What’s a dedicated Harley mechanic ride every day? A “street only” seventeen-year old Honda dirt bike, of course! Rob is more known for his custom Sportsters but his love for the venerable Honda XR400 runs deep. He built this dream version of one last year and rides it to work nearly every day. The bike is a ripper and totally suits Rob’s personality since no detail has gone unnoticed. The irony that he works on Harleys all day makes it even better. -Bill
Spring 2003, I was living and working in the Vail Valley for 3 years or so and it was time to get a dirt moto. I knew exactly which one too, the XR400R. I drove down the mountain into Denver to get the bike I wanted for the past couple of years.
After a couple of hours going back and forth with the salesman, I ended up leaving with a new 2003 CRF250X. Wait… What? I thought I was gonna buy an XR400? I was smooth-talked out of an “antiquated” air cooled tractor, and convinced to get a new, lighter, more powerful, liquid cooled, electric-start machine.
While the CRF250X did its job well and still provided all the fun I was looking to get out of a dirt moto, it was too finicky. It needed frequent valve adjustments and radiator replacements because uphill get-offs crushed them. There was also endless clutch adjustments and replacing burnt plates. I finally ended up trading this needy machine for a good ole Buell M2 in the summer of 2006.
Fast forward to 2012. I recently returned to the USA after making the leap to live in Costa Rica the year before. In my short time down south I knew I needed a dirt moto for jungle living. When I came back to the US to gather tools, boards, and other jungle necessities, my buddy Kevin rolled up to show me his—new to him— XR400. After a weed-infused idea session, I decided to get my own XR400 and ride it back to CR with Kevin in tow. But before we started the journey south I wanted to put the XR’s to a test to see if they could handle the 2,200 mile trip to the jungle.
The test ride took us from Corpitos, Texas to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming for the Annual Bolts B-Day camping trip. Both XR’s performed flawless. I rode over 3,000 miles and it got my stamp of approval for my proposed trip south of the border. This test run developed my fondness for the XR400, and the trip south is where my fondness turned into true love.
I found myself returning to the states more often to work at Biltwell HQ on fun projects Bill and the team were dreaming up. What a perfect reason to get another XR400R! This time I dressed it in street only clothes. I present to you the “street only” XR400 SuperNerdo. My SoCal daily rider.
36mm Mikuni Pumper Carb
White Bros E Series pipe
Stock headers w/blended welds
K&N air filter
Suspension tuned and lowered by Precision Concepts
Conti Attack SM tires
Warp 9 wheels w/floating front rotor
Vortex rear sprocket
ALoop OffRoad tank and seat kit
Polisport front and rear fender
Applied top triple tree
GPR stabilizer set up for street
Moose XC Bend bars
Cycra Pro Bend handguards
Biltwell KungFu grips
CRG Blindspot mirrors
Motion Pro Turbo throttle housing
Trail Tech Endurance II speedo
Russell Stainless Steel braided brake lines f&r
EBC carbon brake pads
Motogadget LED turn signals
PIAA dual horns
Moose Racing foot pegs
Ricky Stator 200 watt stator
Baja Designs Squadron Pro headlight
RG exhaust slider
Toxic Moto axle sliders
XR’s Only magnetic drain plugs (frame & case)
Moose Racing oil filter magnet
Moose Racing tie down points
Powder coat by Temecula Valley Powder Coating
This moto is fast, light, and nimble. It’s the perfect commuter for splitting lanes up and down Winchester Rd. during peak traffic. The bright LED’s, loud horns, and tough exhaust tone keep me noticed in a sea of cages. And the MPG beats the Troopy any day!
I love when people find out I work on Harleys and then ask what I ride. The look on their faces when I tell them I ride a 398cc, air cooled, single cylinder Honda is priceless.