YZ400-Should I buy one

15 replies to this topic
  • StoneColdCrazy63

Posted May 13, 2005 - 04:54 AM


A buddy of mine is selling his yz400 and Im thinking of buying it. Its a 98 or 99 i forget. He is asking 2500 for it. Is this a good price. Its in good shape and has brand new Excel Rims, new fork seals, WB E-series pipe and header, hot start, new compression release, pro-taper bars, and there is some more stuff he has done since the last time i saw it. It also has all of the stock parts. The E-series has the normal endcap on it and he also has the closed one that is like a supertrapp. The only thing it needs is a clutch kit though, but they arnt bad $$. I rode it a few times and it has balls to the walls :) and I like that about it, but.... 1. Its hard to start :) (compression release was busted though) 2. Its sorta heavy 3. When I rode it and would go to shift, I couldnt feel the gears actually shift. So... 1. Can I do anything about the starting? like is there a certain way to do it easy? 2. How much does it actually weigh? 3. Is that normal for the trans, or was it just me being used to how my bike works? I think it mabe was the shifter was too close to the case and was hitting of something, and it was really short. Oh How reliable are they? Im gonna ride woods with it so.... And how mush maintinance do they require? (i.e. rebuilds, valve clearance adjustment, etc...) Im on a KLX300 right now, and its fine, but I weigh 250lbs and im 6'2" and I want more power and stiffness. I want something that is fun on trails, but I can Jump it because as of late that is all I feel like doing. My 300 bottoms on everything. I was also wondering if they have an overheating problem like some of the newer MX bikes when doing slow speed stuff? Did the WR model have a coolant overflow tank? would an overflow help? or is overheating not an issue? Like my 300 can idle all day, what about the yz400. I hope I hear good things cuz I really like the bike. :D Thanks guys

  • 426Hurricane

Posted May 13, 2005 - 10:37 AM


Good for him, yes, yes, 230+depending on add ons, possibly, very much so when taken care of, sometimes, check WR forum, on some bikes, can idle but made to ride.

  • YZ400FPower

Posted May 13, 2005 - 11:22 AM


I was in the same spot as you 2 years ago. I had a klx 300r and it was a nice trail bike but i grew into the jumping and going fast. I have 1999 400 and love it but would like the forks to be differntly setup. I love the bike and the power is more than anyone needs. The 1998 were a little different than the 99 and had a totally diff swingarm it think. So if its a 99 go for it. Once the bike gets moving the weight is no that bad. I can feel the bike go into gear so it just may be you ..mine dosent clunck into gear.Its preety smooth.And heat will not be a problem.

I say go for it!

  • cobra427

Posted May 13, 2005 - 12:22 PM


The concerns regarding the shifting is kind of hard to address without riding the bike; however, my 98 yz420 shifts smooth. The power is nuts! The bike is about 15-20lbs heavier than your 300 but will blow by that thing like its standing still. I've seen these bikes set up for trail and they rip. I snag mines with tons of upgrades for $2500. For starting go to the Yamaha site and do a search and Dr. D will get you all dialed in; however, without a compression release you are asking for problems, trust me! The bike must be maintained regularly and when it is it is bulletproof. If your friend is really cool, maybe you can have him take care of the clutch and the compression release for you...afterall he is a buddy. If your too unsure sink $2000 into your 300's motor and suspension and I'm sure you'll be happy. Good luck. Keep asking questions, the guys in these forums know their stuff and I've learned a lot from them.

  • tammie

Posted May 13, 2005 - 12:31 PM


I have a 1999 yz400 and i love it, i am female, 140 lbs 5'8" and I have no problem with this beast, I race harescrambles and enduros on this bike for the last two years and won 2004 female canadian national enduro champion on it....i have NEVER broke down(knock on wood) this bike has never left me stranded I can't believe how amazing it is, in the two years ive owned it ive stripped it down both winters, ive checked valve clearences twice now and replaced the timing chain just this past winter(if the timing chain hasn't already been replaced you would want to do that as there was a rash of 99 yz400 timing chain breakages in the last couple years...must be coming up on the timing chain life span)...I havn't done anything to the internal engine in terms of piston, rings, valves........I have replaced all the bearings in the lower linkages, swingarm, tires, steering head.....just check them and regrease them anyways or replace if needed. I only ride woods on my bike but Ive pretty heavily modified it, ive replaced rear shock with WR shock and revalved for woods, ive got softer front race tech fork springs, heavy duty skid plate(covers the entire bottom and comes up around side of engine), Devol rad guards, I put on a WR headlight and rear enduro tail light, im running an Elextrex lighting coil and a heavier flywheel weight, ive got a 14 tooth front and 52 tooth rear sprocket, I put a WR tank and seat on it too(tank holds more gas).....bark busters, i even attached a WR odometer and got a WR front wheel. I JUST got a Hydraulic clutch in the mail but have yet to put that on....i put all new clutch plates and clutch cable on last year.

oh one thing to check for is inspect the throttle cables down near the carbeurator the last two years in a row mine have frayed there for some reason ive heard that is common on the 99 yz400..they are pretty cheap though to replace...

anyways the 98-99 yzf's don't compare to the new ones they are heavier and a bit outdated HOWEVER they are amazing bikes and unless you are hardcore racer supreme you will have all the power you can handle with the 99 yz400f....I hardly doubt many ppl ride the newer yzf 426/450's to there extreme anyways.........

so in my opinion I think the yz400 is a great bike.........and no they don't idle well, they heat up fast, you need to ride it to keep it cool, i have overheated less than a handfull of times however this year Ive put a SRC high pressure rad cap on my bike we'll see how that goes...and i also run some engine ice in the fluid....but really its never been a problem that has left me stranded i have lost a bit of fluid but just make sure your rad fluid is topped up before every ride.

i think as long as you maintain the bike properly, change oil regularly on the yzf's you can make them last a long time.........mine rides like brand new I am still amazed at my yz400 how durable it is Ive raced it alot and put tons of hours on it trail riding ...most of the riding I do is single track, general woods riding........but ive done a bit of everything

starting the bike can be a pain but only if you don't know the procedure, I can start my bike with 1 kick but its all in technique...just learn it and practice it...anyone with a yzf will tell you that. as for the weight ive never really had any problems, but i really don't have anything to compare it too cuz this yz400 is my first dirtbike......and im so used to it that i can get anywhere i want to go on, if it falls over i can pick it up easy that said if you are out of shape then a heavy bike can cause problems for you. but you are 6'2, 250 lbs im sure you are a strong guy and this bike would be fine........

just don't ride the new yzf's and you won't know what you are missing in weight difference :)

anyways just look over the bike well before you buy it and try to find out its history or maintenance if you can.........

good luck!!

  • StoneColdCrazy63

Posted May 13, 2005 - 03:47 PM


Thanks for the help. Oh and u missunderstood, the compression release was fixed. I dunno if the clutch was or not. Im gonna go ride it in a couple days and then mabe buy it. Any more info would be helpful though, anything I should know

  • YZFan

Posted May 13, 2005 - 03:54 PM


I think is a little high. I have a 99 and love it. 3 years ago I paid $2000 for mine but it needed work. Good luck.

  • cobra427

Posted May 13, 2005 - 03:56 PM


Excuse me on the last sentence Tammie is not a guy and she sounds like she knows her stuff!!! My wife rides a 04 yamaha blaster that I bought her last Christmas....she loves it!

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  • feirmeoir

Posted May 13, 2005 - 06:36 PM


For starting go to the Yamaha site and do a search and Dr. D will get you all dialed in;

What is the Yamaha site?

  • west20

Posted May 15, 2005 - 09:04 AM


I own a 99 YZ400, i enjoyed it until i got my new YZ 2 smoke now i never touch the 400. Price seems a little steep but im from NH they seem to be going for around $2000 here, mines in the process of being sold right now for $1900. But they are very fun bikes

  • 05PPTLD

Posted September 08, 2007 - 09:05 AM


I love my 400, As said balls to the wall. It is also alot more comfortable to ride then my crf450 was. I finally figured out how to start it with the lever and now its not an issue. It rips hard and i never see 4th/5th. Perfect for trail and has great acceleration.

Get the 400, you will like it. but i think 2500 is high with that kind of work needed. I got mine for about 2500 but it looks new and its a 99.

  • captaincaveman

Posted September 08, 2007 - 10:11 AM


tammie pretty much summed it up! Plenty of power through all gears,Harder than hell to start till you get the routine down But I think $2500 is a bit to much! I paid 1300 for mine back in the spring and have been trying to sell it for month or two now!

  • bfox55

Posted September 10, 2007 - 10:05 AM


just don't ride the new yzf's and you won't know what you are missing in weight difference :thumbsup: ......

I also have a 99 YZ400F. I ride with a my friend who has an 06 450 and this is very true. I love my bike, its been totally reliable. I can start it with one kick and I can make the heavy beast turn pretty well. But if i get on the 450 for a few minutes it just makes me jealous.

  • PatrickM

Posted September 10, 2007 - 01:21 PM


I just purchased a 99 YZ400F and I love it. The only problem is that it requires a good amount of matainance. Just remember that the bike is going on 8 years old so lots of small things could need replacement. When I got my bike, I needed to replace all of the water pump seals and the impellor shaft. I also replace the radiator cap and all the fluid in the radiator. you may also need to check all the tubing and cables to make sure everything is in good condition.

Now when it comes to the price....6 months ago, I paid $2200. it came with new excel rims FMF exhaust and race tech suspension (front and back). The bike also came with the important "green sticker" so i can ride it year around in CA (I hide our stupid state laws) I would offer $2200 since you said the clutch was bad.

On a side note.....is your friend the type that took care of the bike? if so then maybe $2500 is a good price if a bunch of crap does not need to get replaced.

Just a thought...

Patrick M.

  • beanmop

Posted September 10, 2007 - 03:59 PM


$2500 is way over priced. You can find 426's in good shape for that. Unless it is street legal, anything above $2000 is too much, even in California.

  • perfectlytuned

Posted September 11, 2007 - 08:21 AM


I bot mine used for $1650, and thats in california! it needs a new clutch thats it!
Here is wat it looked like before
Posted Image

Get some plastics in looks brand new -
Posted Image

tons of fun o ya its a 98

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