Opinions on used (very) '99 YZ 400 F

jeffd

Naïve Texan
N. Texas SP
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#1
All:

I came accros a very used '99 YZ400 F. I could possibly pick it up for a song, but it is the cost of refurbishing the bike after I buy it that brings most doubt.

I did not ride ot start it, however at 1st glance it needs:
new plastic (~$135)
new seat cover & graphics (~$100)
fork seals ($???)
handle bars ($60)
and some TLC

Most of the stuff is cosmetic, what are some other high-dollar things to look for?
Compression test?
Suspension?

I could pick this bike for for an estimated $1500.

Assuming that the engine is in decent shape, is it worth it?

If not, what is the cost of tearing down the motor and freshening it up?

Any insight would be appreciated.

jeffd


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ride 'em. break 'em. fix e'm. repeat...
 

jeffd

Naïve Texan
N. Texas SP
Joined
Jun 9, 2000
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#2
Oops!

I just realized it is a '98, not a '99 as the text and heading say. My bad...

-jeffd

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ride 'em. break 'em. fix e'm. repeat...
 

MWEISSEN

Whaasssup?
Mi. Trail Riders
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Dec 6, 1999
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#3
I'd say if the engine is in good shape it's a good deal. Trashed plastic is the end result of a lot of riding, but can also be indicative of an inattentive owner. If the guy didn't change the oil regularly on this bike, it may be best to walk away. While the 4 stroke YZ's and WR's have proven to be reliable, any bike can be ruined through abuse and neglect.

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Mark
'01 YZ250F,'01 Yzinger 80,'99 WR400F,'99 XR100
'98 Royal Star TC,'96 XR200
 
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#4
I had a 99 YZ 400 and just totally thrashed it and had to completly rebuild everything including a new crank, cams, and piston , i would take the oil strainer out and check to see if there is an excessive amt of fileings of clutch if there is then that means that its been through a couple of clutches and then check the filter to see if its clean if not i would stay away from it.

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#5
The fact that it is so cheap would scare me more than anything. I mean, why the steep discount?

Quite a few guys buy a bike, replace the plastic, thrash that stuff and then put the OEM stuff back on, so I try to ignore what the plastic looks like unless it is a very new bike.

I would think that asking the guy to accompany you to a shop of your choosing to perform a compression test is not unreasonable, but for only $1,500 the guy may balk anyway.

If you are a halfway decent mechanic (like me :D ) you can put a completely new motor in there for about a grand. The only special tool you need is a puller to R&R the crank (assuming it or the main bearings are shot) and a press to R&R the bearings. And, if the motor IS completely shot you can turn it into a 426 in the process for only $250 extra (cost of a 426 barrel). But if you pay a shop expect at least another grand (or more) in labor for a complete overhaul (i.e. deal killer). Replacing the top end only requires no special tools and is an easy job.

The only wild cards here for the motor are the tranny and valvetrain/cyl. head. These motors are good for many, many hours but eventually the valve seats and guides will wear out, probably on the exhaust side first, and the motor will burn oil and lose compression. Having to rebuild the top end AND valvetrain/cyl head may ruin this deal too.

As for the chassis, if the linkage bearings are shot this can get expensive too. Ask about his maintenance and work the suspension, listening and watching closely for any tight spots or scary noises. I pay about sixty bucks for fork servicing so the leaky seals shouldn’t really concern you.

It really is a tough and risky choice, as with any used racing motorcycle. I guess if it were me I’d ride it, pay close attention to how it shifts, what the suspension feels like, look for any oil usage or smoke, run a compression test and THEN grab it. After that I’d take it home and check the clutch and all the chassis bearings and then ride the stink out of it.

Hope this helps.



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'00 YZF
 
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#6
good job Hick...
another thing to look for is, when you test ride it, make sure he hasnt already warmed the bike up for you! And if he has tell him you want to see it run/start when it is cold (not warmed up)! The reason for this is if it needs a new piston/rings it will smoke excessively. Also when it is cold pay attention to how it shifts and the clutch engagement (it should be smooth)! Just letting you know that because my friend "got screwed" when he bought his bike (the guy had already warmed the bike up for us) and when we got home we realized it needed new clyinder, piston, rings, cam chain, cam sprockets, etc, etc! Hope the bike is in decent shape!

Garrett

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I get my kicks on a 2001' YZ426!