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4Strokes.com Honda Technical: Joe's XR400R Hop-Ups! By Joe Sexton
I've owned my XR400R for nearly four years now, and still after all this time I am not ready to part with it just yet. The 400 is just such a good all a round dirt bike, there's no doubt about it. I got to know my XR pretty well over the last couple of years,all through good old use and abuse. By no means my XR is a 'mint' bike, it gets used for what it was designed for. I compete in the southern area enduro's, the occasional motocross, and a lot of trail riding. I even commute to work a couple of times a week on it,and that's all off road as well.
From day one of owning my XR400R, I set out trying to improve the engine, handling, and anything else I could. It's not hard but your wallet does feel the dent after a while.
I basically just wanted more grunt, so I opted for the IMS 440 kit, with high compression piston and had the head stage two gas flowed. I didn't want to change the power curve too much, so I opted to leave the standard cam. I bolted on a big bore White Brothers header pipe with FP end can. Standard (original) clutch -- will upgrade it when and if it lets go. I highly recommend the mods I have made! So far, it's been as hard as nails. After nearly three years, I'm just about to put new rings in it to freshen it up. The next mod will be a Mikuni pumper carburetor.
Front Suspension Modifications
I did not want to waste money trying to set up the original suspension -- as for competition use they are a little limited. So, I hunted around and picked up a used 50mm Marzocchi fork, with matching CR triple clamps (which I modified to fit by installing the standard XR stem into the CR bottom clamp). I then had them fully serviced with slightly softer springs as someone had been using them for motocross and the fact that I am only 10 stone. They are fully adjustable with rebound and compression. I have set them up quite plush because that's the way I like them to be. They are very sensitive to adjustments and far superior to the standard XR fork. A great mod and don't look half bad either!
Rear Suspension Modifications
The rear shock on my XR was wasted -- it needed a total rebuild. So again, I hunted around and found a used Ohlins shock.It did not need to be serviced so I just bolted it right on. Again, this is a quality item, I am very well impressed with it. Again, highly recommended by me!
I am really satisfied with the way I have set up my XR400R now. It is a lot more stable than it ever was. Dry, slippery, whatever the condition, it seems to find good grip and the front rarely gets headshake.
Other Mods and Additions
Credits: Article written and submitted by Joe Sexton of London, England and edited by 4Strokes.com.
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