'01 YZ 426F - Woods, Enduro ? Too much ?

the Eel

Subscriber
Joined
Sep 23, 2000
Messages
1,747
Likes
0
#1
I have the opportunity to get an incredible deal on a brand new 2001 YZ 426F - about $1,200 below list !!!!

I recently took a spin on one and fell completely in love with the powerband. However, I keep hearing that it's too much bike for trail riding or enduros. I do mostly desert style enduros but there's some tight stuff in there from time to time. I feel that the responsive powerband and the 3-stroke like power of the bike would actually be a benefit in gnarly trails, and the bike only weighs a few pounds more than my XR 250.

I'm pretty much a novice rider at 5'11" and 165 lbs.

What are your experiences with this bike in the woods or in enduros ?

I can get a fairly quiet spark arrestor end cap for pretty cheap and would add a flywheel weight and gear it down.

To buy this is a bit of a whim but the price is incredible - I just wonder whether or not I'll wind up like a lot of the other YZ 426F owners who sell the bike shortly after buying it 'cause they felt it was too powerful or couldn't get the hang of starting it.

What does everyone think ?
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 8, 2000
Messages
8
Likes
0
#2
Great price if it is "new". I have been riding one since March. LOVE IT. I ride both track and woods. I have geared mine down (13T front instead of 14T stock front)....equivalent to 3+ teeth off the back sprocket, and far less expensive. Probably my best mod. I have not added a flywheel, but have found stalling less of a problem as RPM's typically run higher w/ smaller sprocket.

Starting is your main hurdle. Learn this process ASAP. I had problems at first (45 minutes first time at track). Since I studied and experimented and learned....never had a problem, hot or cold starts.

Add bars to your list. The factory Yamaha bars are butter. Renthals solve that problem. You can wreck a da of riding really quick if you bend 'em.... as you know.

Power: Awesome. Are your in the tight Eastern woods? I am in Colorado where the woods exist but are less dense. The bike is great. To me, power=confidence.

Good luck.

brad
 

the Eel

Subscriber
Joined
Sep 23, 2000
Messages
1,747
Likes
0
#3
BSDUPEE - the bike is BRAND NEW !!! The dealer has three he is trying to get off the floor. I ride in Southern California so alot of it is pretty wide open.

The things you had to say are helpful and encouraging.
 
Joined
Jun 28, 2001
Messages
43
Likes
0
#4
Given your riding conditions, etc. you should go for it.

The suggested modifications make should work well; you mainly need some help to keep the bike from stalling in very tight situations (especially compared to the XR's ability to avoid stalling). You'll love the powerband in your conditions.

Starting. I suggest you go to Dirt Bike's website. I think they still have an article posted that discussed starting methods as discussed by Mike Kiedrowski, Randy Hawkins, Scott Summers and Shane Watts (its from an early 2001 issue). That article really helped me to better understand the starting drill rather than simply memorizing the drill. This helps you troubleshoot when things do not work. I'm on my second YZF and I now never have a starting problem. My previous areas of difficulty -

1. Learning not to start just after oiling the air filter.
2. Both bikes were delivered with slightly lean jetting. In cooler weather, the normal cold start drill would often not work and I would eventually flood the bike. I was extremely frustrated until I read Summers comments in the above-noted article and realized my bike wasn't getting sufficient fuel. Instead of twisting throttle 1-2 times, it required 3-4 times until the jetting was adjusted! Given all the published warnings about twisting the YZF throttle, I never would have tried that solution on my own.

You'll at least have a good head start given your experience with the XR. But you'll need to understand the effects of the pumper carb, hot start button, and manual compression release. The various methods / bikes in the DB article helped me piece it together.
 
Joined
Nov 2, 2000
Messages
249
Likes
0
#5
Sound like a great deal for a great bike,but you said you were a novice.This is alot of bike for a novice,so set the suspension up properly and learn slow.:cool:
 

SFO

Lifetime Sponsor
Joined
Feb 16, 2001
Messages
2,001
Likes
0
#6
Your concerns about turning in the tight stuff are warranted.
My Wr was a boat when I first rode it.
This is cureable.
I put a 52 tooth rear sprocket on it with the stock length chain, this allowed me to run the wheel all the way forward.
I also jerked the fork tubes up 10mm, this has made the bike a little nervous, but I like the tight stuff.
These changes have aided tight negotiations considerably.(THANKS MX TUNER!!!)
I also see that Scotts makes some different offset Triple clamps that I am considering in conjunction with a stabilizer.
I would jump on a yz-f for the right #'s.
I paid full pop for my WR and don't regret it or the 2k I have hung on it so far. I would still rather have this bike than any other available four stroke.
 

holeshot

Crazy Russian
Joined
Jan 25, 2000
Messages
1,823
Likes
0
#7
YZ426F

I only completed 1 mile of the last (first for me) TWMC enduro, so I don't really know what kind of terrain they throw at you, but I'll do my best here.

The YZ426F has a very high first and second gear (optimzed for moto), but you can still tackle most trails with the stock gearing. The only exception may be tight, uphill boulder gardens. Going one tooth down on the countershaft is a big help for the real nasty stuff and should still give a top speed of just over 80 mph.

I've been searching for the WR426 gear ratios so I could do a comparison of the overall gearing (stock WR426 first gear vs YZ426 first gear with one tooth smaller countershaft), but I couldn't find this much detail on the Yamaha website. Anyone have the WR426 gear ratio specs?

Four strokes aren't particularly strong in sand whoops (heavy on the front), but the 426 should blast through them easier than an XR250 (more power, less flex in forks).

As far as starting goes, the 426 is a easy starter in normal situations, but if you stall and tip it over on a tight trail, you'll have to go through the hot start routine. I use the hot start about twice a year.

426's flatten big hills (as long as they're not too technical).

Quite a few two stroke riders got the 426 and traded it right away because they couldn't get the hang of it - others kept it (even though they couldn't ride it at first). After about three months, the ones that hung in there really liked it, have had improved moto results and have come over to the Dark Side. I don't know that many enduro riders, so I can't speak for that part of the sport. I can say that my moto results improved dramatically when I got the 426, but I still suck at anything offroad (including GP's).

Those E-start KTM four strokes look tempting, but the price.......:think
 
Last edited:

the Eel

Subscriber
Joined
Sep 23, 2000
Messages
1,747
Likes
0
#8
Thanks Holeshot -

by the way, Thumpertalk.com has a great YZ 426 forum. I have seen the gear ratios listed in that forum ... you can search it for "ratios" and I know it's in there.

It's a beautiful bike and I am very, very tempted to go down and pick it up. I'm gonna wait for a few more responses and then make the decision.

By the way, you're going to be at Big Bear, right ? Maybe you'd let me take yours for a spin ?

:p
 

bigred455

"LET'S JUST RIDE"
Joined
Sep 12, 2000
Messages
782
Likes
0
#9
Originally posted by bsdupee
Great price if it is "new". I have been riding one since March. LOVE IT. I ride both track and woods. I have geared mine down (13T front instead of 14T stock front)....equivalent to 3+ teeth off the back sprocket, and far less expensive. Probably my best mod. I have not added a flywheel, but have found stalling less of a problem as RPM's typically run higher w/ smaller sprocket.

Starting is your main hurdle. Learn this process ASAP. I had problems at first (45 minutes first time at track). Since I studied and experimented and learned....never had a problem, hot or cold starts.

Add bars to your list. The factory Yamaha bars are butter. Renthals solve that problem. You can wreck a da of riding really quick if you bend 'em.... as you know.

Power: Awesome. Are your in the tight Eastern woods? I am in Colorado where the woods exist but are less dense. The bike is great. To me, power=confidence.

Good luck..

If you wen't from a 14 to a 13 counter sprocket it is equal to adding 3 teeth on your rear.

brad
 
Joined
May 16, 2001
Messages
58
Likes
0
#10
Eel,
I have a '99 YZ400 and ride exclusively woods and race enduros. I have changed the gearing to 13 -50 with 12oz. flywheel weight to make the bike managable in the tight stuff. The bike was very difficult to ride in woods with stock gearing and no weight (lots of clutch fanning). The 426 has even a taller first gear. Changing your gearing will take a significant amount from the top end. I am not so sure about the aforementioned 80 mph. If you like sustained high speed riding I think you will have a problem trying to make the bike work for both tight stuff and desert. With the money your saving you could consider swapping out for WR gearing. It has been done. I am not trying to talk you out of it, I love the bike for enduros but I am on the east-coast with tight woods, rocks and sand and rarely need the top end. BTW, you could still probably find a 2000WR on the floor on the east coast. I know my dealer had one as of a month ago (Pete's cycle Baltimore, MD).
Good Luck, Keith.
 
Joined
May 31, 2000
Messages
70
Likes
0
#11
Eel, sounds like a really good deal on an awesome bike. I just recently picked up a used 98 YZ400 and I love the bike. I'm about the same size as you and used to ride a KDX200 and the YZ400 is such an improvement. The power seems pretty broad and there's tons of it everywhere. The suspension is awesome, although it's a bit harsh in rocky, technical type woods riding with lots of roots. But not too bad and can be adjusted. My only complaint about the bike is how easily it stalls. Last week I took the bike up to place in CT (Thomaston Dam) for the first time and I stalled the bike twice going up a rocky, technical hill. I was going fast enough and the revs weren't too low, but the rear wheel hopped over a rock and stalled when it hit the ground, most likely because I wasn't really going very fast. But still, not the place I wanted to stall the bike going up a rocky hill. A flywheel will cure this though and that's going to be one of my future mods for the bike. Other than the stalling issue the bike's awesome, and I'd definetly reccomend taking that deal.
 

Hick

Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
224
Likes
0
#12
Originally posted by holeshot
Anyone have the WR426 gear ratio specs?
Gear - YZ – WR
1st – 24/13 – 29/12
2nd – 23/15 – 26/15
3rd – 23/18 – 21/16
4th – 24/22 – 21/20
5th – 20/21 – 21/25

This info is in the manual, this is for ’00, & ’01, before that the YZ ratios were different.
 

the Eel

Subscriber
Joined
Sep 23, 2000
Messages
1,747
Likes
0
#13
Re: I'm not too concerned with losing some top end since I don't do baja or hare scrambles. I'm doing desert enduros and trailriding so I don't really see that I'll need to ever go over 60 even !! Besides, I think the pucker factor of going 80 MPH on a dirt bike might be a bit much for me ...

I'm glad to hear everyone's digging the bikes. I figure I will be saving so much money that the flywheel weight, gearing change, and whatever else are really not as painful as they would be if I had to pay full price for the bike.

Any maintenance problems ? I had heard somewhere that these YZs were going thru top ends pretty rapidly ? Any truth to that ? Also, how's the clutch been holding up ?

OK - so the bike seems pretty great. Alot of the people I ride with keep telling me that the perfect bike for me is the WR 250F. Now I have never ridden the WR, but I magine it will have a powerband that you have to flog quite a bit more than the 426, and the 426 also has a better power to weight ratio. There is something I like about the 400cc range power. It comes on very strong early. I have used it to power around turns flat-track style, which I have trouble doing on my XR.

Do you 426 guys any feedback on this ? I know alot of people who would say I'm making a mistake by not getting the WR 250F or even the YZ 250F. But theres just something I really liked about that 426. I have the possibility to ride all these bikes I mentioned this coming weekend ... maybe that will be helpful.
 

Hick

Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
224
Likes
0
#14
The short version is that YZ first gear is only like 4% lower than second gear on the WR.

The WR gearbox would be nice on tight, steep stuff. I just spent a few days in some fairly tight woods on my YZ (Rampart Range, CO). I ran a 51 tooth rear and was happy, but I'm sure that tractor gearing would have spared my brakes and clutch a lot of use (and some abuse, brake pads are toast).
 

Hick

Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
224
Likes
0
#15
I have not ridden a 250F, but I’m on my second 426, the clutch problems should be over in the ’01 model, I never heard of any clutches breaking on the ’00, but they didn’t work very well, and my stock basket rubbed the cases slightly.

I’ve never had any engine trouble with either, although the tranny flew apart on my ’00.

For that price, you can buy the two-six, ride it, and easily sell it (esp. in CA) if you don’t like it at for close to what you paid.