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I just don't see many XRs around anymore.

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I just returned from a fairly large group trail ride in Idaho. The predominant motorcycle there were KTMs. There was one XR600, one XR600L, one XR650L, one XR400 (mine), one XR250 (my wife's), and one XR100, out of at least 50 bikes.

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The criteria I used when I bought my dirt bike were:

1 - Bigger than my 85 XT350.

2 - Kick start, because I didn't want to maintain a battery.

3 - Air cooled, because I didn't want to maintain coolant/radiator or risk radiator damage.

4 - Four stroke, because I didn't want to deal with mix gas or oil injection.

The answer was a '99 XR400. I just wanted to be able to change the oil once a year and get on and ride. I don't ride a lot, so annual maintenance is just about right. It's a great bike that's ready to go when I am.

Why don't you see more of them... Don't know. My 400 is kinda heavy. For trails and small jumps it works for me, but maybe the demand is for lighter bikes. I know Honda doesn't make the XR400 any more so there must have been significant market pressure to drive the model out of production. I'm curious to watch this thread and see what others think.

Later,

Doug

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I have a CRF but, here in CA its red sticker season. That means you got to go ride a $20 track to use it or, the '01 XR400 with its green sticker to go all season. I know many of us like to own the most modern bike we can but, I will stick with my green sticker bike. And the maintainance thing matters a lot.

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Yep.. Seem to be fewer and fewer... Especially the littler ones... XR200 and under... I wanted an older XR80/100 for my daughters (due to the cheaper price), but I only ever found one for sale and it didn't run right... Now their older and I want a 200 for them, but I'll be darned if I can find a local one for sale... And on the odd occasion I do, they have it way overpriced... I did just find a 1988 CR80 and snatched it up for $600, but riding on the trails with them, I really wish it were an XR...

What I want to know is, where are all the late 80's XR's??? I know there are tons out there, but where??? :thumbsup: Rotting outside someones garage likely...

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I ride an 04 XR400...the last year they were made. The bike is heavy, sloppy (even with expensive suspension reworking), and relatively slow. It is not in the same class as the more modern bikes like the 450X, 450EXC, WR450, etc. I could have a more modern bike but I doubt it would make me any faster or be any more fun to ride. I work like a dog in my professional life and just want a bike I can put lots of hard desert miles on without too many worries. That's where the XR wins over all the newer bikes. My bike is an extremely reliable torque monster that gives me several hundred miles of enjoyment month after month. I commonly do 100 or more miles on a ride even in triple digit heat. The XR never winces, never complains, and always gets me back to the truck. The XR is still the ultimate trail bike and believe it or not I like the XR for Hare Scrambles. Probably won't win but probably will finish:) I'll continue to ride the tires off the XR and maybe consider a more modern bike next year......maybe. :ride::thumbsup::applause:

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I just returned from a fairly large group trail ride in Idaho. The predominant motorcycle there were KTMs. There was one XR600, one XR600L, one XR650L, one XR400 (mine), one XR250 (my wife's), and one XR100, out of at least 50 bikes.

I think with the advent of crazy financing of new off road motorcycles that the intense marketing that has become prevalent over the past 10 years or so, used bikes of all kinds are fading farther and farther from the mainstream riding public and falling into the hands of the casual or "non-riding" rider. It is the same thing that happened with MX bikes--the may still be competitive, yet you will never see one at the track. Same with off road bikes--who actually needs a new KTM, WR, or CRFX, when an XR will do just fine. I have a hard time believing a heavier less reiable motorcycle such as the DRZ400 would replace the XR400, but almost everyone I ride with rides a DRZ. It is not marginlly superior, just has more sizzle with the water cooling and modern, sleek look.

Don't get me wrong. The newest crop of bikes is unbelievable, and the KTM's are fantastic, however...

The thing is people WANT the newest thing, the do not necessarily NEED it. As we all know, it is nearly impossible to wear out an XR or air cooled DR, and the capability of each is far beyond the normal trail rider.

Here is another example: Why would anyone buy a CRF230 when they could buy an XR250. While the XR250 is dated from the 1990's the CRF230 would have been outdated in the early 1980's with its short, spindly forks, its non rebuildable steel shock, and drum brake.

The thing is that the farher out of the mainstream a bike gets (justified or unjustified) the less value it has and it make it possible people who are outside the mainstream riding community to own them.

An extreme example of this are the MX and off raod bikes of the 1970's and 1980's. No one wanted them, you practically could not give them away, and therefore they made it to a lot of people who probably had no business of owning a motorcycle.

It is all about value, and most people value looks over function.

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I know Honda doesn't make the XR400 any more so there must have been significant market pressure to drive the model out of production.

IMHO it was discontinued because you cannot sell parts for something that does not break down. Think about what is replacing it and the cost of maintenance as well as the extent of the maintenance required to get them as far down the trail as the trusty XR. You cant convince me it was demand when with a suspension upgrade it would still sell like hotcakes and that alone would not effect its durability or longevity.

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The Xr'S don't make money for Honda they are unbreakable. I have been riding a 1981 xr500r for four years with reworked suspension now and has always returned to the truck under its own power

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Cubera, Will a newer bike make you faster and be more fun....YES :ride: I rode a 87 xr 250 I bought used in 1994 for 10yrs. I loved my "old Pig". Then I rode a 04 crf250x :applause: Handling, performance,electric start :applause: I could fly. I can ride longer and harder and be less tired so yes there is a difference. Now saying that.... I'm thinking of going back to an xr :thumbsup: The main reason is what everyone has stated. Very reliable, low maintance, NEVER....NEVER let me down or stranded. I will miss the e start and great handling but I wont miss worring about the rads, valves rebuild cost etc. In 10yrs on my old xr I put 1 piston and adjusted the valves 3times. I miss my old pig.

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The XRs aren't fast or competitive compared to the newer bikes. They last longer but you can't race them unless heavily modified. I agree that for 90% of people they probably are the best choice. I talked to guy in Colorado that rode a 250X and he had replace 2 heads and gone through three sets of valves. I would never go back to an XR now that I have my YZ250F...it is so much more fun.

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I rode an XR75 in the mid-seventies and always wanted bigger but never came by it. This winter I looked for my first 'start riding again' bike and though there was a ton to research, nothing compared to the longevity and simplicity of the XR with the ablnced handling that is hard to miss with. My '03 XR250 has been great. I too perked it up with higher rate front springs and lighter, higher bars and so forth, such that it handles really well with just enough power. I can't pull the front wheel in third to clear a log or puddle without loading the rear and timing it perfectly, but I find the power so much more appropriate for a trail than the dirt spitting bikes most of my friends ride.

I was also horrified to find that not only were people doing head jobs each year on the current liquid cooled bikes, but this type of major surgery is recommended by the manufacturers! Too big a price to pay for a bi-weekly trail rider.

Finally, let me say I personally see two upgrade paths should I start desiring more machine. One is to bore the XR, and the other is a KTM 250 or 400 four stroke.

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I rarely see bikes these days... quads galor. I think they're for the fat guys who used to ride but can't anymore for whatever reason.

Anyway, I love my XR250... thing has more power then I can use as it is. And actually, i forget where I was looking but the XR250 has more torque then a 05 WR250F... by about 1ft.lbs. and it does it about 2000 rpm sooner. Something's wrong here. I love these things.... oil every now and again, lube the chain and give it gas... thing will be happy for a long time.

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My last ride I saw 4 XR4's all 2000 and up. I haven't seen any 96'-99' XR4's for a while and have only seen 2 XR2's since 03'. I prefer old school 4-strokes. I have owned modern bikes and my friends have let me take their CRF's WR's for the weekend and all though they are fun to ride and have tons of power and the handling is great. I prefer the the old school air cooled thumpers. I just love the torque they put out and they are so much more comfortable. I like long trail rides and it isn't unusual for me to burn a whole tank of gas on one ride. Doing that on a modern bike is tough on the body.

I see a lot of people out on the trail riding the latest and greatest bikes and for many of these people it is just total performance over kill.

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I have to quote the line from AMHRA17L post, it is so right on the head.

"it is nearly impossible to wear out an XR or air cooled DR, and the capability of each is far beyond the normal trail rider."

Nuff said.

However the ones that want to ride like Malcolm Smith or Dick Burleson (dating myself) opt for only the newest latest greatest bikes, hence the XR's seemingly disappearance. My 2004 XR250R is more bike off raod than I will ever need. It is capable of more than I am capable of, it is tons of fun to ride! it is bulletproof.

Just imagine a XR250R is better than any works MX'er of the 70's - we only dreamed of such bikes back then.

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The few, the proud, the XRs. I've only had my XR250 for a month, but that thing has done more than I thought it could. Every time I read a thread praising the XR I'm glad I bought one. I don't think I've ever even seen somebody cursing their XR on this sub-forum, unlike some other bikes. :thumbsup:

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I don't think I've ever even seen somebody cursing their XR on this sub-forum, unlike some other bikes. :thumbsup:

I imagine if you do a search using "hard starting" you'll find many unkind comments.

Having owned a XR250 for 5 years the only thing that took me by surprise was that the bike required a starting drill, a flood drill, what to do when neither drill works. Excellent bike, and as others have stated reliable, reliable, reliable. But past it's time when it comes to competition use.

I have gone over to orange for competition use. The XR I'll keep for red sticker season.

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well talking about bullet proof xr's i was in a head on at around 60clicks out the bush on the weekend got knocked out i had hit a ktm 300exc from what i have heard but can't remember anything, my bike just got a bent shift leaver, bent bark buster witch has aluminum reinforcement witch is a 1/4 of a inch think and a twisted up front forks but thats easy to fix, so my bike is not really bad, but from what i head about this ktm it was stuffed completely it had a buckled front wheel witch rubbed on the front forks, dinted fork chamber, snapped front axle nut, smashed front guard, the head light and speedo was just hang on with wires. The guys mate that had a kx450f said those xrs are bullet proof. i just wish i could rember that ktm and how it looked.

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IMHO it was discontinued because you cannot sell parts for something that does not break down. Think about what is replacing it and the cost of maintenance as well as the extent of the maintenance required to get them as far down the trail as the trusty XR. You cant convince me it was demand when with a suspension upgrade it would still sell like hotcakes and that alone would not effect its durability or longevity.

That's exactly right. Some of us are still taking the "old" XR line to task and it pisses lots of people off. :ride::applause: Nothing worse than being beaten badly by an old spode on an "old" bike. :thumbsup:

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That's exactly right. Some of us are still taking the "old" XR line to task and it pisses lots of people off. :ride::applause: Nothing worse than being beaten badly by an old spode on an "old" bike. :thumbsup:

I have a 96 XR 250 and I put a big bore kit in and still, it does not have near the power of any of the newer 250s. But I go riding at a place called tower city in PA, and there are hill climbs that I am making no problem and no one else is making them at all!!!! I really can't understand it, if I had their bike I could be jumping 10' in the air off the top, but I think it is all about riding technique.

Anyway I love my bike. Reworked suspension is on my to-do list and if it is anything like people say, the handling will be better than I could imagine.

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