Best Year?

6 replies to this topic
  • ArcticWR400

Posted August 09, 2011 - 01:45 PM


Hey all, Considering rebuilding my 1999 WR400 this winter, but I am also wondering if it's worth upgrading to an aluminum frame machine. I also would like to put a Trick Dual Sport kit on it and will need enough power to run a DOT headlight that actually puts out enough light for night riding. Which year would be the best to get in terms of engine power / reliability / power output and why? Just looking for ideas. If i can't make up my mind then I will just rebuild my 400 over the winter. All opinions welcome! Thanks in advance.

  • YamaLink

Posted August 10, 2011 - 06:00 AM


I don't know. A few local riders went to aluminum and then came back. Some riders just love the feel and reaction of a steel frame on their WRF. My friend Trent can afford any bike on the market but he's been on a early 2000 WRF that has been set up so perfectly for him. Extremely quick, fast and with great endurance due to the comfort and efficiency of the steel frame (for him).

  • Rot Box

Posted August 10, 2011 - 08:07 AM


Hmm never been on a AF WR so I can't help you there.

The 400's are great bikes :eek: I read somewhere that the 426 stator will bolt directly into the 400. Correct me if I'm wrong here guys but it seemed like the 400 was rated for somewhere around 50w and the 426 was 100w. Worth looking into anyway--I think mine puts out plenty of power for the riding I do.

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  • RockyMtnScotsman

Posted August 10, 2011 - 03:05 PM


aluminum vs steel frame is mostly a personal preference as the weight difference isn't enough that most riders would notice. The AL-framed bikes are notable for being more difficult to reach into the area around the carb due to bigger frame tubes.

I remember when AL-frame bicycles became popular - didn't like the feel of them then or now. Oddly enough, while I don't like AL bicycles, I love my carbon fiber frame bikes. I test rode both AL and steel framed WR's and bought a 2006 (last year of the steel frame). Strictly a matter of personal preference in the way it feels.

If you like your 400 for the most part and can address any shortcomings with simple things like stator upgrades, I'd keep it and rebuild/upgrade over winter like you're thinking. You'll come out way cheaper and you already know the thorns and blooms on your current ride well. On the other hand, if you're just jonesing for some strange .... well we've all been there.

  • MotoChris521

Posted August 11, 2011 - 02:39 AM


E start is very nice to have.

  • ArcticWR400

Posted August 11, 2011 - 08:35 AM


Rot Box: Yes I had heard the same thing about the 426 stator, but thought it was 150w. Any confirmations from anyone?

MotoChris521: Yes E-start would be handy, but in all honesty I have been riding without E-start since I was a kid. Didn't need it then, and don't need it now. Actually the thought that a newer bike would have E-start didn't even occur to me. Besides, I'm 6'1 and 200 lbs (maybe more now) and haven't ever had trouble starting it even when hot and stalled thanks to the hotstart. I honestly think that some people with E-start (not you, just some) get lazy and don't want to bother adjusting their jetting / pilot, etc... because if it doesn't start right away, they just hold the button a little longer and giv'er a twist. Whereas if you have to kick it, and its not set up properly... little more incentive to tinker until you get it right. :eek:

Thanks guys, any more opinions are welcome. I guess with these comments the direction I'm leaning in is a strip-down and clean-up/fix-up over the winter. But more opinions are always a good thing, keep'em coming. :smirk:

  • Thermos O flask

Posted August 14, 2011 - 05:15 AM


I love the power delivery on my 2000 wr400 YZ timed and all the mods.
I'v rode my mates wr426's-wr450's all YZed and find them tame,I still love the the sharpness of the 400.I think as the capacity increased they became more torqueish and less aggressive (fun).Of course the newer bikes do tractor up the slippery hills easier,being torque monsters.But now i'm going back to the smokers as I'm over the mega buck top end rebuilds.Still keeping the 400 just not riding her as much.


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