New (to me) WR400 - comparo

Hello TT,

I just picked up a 2000 WR400 last week and am now back from my first ride. I have some initial impressions.

I sold my 2002 XR400 a week before I FINALLY got a job (I was laid off). So, I turned around and got a 2000 WR400. I thought I'd give a little comparison.

My XR had modified suspension to suite my weight and style, a fork brace, and that's about it. The WR400 is stock.

Starting: The XR was a pain to start, even when following the proper procedures. The WR, once I found the starting procedures on this board, starts first kick cold every time. When hot, the WR starts right up (if I follow the procedures). The XR was a shot in the dark every time I had to hot start it. Winner: WR.

Chassis lay out: The XR is old school. Comfy, but old feeling. The WR is modern and worlds ahead. I feel like I can position myself anywhere on the WR. Winner: WR.

Suspension: Even though I had done a lot of work to the XR's suspension, the WR is worlds better. It's stiffer, that's for sure. The forks are laterally much stiffer, allowing much better turning accuracy. I over-jumped a double today and landed flat. I cringed before I landed thinking I'd feel the jolt right up through the bars, like on the XR. The WR handled my poor technique perfectly. The XR is more comfy at very slow speeds. The WR handles everything very well (whoops, jumps, turns, everything). Winner: WR.

Motor: The XR had more grunt right from idle, which was fun. However, it quickly ran out of steam. I found myself pushing the XR for more power, yet there wasn't any. The WR has a nice, linear delivery with a nice top end. The WR is more powerful, but a long shot. For super slow single track, the XR may be a better mount. For everywhere else, the WR is so far ahead of the XR it's not even funny. Winner: WR.

Overall, the WR is so much better in every single way I wonder why I even bothered with the XR. Maybe when I'm riding with my great, great grandkids 50 years from now the XR would be a better choice.

I did a couple of races two years ago on the XR, even finishing 15th at the Carnegie race in my senior class. I remember being frustrated about how much faster the other bikes where. Well, no more! Now I know why others were so much faster. The bike really does matter!

I'm a convert! Long live Yamaha and the WR! I'm going back to my roots anyway. My first bike was a 1970s Yamaha DT100E.

Thanks for all the great info. on this site.

See you on the trails.


I was kinda in the same boat as you... i was riding a 1997 XR400 and went to a 2009 WR450. My WR450 has so much more power compared to the XR400.... took me a few rides to get used to it....... But now its no problem and I can zip it when i want to

Cool glad you like it

The only suprise I see is this statement.

The XR had more grunt right from idle, which was fun.
My 426 has way more grunt than the 400 I had. The thing I had to get used to is the 426 trying to spin the wheel out from under me!

My daily road and trail bike is an '07 KLR with suspension upgrades. I was considering a DRZ400 for a lighter off road bike when I came across my '99 WR400. My friend is into Suzukis and I rode his DR650 and DRZ400. After trying the WR then thinking back to the DRZ I suddenly realized I already own a KLR and it's a magnificent purpose-built machine. What do I want a miniture wanna-be KLR for when I got the real thing? That WR is the hot ticket for filling my needs for a smaller off road bike. At the time I had a KDX200 also but I weigh 300 pounds, man. That was a very well thought out bike and a bomb-proof little mountain goat but I need more torque and heavier suspension. The WR400 fits me just fine. Granted I'm a green-horn, but I've never ridden a bike with suspension as nice as these Yamahas. The clean strong power delivery is something else too! This is 10 year old technology. I want to try the newest stuff.

You know, since I learned the right way to start it, I like the kick start. No battery to have to mess with. :smirk:

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