Honda XR400 [1997] The DirtDawg Chronicles

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by GCRad1, Oct 4, 2007.

  1. coziac

    coziac Adventurer

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    Saw a David Bailey video about it but I cant remember where it was, maybe from their website. That sealed it for me.

    Congrats GCRad!!
    #21
  2. GCRad1

    GCRad1 Been here awhile

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    #22
  3. coziac

    coziac Adventurer

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    That's the video I was talking about, Thanks. A very emotional David B giving his opinion on "the helmet for the neck".
    Nice XR you got! I'm ordering mucho denero of parts and starting a build on an 01 XR400 this week!
    #23
  4. motowest

    motowest Two-wheeled Adventurer

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    I see you're wearing a jersey in the pic. What about wearing a jacket (winter-time)? I wear a Darien much of the time (year-around) and wonder about the two working together. Any ideas?
    #24
  5. GCRad1

    GCRad1 Been here awhile

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    Are you asking about the Leatt Brace working with a jacket?

    I usually do where a jacket, but with the Leatt Brace, I have yet to try my jacket on with it as the Leatt Brace will need to be worn over the jacket.

    I actually have both a Patagonia and REI "wind shirt" that I wear under the Troy Lee armor and then the jersey over that, so basically three layers. It was cool in the morning and warmed up during the day so it was OK, but again, I do like the protection of the jacket and additional pockets and such!

    SO, next on the list:
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    New for 2009 is this Blais Jacket #1229-02
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    http://catalog.troyleedesigns.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=2017

    OR:

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    ACERBIS Desertika rally jackets from MX1WEST
    http://www.mx1west.com/

    Thanks for dropping in on the post!
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    #25
  6. GCRad1

    GCRad1 Been here awhile

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    Hello Motowest,

    While I was in haste to go ride the other day and the weather was perfect, you did strike my curiosity again as I know I will be riding soon and most likley it will be cold. So I too will want a jacket on!

    SO, I decided to just put the jacket on and put the Leatt Brace on and see if they would work together?
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    Looks and feels just fine!!! I'm stoked!!! I do not have to spend more money on a new jacket! I can spend it when I WANT TO!!! YEA!!!
    So hope that helps you out and or gives you some insight.
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    #26
  7. motowest

    motowest Two-wheeled Adventurer

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    Thanks for the update on the jacket/brace combination. Yes, that was what I was curious about.
    #27
  8. Ragin Rabbi

    Ragin Rabbi Semper Fidelis

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    I wonder, do you wear the brace only off road? Or is it now a permanent thing whenever you ride regardless?
    #28
  9. GCRad1

    GCRad1 Been here awhile

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    After my accident, a co-worker who commutes by bike went out and bought the Leatt Brace and wears it every day. He knew this is something I wanted prior to my "off" and he too had a good "off" as well, so in the name of more safety, he bought it and wears it!

    On another note, I had another friend who told me he had an accident [dirt] while wearing his Leatt Brace and it actually snapped off a portion of the back lip. I'm thinking had he not been wearing the brace, the snap could have been his NECK!


    #29
  10. Hayduke

    Hayduke ///SAFETY THIRD/// Supporter

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    Great to hear you're back on the XR!

    Your story has had me thinking about the Leatt Brace as well. Gotta do it... $
    #30
  11. GCRad1

    GCRad1 Been here awhile

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    The night before, bike loaded and ready to GO!

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    Early departure!

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    On the road!

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    The sun is coming up and I'm getting closer to Barstow - riding destination!

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    Arrive to the meet-up destination and time for a little oatmeal. My trusty Jetboil has been great and simple to use. Bring 1-1/2 cups water to boil, add 3/4-cups oatmeal, stir and let set for a few minutes and it's ready to eat.

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    Desert vegetation of sort...

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    Time to unload the DirtDawg and get in a couple of laps before the crew shows up.
    #31
  12. GCRad1

    GCRad1 Been here awhile

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    DirtDawg early AM glory light!

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    Recently added the Moose rear-fender bag. I have a rear tube, chain-link, pliers, zip-ties, tow-strap, registration in here currently.

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    Powered by: HONDA XR400:)

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    My headlight is pointed in the wrong direction...
    Wished my headlight was this bright - could get some
    serious night riding in!

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    Desert view and the ol'trusty licking it's chops and ready toss some soil samples.

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    James Hickerson

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    John Schultz

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    Kevin Keep

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    My tool-roll that I carry in my back-pack.

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    Nice and rocky out here...

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    John was glad that I carry the tool roll in my backpack. Needed to do some lever attitude adjustment on his compression relever lever. He removed it for the time being. John, don't forget to fix that before our next ride!!!

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    Helemt collection at lunch.. Troy Lee, Fox, Klim.

    Lunch is over and back to riding!!!
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    View of the terrain. Looks like nice riding area to me!!! Barstow has some nice rugged terrain!

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    A view towards Big Bear and Johnson Valley.




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    67-miles for todays little ride. It's my second ride since the neck situation and I am in no pain and stoked to be riding! I still like the rough stuff.
    #32
  13. GCRad1

    GCRad1 Been here awhile

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    It's been three months since I've last been able to take time to go ride the XR400! It's been way crazy busy at work, but I am not about to complain about that! BUT, Gotta' take a moment and hit the trails!

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    In Southern California, just getting to the riding area's is a HIKE!
    On the 15-FWY heading to Silverlake for a day of trail riding in Big Bear as the desert is now hot and we head for the hills! While the desert is already in the 90's, it's going to be around 74-degree's up in the Big Bear area.

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    XR400 shadow being cast from the early morning light... I can't wait to be riding on this puppy instead of looking at it creeping up on me.

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    Harley crew is making their way out of town.

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    My exit!!! Meeting John Schultz on the edge of Silverwood Lake [camp ground] and will stage our bikes there.

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    Just on HWY-138 and as it wraps around to get a view towards Wrightwood, I see small traces of snow.

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    The HWY-138 of the 15-FWY is rather TWISTY!!! I've never been on this stretch of highway before as I am usually cutting across the hill on dirt via Cleghorn.

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    Bicycle rider making his way down HWY-138 to the 15-FWY.

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    A view of Silverwood Lake from HWY-138. Almost there!

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    John Schultz talking to a hobby shop.

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    My XR400 on the left and John's XR650 on the right.

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    10-100 break. 10-4 good buddy!

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    John leaving the Pinnacles Staging Area. Next stop, BIG BEAR!
    3N34 Trail Head Start.

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    John scootin' up the hill. I like to let the dust settle a bit and then roll out.

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    Just checking which trails we are going on - 3W12

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    Trails, Trails, Trails... So many trails in this area! I glad John knows his way through this area and he leaves a nice dust cloud to follow too!

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    Crest over the hill and I just had to stop and take in the view of this cool trail and wanted to let the dust settle to take this image. BIG BEAR = TRAILS!!!!

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    John Schultz looking a bit like a Storm Trooper. We stop to take a view of the burn area that has hit a very big portion of the local mountains.

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    Lot's of burn area but the undergrowth vegetation is growing back in.

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    John's been telling me stories of this creek crossing at Deep Creek.

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    Deep Creek - next stop!

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    Well, it's been a while since John has cross Deep Creek...

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    As Deep Creek has this nice bridge across it now. So much for filling my boots up with water...

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    More burn area and in the background is Big Bear, the ski slop side.

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    Closer inspection shows SNOW over there! Man, this little Canon SD780 IS gets out there!

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    All burnt! But it's time for some good kind of burning - LUNCH!!! Just a few more miles to go!

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    Lunch time and more route planning!

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    This is Big Bear...

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    HELLO! MY NAME IS: John Schultz

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    Yes, I like pepper in my ketchup. So... Lunch down, 60-miles down and our plan is to run another ridge back towards Silverwood Lake. That was our plan.

    Plans change... Everything [dirt roads] is Fawnskin is CLOSED!!! So we re-route and find our way across back to our original road:
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    Ran up on the Dirt-Dawpler Gang: These guys are all about eatin' dust as they where like 15 of them all riding together, all tearing out behind one another! Much too large of a pack for my flavor.

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    Arrowhead Lake in for far distance and where we are headed.

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    Arrowhead Lake zoom view. WOW, this little Canon SD780 IS gets out! Did I say that already?

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    There is a good amount of water crossing along the trails still.

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    For those who know the trails around Deep Creek will know this section of hills a few miles up the hill from the bridge. We went up this on the way up to Big Bear and back down - all the way back to Deep Creek where we saw 8 Jeeps working their way up and said they would be coming all the way up through here. So we heading back up as I wanted to see how Jeeps go through here... I'm curious as I have a '92 Land Cruiser and just want to see what it takes as it just gets nasty and littered with all kinds of rocky obstacles. I was tired and wanted a power-nap anyhow.

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    We wait....

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    We wait some more...

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    Those are some NICE AXO boots John!

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    My new KLIM helmet is nice too!

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    While waiting on these Jeeps, I start checking out in detail the surrounding burn area aftermath.
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    Bored yet? Me too! Lets roll!

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    OK, we could not wait any longer! 35-minutes [10-minute power nap thrown in] and we had to roll!!! We came down and these guys where just coming up from Deep Creek! Dang, John called it! They stopped to talk shop and knock tires before heading up. Will catch'em next time I guess. But just watching them roll up this first bit, and I think that the motorcycles are the way to cover the distance quick out here.
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    3W14 Trail Head Marker - This is where my story turns a little "SOUTH"
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    Transmission - R.I.P.

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    John is off to get the truck... It's going to be a little while. When you have a hour or more to wait, you get bored and start snapping images... but I think I snap images either way...

    And you start thinking...
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    thinking about all the things you need to do to your bike. Poor XR400 needs some news tires. I was skating all over the place. Plus, I need to remember to replace the front tire spare tube in the bag on the front fender. Stuff like that, because I used it on my last ride.

    Random:
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    Was it because...
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    I was talkin' smack about the slow Jeeps?

    More boredum
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    R.I.P. - DIRTDAWG TRANSMISSION
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    I loved every minute of riding the socks off this XR400. I have gotten every pennies worth out of it! AND MORE!!! It has had a hard life so I can not be mad at the bike, just lucky it didn't leave me stranded so far out in the middle of the outback! Got LUCKY! Basically what happened is the bikes transmission or something inside there jammed up just as we cross the HWY-173 after about 110-miles of riding for the day, but not quite back to base-camp! It made the loudest grinding-clanking noise!!! Lot's of figuring ahead now for the DIRTDAWG! Not so, "ol'Trusty Dusty any more...

    I sit and await John to come pick me up. I sit and think about what could it be... and what am I going to do about fixing it.
    #33
  14. GCRad1

    GCRad1 Been here awhile

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    I remember looking at the GPS at lunch time and seeing that we had clicked off 60-miles. We did some extra miles trying to find different routes back before I got cut short.



    No time to start tearing down the XR400 yet!

    Work is busy and going out of town this weekend:
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    #34
  15. ADVCoop

    ADVCoop Long timer

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    Great looking 400.
    #35
  16. motowest

    motowest Two-wheeled Adventurer

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    Sorry to hear about your XR400.

    I just rode my 2000 XR400 on the "Sheetiron 300" last weekend and the bike performed perfectly. It makes me think that I'll have this bike for a long time.

    Good luck with your XR400!
    #36
  17. GCRad1

    GCRad1 Been here awhile

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    Thirteen months later... it's finally time to start working on the XR400. Yes, it's been way over-due on getting the motor out of the XR and seeing just want is ailing this puppy! Too much work, too much flux in life has prevented me from getting to work on the bike. If this is not bad enough, I actually picked up a ATK 605 in December and have yet to even take it for a spin. Life is such... OK, on with the Dirt Dawg Chronicles!

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    My buddy John Schultz put a little muscle into loosing the nut... Maybe a/one/the/some clutch plate/s fizzled out on me?

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    But they look just fine!

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    So maybe the clutch basket may have something going on? Well, it looks just fine too...

    So, look around down in the belly of the beast:
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    And that is where we find something out of place... get the magnet stick out and yes the little foreign object is attracted to it's power like a mosquito to a bug zapper!

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    That right there my friends is a missing tooth! Not so foreign, just permanently displaced.

    Of all the Honda'sperts I have spoken with, none have heard of the XR failing as such. But this old dawg has had a hard life and I'm OK with that. We can re-build it and bring it back to Trusty Dirt Dawg Spec.
    #37
  18. GCRad1

    GCRad1 Been here awhile

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    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/rodneywills/4679462613/" title="Honda XR 400 Engine Removal (1) by GCRad1, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4037/4679462613_a3f1d75621.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="Honda XR 400 Engine Removal (1)" /></a>
    OK, so this past weekend presented some time to finally get the engine and get the DirtDawg revitalized!

    Had some spare hands from step-son helping with the motor and daughter snapping the pict's:
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/rodneywills/4680095702/" title="Honda XR 400 Engine Removal (4) by GCRad1, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4069/4680095702_f8da333d52.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="Honda XR 400 Engine Removal (4)" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/rodneywills/4679463627/" title="Honda XR 400 Engine Removal (5) by GCRad1, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4013/4679463627_87b076b449.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="Honda XR 400 Engine Removal (5)" /></a>
    According the the manual, the engine weights about 37-pounds in complete form, so it's nice to have the extra hands.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/rodneywills/4679466015/" title="Honda XR 400 Engine Removal (12) by GCRad1, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4005/4679466015_edd098d44c.jpg" width="375" height="500" alt="Honda XR 400 Engine Removal (12)" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/rodneywills/4680099368/" title="Honda XR 400 Engine by GCRad1, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4021/4680099368_cf8459d15f.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="Honda XR 400 Engine" /></a>
    While I'm sure most of you would like to see the full tear-down... I too would like to see the same as well.. BUT... This is where I will be having a professional help! SORRY!!! But I will make sure you get some perks for sticking around...
    #38
  19. TG-DRZ

    TG-DRZ Adventurer

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    Long Live the DirtDawg!!!
    #39
  20. GCRad1

    GCRad1 Been here awhile

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    I have the Clymer repair manual....

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    But the Honda Factory Manual has been purchased for the more intensive or in-depth stuff that is not covered in the Clymer manual... such as transmission. I ordered the factory manual from RepairManual.com Read the "About Us" as Len Nelson has put in a lot of labor into his love and biz.
    #40