99 yz400 Right for me?

11 replies to this topic
  • Akiva1080

Posted November 13, 2007 - 09:41 PM


Hello everybody :lol:
This is my first post here, so i'll give my question first and brief history next. After all, from searching these forums, it seems you all like some brevity.

Would a 99 yz400 be too much bike for me?

My background: I'm 26 but married and w/ a young child so I'm no psycho when it comes to riding. Matter of fact, I've been riding streetbikes for about 6 years and I love minor wrenching. I have 3 bikes in my garage now and I'm always taking things apart learning how they function by bugging my more knowledgeable friends.
Here's a quick shot of me at willow springs to show how gentle a rider I am
Posted Image

Anyway, not that I'm trying to move away from street, but we all know how nuts LA drivers are. In addition, some instructors at the tracks have recommended I get into dirt as it'll help my track riding. Seeing the hundreds driving with a bike or 2 in a pickup every sunday, I always was curious where they were heading out to, and how much fun it is.
Well, a buddy of mine let me play around on his '83 xr500 (street legal) for a bit the other day and although the thing was a behemoth (I'm only 5'7 160 lbs.) once I managed to climb UP, it was so fun! I decided I want :lol:

From there I sat down and did a bunch of research on this site and others gathering what I could about different types of riding, different bikes (2 stk vs 4 stk) and most importantly, the legal BS here in california with licensing bikes. (I should be careful what I say tho, most of my family are lawyers and my brother is in law enforcement). I hope to gain a little more knowledge as I surf around here.

My first thought was I'd like to get a dual purpose bike, but it seems those are few and far between and the possibility of making a bike street legal would be slim not to mention costly. My budget right now is about 1 grand. :ride: I know i know.

So after all this :busted: :lol: :lol: I'll get back to my original question. I found a local 99 yz400 for sale BUT its had some issues. The owner sounds trustworthy but said it's been serviced at the shop, something about the valves being done, carbs rebuilt...ran much better but still not 100%.

I'm assuming this might be a headache but it could be a diamond in the rough. The thing is, if he'll let it go for half of what the others are selling for around here, should I buy it?
Thanks for listening :thumbsup:

  • jayh300

Posted November 14, 2007 - 08:56 AM


welcome to tt... you will find tons of info here and a lot of guys who know these bikes inside and out.
I bought a 99 400 about a year ago, so i will fill you in on what I have learned.
mine is about as reliable as an axe, it is a little heavy compared to the newer bikes, but I just trail mine, so it is not that big of a deal. They have a lot of power and is a different ride than the 2 strokes I had always rode. It is almost like cheating on hill climbs. they require different maint. so if you get it get a manual. there is an online one in the "sticky" at the top of this forum.
look it over as you would any bike, chain and sprockets, wheel bearings, tires, steering head bearings, levers, normal stuff. Also make the guy show you how to start it, it is different also. All in all, i like mine, but would like a newer lighter one, but it is what i have now so that is what i ride.
oh yeah, pulls a wheelie in any gear at almost any speed... and they don't like being rode slow, they will overheat, and the header will glow red on start up if you let it idle too long, don't worry about it.
the not running right could be anything, but if you like wrenching and the bike looks ok........

  • Akiva1080

Posted November 14, 2007 - 11:54 AM


thanx, much appreciated on the manual
Obviously i'm excited to get into off road riding but i just don't want someone elses headaches to become mine.
I'm impressed how well dirt bikes hold their value compared to street!

  • jayh300

Posted November 14, 2007 - 12:23 PM


I hear you on the headaches... kinda the chance you take with most used stuff. my rmx i bought kinda cheap and the first time i changed the oil realized the case was broken and a plug was siliconed in it to keep it from leaking. could not tell till you got the skid plate off..... Post up a pix if you get it bought. From what i hear there is great riding in cali.. Get your kid in to riding with you, it gets even better.

  • 642MX

Posted November 14, 2007 - 06:42 PM


I'm impressed how well dirt bikes hold their value compared to street!

Really? I thought it was kind of depressing how fast a MX bike drops in value.

Anyways, welcome to TT. YZ400F's are nice bikes, parts are cheap and there is enough info on this forum to help shake the bugs out of it. If its cheap and it runs, then buy it. :thumbsup:

  • 642MX

Posted November 14, 2007 - 06:43 PM


Get your kid in to riding with you, it gets even better.

And/Or get your wife a bike. :thumbsup: :ride:

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  • jayh300

Posted November 14, 2007 - 07:39 PM


And/Or get your wife a bike. :thumbsup: :ride:

i tried that one season, and i ended up walking alot....
she would get to a section she did not like and you would see that pony tail going side to side no no no..... so i would ride her bike up the hill/obstacle, walk back to mine do the same on mine and go on...
we decided she needed a new hobby, i can make the boy follow me, but the wife was a different story.....

  • Akiva1080

Posted November 14, 2007 - 09:08 PM


i tried that one season, and i ended up walking alot....
she would get to a section she did not like and you would see that pony tail going side to side no no no..... so i would ride her bike up the hill/obstacle, walk back to mine do the same on mine and go on...
we decided she needed a new hobby, i can make the boy follow me, but the wife was a different story.....

I hear that. My wife by is by no means an "athlete", however I did take her snowboarding while we were dating
Posted Image

Just the fact she attempted it with me was good enough. I've been all around the world, new zealand, australia... This was locally in Mt Baldy, CA.
As for the riding, she'll stay in the paddock at the track but ain't no chance of getting her on a bike.

I'll keep y'all posted about the bike :thumbsup: thanx for listening

  • PatrickM

Posted November 14, 2007 - 09:34 PM


As a newbie to MX and trail riding, I did alot of research and found that a YZ400F was a good bike for me to start with so I bought one....

It is a 99 YZ400F and I got it for $2100. The Bike performs very well for my purposes (lots of trails and some track time). The only problem with the bike is that alot of routine maintance needed to happen (because things just started leaking). the first thing that went out was the seals in the water pump went out. it took me about an hour to fix that problem. Then the clutch went out. that was another easy fix and last but not least the front fork seals went out (that gave me a good reason to re-spring and revalve my front forks :thumbsup: ).

Overall I love the bike and would not want to learn out to ride on anything else. After I get better and riding (in a few years) I will buy a new 450cc bike. I think that the transition from a 400cc to a newer 450cc ill not be as bad as if I was moving from a 230cc or a 250cc bike.

All of my services cost me a total of about $500.....I figure that that I saved alot of monet buying used.

Just as a side note, make sure to look at the garage for the person you are buying from a bike from, if its super clean and organized then its a good chance that the bike has been take care of.

I hope this helps!!!!

Patrick M.

  • Akiva1080

Posted November 16, 2007 - 01:16 PM


after your guys' comments, I wasn't too intimidated on the purchase and fixup. but unfortunately, the guy never got back to me after our initial conversation.
Too bad, because I was thinking of taking it to the track
Posted Image

just kidding.
I guess i'm still on the lookout for a bike for me a 250 for ~$1k

  • jayh300

Posted November 16, 2007 - 01:27 PM


just keep your eyes out..... there are a lot of those bikes around.
the 400's or 426's should be in your price range. You might also look at a 250 2 stroke too, i have one of each,a 2 stroke and a 4 stroke, and like them both... man that sm looks like fun.
see ya

  • Akiva1080

Posted November 25, 2007 - 06:50 PM


well i decided on looking for a dual sport bike (is there a significant difference between DS and enduro?) because there is a limited number of places I could go locally off road.
I've been looking all around and was really disappointed to find how many flakes there are out here. Especially in LA. Most of the reasonably priced bikes are sold quickly and others just lie about being st. legal and scammy issues with titles. I don't want to deal.
But I've been looking at some DR350's and from what I see I really like the fit of the bike for me. Going to look at another one tomorrow- a 94. Hope its not a shady deal like the others

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