98 wr400, how bad are they

so i found a good 98 wr400 for my buddy. it is already street legal and is in san diego. but i have heard stories that the 98's where a little unreliable due to the first year. problems with the bottom ends going out etc. this bike looks very weel taken care of and has lots of nice parts on it. so my question is have any of you owned 98's and what is your story with it.


I got mine new in june 98 I have replaced one top end far too early, my first real 4 stroke I didnt know top ends lasted so long.

No bottom end failures, No trans failures. No non crash related failures except for the broken kick starter. I love mine. Only selling to pay for new bike.

my friend has a 98 i think, anyway he has not had any problems with his, just talk to him 2 days ago ( he loves it ). And i can tell you he does very little maintenance if any. By the way one top end in 4 years is not bad. you do have to ask how much riding has been done in 4 years, also how often is the air filter cleaned and oil changed.

Had a 98' WR400 on the trail for four abusive years. The only issue was water crossings shorting out the ignition. A little silicon sealant and bada bing ! Changed the oil too often, stalled too easy but never lost a drag race. Do the cam and the grey wire things fur shur.

we had a few 98wr400 that had faulty carb slide that broke off, some fell into the engine & caused damage while others were lucky, after they were changed to cnc machined ones we never had any other problems, they were reliable as ever. :)

Mine never failed me... except for that leaking fuel tank... Just like dkwok said, I've change mine to the "aluminium" slide and everthing is EXCELLENT... The best trail bike I've ever ride... WR400!!!

bought my 98 WR400 used in 1998 and love it. You need to check the accelerator rod on this model as it is exposed to teh elements. Mine would often corrode, causing a bog when exiting a corner hard. Remove teh carb, sand the corroded rod and it was back in service. Bit of a pain, but necessary for quick acceleration.

Got my 03 WR 450 and will be selling old faithful soon.

not bad at all. Great bikes. I have one cause that is all i could afford. I love it. Your buddy will also.


I bought my 99 WR 400f in July of 1999, I pulled regular maintainence on it religiously. The only thing that are not original are the tires. chain guide, chain slider, handle bars, grips, and drain plug. All of the rest that I changed were because of preferance. I even have the original chain & sprockets.. I have never had a problem with anything on the bike. I expect to get the same results with my WR 450!!!!!!!!


I have a 98 WR400.

I'm the lucky one that did not have a problem with the slide.

Just bummed cos the tank leaked on me.

So far its been a great bike. Change oil, spark plug, filters when required and it'll never let you down.

Some upgrades but there was never any problem that made me regret buying this bike.

Hope your friend will enjoy his ride like all of us.


the only thing with the 98 wr 400 was that there was no hot start...it has this diaphragm the side of the carb that has three hoses connected to it. i made a homemade hot start with an inline petcock, a "t",and extra hose.

i put the t fitting in the hose going to the intake, ran a hose from the bottom part of the t to the frame next to the air boot installed the petcock in the end , then connected another hose and ran it to the fitting on the top of the breather tube...when i need a hot start I open the petcock allowing fresh air to go in the head.if i can figure out how.. i will post pictures.other than that the 98 wr 400 is awesome...


I have a 98 WR 400 and absolutely love it. Great bike with plenty of power to tearup the trails out here. I have had to do some maintenance with mine since the last owner never really did alot of work to the bike. As long as it was taken care of, your friend should have a great time with it.


My '98 WR400 has been bulletproof. I've had no major problems. Mine does have a hot start knob though.

it has this diaphragm the side of the carb that has three hoses connected to it.

This is the air cut valve, also called the octopus. The YZF's DID NOT have this. I COMPLETELY removed mine. It is only used for starting (emission crap??), and causes problems w/ setting your fuel screw.

The accelerator pump rod should be sealed w/ silicone. I have had ZERO corrosion problems since I have done this.

The 99's had a beefed up clutch basket over the 98's, but so far no one has mentioned clutch problems w/ their 98's.

My 99 has been flawless.

Always used 93 or higher octance gas, changed oil and filter every three rides.

If hes looking for some serious thump for his buck then he shouldn't go wrong here as long as the guy that has the bike took good care of her.

i did nto know that they came with out hotstart. I have one and mine is a 98. What is the deal with that?

my 98 has never let me down, and still on the original top and bottom end and clutch. Just do all of the free mods and best maintenance practices and you should have a solid ride. Most of my riding is MX tracks and GP's, so it has not had an easy life. The bike looks rather trashed because it's been ridden hard, but runs great !

Love mine!!! Wouldn't trade it even if it did die. It'd just give me a good reason to "freshen it up". Bone stock factory original top and bottom end. :)

My 98 wr400 has never let me down . 0 problems . the bike put's a grin on my face every time i go riding

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