Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Technical, Bike forums > Honda Tech

Honda Tech Honda Tech Forum - For Questions specific and of interest to Honda riders only. Questions comparing which bike is best etc go in the "Which Bike" forum.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Like Tree1Likes

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12 Sep 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Danmark
Posts: 329
XR400 or 600 for touring and enduro fun?

I want a bike for a bit of everything: playing in fields, woods, beach at home and maybe tours in Sweden/Norway/Spain/Morocco etc.

I looked at the XR400 (max. 1995-98, because of very high taxes here) because of the low weight but found that a XR600 weighs only about 8 kg more, cost 20-25% more but has 25% more power.
7% weight increase for 25% power increase sounds really good. Is there any reason, apart from price, not to take the XR600 ?
__________________
Poul
May you enjoy peace and good health !
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 13 Sep 2008
Contributing Vendor
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Tallinn, Estonia
Posts: 973
Only 8 kgs more? But where are the kilos?

If they are up top, it might feel like mmore. I have never ridden a 600, but I do own a XR400. I must say, I have not ridden off-road with it yet, but its a ncie solid little bike. I imagine that you would not feel the lower power that acutely. Plus the Krones saved could pay for some nice tyres etc!!

In a nutshell, without comparing to the 600 in any way, I think you would be happy with the 400...

Touring. For this more popwer is always nice, but I have travelled long distances on my XR400. I stuck to 80-100 kph, and still had plenty of power to push to 130kph.

Economy was very goo, especially given the standard tank size. Achilles heel? The seat: it should be banned along with land mines, and torture...

Can't tell you if the 600 is any better. You could buy a sheepskin or air-hawk to help.
__________________
Adventure: it's an experience, not a style!
(so ride what you like, but ride it somewhere new!)
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 13 Sep 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Oxford UK
Posts: 971
I'm the other way round to Warthog in that I've had a 600 for the last 15 yrs but never ridden a 400. I've used the 600 for just about everything - green laning in the UK, touring all over EU, two trans sahara trips etc.

For muddy tracks etc unless you're some sort of moto god the 600 is too big and heavy. It may only be 8kg more than the 400 but after a while you really feel those kilos. I'd take an XR250 over the 400 and get the weight down even more.

For normal winding roads the 600 is a great bike. No great top end but the punch out of the corners makes for an enjoyable ride. I used it to travel to work in London for years and it's great in the traffic - until you stall it at lights when you look a complete plonker having to get off and push it to one side.

Loaded up for solo overlanding it's ok (ish) I didn't do much to the subframe other than redo the welds at the end where the mudguard mounts but I did weld in some extra brackets at the bottom so I could triangulate the pannier frames. It hasn't broken so far but it does flex a lot side to side and I've never really been comfortable with it.

The biggest problem with the 600 is the kickstart. I've broken a couple but it's really the whole palaver of getting the thing started. You can't just kick and hope like you can with a two stroke. It requires a ritual that you have to go through and a kind of whole body commitment that just becomes too much after a time. The 400 has to be better in this respect. On the last UK - Gambia trip I got to the point where I'd leave it idle rather than have to go through the starting ritual and when I really had to turn it off (borders / hotels etc) I'd pay the (inevitable) bunch of kids 20p to push start me.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 13 Sep 2008
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Portalegre,Alentejo,Portugal
Posts: 73
The 400 is deifnitely better off-road, feels lots lighter than the 600 and better suspended. Don't really know about on road where the 400 is OK with the correct gearing but maybe the 600 would have the edge. Kicking a 400 really is easy as well so, for me, it's the 400.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 13 Sep 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Danmark
Posts: 329
Lets see some pictures of failed frames

Quote:
Originally Posted by backofbeyond View Post

Loaded up for solo overlanding it's ok (ish) I didn't do much to the subframe other than redo the welds at the end where the mudguard mounts but I did weld in some extra brackets at the bottom so I could triangulate the pannier frames. It hasn't broken so far but it does flex a lot side to side and I've never really been comfortable with it.

The biggest problem with the 600 is the kickstart. I've broken a couple but it's really the whole palaver of getting the thing started. You can't just kick and hope like you can with a two stroke. It requires a ritual that you have to go through and a kind of whole body commitment that just becomes too much after a time. The 400 has to be better in this respect. On the last UK - Gambia trip I got to the point where I'd leave it idle rather than have to go through the starting ritual and when I really had to turn it off (borders / hotels etc) I'd pay the (inevitable) bunch of kids 20p to push start me.
I tried a XR400 and the subframe was visibly bent to one side and I found also that the welding on the metalpiece that connetcs the two sides, was cracked. The welding looked awfull, not even a 1. year welder apprentice would weld like that and leave all the spatter and just paint over it.
It definately needs some triangular members welded in horisontally.

I'm surprised by the kickstart problems. The owner of the 400, didn't really kick it, he just pumped it 2-3 times and it started. After a short ride it was turned off and, 20 min later I started it, on the second kick even though I think its normally the worst conditions when you don't know if its hot or cold. And its on the standard carburator.
This was my first kickstart of a single, since I started a BSA 500, many years ago.

Doesn't the 600 have an automatic decompressor, like the 400 ?

If this is unique, maybe I should rush and buy that400 ;o)

I would still like to see pictures of broken subframes. With all the talk about them, there must be some pictures somewhere.
Attached Thumbnails
XR400 or 600 for touring and enduro fun?-subrackxr400cropc.jpg  

__________________
Poul
May you enjoy peace and good health !
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 13 Sep 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Danmark
Posts: 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavePortugal View Post
.....better suspended..... .
Do you know why ?
Does it have a different brand fork/shock ?
Or is it longer, stiffer ?
__________________
Poul
May you enjoy peace and good health !
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 13 Sep 2008
mollydog's Avatar
Banned
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: california
Posts: 2,134
That pic is funny ... at first I thought the bike had TWO shocks

Last edited by mollydog; 24 Mar 2009 at 20:24.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 13 Sep 2008
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Coromandel
Posts: 13
Xr 600

I got a Honda XL600R...Great bike on the road,, and gravel..also take it on the beach.....lots of fun...........
But its a pig to start.....
Last week i was trying to start it..and it gave the hell backfire.....
Spent half the night in hospital.....badly sprained ankle...and a month of work....bit scared to go near the thing at the moment
My next bike will definatly be a lecky leg....................
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 13 Sep 2008
mollydog's Avatar
Banned
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: california
Posts: 2,134
It's technique, not technical.

Last edited by mollydog; 24 Mar 2009 at 20:24.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 13 Sep 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Danmark
Posts: 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
That pic is funny ... at first I thought the bike had TWO shocks
I DIDN'T EVEN NOTICE. I found the picture on the net and saved it for the sidetank, then found it again but focused only on the frame.
__________________
Poul
May you enjoy peace and good health !
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 13 Sep 2008
Tim Cullis's Avatar
Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Putney, SW London
Posts: 1,336
I ended up selling my XR400R. It was fun in Morocco, but needed a bigger tank for range, also needed some way of carrying necessary spares.

The biggest downer though was the starting problems. Wouldn't get a non-elec start again.

Tim
__________________
"For sheer delight there is nothing like altitude; it gives one the thrill of adventure
and enlarges the world in which you live,"
Irving Mather (1892-1966)

Access the Morocco Knowledgebase
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 14 Sep 2008
Stephano's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Abu Dhabi
Posts: 897
Easier XR starting

I know not everyone wants to spend that much cash but swapping my XR400's carb for a Mikuni completely took away the hassle of starting the bike. Those for the older XR600s are cheaper too.

I still prefer the electric start on the CRF though.
Stephan
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 14 Sep 2008
mollydog's Avatar
Banned
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: california
Posts: 2,134
If the God's are smiling on you ... it will start. If not .... Hmmm ....
pull Spark plug and wait.

Last edited by mollydog; 24 Mar 2009 at 20:25.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 14 Sep 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Oxford UK
Posts: 971
Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
Most guys don't know how to start a four stroke and sit there and bang away to no avail, get exhausted and are miserable.
That's very true. Some years ago a Ducati riding friend asked if he could try the XR. I told him that if he could start it he could have it! After 10 mins he admitted defeat, knackered, and gave it back to me. By using the correct technique I had it going in about 30 secs to his complete amazement

Last edited by backofbeyond; 14 Sep 2008 at 09:21. Reason: spelling
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 14 Sep 2008
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Portalegre,Alentejo,Portugal
Posts: 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by pbekkerh View Post
Do you know why ?
Does it have a different brand fork/shock ?
Or is it longer, stiffer ?
I really don't know enough about the 600 to say why but I've ridden a 600 and then my 400 back to back and there was no comparison on technical dirt trails. The 600 felt very top heavy and difficult to turn and bottomed out on jumps far more easily than the 400 (which is itself quite softly sprung). The 600 engine was nice though, very torquey and the guy who owned it didn't seem to have any trouble starting it.

400 subframes will crack and would need bracing to mount serious luggage.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 2 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 2 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Mondo Enduro John Ferris Motorcycle Events around the world 0 9 Dec 2007 03:19
XR400 - touring rear subframe JMo (& piglet) Honda Tech 11 30 Jan 2007 18:58
XR400 - touring subframe/pannier rack? JMo (& piglet) Equipping the Bike - what's the best gear? 4 4 Jan 2007 16:25
World Touring Network - Japan Camp Meeting World Touring Ne Chris of Japan Motorcycle Events around the world 0 22 Oct 2004 14:41

 
 



Renedian Adventures

HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 10:05.