What was good in regards to the Honda XR400R?
It had the fundamentals, issues that everybody’s in search of in an off-road bike. Riders need sufficient torque to deal with hills and power-sapping terrain. They need sufficient horsepower that they don’t get bored. They need first rate suspension journey. They need their bike to be dependable, they usually don’t need it to be too heavy.
As of late, the OEMs are principally constructing twin sport bikes which are extremely specialised (the costly Euro-style street-legal enduros) or extremely reasonably priced (Honda CRF250L, and many others.). However a number of years again, when motorbike gross sales have been booming and emissions rules weren’t so restrictive, there was extra of an emphasis on do-it-all machines, bikes that labored decently effectively off-road however weren’t completely terrible on the road both. The 650-class thumpers are good examples of this, however there was additionally a robust 350-400 class, usually with a street-legal model of the bike, and a extra stripped-down model that was offroad-only.
That’s the place the Honda XR400R slot in. It wasn’t street-legal from the manufacturing facility, no less than not within the US, however it was precisely what many twin sport riders have been in search of: moderately light-weight, powerful, and all-around competent.
Hitting the market in 1996, the XR400R was constructed alongside related strains to earlier Honda thumpers. Massive Purple had been constructing machines just like the XR600R, XR650R and XR350R for years, four-stroke bikes that have been heavy in comparison with different enduros, but in addition with large torque. You might use them within the tighter trails, however until your title was Scott Summers, you in all probability noticed them extra as a desert bike, or for open trails, than for high-speed woods singletrack.
With that in thoughts, the XR400R single-cylinder engine had an RFVC head (Radial 4 Valve Combustion Chamber), with single overhead cam setup. It was air-cooled, with a single carb (Honda had learnt their lesson and deserted dual-carb setups within the ’80s). It got here with five-speed gearbox and moist clutch, and was rated for about 34 horsepower in inventory trim, and 33 Nm of torque.
The 400 had good suspension from Showa (totally adjustable shock; the forks had compression and rebound damping). It had a claimed 257 lb dry weight (117 kg), so it wasn’t super-light, however it additionally wasn’t as porky because the street-legal competitors. The XR400R got here with 21-inch entrance wheel and 18-inch rear, and single disc brakes entrance and rear.
And, it was kickstart-only. This was widespread within the early Nineties; Yamaha’s 350 and 600 thumpers have been kick-start solely, as have been Suzuki’s 350 and 650. E-start is turning into extra of a typical now for each twin sports activities and path bikes, however again then, riders have been anticipated to take the hairy-chested method and boot their bike over.
That suited some riders simply effective, as no e-start meant lowered weight and complexity. Different motorcyclists, who have been extra involved in relaxed trail-riding and fewer involved in racing, discovered the shortage of an e-start irritating. Some went as far as to jury-rig electrical starters to their XR400R, utilizing elements from the Honda EX400 ATV. The final consensus amongst wiser heads was that should you needed a motorbike with e-start, simply purchase a distinct machine to start with.
For these riders who didn’t thoughts the kickstart, there was rather a lot to love in regards to the XR. It won’t have been a direct alternative for two-stroke trailbikes, however it was powerful, torquey and tunable. Honda really supplied an OEM improve package that boosted horsepower, because of a high-compression piston, a trick cam, carburetor tuning elements and different goodies.
Nevertheless, the final word improve for a lot of riders was a street-legal mild package. The XR was lighter and extra highly effective than the 350-class bikes from Yamaha and Suzuki, so why didn’t Honda make it street-legal as effectively? Onerous to say, however house owners took issues into their very own palms, since Massive Purple wouldn’t play ball. Avenue legalization wasn’t all the time doable, relying on the motorized vehicle division guidelines in your jurisdiction, however this seller, based in Santa Rosa, managed to drag it off.
In keeping with the advert, this 2002 mannequin is “plated and avenue authorized.” The vendor additionally says he cleaned the carburetor, because the bike had been sitting some time, and put in new Continental twin sport tires. The sunshine package is from Baja Designs, with the stator re-wound to deal with the additional electrical load. The bike additionally has a White Bros. exhaust, and new spare clutch and throttle cables. The vendor can be together with using gear (helmet, boots, and many others.) with the bike. Asking value is $2,300, and the phrases are cash-only.
Would you like a Honda CRF450L, however don’t have the dough? This could possibly be an alternate for you, a dust bike that’s been arrange for avenue use. If that pursuits you, then give this man a name (the quantity’s within the Craigslist advert), and dwell out your Mondo Sahara dreams in your new-to-you Massive Purple Pig. Or is it a Little Purple Pig? Perhaps a Medium Purple Pig?