98 WR400 low miles/hours - good bike?

I am looking to purchase a 98 WR400 with under 1K miles. It has been well

taken care of and starts right up. I would like some input as to whether this

would be a good 1st bike or save it for a seasoned rider.

I have plenty experience riding and working on quads and have ridden motorcycles

to some extent,

I would like a street legal bike like the WR for riding the 6 miles to work and also do

some weekend desert trails.

One concern I have is if I should hold for an electric start type bike as have heard

nightmarish stories trying to start a hot WR. This a valid worry?


I have said this before and should trademark it, but a properly jetted, valve adjusted, good batteried, correctly timed, good charging and well maintained WR WILL electric start whenever and wherever needed. Any horror story you hear are people to freakin' lazy to correctly jet their bike and setup their carb, too cheap to buy a damn battery and/or too lazy to do a valve adjustment or service their starter.

My 04 starts hot or cold, tipped over or standing, first ride of the season after winter storage or last ride of the day. And those that keep their bikes in good running condition will confirm this.

The 400 is a great bike but will be a slight handful as a new rider bike. It also depends on your size as its physically a heavy, larger bike. If you can kickstart it without issue, then you should be golden.

The 400 and less so the 426 can be somewhat problematic to kick compared to the 450's. Once you get the proceedure down, it pretty easy.


Is it a good bike ... yes... would it be a good first bike ...in my opinion no... While starting it is fairly easy once you figure out the starting drill sometimes they can be temperamental when hot.

The 98 had no automatic decompression unless someone added it so you have a manual release lever to fiddle with when starting it. no big deal just one more thing to do when starting it..

As far as performance they run great properly setup just like any other WR ... however the electric start is the shit and well worth the extra money for an 04 or newer model, the 03 had a minor issue which was remedied in the 04..

The 450's are actually easy to kickstart but the convience of the electric start when you stall out on the trail is priceless.

If you got one for a really really really cheap price then go for it... otherwise holdout ...

They are a great bike but it might be a bit much for your first bike. How much do you weigh? Those bikes take a strong leg and a fare amount on weight to kick them over.

Yea forgot to put in size - I am 6' and 190, fairly common rider size I think.

I sat on a XT225 (nice bike) and seemed to small, my feet flat on the ground. Someone

told me I better opt for the bigger WR400 even tho my tiptoes barely touch

the ground. Toes only seemed odd but I can lean a little and keep it on one

foot. Leaning is normal at a stop on this size bike eh?

My main concerned is still over the kick only, electric start sounds so good. I have a

strong kick, concerned only because as Jetfuel mentioned, it is the $hit to have when

your bike stalls. I have done my share of kicking, so as pointed out, I will be looking

for a smoking deal and I think it may be achievable, will find out tomorrow afternoon.

Appreciate the input, excellent. I'll take any other thoughts also.



The XT225 is a great bike to start with. I have one and I am 6' and 174 lbs. It is so easy to ride. It will go 75 mph (82 indicated) and get 74 mpg, I've carried my 100 lb daughter on it some and it will go over 60 with us. Of course it's small for two people. Last summer the clutch was out on my street bike and I didn't have time to fix it, I wanted to take a ride that was about 100 miles away and I decided to try it on the little 225. About 1/2 the ride was on 4 lane highways, and a lot of that was on the rural interstate at 70-75 mph. I know it's crazy, but I just wanted to see how it would do.

The XT225 goes offroad fine too. It isn't a racing bike and doesn't have a lot of ground clearance, but it will go anywhere you want to go. One of the most impressive adventure riders on ADVrider "Swamp" has ridden awesome rides on his XT225 and has written great threads about it. Check him out, he's a wild man.

When you're ready to get a more powerful bike it will be easy to resale the XT225 for about what you paid for it. I'll always keep mine as a spare bike for friends to ride when they visit us up here in the mountains.

6 ft and 190 lbs is a perfect fit for a 400 or a 450 but be careful because as was said previously, it can be a bit much for a beginner.

You shouldn't have any problem kicking it over...IF....as was also said before...you have it jetted and set up properly, have a good battery (not a cheap one) and have your "routine" figured out. My routine for a cold start is choke on, three to five twists of the throttle (depending on outside temperature), and then press the magic button (or kick). You'll figure your starting routines out (hot and cold) as you go along.

With regard to the XT....I thoroughly agree with GlennRi...it is a great learners bike even though it will feel somewhat underpowered for a guy your size. It is incredibly tough and very forgiving...and it won't scare a relativley inexperienced rider like a 400/450 can. There is a definite value in that when you're first learning...depending on how difficult your riding terrain is (ours is quite demanding).

Both my riding buddies spent one year on the very same XT (one guy sold it to the other) and now one drives a KTM 400EXC and the other a Husqvarna 450TC. They both swore by the XT as a good one season learner.

In terms of getting your feet on the ground..I installed a Yamalink lowering link http://www.motorcycl...a-lowering-link on my 04 WR450 and it made a huge difference in my riding...a lot more fun with a lot less effort. Not expensive and easy to install.

In terms of electrric start....all I can say is "Don't Leave Home Without It". When you're tired and off balance on a muddy hill in the rain and its getting dark and your bike stalls....AND you have to kick it over...you would give just about anything to have it. If it were me I'd wait 'till I can find one with estart...anything from '04 on....earlier ones had issues with the starter motor...unless they upgraded to '04 parts.

either way...you're gonna have a blast!

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