Honda XR400

After selling my BMW F800GS a few months ago, I was down to one motorcycle – my Honda Goldwing. I’m really enjoying the Goldwing and it is proving to be an amazing bike for touring, with excellent passenger comfort. But I still wanted something for a bit of trail-riding.

After a lot of research into various makes and models, I narrowed my search to the Honda XR250R and XR400R. They have been described as the best trail bikes ever built and have a loyal following, despite production having ended in 2004. I went to inspect a few bikes that were listed for sale, but they didn’t meet my expectations. Until I found this 2001 Honda XR400R.

The engine has had a top-end rebuild and new clutch plates. The wheels have been rebuilt with SM Pro rims and new spokes. It has after-market wavy brake discs and stainless steel brake lines. The bike is also fitted with a new transmission kit (chain and sprockets), new tyres, new handlebar grips, a rear carrying rack, WRP handlebars, handlebar-risers, and new handlebar switch-gear. It was easily the best of the bunch that I had inspected and I agreed to buy it.


Whilst the bike was in great shape when I bought it, there were still a few tweaks that I needed to make. First up was a general clean and polish, along with removal of some stickers. I bought a RAM mount for my iPhone and added a Double Take adjustable mirror.


The bike came without a speedometer/dash fitted, and just a bundle of wires where the stock unit previously sat. That was something that I needed to rectify, as I at least wanted to be able to keep track of how many kilometres the bike covered for maintenance purposes. Rather than buy a stock item, I researched after-market options and opted to buy a Trail Tech Vapor Stealth kit. The Vapor Stealth unit measures speed, rpm, odometer, trip meters, ride time (in hours), ambient temperature, engine temperature and has a clock, so it has more features than the stock dash. I took the bike to Ton-Up Garage to fit the Vapor Stealth unit as well as a horn.

Unfortunately for me, it was July, and the mechanics are all scheduled for vacations in July and August. As a result of the staffing issues, my bike sat in the shop for over 2 months. I finally got it back in September with the Vapor Stealth and the horn fitted.

The seat cover was also in poor condition, with a couple of rips. The existing cover had ‘400R’ marked on it. Whilst that would be correct for some other model years, the 2001 model seat was marked ‘XR’. I’m clearly not trying to take the bike back to original spec, but as I was replacing the seat cover anyway, I decided that I may as well fit the correct cover. I located a cover on e-bay and then had it fitted by a local upholsterer.


The final addition to the bike was a Dainese tail bag, so that I can carry lunch and other bits and pieces with me when out on a ride. I’ve also cleaned and replaced the air filter and cleaned/lubricated the drive chain. The bike is now ready for some fun riding!




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