WR400 vs XR400 - which one?

I am thinking about getting a 1998 WR400 or 1996-1998 XR400.

I currently ride a Suzuki DR350, it's pretty slow and heavy, and I think I would rather sell it and buy a faster bike instead of doing a lot of work to it.

I am a New England woods rider, and I may start racing Enduros this summer or next. The DR350 is my first bike and I consider myself an intermediate rider.

What are the pros and cons of each bike?

I know that by posting in this forum I may get a biased response but any opinions would be helpful.



Where in New England?

My WR can be a handful in the tight woods. I think it likes the wide open stuff more. The suspension also isn't set up for the slow speed stuff. I am having my forks re-valved at Budds Creek at Sunday's Pro MX.

The stock ergos on the WR also leaves a lot to be desired. Many of us have swapped tanks, either using a stock capacity YZ tank, or going to an aftermarket large capacity tank. To do this you MUST use a YZ seat. There are a few companies that sell YZ seats.

The thing that sets the XR and WR apart is the suspension and the engine. I think bang for the buck, the WR is better in the engine dept. The suspension, even though not setup for slow stuff, is MUCH better on the WR.

TO make the XR better, you will need to have the suspension done, unless you just ride slow speed, plonking stuff. The stock XR ergos are also bad, unless you like riding between the humps of a camel. I forget who makes the body kit for the XR, but you get all new tank, seat and (side panels?). The kit goes for >$500.00.

So both bikes could use better ergos and both bikes could use better suspension. The stock WR suspension is pretty good for higher speeds. The XR's is better for slow speeds.

They are two different animals in need of help. Take your pick.



99 WR, all YZ mods, de-octopused, OEM YZ tank and seat, jetting by Clark.


Moab bound for 2000, HOORAY!! Gonna be kicking some Moab Ass (Mule or Donkey?)!

I currently own both bikes ('98 xr400 and '00 wr400) and can tell you my opinion of both. I was born on xr's and have really enjoyed them. The xr does great anywhere but excells on nasty, narly trail-rides. It'll go anywhere the wr can and often where the wr can't. The difference is in top end power and speed (p+s=fun2) known as Bryan's fun factor :) On the wr the ride isn't anywhere near as plush but if you plan on defying gravity the wr's suspension is the way to go. So, if top end speed/power and mx type suspension is what you're after get the wr. If you can sacrifice the top end for better turning low-end grunt the xr is my bike of choice. Both are fun but must be matched to your style and geography.

P.S. larger/ taller riders feel like the xr is too small a bike and feel more comfortable on the Yamaha.

Both Kevin and Chris are right on the mark. I just got back into bikes after a twenty year layoff and wanted a bike with a lot of performance. I rode the 2000 XR first and then a new 99 WR. There was no decision for me. The WR was awesome. As already said the WR is at it's best when riddin aggresively. So for tight woods riding I would say look at the new WR or YZ250f. I would guess that the performance would equal or better the XR and the suspension would be superior. Just speculation from viewing the spec's of the new Yamaha.

Good Luck



86TT225, 98CR80, 99WR, WR timing, throttle stop trimmed, air box lid removed, White Bros head pipe, silencer and air filter. Odometer and headlight removed. Moose hand and mud guards. YZ stock tank and IMS seat. Renthal Jimmy Button "highs" and Renthal Soft half waffle grips.

I'd put some money down the the 01 WR250F. I just bought my 99wr400f after riding an XR 250R (1996) for the past few years and I'm still adjusting. The WR is FUN to ride however, it is not as forgiving as the ol' XR. Especially in the tight stuff. I think the wr250f is going way a lot less than the 400 and is going to be a great bike for someone like yourself. I'm even considering trading mine in! If I don't, I'm going to change my seat and tank and take a few links out of my chain to shorten the wheel base a bit. I have also ridden a 1997 XR 400 in the tight stuff and my 250 was faster!

On my last post, I meant to spell "weigh" not "way". Duh!

I too moved on from a DR350 up to the WR400 and all I can say is good riddance.

Don't get me wrong, I loved my DR350. It was a great bike with decent power. I liked it better than the XR400. But once you twist the thottle on the WR it will all be a distant memory.

I won't lie to you. I have owned the WR for just a little over a year now and I have just recently begun to feel comfortable on any terrain with it.

It can be a beast in the tight trails but I have learned to adjust my riding style for the bike as it fits me. I got a great compliment from two riding buddies last Sunday on my speed on the trails. But like I said, it took me a full year to learn to ride this thing.

But it was very much worth it.


Dougie, '99 WR400

Mods: YZ timing, Race Tech Suspension, FMF PC IV, FMF Hi FLo Moto, YZ seat, IMS 3.3 tank, One Industries Graphics, Renthal bars, 14/52 gearing.

I wouldn't rule out the new Suzuki DRZ400. It has a little smoother power delivery and better handling than the WR400 off the shelf and has almost the same power. Plus it has electric start. It is heavier than the WR but holds it's weight well. I'm a little tall for the DRZ but if I had to ride primarily tight stuff, I'd seriously consider it.



I cannot say enough good things about this bike!!! I have had mine for two weeks and have put over 300 miles on it(in only 2 rides). I rode an xr400 and felt it was a little small for my liking. The power is great, and in only two rides I'm flying past people that I use to struggle to keep up with on my KDX220. The only thing that I would suggest to install is a steering dampner, and I think you'd have to do that on either machine.

I couldn't decide, so I bought both, a new 1999 XR400 and a new 2000 WR400. I ride in sand, tight woods, mountains, killer hills, the occasional mx-track etc. As much as the XR is a good bike, I had to sell it as the fun factor on the WR is WAY higher. Even on trails the XR may be easier, I get way more of a rush on the WR. The poor XR ended up staying behind (in the garage) on every ride I went on. Keep in mind that I am fairly large, 6'2" and 210 with no gear, and that big guys seem to get along with the WR better.

Thanks for all the great info everyone! The WR250 and DRZ400 look like a great fit for me, but I am not gonna buy a brand new bike since this is basically my first year riding. I am not really in a hurry to buy another bike since I haven't had the DR very long and it has been a great bike to learn on. But the DR lacks power, needs suspension work, and is a little small for me. (I am 6 feet, 175lbs)

Right now I am leaning towards the WR400. I will definetely have to ride it some more to make sure it won't be too much for me to handle in the woods, but it's sounds like a lot of fun and something that I sure as heck wouldn't get bored with. (And I will be able to keep up with all my buddies riding motocross bikes)

Thanks again!

-Brett in CT

I live in Colchester, right near Marlborough. What are some good places to ride around there? I just moved there a year ago and don't know the area that well yet.

I did not know of any places to ride.

I was a member of Central Village MX track which is off of 395 abouth 30 minutes north of Norwich.

If you are interested in becoming a member, the best thing to do is to attend the weekly meeting. It was/is held on Wednesdays at 8pm I believe, maybe 7:30pm.


99 WR, all YZ mods, de-octopused, OEM YZ tank and seat, jetting by Clark.


Moab bound for 2000, HOORAY!! Gonna be kicking some Moab Ass (Mule or Donkey?)!

Hey Brett,

What part of CT? I lived in Uncasville, Glastonbury, then Marlborough.


99 WR, all YZ mods, de-octopused, OEM YZ tank and seat, jetting by Clark.


Moab bound for 2000, HOORAY!! Gonna be kicking some Moab Ass (Mule or Donkey?)!

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