'99YZ400 vs. '00 YZ426 Help

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Mar 12, 2001
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#1
I'm currently selling my CR250 to convert to a thumper and I need help in choosing my new weapon.
I figured this would be the best place to get some educated input on this issue.
I'm partial to Yamaha's and there are a couple of '99 YZ400's available locally for less than $3500.
I'm inclined to go for one of those, but wonder if I should spend the extra cash for a '00 426.
There are a couple of those around as well, but they are in the mid-high $4k range.
Is the 426 worth the extra scratch, and if so, why?
Yes, price is an issue (just ask my wife), otherwise I'd probably just put a deposit on a CRF450.
FYI, this will be my first four-stroke MX bike and I ride the Vet Expert class.
Thank you for all of your sage advice.
 
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#2
one thing, if the 400's you are looking at don't have an aftermarket header your oil changes will be hell. this was solved on the 426 header with a redesigned header which doesn't limit access to the oil filter cover.

thw wrooster
 
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#3
FYI Yamaha did not change the header to allow access to the filter cover until the 2001 model year.

If you have to pay $1k more for a two-six, I would just get the 400 (all else being equal, the older bike will likely have more hours on it...). They upgraded the crankshaft in ’99, so I might prefer that year.

Other than 26 extra c.c.s in ’00 they also added a plate to the clutch, raised 1st and 2nd gear ratios, shortened the frame 10 mm behind the steering stem, went with a “Yamaha-only” flat CR carb, and I think they also moved the bar mounts forward as well. I know I like the way my ’00 turns better than the 400s, but the stock clutch in the ’00 is a piece of crap (thankfully, you don’t need to use it very often), Yamaha should have just left that alone until they figured this out (which they did for ’01).

As for the bigger piston, IMO it makes a good bit of power difference, and changes the engine’s characteristics. The 400 likes to spin, but the two-six prefers to rip and snort down low, though it will also spin up like the 400. If you like to ride around a gear tall, the two-six is for you. Just replace the clutch with ’01 parts.

Finally, IMO the ’00 forks are better than the ’99 units, they did change some things internally, but it isn’t a big difference.

Hope this helps, but the best advice would probably be to buy the one that looks to be in the best shape for the best price.
 
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#4
Thanks, that's just the kind of info I was looking for.
I'll let y'all know what I end up doing and how it works out.
 
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#5
Just a few more questions please:
Does the '99 400 have the same hot start circuit/button as the 426?
Is there any difference in starting from 400 to 426 or are they basically the same?
What aftermarket pipes work best on the 400?

Again, any input is appreciated!
 
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#6
The hot start changed when they changed carbs, the older slant has an externally plumbed hot start, the flat has an internal one. Either one works fine, and either can be relocated to the bars if you want.

I would say they are the same, starting wise.

The stock exhaust is very good on the 400, I also read that a 426 header on the 400 helps low end power. Beyond that everyone will have a different opinion of what aftermarket exhaust is best, there are probably 30 or more different options out there. Not the best bang for your buck IMO, but the most popular would probably be White Bro.s E-Series and FMF. To really see a benefit you may have to buy the header too (plan on $250 for the pipe/silencer and $200 for the header. Ouch). I think the hot setup would be a used 426 header that someone no longer wants...

Hope this helps.
 
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#7
Echo Hick's comments; I had a 98 400 and currently have a 00 426. The differences are noticeable but not overly significant (though, as an expert level rider, you would probably notice the power difference more than I).

One comment on starting. Both bikes were delivered with slightly lean jetting. In winter months, they were a pain in the ass to start until I realized that the jetting was lean (and easily adjusted with the fuel screw).

Also, keep your eyes open for the 426. I've priced the bikes alot on cycletrader.com, etc. and I think you should be able to find an excellent condition bike for $3900-$4300 (especially as we approach the arrival of the 02 bikes).