Wondering if an XR400 is the right bike for me?

Hi, I want to get a new motorbike and i'm thinking of getting an XR4. I'm 17 but not new to riding(been riding for 13 years).I currently own a '96 KDX200. I do like the bike,somewhat, but I don't like the fact that it is a 2-stroke. I've always owned a 4-stroke until about 2 years ago when i bought my kdx. just asking for some advice on this or other bikes. thanks

I guess it really comes down to the question if you like the 400. Have you ridden one before? I love mine, but other people swear by their DRZ's and KTM's. I'm thinking an XR400 would be good for the all around durability and available upgrades. You might look at a used crf 450, they're starting to come on the market. I don't know what you're intentions would be for your bike, woods, race, play, dual sport, etc. Give us more info here and you should get good insights. Good luck. That BBR 250 that guy has for sale on the board looks wicked!

Thank you for the reply ,now to answer your question, I am strictly a woods/trails rider, looking for a woods bike and want to get a 4-stroke that has a lower cost. I have owned XR's b4(80,100,200) and I did like their reliability. That is why I was looking at the XR. My brother has a XR250 and I'm looking for something with more than what it has to offer. So the next step (other than the 350) was the 400. I hope this is what kind of info you were asking for. Thanks.

If you liked your other XR's then you'll like the XR400. It's a good dependable bike and I know many of people that have one. They also use the XR400's on the Baja tour group I ride with. You cant go wrong. Sure there are better bikes like the DRZ400 but they have a different set of problems. You can't hurt an air cooled bike like you can a water cooler if you crash. There cheeper to keep up too.

I just finished an awesome woods ride yesterday on my XR4. It's a great bike with really usable power... but I have to tell you, I don't care for the weight. It is by far the heaviest bike I have ever owned. You really feel it when you are jammin through some nice single-track... and then all of a sudden the trail goes the other way 180 degrees. It takes longer to get the bike slowed down etc. I only weigh 150lbs... and if I had it to do over again.. I might have done the XR250 thing and thrown a bunch of money at the suspension and motor. Just food for thought, as I know you are riding a fairly light bike now.

I'm with XRPeter, turning the 400 is like turning an oil tanker, maybe slightly more difficult.

The 250 is quite a bit better, but to make it fly you'll need to spend some money. Worth it though in my opinion.

Thank you all for the replies. I certainly appreciate it.

I say go for an XR250R,put in a High Compression Piston,maybe a White Bros. Cam,Aftermarket Exhaust and Airfilter,cut the top of the airbox out and drill some holes in it, Just the Exhaust,Airfilter mod will make it TONS better than stock if you jet it right afterwards, My bike is stock except of a Wiseco High Compression Piston, Supertrapp IDS2 exhaust,Uni Airfilter,Top of Airbox cut out and 2 holes drilled it right side and that alone made it rip so just think what you can do to make it better, Just my opinion,but on the other hand if you don't care about weight get the 400 but you will really feel that 400's weight compared to that KDX,Matt

I used to have a XR400 It was a heavy bike but I really didnt notice it as bad unless I was picking it up. It was a great mountain , trail bike. I really liked it. The thing was a torque monster and I rarly had to work on it. It was bullet proof. But then I rode the DRZ. It is the best bike I have ever had. I dont get nearly as tired on the DR as i did the XR,I dont know why.The bikes I feel are about the same wheight but the dr is just easier. If you want raw torque and climbing power get a 400. If you are racing through the tight stuff and you don't weigh much then maybe the hopped up 250 wuld do. My son has the xr250 stoker it is a slug. He is 14 and 180lbs and he much prefers the power of my DRz 400 and my freinds xr400 even with the added weight. I would ask around and see iff anyone would let you try their 400 and see if the added mass is going to be somthing you can get used to. Good luck. P.S. You are lucky to be growing up in a time like this as far as motorcycles go. They are all good now I dont think there is alot of junk to sift out. Just find one that fits.

I had an XR400 and loved it too, but got more into MX and ended up with a YZ400F. The air cooled's are more reliable but you may want to consider either the WR250/400F or one of the KTM dual sport models. Any of these are way lighter than the XR400 and have a lot more grunt than an XR250. Economically speaking, if that is a concern, I have found that nothing holds its value like a stock (or nearly stock) Honda XR. I sold my '96 XR400 six months ago after 2yrs of ownership for $200 less than I paid for it. My two sons sold an 80 and a 100 for within a hundred dollars of purchase price (both bought used and kept for two years). None of the three ever required any repairs (that weren't self-inflicted). Lots of good bikes on the market, regardless of color, hard to go too far wrong with a Honda.

Have you modified the KDX? It responds well to mods and is super reliable bike.

YZ250f's are going really cheap now, about $3000 and has a huge after market for parts

to modify to your needs.

Your kdx is already a much better trail bike. Way lighter, handles better in the tight stuff, doesnt flood when it falls over, and faster.See www.dirtrider.net they have a forum on just kdx-they are great trail bikes and they tell you all the best mods.

I do agree with you about my KDX being a great trail bike, but, I don't want a 2-stroke. Even though it is a quiet one, I just don't like it. I would like a 4-stroke as my next bike. Thank You for the replies.

The XR400 & XR250 are great dependable TRAIL BIKE's. Both need modifications $$$ for enduro competitiveness, and are poor for MX. Look also at DRZ's KTM EXCs & Yamaha WR's all are good bikes properly set up. Trailriding,dependability the XR,s are the BEST. Mods are needed for the next step(racing)

v neal, when you say that they need alot of mods to be enduro quality, would that include hard trail riding? Thanks.

The XR is a very happy trail bike but if you plan on riding any motocross tracks go with a WR.

When I say enduro quality(I mean serious riding or enduro racing)revalve the suspension(Race Tech,Scotts,Fac Connection,many many more good ones out there)to your weight and type of riding. Better tires,aftermarket pipe,better bars,skid plate,hand guards.All these are needed to step the bike up better than stock.

Ok, this will probably upset alot of XR owners but the truth is the XR400 is not competitive without over $1000 in mods. Even with all the mods it will still be very heavy with inferior suspension. If all you do is trailride at the begineer level it is hard to beat. If you enter any kind of competition it is not the right platform to be on. I love my XR for cruisin dual sport style. When its time to go fast, the XR stays home.

A DRZ400E might be just the right thing for you. Then again, not knowing your price range, if you're shopping for a new XR400 you should forget it and look at the CRF450 from a private seller. The CRF450 if hands down the best off-road bike I've ever owned, and that's a lot of bikes.

I've had YZ426s and YZ400Fs, not good as far as falling over and restarting. The CRF is a charm. Maybe even easier to restart after a fall than the XR400 I used to have.

If you are just looking to play in the woods, and are used to the power of a KDX, I would consider an XR250 w/ some mods like an FMF pipe/S/A, handguards for those darn trees and stiffer springs front and rear.

In all honesty, there's nothing I can do on an XR400 that I really can't do on an XR250. Both are very reliable and trustworthy, both suspensions pretty much suck out of the crate, and bot will feel MUCH heavier than your current KDX.

The XR400 will feel even heavier. The DRZ400E will work better, and have much better suspension and more power than an XR400. WR400 and 426's are still hard to start.

I would look for a used DRZ400E, or even a new one. They are giving these bikes away right now. I'm selling mine, and they really aren't getting much in resale, so there are good deals to be had.

I can't think of a single benefit to the XR400 over the DRZ400, other than I like it in red. Other than that, it is inferior. Sorry, but an honest fact.

Otherwise, stick w/ the XR250R and ride it w/ your friend who also has the same bike. It will be more fun riding at a good pace and learning how to be fast in tight woods on the smaller, lighter XR250 than simply whacking open the 400 on the straights.

Then again, I currently own a 2002 KDX220 as well, and it's great in tight woods.

If you want a 4 stroke, depending on your price look for a DRZ400E for trails, an XR250R for tight trails, or a CRF450 for the most performance for a reasonable cost.

Best wishes!


I don't know how tall or heavy you are but the XR4 is noticably heavier than the XR250. That being said like previous posters have mentioned it is not an issue unless you are picking it up. My neighbor kid is 5'10" 145 lbs. and rides his XR4 like a maniac. Our last trip to Taylor Park, Colorado the XR250's were definately underpowered compared to the XR4's and would not make it up some of the hills. One of the XR400s wound up 10 feet under water and started right up after draining the cylinder.As far as we can tell it didn't hurt it at all. The DRZ is a very good trail bike but is prone to breaking side covers and radiators if you drop it. Power wise and handling it is much better than the XR's. If you have extra money and don't mind the maintanence the KTM 4 stokes are a jewel.

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