gears and rock it. make sure it holds the gears.

it is kind of hard to check the suspension in a pre-purchase viewing without really riding it or tearing down the components. step down on the footpeg, the front and rear suspension should compress equally.

these i would say are the major things. everything else is pretty easy and inexpensive to replace.

Check the swingarm pivot bolt,see if you can turn it.Put the bike on a stand and check the wheel bearings by wiggling the wheel side to side to see if they need replacement.Grab the handlebars and or forks while on stand and wiggle side to side and front to back to check steering head bearings. Grab the swingarm and wiggle side to side to check swingarm bearings.Pull the clutch/throttle to check for hard pull as this is a sign of frayed clutch/throttle cable.

what is the price of the '98 and '02?

Thanks much guys, I bought the '98. It was $2000 bought it for $1800. The '02 was hardly used, literally brand new bought in '03 and ridden maybe 6 times. Wanted $3500. Seemed like a great deal. But he had a deposit on it already, and I'm more than happy with the '98.

It's been sitting a while, all summer in fact. I'm probably asking a FAQ here. What tires are good on the XR400 for Western WA trails? It needs tires right away. Has aftermarket tank, pipe, bars, seat and runs strong, kicks right up. I ran it through all the gears. Suspension is perfect. The engine was just completely rebuilt which made me happy about the purchase. It's missing at high RPMs and stalls at idle. I'm going to give it a complete tuneup and new gas and see how it runs then.

Thanks again guys can't wait to get out thumping! Man, isn't the day you get a new bike the best day of the year?

Greg Sumner

Woodinville, WA

'03 CBR 600RR

'98 XR400R

(assuming the clutch is adjusted properly) with the motor running pull in the clutch and put the bike in gear. if it feels like the clutch is dragging and the bike wants to go then either

1) the clutch cable is stretched (a cheap fix and a good bargaining point to bring price down)

2) the clutch basket/hub is worn out = several hundred dollars alone in parts

remember, the XR's use a dry sump oiling system. that means if you check the dipstick with a cold engine, its going to read very low.

that seems like a pretty fair deal.

if it has been sitting all summer, i would clean the carb. definitely changes gas. also clean the filter on the petcock.

as for tires, i've always been happy with irc vulcanduros. the are relatively inexpensive and i feel the performance per dollar is great. i think the rear is a ve33, i can't remember what the front is.

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