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$5700 Y2K XR400 w/Baja Designs Kit and CA Plate
$450   BIG GUN Exhaust w/Quiet Core
$370   Mikuni 36mm Pumper Carb
$220   XR's Only 430 Kit
$135   XR's Only Intake Valves and Valve Job
$493   XR's Only Suspension Front and Rear
$270   Pro Tapers  w/Triple Clamp
$225   SRC Fork Brace w/Mud Skins
$100   SRC HandGuards
$69   Pirelli MT44 Front Tire
$40   D.I.D. Standard Chain
$45   Devol Front Disc Guard
$45   K & N Air Filter
$25   Mikuni Needle
$25   XR's Only Temp Dipstick
$25   XR's Only Tool Bag
$25   XR's Only Rear Disc Guard
$10   XR's Only Magnetic Drain Plug
$8262 Y2K XR 400 – Is It worth It?

When I first started saving for a new bike I was going to get a WR 400.  I thought that was the ticket.  4 weeks prior to buying a new bike I discovered two things
1) The yamaha dealer I talked to is one of the number one grossing dealers in the state of CA.  He was going to make me a great deal on a 2000 model when (right before we were going to start the paperwork) he informed me that it was a red sticker bike.  This of course was not an option.  I would then have to find a used one like a 98 or 99.  Everyone in my area wanted only $800 less for a used one that what I could buy one brand new for!

Would only a moron spend $6800 on a bike he never rode?

2) Once I rode a WR I realized it wouldn't be the right bike for my desired riding.  Although the WR had hot suspension out of the crate, it actually felt heavier than the XR on trails and much slower on the real technical stuff.  The WR carries it's weight high (seat and tank mostly) and has a longer wheelbase and raked out steering geometry (more of a desert bike).  A lot of guys will take YZ 400 seat and tank combos and throw them on the WR but their goes your 80 to 90 mile fuel capacity.  Power wise the WR has absolutely nothing over a completely bone stock XR with nothing but a Mikuni Pumper Carb as an upgrade.  I'm talking a completely stock bike except the carb and air box snorkel removed.  Remember, the WR's were always 48 state bikes.  They we're actually never intended to come to the state of CA as green sticker legal!

THE VERDICT: In the last 30 days down the home stretch of my savings program I pulled a 180 and got an XR,  I don't regret it a bit.  To tell you a little secret I never really could picture myself riding that blue thing around having rid XR's for 15 years!  You know what I'm talking about even if you've owned only 1 XR for a few years.  There's a feeling of bold confidence you have in your XR when you've had a few of them.  I had my 84 XR250 (remember the old dual carbs!) that I put over 25,000 miles on.  Went through two clutches, two sets of chain and sprockets, etc. Beat the hell out of that bike.  Went off an enbankment into a creek,  stacked into car on an off camber turn because I pared out and grab the brakes (bent the frame).  The bike just wouldn't quit!  Although the timing chain got to the point that it was louder than the exhaust is still ran great!

So when people ask me "Is your XR 400 really worth $8262 to you?"  I have to say "You bet it is!"  To me it's NOT an XR 400.  It's something else, I don't know what?  But when you ride it, it is NOT an XR 400.  It doesn't do anything like and XR 400 – It does it far better!

UPDATE: I just got home from the Honda/Suzuki dealer after sitting on the new DR400.  One has electric start and get this: there's no back up kick starter!  Of course they'll gladly sell you a kit for one.  The model with no electric start is about 10 pounds lighter and puts out about 10 more horsepower.  What's the catch?  Red sticker bike only!  No thanks…      Besides all that yellow and rough looking motor makes it look like a tonka toy or something!

Can you imagine an XR 440 water cooled with an aluminum frame, CR grade suspension and 10 pounds lighter?  It can easily be done!  Me and a friend calculated it last night!  Hopefully we'll see it in the future!~

THE END (and the beginning!)

I hope this report helps you save time and money in upgrading your XR 400.  This sport is already expensive enough without any TRIAL and ERROR going on!  My intent is to share my story so others can benefit who make these changes after us.

If I Could Ask One Favor It Would Be This…

Southern California is extremely expensive to live in and the riding areas are disappearing faster and faster.  I am looking to move somewhere that is more affordable and riding is practically right out my back yard and available the majority of the year.  If you live in an area like this I would appreciate it if you could email me any additional information.

P.S. I would love to hear of any particular mods you have found that are successful as well as your favorite riding areas...

UPDATE: Many people often wonder why a guy would want an $8,000 XR when you could by a Husaberg, KTM or ATK etc. for the same amount and not have to go through all the work?

I understand these peoples curiousity but what they don't understand is the headaches associated with owning one of these "exotic" thumpers.  These bikes are fast and light but will never surpass the reliability of the XR.  And if you've ever had a timing belt (I said belt!) break on an ATK 605 and have to tow it 30 miles out I don't think you can ever appreciate the reliability of an XR.

Again, to me, half the point of having an XR is to have a plate on it.  In CA it's hard to keep a plate on a red sticker bike or ride in the forests with an out of state plate.  It's a hassle.  CA smog/emission laws are a whole other story!  My XR is so far from an XR it should be called something else...  Maybe an HYBRID XR 430!


Steve Avigliano
Al Bakers XR's Only
6944 E Santa Fe Ave
Hesperia, Ca 92345
Phone 760-244-2626
Fax 760-948-0979

NOTE: This outfit is extremely busy and because of their reputation have a high work load year round (remember, I've been there personally on several occasions!).  When it comes to ordering parts they have the fastest shipping in the business (DEAN, who handles the shipping has been there for 10 years!) most orders if in by noon are shipped the same day!  If you order parts or accesories and need them PRONTO ask for DEAN or STEVE AVIGLIANO.
I will NOT vouch for anyone else!

If you bring in your bike to be worked on or send in your motor you must ask for STEVE AVIGLIANO and demand that only FREDDY be allowed to touch your bike or engine etc.  FREDDY is the NEW OWNER and lead mechanic - I will NOT vouch for anyone else!

I first dealt with XR's Only back in 1988 when Al Baker (the founder) was still alive.    Once Al died (in a plane crash) the company went through changes in ownership and a whole host of problems.  A company is only as good as the people who make it up.  In my opinion I've given you the 3 people who make the company up.  In fact, tell them I sent you and say "hi!" if you call///

Baja Designs
7558 Trade St
San Diego, Ca 92121
Phone 858-578-9111
Fax 858-578-9077

This is the premier outfit for dual sport/street legal kits and mods.  They also offer a whole array of other stuff that I use XR's Only for, instead.  I love their Dual Sport Kit and am very happy to see where this company has gone.  I remember when they first started and were actually sending out kodak photos of their kits in their information packs.  I always knew this company would dominate the dual sport scene.    Here in the states, many honda dealers inventory their kits for XR's.  To me, half the reason of owning an XR is to have a plate!    In most cases (in CA) this can double and triple your riding opportunities.  Feel free to tell them about this report///

Phil Lindeman
Summers Racing Components (SRC)

SRC makes the some of the trickest parts for XR's.  Visit their  site RIGHT NOW and see for yourself!  Phil is an absolute pleasure to do business with compared to most outfits and their hand guards are THE BEST!  They are the lightest and the only ones that mount to the triple clamp increasing bar strength to reduce bending from falls.  If you call or email tell em J Peters sent ya!

Again, I am looking to move out of Southern California so any info would be appreciated.  Feel free to email me at:

Or leave me a message at 801-325-4765 if you want to talk XR's.


Just recently I have found one of the MOST POWERFUL mods I have ever done!  This is a new mod that was completely unheard to me!     I am amazed that everyone I mention it to hasn't heard of it!

This one single MOD costs $350 TOTAL.  And makes the 400 feel like it's on nitrous!  In other words:  the bike will wind up so fast it will feel like the clutch is slipping!

This mod is the use of an ENTIRELY NEW IGNITION designed by White Brothers.  This is AN ENTIRE IGNITION system; NOT SOME STUPID BOX THAT JUST GIVES IT MORE TOP END!!!!!

This is an entire ignition system with a faster advance curve.     The entire timing curve is more advance throughout the whole poweband.

Since the XR is a green sticker legal bike it's timing is drastically retarded making it's emission much lower AT THE EXPENSE OF HORSEPOWER and

This is THE MOST POWERFUL ENGINE MOD YOU CAN DO TO YOUR 400 (even if you don;'t have the Mikuni 36 Pumper on it!).

They guy who turned me on to this mod works at ALL SPORTS HONDA BMW in Grand Junction Colorado.  His name is Tony and is one of the
sharpest guys I know on all the latest aftermarket tips and tricks for XR's.

This complete ignition systems normally sell for $330 plus shipping (and or sales tax).  However, I got mine for only $300 delivered and you can too.  You can call
Tony at 1-970-243-7730 for details.  Mention my name and get it for $300 delivered.

P.S. Feel free to call me for more details about this mod.  I also learned some more neat things in testing even more exhaust systems (i.e. FMF PowerBomb Header etc.)

P.P.S.     Recently purchased a 2000 650R from Scott Summers.  However, the paperwork is a little lost right now so I have been unable to ride it to the dirt as in my state they'll impound it without insurance.

Hope to hear from ya!

Jay Peters

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