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Old 08-27-2013, 08:37 AM   #1
VenomRS4 OP
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Contemplating a 2001 LC4 400....good bike?

So after trying to do a search on here...I have found that the term "LC4" is not a searchable term with the search function....so I'm sorry in advance if this topic has been beaten to death. That said...I just sold my 05' dr200se and I am looking for another dual purpose bike. I'm looking at a 2001 LC4 400 for $2700. It has 5k miles and runs well. It was just dealership serviced...but I don't know if the bike has been dealer maintained for its whole life. Owner says that it runs, rides, and stops well. It has a few decent upgrades as well. The frame and engine has been powder coated and it looks as though the fairings have been spray painted...which hopefully isn't an indicator that it was beat.


Anyway, I do have some questions. How reliable are these bikes? I have a Ducati SS900 so I am not new to slightly more expensive and frequent maintenance but I do not want a lemon that needs attention all the time. I want to commute on the bike. How are these when they get to higher mileage? What is this main shaft bearing issue I am reading about? Is there anything else I should know?

Here are some pics:









VenomRS4 screwed with this post 08-27-2013 at 10:02 AM
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Old 08-27-2013, 12:18 PM   #2
Cpt. Ron
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http://lmgtfy.com/?q=ktm+lc4+400

First result will get you some info you need...

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Old 08-27-2013, 07:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpt. Ron View Post
http://lmgtfy.com/?q=ktm+lc4+400

First result will get you some info you need...


Ehhh, most of those posts on google are old...from back when these bikes were a lot newer. And all the information is scattered. I'm hoping for someone who has had LONG term ownership experience with this bike to chime in.

Ive also received a lot of pictures from the owner of this bike. Right off the bat I'm starting to see old bike issues. Looks like rubber bushings and grommets are starting to try out and crack too... I'm starting to think this bike isn't the one I'm looking for.
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:46 PM   #4
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A friend had one and it was the first KTM I ever rode. I wouldn't wish that motorcycle on someone I didn't like. The '03 to '07 RFS is still the most dependable easy to ride KTM ever made.
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Old 08-27-2013, 11:52 PM   #5
mountaincadre
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The main bearing issue you raise will have more than likely already have been done,(if not it's not been, it's a simple enough one to do yourself) these bikes do star ship miles without serious issue's,(if they have been looked after, like every other mechanical devise) ask Gunnerbuck or Clint about this, the model your thinking about is supposed to be even more robust than it's bigger brother the 640,hence why those pesky Germans/Dutch armies use them.
Reliable=yes
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:20 AM   #6
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I would ignore the miles and look more carefully at how the bike looks. 4000 miles of dirt riding is much worse than 15k miles of mostly road riding. In general, something like DRZ400 or DR650 will be easier to maintain and to find parts/upgrades, but less entertaining to ride (when there are no issues)
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Old 08-28-2013, 09:08 AM   #7
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So far my 640E has yet to need a part. Seriously, the only thing I have replaced in three or four abusive years is the clutch perch from endo'ing it off a jump at highway speed on a rocky forest service road. First of all, how many non race bike dual sports are going to jump anything at highway speeds much less even be able to handle freeway speeds through a rock garden? Second, how many would survive endo'ing at that speed?

The bottom line for me is you can't go wrong with the overall motorcycle assuming it is in good condition. It is tough, well suspended and has awesome brakes. My 640E has been the toughest, most reliable dual sport I have owned in 35 years of owning nothing but dual sports. It has taken everything I have dished out with no issues. With a Renazco seat mine is all day comfortable. But then the infamous LC4 vibes don't bother me.

My only issue with the 400 is that you get all the weight of a 640 without the benefit of the grin inducing power of a 640. Then again, maybe if mine were a 400 I wouldn't have looped it three times on steep trails.
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Old 08-28-2013, 11:33 AM   #8
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Had a similar 1998 RXC 400. Good reliable bike but very buzzy at speed on the road and the 400's were a little down on power for the weight of the bike. All old model LC4 bikes had the same problem [vibes].

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Old 08-28-2013, 11:53 AM   #9
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Damn, that looks pretty good in white. Maybe if I ever decide to replace my battered plastic..............
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Old 08-28-2013, 02:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VenomRS4 View Post
...It has a few decent upgrades as well. The frame and engine has been powder coated and it looks as though the fairings have been spray painted...which hopefully isn't an indicator that it was beat.


Anyway, I do have some questions. How reliable are these bikes? I have a Ducati SS900 so I am not new to slightly more expensive and frequent maintenance but I do not want a lemon that needs attention all the time. I want to commute on the bike. How are these when they get to higher mileage? What is this main shaft bearing issue I am reading about? Is there anything else I should know?
The frame & motor look like that std, I doubt it's been coated. The plastics look factory too - it's not just the plastic getting old & flaky? 5K miles is bugger all, it's barely run in If that was mine I'd do that questionable LH gearbox mainshaft bearing. Then all I'd expect apart from 3K mile oil changes & the servicing you'd do on any bike, is to swap the cam & follower bearings & rebuild the water pump at 30k miles. Full rebuild at 60K miles maybe but those 400's have a rep for lasting much better than a 640 so maybe just a top end at 60K miles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dankatz View Post
I would ignore the miles and look more carefully at how the bike looks. 4000 miles of dirt riding is much worse than 15k miles of mostly road riding. In general, something like DRZ400 or DR650 will be easier to maintain and to find parts/upgrades, but less entertaining to ride (when there are no issues)
Did you look at the above pics? Little paint wear on the frame near the pegs, no dents/ big scuff marks on the frame under the motor, no big scuffs on the tank, road tyres... I really doubt that thing has been used hard offroad. I would rate that bike as a bit more reliable & lower maintenance than a DRZ400, heavier but nicer suspenders. Probably on a par with the DR650 maintenance & weight wise. Not much was changed on the LC4's from 99-2007 so parts availability is fairly good.

Did I really hear somebody suggest a KTM RFS to a person looking for a commuter capable dual sport?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtJack View Post
Had a similar 1998 RXC 400. Good reliable bike but very buzzy at speed on the road and the 400's were a little down on power for the weight of the bike. All old model LC4 bikes had the same problem [vibes].
The 400 Enduro, (similar to the OP's pics) I rode a while back, was noticeably smoother than my 640. Did the RXC's get the lil counterbalancer? LC4's can vary a lot when it comes to vibes though so I would advise anyone to get a ride before buying.

It is right that they are the same weight as a 640 but down on power, so have a look at 640's too, but if the price is right...

Cheers
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Old 08-28-2013, 02:42 PM   #11
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I have an 01 LC4 and I love it. Has been a solid rig for me.
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Old 08-28-2013, 05:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clintnz View Post

The 400 Enduro, (similar to the OP's pics) I rode a while back, was noticeably smoother than my 640. Did the RXC's get the lil counterbalancer? LC4's can vary a lot when it comes to vibes though so I would advise anyone to get a ride before buying.


Clint
Pretty sure mine did not have (I didn't know any old model LC4's had counterbalancers) a counterbalancer. It was painful to ride 60 and above, but it still was a good bike. I had buyer's remorse immediately after selling mine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtJack View Post
Had a similar 1998 RXC 400. Good reliable bike but very buzzy at speed on the road and the 400's were a little down on power for the weight of the bike. All old model LC4 bikes had the same problem [vibes].

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Old 08-28-2013, 05:51 PM   #13
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400 lc4

I bought a 1998 rxce400 brand new and put 9800 miles on it. The 400's are built on the 620/640 bottom ends and and are very robust. The 400's don't vibrate near as much as the 620/40's either. I felt the 400 was a bit soft on power and you had to keep the revs up to make its power. The 400's are good solid bikes that should last a long time if well cared for. I've owned 5 rxce/lc4 bikes and they have been as reliable as anything I've ever owned. The 620 i own looks just like the white one in the a above post. Hope that helps
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:44 PM   #14
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The 3rd picture in original post, lower left hand corner, the yellow/gold next to the chain is a KOUBA link. I would guess the bike has been lowered a couple of inches. If it makes any difference to you.
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:19 AM   #15
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That bike looks bone stock, except for the lowering link. The shrouds (or fairing as you call it) appear to be stock as well. They look like the original decals were taken off and not painted, but it could be.....

If you ask me, which you didn't

The owner either doesn't know what he's got or he's BS'ing you, which is a bad sign.

$2700 asking price is market driven, so I can't say if it's a good price or not. Where I live, it's fair, but on the high side because it's kind of a weird orphan bike. The 640 LC4 engines are far more common than the 400cc models. It's not that there's anything wrong with the 400cc motors, but as stated, they have all of the weight and none of the power. However, having said that, it is a fair bargaining chip to throw at the owner if you're serious.
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