May 31, 2000
I'm going to look at a YZ400F on saturday this weekend. My current bike is a 95 KDX200 and I'm really interested in the yz400. Was this a good year or were there some bugs with it being the first year? Also is this bike going to be too much for me, I'm 5'10", 165lbs and can pretty much throw around my KDX now pretty good and am looking to take a step up from the KDX. I'm not really sure of some of the things I should look into while looking at the bike? What kinds of things should I check with the bike? Any common problems that the 98 YZ400's had? Also, I'm concerned about the reliability part of the bike. Are the YZ400F's pretty good on reliability? I understand it's more of a MX type four stroke and is going to require regular maintainence, but do they hold up pretty well? Also, the guy is asking $3450 for the bike, does this sound reasonable? Any suggestions or tips anyone could give me ahead of time would be a big help. I want to make sure the bike has been taken care of and maintained properly before dropping that much money on it. Thanks in advance for any help.


Sponsoring Member
Dec 30, 2000
Sandbar, NY
From what I have heard, read, and reearched, these bikes are pretty bulletproof. Im not saying you wont ever have to work on it, but the amount of maintenance compared to a two-smoke will pale in comparison. You can get a good amount of pricing info here:
As far as the bike itself, the clutch basket had a tendency to blow up, leaving many owners looking for a fix. I have heard that Hinson makes a nice replacement. But I wonder, going from a 200 if you want that kind of power/weight increase. It is alot of bike. One thing you wont really be able to do is throw it around. It will take time and effort to learn the differences in riding a four-stroke. Little things like not working the clutch as much, will be key for you. There are many other posts regarding this topic in here, just take a look. Good luck!


Dec 18, 2000
There were some design changes to the 99, not sure what they were? The 98's had a tendecy to break kick starters but, White Bros and BBr make a replacement piece. It was my uncerstanding that the "clutch" issue is only related to the 426's?

Take a piece of paper, write down everything you can find wrong with the bike. Estimate the cost for repair and show the list to the owner. If he see's it in black and white. He may be, more willing to negotiate.



Feb 21, 2000
I have a 98 yz400f. I like the bike, but it is harder to ride in the woods due to the gearing and the weight. If you are riding tight woods, then look somewhere else. If your riding is more open, then the yz400f would be fun. I have had two mechanical problems with mine. One was the timing chain was wore out and the replacement with parts was 200.00( a friend charged labor also.) The second problem was when the motor started knocking(I did some research on and found out it was most likely a cb gear key. It was and the parts cost was 2 bucks for the key and 7 for the gasket. I fixed this myself. So, overall I still am pleased with the bike. But for tight woods, a converted mxer or any ktm is faster for me. The price is in the ballpark for a 98 in great condition. You should be able to get him down though. I bought mine a year ago from a dealer for 3300. With tax it was 3650. I am thinking of selling mine for 3000 obo and going to a ktm200exc. The 400 is so fun though. Everytime I twist the throttle, I smile.


Nov 17, 2000
Hey Mort, I have a 98, Its been a very reliable bike. I tore it down last spring to check the top end, and everything was in spec. I do change my oil regularly, and keep the air cleaner CLEAN! I have the original kick starter on my bike, if you start them correctly, braking the kick starter is not going to happen, they do not have to be kicked like a mule:confused: Also do an ocassional enduro on mine, in the tight stuff, (and mud) it gets a little heavy, but still works great. When I do enduros, I ride with a couple of KDX 200's. I have no problem staying with them. Just make sure its in good shape, I.E does not have excessive blowby, top end noises etc, It is a fun bike to ride ;)

Mike Hubert

Apr 22, 2001
I you ride MX you will love the YZ400 but I didn't care for it in the woods, it always felt big, stiff, and top heavy. I started with a KLX300 but kept breaking frames riding MX so I moved to the YZ and was never happy in the woods. I picked up a KDX220 that had all the racing mods done to the engined as well as beefed up suspension and I like it for both MX and woods. Like most things it is all personal preference. FYI, I sold my 99YZ400 for $3800.

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