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Old 10-04-2007, 01:02 AM   #1
GCRad1 OP
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Joined: Jul 2006
Location: costa mesa, ca., usa, earth, sector-28
Oddometer: 447
Thumb Honda XR400 [1997] The DirtDawg Chronicles - GCRad1


Hello - I'm GCRad1 and this is my Honda "DirtDawg" XR400

The GC is short for Gravel Crew.
The Rad is short for Radical as in Radical Rick, the BMX cartoon from the early 80's.
The numeral one... has a nice ring to it with the "Rad"...
The "DirtDawg" for the XR, cuase it's a getter'done kinda of bike!!


PAGE - 01
Post#01 - Story
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My Honda XR400 story

There are a few reasons for me getting back on the bikes...
1: Went out to the desert with friends and I rode their XR400 back in 2005.
2: Back to my roots of growing up!!!
3: Rally cars are expensive!

November 26, 2005:

This is the weekend that changed everything!!! The photo was taken by my wife. On the blue quad is my step-son and now riding partner - Anthony. He later got a CRF250X. I'm on a friends XR400 and my oldest daughter, Roxy on the little red quad.

This single day out riding reminded me of my past and made me wonder why I have been away from bikes for so long as I remembered how much fun it was for relitavly cheap...

WAY CHEAP compaired say to the rally car that consumed my life from 1998 to 2003.

The Escort at it finest at the 2003 Ramada Express International Rally in Laughlin Nevada.

Back on topic...
So, a family outing would have us with friends camping out in the desert as their son was getting into dirt bikes and there is sat, a Honda XR400 and the owner asked if I knew how to ride. That was an easy answer and one ride was all it took. I laughed while I rode. I had to stop becuase I was laughing so hard or maybe I was crying with all the wind coming into the helmet with no goggles... so I pondered just why I had been away from the bikes for so long! Time to make up for lost time on two wheels! I made some good laps around Johnson Valley that day!

A month later - December 22, 2005

After recently reacquainting myself with two wheels I purchased this 1997 Honda XR400!!!

Funny how a month later I would find my own XR400! My first offroad bike in many years and back to having fun and very inexpensively compared to the rally car and actually more time driving/riding vs working and planning for rallies. The XR400 is plated [I call it the "ghetto pass"] but I need to make it a bit more legit as I live in Orange County, California and this bike came from the high desert – mountain area’s where the police are a bit more relaxed about the details. Yea, no turn signals, no speed-O, no battery for brake light… need I say more? But it is sooo fun!

This was originally Rick Gero's personal bike that he had sold to a friend. I had a friend who was friends with both Rick and friend. The "friend" had a nice off while on a Baja trip so he parked it and had it sitting up for a while so it needed a good service.

With the purchase made, I took the XR400 back to Rick for the initial service. Rick [pictured on the left] is the owner of Vance&Hines Motorcycle Center and does some excelent work and also has a dyno. That is his son Phil [pictured on the right] who also works there and also races some desert action and rumored to be very fast.

December 24, 2005

Two days later I take the bike out for my first outting and to give the bike a test run.
I went to Hungry Valley in Gormin, Ca. I figure I would go here as my riding buddy for the day flaked and there are ususally alot of people out riding here, so If I broke down, I figured I should be OK. Four and a half hours later I gave the bike the seal of approval-hug and then loaded it up and came home with a sore butt and a big smile!


For my rally enthusiast friends, you may recognize this location where we pit for the Gorman Rally. For my first leg of riding the XR400, I ran our regular rally stage route.

While rally is great fun, rally is ten times more work, 10-times more time consuming, 10X-manpower-effort and 10X more money! I expired my budget in 2003, but I did take home the 1st place title for the Western States Championships! I wanted to take it to the next level, but the wallet did not allow, nor was there a resonable investment on return via sponsorship of a rally car [pre XGames and mainstream TV]. XGames exposure is still not enough to fully offset the expense...

At this point, the XR400 gives me all the frills and fredoms I wish for and for way less expense and I can actully keep the bike in MY GARAGE!!!


GCRad1 screwed with this post 01-04-2009 at 06:32 PM
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