Disabled and novice needs advice

Hi Guys from the sunny island of Cyprus.

OK I am registered disabled. BUT I'm not in a wheelchair just have a very dodgy back (4 compressed vertebra,scoliosis of the spine amongst other things)

I recently went out with a few guys on there bikes and loved it so went out and bought one as you do.

I have bought a 2002 Honda XR 400 it has had New full set of engine bearings and head gasket set fitted last year. As I'm not so sure my back will hold up to this I didn't want to spend a fortune on a new bike and this was a great buy money wise and some left over for improvements.

Anyway I have been reading the forum but answers vary and was hoping somebody could answer the following.

Can the XR 400 be lowered (my feet don't touch the floor) I know you can get the Talon lowering links, is there anything else?

Can you fit an Electric start to them? Ideally an electric start would have been great but everything here on the island is very expensive.

If not is there anything I should do to make kick-starting easier?

finally when I get it (Wednesday) is there things I should immediately clean/change etc to make it run as smoothly as possible?

Right I won't ask 2 much. Thank you in advance


yes to both, but the electric start conversion costs quite a bit, I swapped for a newer bike that came with a button

Congrats on the new bike Steve.

Spend some time reading the forum. Use the search function to look for specific topics you're interested in. Lots of past discussion on the things you've asked about.

Like the electric start conversion. There are some detailed posts from guys that have done it. You'll get an idea of what exactly is involved and if you have the skills, resources there to make it happen.

There is a definite starting routine to make the bike start easier. Lots of discussion on that too. Just make sure you always start your kick from TDC.

I know there are lowering links available but I'm not up on who all is offering them.

Did you get any maintenance history about the bike besides the engine work? For your own base line conditions info, I would check/set the valve clearances. Remove the swingarm bolt and related rear linkage and lube everything.

Here is a link to a free downloadable shop manual. http://www.sendspace.com/file/ivcn6l

Hi mate,

Thanks for the great response, I'm looking around the forum now and see lots of answers to my questions. Now time to make myself look dafy but what is TDC:) sorry

Hi mate,

Thanks for the great response, I'm looking around the forum now and see lots of answers to my questions. Now time to make myself look dafy but what is TDC:) sorry

TDC= Top Dead Center. That point during kicking it over where you reach a hard spot to push past. When you reach that point, go easy and push just past it and you'll feel the engine fall into a detent. That's TDC. Bring the kick lever back to the top and kick from there.

Change the oil and oil filter, and change the gas too in case it's old. Change the spark plug, but be sure to wash/blow out any dirt in the socket before you pull the plug so it doesn't get inside the cylinder. Check the air filter to make sure it's clean. Lube the chain and adjust if necessary. Check tire pressures. Check valve clearances (have a shop do this if you don't know how). Lube all the grease fittings (put grease in until you see it start coming out). This is all stuff most people neglect to do while they own a bike. Download the service manual it will help a lot.

For the chain i suggest a spray wax made for chains, which you can get at any bike or motorcycle shop. Oil and grease tend to fling off and go all over the place. DO NOT use WD-40, it is not a lubricant. If you need to clean and re-oil the air filter they sell special cleaners and oils at motorcycle shops. They are the easiest to use and work the best. The oil filter should be pretty cheap. What oil is the best to use depends on who you ask, but get something specifically made for motorcycles. I prefer something fully synthetic, but it's expensive. As long as it's the right viscosity you should be ok. Make sure you change it regularly! Nothing worse than running a bike on old oil. Change the gas and while you're at it make sure there's no crap in the tank. Most of all have fun with your new bike!!

Thanks so much for taking the time to write such detailed replies. Much appreciated. I'm picking it up Tmr and will let you know how I get on.



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