The XR400 Thread

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Hayduke, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. JimmieA

    JimmieA Long timer

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    I am toying with the idea of getting an extra set of rims for supermotard for my XR400R. I have searched here but no results. Anyone have experience with this. I don't want to spend a fortune on this.

    I now have more or less two kits to convert the bike to electric start. I got the crank extension from a company is Switzerland. It looks like it needs a different bearing for the ring gear, need to look into this next week. Anyone know the deal on this?
  2. hughrk

    hughrk Adventurer

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    Get a lowering link for the rear suspension..... you will not regret it!

    E start rules but just fit a trx crank.... you will not regret it!
  3. BificusRex

    BificusRex Been here awhile

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    For anyone and everyone.
    So when changing your oil(rec. monthly or every 600 miles), do you all check the screen at the bottom of the engine inside the right hand cover every time? If so, does your bike have a rubber o ring gasket or is it paper between the right side cover and engine case? If it's paper do you buy a new gasket at nearly $20(rmatv) or make you own? I don't want to use RTV because of an oil passage(I think). So what is your thrifty solution?
    I had forgotten why I hadn't checked that screen since early on in ownership.
  4. aaron2a

    aaron2a supermoto hooligan

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    The right cover has an oring, but the left has a gasket.
  5. Stretch67

    Stretch67 Mad Scientist

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    The smaller, round clutch cover has an o-ring, but the right-side case cover (that the clutch cover bolts to) uses a gasket.

    [​IMG]

    To get to the sump strainer, the whole right-side cover has to come off.

    And regarding the sump strainer...

    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=850068
  6. BificusRex

    BificusRex Been here awhile

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    Bingo, do different years vary?, mines a 99 and is a gasket.
    Any other cheap skates out there? I am cutting my own gasket but was hoping for a cheap oem source
  7. Stretch67

    Stretch67 Mad Scientist

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    No, they're all as I described. The 'right cover has an o-ring' comment is simply wrong.

    I use Honda gaskets because they're cut correctly, saving a ton of work. You're correct in not wanting to use silicone on the right-side case cover gasket. If the tiniest amount of silicone gets into the oil passages machined into the sealing surfaces of the case and cover, your valve train is toast.

    For example: Booger1's XR4 build, with a previous owner's silicone still in the oil passage. He accidentally overlooked this, subsequently nuking the valve train and cam in his newly-rebuilt engine...
    [​IMG]

    When cutting your own gasket, be damned sure those small oil passages are free to flow.

    I do rub a tiny amount of high-temperature grease into both sides of the gasket to help it seal, and to help keep it from sticking to the case for future disassembly.
  8. MartiniUp

    MartiniUp Long timer

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    Good info Stretch. 99.99967342% of the time Honda oem is the best choice with any rebuild. Amd a light coat of regular engine oil works as good as the grease on the gaskets. For me anyhow. Started doing this on my 2stks 40 years ago, base gaskets just lift right off with no scraping when doing the next topend. :clap
  9. Stretch67

    Stretch67 Mad Scientist

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    Righto. Scraping gasket material off cast iron is bad enough, but the risk of damaging soft aluminum is too great to do it often on a bike engine case.

    And I'm lazy. :D
  10. IronSpadeCycles

    IronSpadeCycles Button Pusher

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    When I rode my 01' XR400 to Portland OR and back to TX I changed the stock gearing to a 16/42 after relieving the case saver with a grinder. It was wittled down to about 3/32" thick but still holds up just fine. I experience a good cruising speed of 60-66 mph at about 6000-6200 rpm carrying about 100 lbs of camping gear and my fat 300lb ass with full riding gear. At WOT and about 7500 rpm I could run about 80 mph but it felt like the engine was about to explode and my non-balanced rim-locked wheels were about to throw me off the bike, I only did it a few times to pass big rigs I thought didn't see me and were trying to kill me. With the compromise of the 42 rear, I still had fairly good offroad low speed gearing but it won't lift the front end even if I tried like it did with the stock gear.


    This was in the deep sand of Moab UT on the Arches trail, we found ourselves 30 miles north of town and about 15 miles down a sandy river bed with all my gear and tools back in at our campsite in town. Thank God she didn't fail me in the 112 degree heat. The bike was jetted a bit wrong at this point and was running very hot with the gauge reading CHT of 350+F. When I limped back to town and change the jets back to stock for sea level the temps dropped to a reasonable but still hot 285 F. That was a learning curve. When I made it to Reno and near a well stocked Honda dealer I took a few days off to do some maintenance. I pulled the head to try to source some odd cam chain noises and figured out the culprit of the heat. A layer of carbon had built up on the piston crown about 1.5mm thick and after some calculations I figured out it was running about 12.5:1 compression. After carefully cleaning it all off, replacing the stock head gasket and bolting her all back up, the running temp dropped to about 185 degrees with the stock sea level jetting in the Reno area, which is a bit higher than sea level. I did feel like I lost a bit of power from when I began the trip, but the peace of mind that she might finish a 5200 mile trip was much better than a few ponies under the seat.



    [​IMG]


    And a self portrait I took about a week into the trip while camping somewhere in central UT.

    [​IMG]


    This was taken about 1/2 way through Oregon at the best roadside burger joint in Burns OR. My cousin riding his GS1150 joined me in Elko NV and rode for 10 days with me through some beautiful wilderness till we made it round to his home in Reno NV.


    [​IMG]


    Now she's got a fresh 440 kit and I've been so busy building cafe racers for clients I've not been able to ride her in months. I think that is about to change as the warmer weather approaches.

    My $0.10 cents worth. Later Travis
  11. BificusRex

    BificusRex Been here awhile

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    I still feel like $20 for a gasket is B/S. I will agree that it is easier(+ peace of mind) to just buy rather then cut my own. Now if you'll excuse me I need to go back to the garage, drain the two quarts of amsoil and pull the right side cover off again because I am having doubts about my wrenching abilities...
  12. aaron2a

    aaron2a supermoto hooligan

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    Silicone works great... And if you lay it on it's side you can keep the oil in
  13. mookybird

    mookybird Gramps

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    Good info Travis, Last summer I bought a 98 and rode it from here at home in the NW to the mexican border and than NE up to the Black Hills. I had a very enjoyable trip with some good offroad riding in Death Valley and later Moab. All up it was well over 5000 miles.

    I geared mine 16x39 and carry a 13 tooth sprocket that can be switched in a few minutes. I don't have a tach or a temp guage, I ran all day in temps over 100 a few days. I'm planning another ride this summer and have a couple of questions.

    I ran a stock fuel tank and carried a gallon for the longer stretches, I don't want to do that again, is your tank the 6 ga. version and how do you like it?

    Mine starts great providing I go through the right steps, and turning up the idle screw is one of them, does your tank make it harder to adjust the idle screw while riding?

    I've toured on several types of bikes the past few years and thought the xr4 was one of the best for all around fun. denny

    107 deg on this particular day
    [​IMG]
  14. cirell

    cirell Been here awhile

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    I use the 5.8 gal tank with no problems, get over 400 km (250 miles).
    When you change the sprocket from 16 to 13 do you use the same length chain?
  15. mookybird

    mookybird Gramps

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    Yes, when I carry the axle nut wrench in an easily accessible pocket in my vest and the change only takes a couple of minutes.

    Thanks for the info on the tank, I haven't had to push yet but I've had it quit and had to lay it on it's left side a couple of times to make it to a pump. I also need to upgrade my charging system a bit prior to going long again. denny
  16. IronSpadeCycles

    IronSpadeCycles Button Pusher

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    I ran the IMS 4.0 gallon tank. You have to have either really small hands or don't be afraid to burn yourself if you think your going to adjust the idle with that tank. I could do road side jetting changes without removing the tank, but several times I thought about making some kind of quick release as you have to forget about pulling a plug without pulling the tank.

    When I first started the trip I was getting between 55 to 65 MPG on super unleaded in most road/off road conditions, but I noticed depending on the state I was in a 15% to 20% loss of mileage due to older or unregulated ethanol blends. Arizona fuel was absolute crap! In northern AZ going toward New Mexico my mileage dropped off to about 43 MPG. I almost ran out of gas a couple times between stops. Also the 4.0 IMS tank will run out of gas with as much as 2/3rd a gallon still in the tank. I had to stop and lay the bike completely on its side to get the fuel from the right side to the left. That totally sucked with a bike loaded with gear pushing 350lbs.

    I imagine if I didn't have all that gear, (I did realize after the trip was over I could have left half of it at home) and I could have carried an extra chain and sprockets for the off road days I did in Moab UT and central Oregon I would have set up a more Hwy friendly 16/38 and then run a 14/44 for off road. I learned the hard way that although my almost stock XR400 was an alright DS at Hwy speeds its really a low speed forest bike. I imagine the new 440 11:1 kit and the stage 2 cam, CRF cam chain and prepped carb will change my thoughts a bit when I finally get to ride her.

    I have several other bigger touring and bigger dirt bikes in my collection but I really love my little XR4 and will keep riding her till the wheels fall off.

    Good luck with yours.
  17. IronSpadeCycles

    IronSpadeCycles Button Pusher

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    Also I might add, after doing 5000+ miles, do yourself a favor and go ahead and change the wheel bearing and seals now before you take her out on another long ride. Those are not as readily available in remote areas as you might think and waiting in some hick town for a week for All Balls to rush you a $20 set of bearing is anti productive.

    As far as the electrics are concerned, I followed a thread on this forum on hand winding your own stock stator and I wound mine for about 200w with 18G copper, hooked it to a $50 generic Reg/Rec and built my own new wiring harness with really high end silicone covered marine grade wires. I could run my 65/100w KTM Adventure headlight all night long and never once did it drain the tiny 1000 mah SLA battery I added. I also had my Garmin GPS, a Trailtech speedo/tach/temp gauge, 2 charging jacks for phone and computer battery chargers running, again never killed the battery. I left the light on for about 30 minutes setting up camp one night in the middle of no where with not even moon light to help. The battery was low when I shut it off but she fired right up thanks to the CDI ignition.

    I do love this bike.
  18. Clem Kevin

    Clem Kevin Nude With Boots

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    Where did you place the battery? I'd love to see a photo; I've been considering a similar upgrade.
  19. cbig

    cbig Rift- Raft, SCooter Trash

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    I have a set of $50 forks I am running on my 2000 xr. I believe the forks are 1997. Yesterday I tore the forks down and replaced the seals . One had been leaking pretty bad. Replacing seals is easy enough. I was looking at the valve bolt and wondering just how effective the removal of 6 shims is. I hear a lot about it. . Thought that might be a bit much. It appears to me the oil flows up from below and the 12 shims act as a limit on how much can flow thru the valve body. By removing shims, more oil can flow as the stack can rise higher to the stop, creating a larger passage.

    I might want to try it, tho I am not unhappy at all with the forks. After going thru the hassle of taking off the fork caps, using the cartridge grabbing tool I made and either using a socket wrench or gently impact wrenching off the bottom bolt, I wonder... I know I can gun it off, but if I leave the fork cap on, cartridge all intact, can the bolt be put back on? This way I could turn clean forks upside down, screw with what I need without messing with oil levels, etc?

    Seems there's a reason it can't be put back on this way; I was just in it and should remember but I got crs! (Can't remember shit) :D
  20. Stretch67

    Stretch67 Mad Scientist

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    For more info on the Shim Stack Mod, czech out Posts 4159-64, 4180-82, 5374, 5467 of this thread.