1999 yzf400

3 replies to this topic
  • trollope

Posted October 20, 2011 - 12:03 PM


have the opportunity to buy a 99 yzf400 after looking at a klf 300 with rattly engine and hole in the crank case so leaking oil and I walked away from it.
YZF has supposed rebuild 25 hrs ago, with receipts, looking at about $1800 NZD, ($1500 USD).
Any real / common probs with this bike?
Is maintenance a real money pit with these bikes, i will be doing some trail / forest riding about 2 times a month only, and am 41 yrs, so not into racing etc.
I am new to yamaha after riding Hondas most my life in the old days.

  • Ryan426

Posted October 20, 2011 - 12:07 PM


great bike,:thumbsup: starting them is a lil tricky at first. read this: http://www.thumperta...ad.php?t=447989

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  • bhsballer76

Posted October 20, 2011 - 12:10 PM


I had one a few years back. Heavy bike but solid as a rock. Little tricky to start like was said. Once i got it down it seemed like second nature.

  • grayracer513

Posted October 20, 2011 - 01:27 PM


They are as reliable driveways and manhole covers, and when they're healthy, they have fewer problems than a sundial, but it is, after all, a 12 year old bike.

The cylinders are not boreable, although they can be honed and replated. Fortunately, piston and bore life is normally somewhere north of excellent.

The most expensive parts of a four-stroke rebuild is the head. If you require a valve job, it can cost near $1000 USD for some of the newer 450's, sometimes more, well over half of it in parts. Fortunately, the YZ400 uses far less expensive stainless steel valves, and the reliability of the valve train is just not always believable.

The electrical systems don't have any unusual problems, although the coils do fail, as do the stators less often, as they age.

The carb is the big problem. The carb isn't right, and it won't run right. It won't start like it should either, and that process is usually a big enough problem for a new owner without adding to it. The old FCR's were fussy when they were new, and worse when they get old. Some of it is made worse by a lot of run time, and some of it made worse by too much storage time, so buying one with relatively low hours doesn't necessarily help here. Eventually, they can get to the point where they can't be fixed anymore, and/or aren't worth bothering with. Fortunately, used YZ450 carbs are out there on eBay for reasonable prices, are a very easy add-on, and almost always improve the way bike starts and runs.

In the US '99 YZ400F's (which are preferable to '98's on a point or two) in decent shape or better bring from as low as $1000 USD to as high as $1800 or so for a really good one.

I used to race a 500cc single that weighed 315 pounds and had 3" of rear suspension travel and 3 1/2" in front. When I bought my BSA B50MX brand new, it was phenomenally light for a 500cc dirt bike at 260 pounds. Air cooled, drum brakes, 4" rear travel, about 6" in the front. Beyond that point, four-stroke development more or less ceased, not going past the TT500 until the late nineties. The YZ400F is the bike that changed all that, taking four-stroke MX bikes 3/4 of the way from where they were to where they are in one big step. Because that step didn't get all the way up to current modern levels, the YZ400 still has some of the attributes of that old, heavy Matchless I rode back in the day, both good and bad. But they're very much a modern high performance MX engine. The basic core of the design has remained unchanged in any major way in all this time.

If they are what you want, they're cool old bike that still works.

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