How to Modify a XR400 for Trails

How to Modify a XR400 for Trails
The air-cooled, stripped-down XR400 is an excellent all-round motorcycle for off-road activities. It is also a favorite for modifying and customizing for a variety of specialty trail purposes, as well as street-legal use. A few basic modifications can make the XR400 a better trail bike instead of a general purpose bike.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Step 1
Evaluate your needs. The XR400's stock parts are for general use, not specifically for trail riding, but the particular trails you plan on riding will also inform your modifications. Analyze where you primarily plan to ride and work accordingly.
Step 2
Replace your tires. The XR400's stock tires are designed with basic mobility in mind, so the tire treads are not deep enough for true trail riding, especially in mud. Pick tires with your typical trail environment in mind.
Step 3
Install a steering stabilizer. This specialty hardware adds several benefits, including safety. Greater control on your bike means less accidents, meaning less repairs to your bike and yourself. This is a fiddly mechanism, however, so it is recommended that you have a professional install it, as a mistake can damage your steering system. Prices vary widely, but expect to spend several hundred dollars.
Step 4
Adjust the suspension. The front fork springs of an XR400 are adequately, but only just so. They can do the trick as is, but many riders choose to replace them. Either way, adjust the shocks on the front wheel so that they will go deep enough to let you face the challenges you desire.
Step 5
Take safety steps. Replace the covers on your foot pegs for ones with more grip. Make sure that your saddle is appropriately padded and that all cornered or hard surfaces are padded or taped before riding.

Tips & Warnings

Always wear a helmet.

Article Written By Beau Prichard

Beau Prichard has been a freelance writer and editor since 1999. He specializes in fiction, travel and writing coaching. He has traveled in the United Kingdom, Europe, Mexico and Australia. Prichard grew up in New Zealand and holds a Bachelor of Arts in writing from George Fox University.

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