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-   -   Would you buy an XR400 for an all round bike ?? (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/honda-tech/would-you-buy-xr400-all-38259)

*Touring Ted* 7 Oct 2008 20:32

Would you buy an XR400 for an all round bike ??
 
Im currently bikeless after getting bored with my TDM850 and selling it...

Im skint so the next bike needs to be my only bike for everything..

Thats a daily 40 mile commute involving city and motorways, some UK trips and hopefully some transcontinental riding..

I also want to do some trail riding and green laning..

Maybe even throw it on a plane back to the Americas.. who knows !

Now, I need a do everything bike. My XT600 was too lardy for anything offroad and other trail bikes are too off road orientated...

I've considered other bikes but im on a £1500-£2000 budget at the moment.

Warthog 7 Oct 2008 21:53

The +s:
Light, nimble and easy on petrol. Will cruise at 60 mph on motorway.

The -s:
Seat is bloody torture (although fitting a sheepkin did make a huge difference: its no armchair, but a lot better!). Its a kickart so not lecky, and no ignition switch: always loc it up. prohibitive oil change schedule. At 40 miles a day, you'll need an oil and filter change every couple of months, if not more...

I've got one, but now that I live here, in such a small city, a push-bike is easy going and so my annual mileage has plummeted about 20k to as little as 4-5K!!

Those are the considerations I'd have: see what you think, but perhaps there are more road friendly 400s out there.... DRz?

JMo (& piglet) 7 Oct 2008 23:26

I'd tend to agree with Warthog - as an everyday bike the DRZ400 would be hard to beat.

It's still only 5 speed, but geared for more comfortable motorway speeds. Has electric start which is huge bonus. Pretty damn reliable too, although slightly more complicated than the XR of course (let's face it, you can't get much simpler!). Oil changes are less frequent too. Consumable parts easy enough to come by too.

The XR would have the edge off-road, but only in extreme conditions (it is noticably lighter than a DRZ, and yet the XR is still considered heavy compared to the current crop of off-road bikes). For your typical RTW type riding, the Dr Zee would be a great travel buddy. Subframe is also pretty substantial (on the S models), so modest luggage shouldn't be a problem either.

Hell, I never thought I'd recommend a Suzuki over my XR400...

You ought to be able to find a decent enough DRZ for your budget, but be aware that they are very nickable, so do check the VIN etc before you buy...

xxx

Wide Phil 17 Nov 2008 15:25

I think XR is better than DRZ for the following reasons
Its not hard to kick
Its not as lardy
Maintenance is simpler
I use mine for the very reasons you want one. I commute on it and take it out on the beautiful Welsh countryside and it does both perfectly.
Maybe change the front sprocket to 16t for better road manners and still gives more than enough for slipppery pulling off road, i.e will cruise at 65/70 mph
The seat is pretty much the same as DRZ in comfort stakes and there are plenty of options
Sheep skin. Airhawk.
Corbin do a wider seat but I rekon its expensive
Take seat to have a custom job and will be as good as corbin

BCK_973 19 Nov 2008 15:22

Wowww Ted surprise surprise
 
That would be a nice challenge for you.....after a lot of bike changes and swaps lately.
I would love to CU on a RTW XR 400!
Remember Honda is still a Honda(no ofences for other good bikes)
What ever your choice is i hope you keep it more then a full year,hahahaha

klaus 19 Nov 2008 22:11

All-round-bike
 
Looking at your budget and what the bike will be used for, how about an old(er) Honda TransAlp!?!?!

Very reliable, good gas-milage, easy to maintain and good for just (almost) everything!

I have owned one for the past 2 (+) years, went touring to Hokkaido last year during summer vacation (3.500 kilometers) and it never let me down.

Previous bikes included a Kawasaki ZZR and a Kawasaki KLE - I have to say that the TA is the bike I DO like!

Hustler 20 Nov 2008 14:47

Quote:

Originally Posted by mollydog (Post 216069)
.........I agree with the Transalp suggestion. With a 40 mile a day commute you need a twin mate. You'll clap out a single in a year.........

I think you may find that people with bikes like say an F650GS may disagree with that bit.

I'd have thought the TDM would have been ideal Ted, so what was wrong it ?
*edit* sorry, just reread your post - you also want to do some trail riding and green laning..

Wide Phil 22 Nov 2008 16:16

Cant see why a single would be clapped out in a year?? As long as its maintained correctly with reg oil change its a capable engine in the XR4 and will last for many a year, not as smooth as a twin for sure but just as capable albeit slower.

leevtr 22 Nov 2008 19:46

Why not a 650??
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by tedmagnum (Post 210023)
Im currently bikeless after getting bored with my TDM850 and selling it...

Im skint so the next bike needs to be my only bike for everything..

Thats a daily 40 mile commute involving city and motorways, some UK trips and hopefully some transcontinental riding..

I also want to do some trail riding and green laning..

Maybe even throw it on a plane back to the Americas.. who knows !

Now, I need a do everything bike. My XT600 was too lardy for anything offroad and other trail bikes are too off road orientated...

I've considered other bikes but im on a £1500-£2000 budget at the moment.

On your budget you could get a good XR650. I can agree that a vstrom would be a better road bike, but if your gonna go off road theres no contest, and nowt to worry about if it gets dropped. Worth a thought??

Wide Phil 23 Nov 2008 10:12

Quote:

Originally Posted by mollydog (Post 216417)
OK OK, you guys Win! :clap: So the XR400 will be just a dandy commuter and will go 100,000 miles without a care ... after all .... it's a Honda, Right?
And it'll be nice and smooth at 80 mph on the motorway too :oops2:

Last time I was in the UK speeds on the motorways were FAST!! Me and my
'99 Tiger just about got sucked up and we were going 80 mph, but that was not fast enough! 90 mph is more the right pace to stay out of the way! This of course with only medium traffic.

Ted's proposed 12,000 mile a year commute may not "clap out" the XR400 but I guarantee this will induce some wear.

If one were to stay off the motorways then the XR400 would be OK, but I don't think anyone is gonna do that when they are late for work.

The XR400R Honda is great ..... I owned a '97 (street legal with a Baja kit) I found it was fine at 55 mph to 65 mph cruising. Beyond that it would be spinning pretty good. But that was ten years ago so memories do fade.
I do remember it pinging a bit on Mexican gas however .... :confused1:

My next bike after the XR400 was a Suzuki DRZ400E (2001). Better in every way as my dirt bike, especially in the tough, slow, steep, knarly stuff we have here in California's Sierra and Desert's. Once I rode my XR400 back to back with a well set up DRZ, well that was it for me.
Where do I sign? :funmeteryes:

The S model does not have the "punch" the E model has as it lacks the Pumper FCR carb of the E, but as a street legal 400 the S model is reliable and pretty capable for light duty trail riding and commuting and general riding.

And since the S was designed as a street bike from the off, from the factory, it will be better all round than the XR400, which was initially made a dirt only bike. For certain markets it was adapted to be EU legal and Aussie legal. In the USA it never was, off road only.

With the DRZ-S, it really depends on the rider. A good rider can get a lot out of it. I would find it difficult, but I'm old, out of shape and not aggressive anymore. (former AMA Dist. 36 "B" enduro rider)

But given the use described by Ted, I'd still go with the Wee Strom. Put a bash plate on, TKC 80 Conti's, bark busters and go riding ..... or touring,
or commuting or two up ..... or a trip to Europe or the Americas or whatever.

Can any 400 even come close? Having "been there, done that" I'd say no. :D

Really , if I read back to the OP he asked if it would be ok to commute and his XT was a bit lardy and he want a greenlane tool which in UK tends to be green not American wide open stuff. Wee stroms are not really in question although very boring:D Im sure do things you want it to.
And Uk , for me have never been eaten at 80, most times these days your out the way at these speeds and less.
And where did he say he want a 100k mileage???:confused1::stupid:

POB/London 23 Nov 2008 15:42

How about an older Dommie?
Seems to fit the bill pretty well:

+
Lots around, and pretty cheap
Cush drive
Fairing
Less vibey than XR
Very good economy
Reliable (like a 2-wheeled hilux)
Pretty good off-road

-
Tall-ish
Kinda heavy next to an XR
Terrible lights
Short-lived transmission when thrashed
90mph max
easy to nick
More vibey than a twin
Need to watch oil consumption
Lots of old knackers out there


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