XR400R Budget Baja build - for Baja Rally 2016 - and beyond...

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by JMo (& piglet), Dec 5, 2015.

  1. xr400r

    xr400r Long timer

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    Great! I like the looks of your bike. Blue seat and Gold rims will look great! Mine is a work in progress, I have the motor rebuilt with a 406cc piston and HRC cam, High output stator and large tank. I am wanting to make it street legal, maybe this spring.
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  2. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Hee hee - yes, this six-hunnard was my inspiration!

    [​IMG]

    Jx
    #42
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  3. xr400r

    xr400r Long timer

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    Thats what I remember as an xr in the 80s when I first started riding
    #43
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  4. Benduro

    Benduro Retox Supporter

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    My buddy and I rode what some guys on Thumper Talk call the hardest trail in California. Took us over four hours to go eight miles.
    His bike? A well used xr600 he's had forever. And he was ruling too.
    My hillbilly buddy Jethro...
    20150118_083725.jpg
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    20150118_084024.jpg

    I've never had a Honda except for my first bike, a Trail 90, but I have always wanted an xr400 or a 600! So bombproof.
    #44
  5. styger

    styger Been here awhile

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    Do you recall the name of this California trail?
    #45
  6. Benduro

    Benduro Retox Supporter

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    Ortega trail.
    I don't think it was that crazy, but parts were physical.
    I feel like I've ridden harder in northern California. Sections of the Rubicon were harder, even though the Rubicon isn't singletrack.
    Ortega:
    tn__MapDryLakesRidgeFromNE_jpg.jpg
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    It doesn't go up this drainage but it crosses it a couple times.
    #46
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  7. enduro16

    enduro16 Been here awhile

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    Kewl build thread thanks,,,, i was thinking of selling my plated xr400r,and xr650r sumo,then i read this stuff,i knew id regret it,but only so much room in the garage,and the magic button spoils an old man,,,,But i love the xr,s they just are so timeless,even when im putting on my riding boots letting them warm up,they look so right,like a enduro bike should,and the low mantenice of the bike,,,timless,,,,,,Any one have experience on the tail tech electric start(or other electric starters) for the xr650r? Thanks,
    #47
  8. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Hi Enduro16 - funny you should mention the XR650R - as you may have gleaned from my introduction to this thread, that was actually my first Rally build back in 2007 - complete with e-start.

    I used the Boechat.ch (Swiss-made) electric start, which at the time was as close as possible to an OEM style set-up - very similar to the kit they supplied for the XR400, which is essentially the TRX Honda quad parts, plus their own crank adapter.

    Unfortunately, their 650R kit is no longer available, so posting photos of it here is probably only going to make you more frustrated!

    Still, this is what it looked like:

    [​IMG]

    Essentially it was a billet aluminium casing that was sandwiched between the OEM stator cover and the crank case, allowing the ring gear etc. to be connected to a starter motor (same as the TRX400 one) mounted behind the cylinder below the carb in the usual position.

    It was actually supplied to Dall'ara Honda in Italy who sold the 650R as a fully street-legal bike for a few years in Europe (along with various other Honda enduro bikes, such as the CRF230, XR400R and the CRF250/450X).

    The kit mounted the battery up behind the left hand side panel - however, as you will be aware, on the 650R that is all basically air-box, and I didn't like the way it stuck out behind the panel, and had no real support (unless you had the Euro-spec street-legal fender brace fitted, which I didn't as my bike was a US model).

    I had a friend fab me up an alternative bracket that mounted the battery directly above the left hand case, and which fitted very neatly in the space below the Acerbis Safari tank. This also helped to keep the starter motor cables really short. The Boechat kit also came with an ignition jumper that connected in series with the stock ECU, to [presumably] alter the ignition map momentarily to aid starting.

    The result was (and this is likely to frustrate you even more) a starting system that was better than many OEM starters - it would start on a stroke of the button, with no need to use the decompressor or any other faffing around.

    I actually bought the starter kit from a UK supplier of XR parts (unfortunately no longer trading), and I remember that when I told him of my intention to go to the US and buy an XR650R, then ride it for three months there before bringing it back to the UK with me, he said to me "You might as well buy the e-start kit now and take it with you and fit it there, since you'll certainly want one by the time you get back!"

    I have to admit, it really did make the 650R a lot more useable as an adventure bike, and also got me out of few spots when I'd got it stuck in the dunes when racing:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It was a kick-ass bike for sure, but ultimately I still love the simplicity of the 400R a little more...

    ...although it is tempting to convert the 400 to e-start too, I have to say ;o)

    Jenny x
    #48
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  9. enduro16

    enduro16 Been here awhile

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    Wow thank you very much,that's what I want! What are the chances of finding one for sale?! Don't let the things you want, make you forget what you have!! So you been into rally,s for? Seems very interesting, so do I have this your coming to the USA for one rally? John
    #49
  10. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Hi John - unfortunately, pretty much less than zero I would imagine - they haven't made the kit for the 650R for a good few years now (if you go to the www.boechat.ch website, you'll see they do still seem to list details of the 400R kit, but categorically state the 650R kit is no longer made) - while I imagine anyone who has that kit fitted to their bike, probably considers it a keeper...

    Certainly I only sold my XR650R as I wanted a 450cc (Yamaha WR450F) bike suitable for world-championship events and ultimately Dakar in 2011.

    As for the 400R and this particular iteration - I raced the Baja Rally last September (2015), and had originally started building this bike for that event (which included shipping for European entries). Unfortunately there were not enough European entries last year for the shipping deal to take place, so I ended up on a borrowed KTM 500 based in the US instead (see the first post in this thread for a link to that event report).

    I'm currently back in the UK over the winter and am finishing off this bike, which is scheduled to be shipped to the US along with the other European entries for the Baja Rally this year, in October. There is a thread in the racing section here with more information about the Baja Rally for 2016.

    Hope that helps!

    Jenny x
    #50
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  11. yachabibi

    yachabibi Long timer

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    Wow, what a gorgeous bike.
    I wanna know why the manufacturers don't make them like that for us.


    Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk
    #51
  12. TBR

    TBR One Life ~ Live It...

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    Awesome looking XR650R.....
    #52
  13. The Jester

    The Jester Long timer

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    Now that is a sweet build. As much as I love my XR650 (ex Mick Extance from Dakar 05) this one looks more sorted rather than put together. As for the electric boot, I normally have no issue at all with the kick start - but for the odd occasion, where I manage to stall the bike pointing the wrong way on the side of a hill or turn it upside down, it could make a very big difference.

    If you are contemplating the electric start for the 400 you might want to get in there quick because the website quoted says that they are no longer being made but are still in stock. I suspect, like the 650 kit, they could be in demand in the future.
    #53
  14. theantipaul

    theantipaul Reforming Neandertal Supporter

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    Hey Jenny, nice thread,

    I'm also doing an XR400 build for rally and converting over to DC for nav gear and LED's. We'll be using a Trail Tech stator, R/R and battery, but for the future am very interested in a simple R/R for the stock stator, on all my 600's always floated the ground while rewinding to convert to DC, can you please post some details on the wiring.
    #54
  15. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Thanks Jester!

    Interestingly, the photo on their website seems to show the 650R kit still (even though it says 400R) as I was certain their 400R kit effectively used the same [OEM Honda] parts as the TRX Quad conversions you get on ebay from time to time - albeit the Bochat kit comprises all brand new OEM Honda parts including the cases, which means it was/is an eye-watering €2200 I understand!

    Either way, the key difference is the Boechat kit uses a crank adaptor (as my 650R kit did) to space out the flywheel etc. rather than you having to split the XR cases and fit a TRX crank too. Makes it much quicker to fit - as I recall it only took an afternoon on the 650R (once we'd worked out you need to centre the ring gear on the back of the flywheel very accurately before drilling the holes!)

    You've got me thinking now ;o)

    Jx
    #55
  16. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Hi theantipaul!

    Depending on what model XR400R you have, you may already have a reg/rec on there if it's the EU style model with high/low bean headlight and turn signals etc.

    However, if it is basically the enduro/US spec bike like mine is, then all you have is an AC output to a very basic pair of wires that run to the single 35w bulb head and 5w tail light?

    If that is the case, the simplest way to get DC on your bike is to do what I did and buy the RR167 reg/rec (complete with capacitor) from: www.electrexworld.co.uk or an equivalent importer where you are.

    This is specific for the XR400R (among others) running the stock stator, and basically turns the whole lighting coil output to DC - meaning much more stable lights, and the option to T off the positive and negative wires to the lights to run things like a GPS (via a suitable fuse of course).

    That is how I ran my bike right up until the rebuild at the beginning of last year in the photos above.

    I don't have a wiring diagram of how I extended the loom, but it is something I want to put together before I forget which wire goes where!

    In a nutshell however (as I explain briefly on the previous pages), basically I took the two output wires from the RR120 reg/rec (having removed the capacitor in series as it was no longer required), and ran those back to the small 12v battery (Baja Designs) secured under the seat. note. I had to include a diode on the + feed to the battery, otherwise the battery can back/discharge through the stator (yes, initially I wondered why the battery was draining itself after about 3 or 4 days).

    You then essentially need to run the + and - from the battery back to the original lighting loom (connector under the tank, near the coil), although this needs to be via some sort of switch of course, otherwise the lights will now stay on until the battery runs down - so basically you take the positive wire from the battery up to a switch (I used a HDB - Highway Dirt Bikes single switch on the front brake perch), and then back down to the loom connection, to connect in there along with the negative/earth wire from the battery.

    This way the who electrical system remains isolated from the bike, with everything on the DC circuit earthing back to the battery.

    Once you've got a switched DC supply for the lights, you can tap into that original loom to run any other 12v accessories - GPS, horn etc. as required.

    Just keep in mind that the stock stator output is not huge (I think on the enduro model it's as low as 85w), so if you want to maximise the power available, I would suggest an LED brake/tail light bulb, and perhaps an LED headlight conversion as I've done on page 1 of this thread.

    You don't need a lot of power at all for things like a GPS or a Trail-Tech speedo etc. However, a traditional 12v horn is going to momentarily suck the juice every time you press it.

    I hope that's enough to get you going at least!

    Jenny x
    #56
  17. theantipaul

    theantipaul Reforming Neandertal Supporter

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    We'll be running 2 high powered LED's for light, so that will make it very different from your setup,

    This is a first for me though, how was the R/R wired to the stator, never heard of a diode used instead of floating the ground on a stock stator or why the stator is grounded and bleeding trons if the 2 coil wires are going straight to the R/R. If you can get that to work might be a really good fix for grounded stators, but I've never seen or even thought of doing it like that before.
    #57
  18. Luke

    Luke GPoET&P

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    On the US XR400 the stator is already floating. Just connect the pink and yellow wires to the trailtech R/R inputs and you're set. Only problem is that the stock stator barely puts out 40W at idle and 65W at cruising speed, so you'll need to be really careful with your power budget. I ruined a NiCd battery pack every few months, until I replaced them with a capacitor which worked for years. When I installed the e-start I went to a lithium battery which has also been reliable.
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  19. theantipaul

    theantipaul Reforming Neandertal Supporter

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    @Luke, yes one wire from the lighting coil is grounded at the regulator, one to the regulator. Going DC both go to the R/R, so why the diode, that seems weird that the battery is bleeding through the stator?

    We'll be using a TT stator, but if there's something weird going on from wiring a lighting coil to R/R to battery, and then have it bleed off I'd like to know, am I missing something?
    #59
  20. Luke

    Luke GPoET&P

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    The grounding is at the output of the regulator. The green wire. If you unplug the stock regulator the stator has no connection to ground.

    Here's the wiring diagram. The illustration of the stator does match the actual stator that was in my bike. Both the ignition and lighting coils are floating.
    Screenshot from 2016-01-26 12:17:44.png


    I have not needed an extra diode for either the trailtech or baja designs regulators. Perhaps the electrex regulator has higher leakage current. If you're concerned, it's easy to measure. Just put an ammeter between the regulator and battery + terminals and short the regulator inputs to each other.
    #60
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