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Eric_T

Looking for input on YZ400...

20 posts in this topic

I currently ride a XR400. I have been biking for years, but this is my first dirtbike. I've been riding off-road for about 6 months now.

Two of the guys I ride with have YZ400's, and they are planning to get new bikes at the end of the year. I was thinking about buying one of their YZs to replace my XR.

What type of performance differences could I expect by moving to the YZ? I ride in the sand 90% of the time. I have a really hard time keeping up with these guys, especially on hills and sharp turns. I'm sure riding skill has a lot to do with it too, but would the YZ help me out in these areas compared to the XR?

Thanks.

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LAST AUGUST I BOUGHT A 99 YZ 400. IT HAD BEEN 25 YEARS SINCE I HAD RIDDEN A DIRT BIKE, MY LAST ONE WAS A 1973 TM 125. I THINK THE 400 IS THE BEST CHOICE I COULD HAVE MADE IT HAS MORE POWER THAN I CAN USE MY SON AND I RIDE FTR HARESCRAMBLES EVENTS ALL OVER FLORIDA YOU WILL LOVE THE HIT YOU GET LIKE A TWO STROKER YET ALOT LESS MAINTANENCE.

:):D:D I SMILE EVERY TIME I RIDE IT . DID NOT SPEND ALOT BUT DOES MORE THAN I EXPECTED

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IMHO look for an '01 or later. From what I've read here this seems to be the first year which they polished out a lot of the minor bugs (counter balancer key replaced with splined shaft, grabby clutch fixed, no need to modify the accelerator pump to fix a bogging problem).

Other than that I say go for it, I love my YZF and would buy the same bike again given the choice.

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Eric,

I never thought I’d ride a four stroke that did well in the sand, and therefore never thought I’d want to own one, until I rode a riding buddy’s YZ 400. I ended up buying a new 426.

I think a lot of people agree with me because you don’t see many XRs, which are very popular in CO for example, in our area. A MX bike’s light weight and ability to rev quickly really help it get, and stay, “on top” of the sand, (like planin’ out on a ski boat). Also, the plush suspension that makes the XR popular in tight trails is another liability in sand as it tends to wallow where an MX bike can cut and slice. Just about every guy I’ve ever ridden with over the years here in EP had a YZ/RM/CR/KX.

There is nothing wrong with XRs, they are great, especially in tight woods, but in the sand a YZ 400s is twice the bike and should help your confidence, speed, and get you further up the off-road learning curve. The YZF, particularly the 400, is actually easier to ride IMO than a typical MX two stroke. You sort of get the best of both worlds, the easy to ride tractability of a thumper AND the great suspension and handling of a modern MX bike.

I am also going to be selling my ’00 YZ426 pretty soon. :)

Where in EP do you guys typically ride?

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Originally posted by Eric T:

Hick, I usually ride in Santa Teresa off of Airport Rd near Artcraft. How about you?

Wow. Small world, that is the same area I ride, Do I know you??? (ck. your PM)

I am actually keeping my bike(s) at the airport right now, no more hauling, I can be on my favorite trail twenty minutes after I leave work!

I usually ride two or three weekdays after work, and in the afternoons on weekends. Weather looks nasty at the moment but I'm thinking of braving it.

I'll keep my eye out for an XR, or shoot me an email and maybe we can meet up and exchange trail tips :)

My email is in your PM box.

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I think the 98's and especially the 99 YZ400's are great bikes. They did a few updates on the 99 over the 98, but they are both very good bikes. The clutch problems some of the 2000 426's had were from an underengineered clutch system for the new sized motor. I had my 99 400 for 3 years and the only problem I had was a cracked gas tank and 1 blown fork seal and I rode the bike every week. I owned a XR400 and my comparison would be the XR has a little more bottom end, up to about 2000 rpm, then the YZ400 will leave it behind. The YZF is much lighter, better suspended, thinner and turns better. Of course you have to learn the starting drill which for some complicated while for others is is very easy. It shouldn't be hard for you since your not coming from a 2 stroke. The XR400 is a very good bike but it is very dated technology. Do the switch, you won't regret it.

Pat

02 426

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Hick

The XR 400 will be easier to ride trails on than the 400/426. Being faster means more seat time on any bike.

If your a Begineer rider, I suggest stay put and practice.

Its alot easier to ride 100 miles a day (trail riding) on the XR than the 400/426. And enjoying every minute along the way.

Now, if your talkin MX TRACKS,

Go Blue!

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If your going to ride trails and you want a better bike, look at the WR. A YZ is a little high strung for a beginner to trail ride. Dont get me wrong, I love trail riding my YZ, and its a good trail bike, but Ive been riding for 30+ years. Now, if your going to ride trails like Ty Davis, pick up the YZ. Rmarion had it right, 100 miles of trails is going to be a lot easier on your body, on an XR rather than the YZ.

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Well I can see how the XR can be a better trail bike in some cases, but like I said, I would like more power for hill climbing and better, quicker handling for chasing rabbits.

That being said, would you still say an XR is better for me? Please don't let skill level enter into it, I am new to dirt riding, but I have been racing and riding streetbikes for years, so I am picking things up pretty quickly. I'd rather have too much bike than not enough.

Thanks for all the input so far!

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The YZF400 has a very friendly easy to use powerband compared to the YZF426. I have a '99 that I bought new in Feb '99 and it's been bulletproof except for a cracked tank. I think for pure motocross the 426 is obviously better but for overall offroad use I think the 400 is better than the 426.

My friend had bought a '99 XR400 at the same time I bought my bike. They feel pretty similar and you'd adapt fine. The XR only has the edge on the tightest, gnarliest of goat trails and the Yamaha kills it as the speed increases.

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Originally posted by rmarion:

Hick

The XR 400 will be easier to ride trails on than the 400/426.

Not on my trails.

In deep sand the power of the 426 isn’t as much of a problem as the weight and cushy suspenders on the XR.

Of course I’m sure some riders would prefer the XR, but IMO everyone but the most unskilled would prefer any MX bike over the XR in the environment I ride in. If it weren’t so heavy that may not be the case, but weight is your enemy in the sand.

I think the XR4 is very easy to turn, even in deep sand, and stable in rocks and rough terrain (up to a point), but the extra weight and soft suspension make it a handful in this type of terrain.

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Originally posted by Shawn Mc:

If your going to ride trails and you want a better bike, look at the WR. A YZ is a little high strung for a beginner to trail ride. Dont get me wrong, I love trail riding my YZ, and its a good trail bike, but Ive been riding for 30+ years. Now, if your going to ride trails like Ty Davis, pick up the YZ.

Shawn,

I have a few friends with WRs, and I would not quibble with your statement otherwise, but the gearbox, slightly tamer motor, and slightly softer suspension on a WR is not helpful at all in the desert, unless we are talking mountains, switchbacks, rocks, etc.

There really isn’t any of that type of riding in this area, the nearest, true “single track” that I know of is a two hour drive, and my YZ is fine for that, although I do understand, and have experienced, the benefits of the wide ratio (read: very low first gear) in that type of terrain.

So I guess we have “Ty Davis” type trails around El Paso. I’m telling you, there are 50 MX bikes in this town for every XR/KDX/KLX/RMX/WR etc. I’ve lived here all my life and all you see is MX bikes, because all there is here is sand, sand, and more sand w/ the occasional rock thrown in.

There is a YZ250F at the local dealer, thing has been languishing there for 8 months. There is an XR4 right next to it. It is telling that these are the only two dirt bikes left in the store (and they’ve both been there for quite awhile).

XRs just aren’t any fun to ride in the sand (yes I’ve tried a few).

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I bought my 99 yz400 from a buddy of mine 2 years ago and I absolutely love it! The motor is awsome and the suspension is even better. I had a 96 RM250 that would just toss me on the ground on the trails. It was so twitchy that a rock would deflect the front end so easily (although it could turn on a dime). The YZ takes a little more muscle to turn, but it is as stable as a frieght train. Very easy to ride.

PK, are you close to Auburn CA?

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Originally posted by Eric T:

And you're right about our playground....it's nothing but sand. Deep sand, shallow sand, tracked sand, smooth sand, every kind of sand you can imagine. But always sand. That's what is giving me problems, it's really tough to ride in that stuff all the time.

Around turns, I always end up pushing the front because it sinks in when I slow down for the corner. And my XR doesn't have quite enough juice to get that instant rear wheel -spin that I see all the MX riders using to get turned quickly. I can get the rear to spin, but I really have to give it a handful, and sometimes I end up accelerating too much before the wheel finally breaks loose and slides out. So then I'm slowing down, sinking the front, and the whole process starts all over again.

You forgot about wet sand, by far the rarest, yet also the most fun to ride on (as opposed to “in”). I got to sample some of that on Sunday after that little rain storm we had. It was sweet.

Riding in sand is like skiing in powder. It is difficult, but when you finally master turning in it, you can turn anywhere, on anything. That’s the way I prefer to look at it, anyway, although somehow turning, along with stopping, are still my weak points. :)

Another problem with the XR is riding position. Unless you are over 6’ it is difficult to get your weight over the front end, it shares this trait with the WR, although in both cases (YZ seat/tank or A-Loop kit for the XR) this can be remedied.

To keep the front tire planted you need you weight forward, to control it you also need your elbows up. For what it is the XR4 isn’t overly cushy up front, but it will tend to dive into a corner in sand, then rebound and unweight itself, then wash out.

Having a good tire also helps, having the wrong one (or a worn one) up front will make any bike a handful in the sand. Any good sand tire will do, I’ve had success w/ Pirelli MT44, Bridgestone S12, and Dunlop 756, which is probably my favorite.

BTW, from your email, you should be able to straighten out your front rotor w/ careful application of a crescent wrench. Find the bent spot and judiciously apply some force in the opposite direction with the wrench.

BTWII a pal of mine is coming down this weekend from CO, with his XR4, no less (although he may leave it there and borrow a bike down here). He is a beginner also, so we should get together this weekend or Monday and all do some fun trails.

I’ll get an email out to you when I get home tonight (after I go riding :D ).

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You've got mail.

I AM over 6' tall. Maybe I'm just not using the correct technique and/or body position for turning. Perhaps you could give me a quick lesson next time we're out there???

Good analogy comparing sand to powder skiing, by the way. I can't turn in powder on my skis either, lol. :)

Anyway, until such time as I have a different bike, I'm just gonna have to ride my ass off to keep up with the other guys, who are obviously more experienced in addition to having more modern machinery. I suppose if I can get to the point to where I can hang on my XR, then if and when I get a better bike I'll be able to do more than just keep up, eh?

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Originally posted by Eric T:

I suppose if I can get to the point to where I can hang on my XR, then if and when I get a better bike I'll be able to do more than just keep up, eh?

True. It ain't like your not learning anything because you're on an XR. My first bike that got me back into riding was a '95 KX250. I thought that bike was impossible to turn, then I realized it was the rider, now I think it was both. :)

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Hick, I sent you an email a day or two ago, we should go ride together sometime.

And you're right about our playground....it's nothing but sand. Deep sand, shallow sand, tracked sand, smooth sand, every kind of sand you can imagine. But always sand. That's what is giving me problems, it's really tough to ride in that stuff all the time.

Around turns, I always end up pushing the front because it sinks in when I slow down for the corner. And my XR doesn't have quite enough juice to get that instant rear wheel -spin that I see all the MX riders using to get turned quickly. I can get the rear to spin, but I really have to give it a handful, and sometimes I end up accelerating too much before the wheel finally breaks loose and slides out. So then I'm slowing down, sinking the front, and the whole process starts all over again.

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yzflorida dude

STOP YELLING

CAPS = YELLING

small-caps = mild, soft, humble speak..... :)

oh ya Eric

The diff between the xr and the yz400

Hummmmm let me see hummmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

1: I can pick this bike up with out help

2: Man this yz seat is killing me

3: Oh crap did I just get 4th gear (YZ)

5: Ya just got to fith no forth SLOOOWWWW DOWN

Kinda like that

[ May 21, 2002: Message edited by: EgoAhole ]

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Here's what I would do. Go ahead and get the 400 from your buddy. You'll save some bucks (even if you have to do some motor work). Make a few changes as you get used to it. I've owned both the XR and YZ. Make it more XR/WR like..

1) New seat foam (guts makes a great soft seat)

2) Soften the suspension or get some gold valves

3) A flywheel weight will tame the low end and keep it from stalling without giving up power.

4) 18" rear wheel

You'll still do far better in the sand than the XR and keep up in fast areas..

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