Opinions on buying a used "Raced" bike

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#1
I'm in the market for a used bike and I'm leaning heavily toward a YZ426F. I don't race and never plan to. I want a bike that will be reliable and low maintenance. I've found several 426's for what I think is a fair price. One 2001 426 in particular has struck my eye because of an affordable price. But, it has been raced several (or many) times for all I know. From what I can see the bike seems to be in good shape. I just wanted go get some opinions on purchasing a bike that has been raced. I know I'm going to get the "if it's been well maintained it's OK" advice. That is common sense. But unless you know the person on a personal level, you never REALLY know what lies behind or under the plastic and metal.

I would like to know if there are any particular defects/common prolems associated with the 426F and what I should look for when shopping.

Of course, any opinions are welcomed and appreciated.
 

Studboy

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#2
Usually a competitive racer will maintain his bike much better than the average joe.
If the bike is in good condition and the guy can tell you what he did for maintenance, I would buy the bike considering the price is right.

On a side note, The YZ426 can be fairly reliable for trail riding if you keep on top of your filter/oil changes and valve adjustments.
 

Chili

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#3
There are two schools of racers, those who maintain their equipment at a level most average users would never even consider and those who just run it until it breaks. If the bike looks well kept I would ask the owner if he has any maintenance records including receipts for parts if he has done the work himself. If he doesn't have receipts I'm generally skeptical of whether the work has been done since I've seen many people selling bikes that just had a brand new top and bottom end done but the don't have a receipt for a thing. If the owner falls into the first category of racers then the bike will be a worthy purchase.
 
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#5
I think you can make a pretty decent assessment of any bike by the way it looks and how it starts/runs. I agree that a raced bike can be in great shape if it was well serviced - that though is a matter of trust in the seller.

Look at the bike - look at the frame - the welds. Look at the chain and sprockets. Does it have good compression upon kicking, start easily (cold especially), have clean exhaust, idle and power up smoothly. Does it shift smoothly?

Major internal issues usually show up readily. Any breakage from metal fatigue after you buy it is always possible so I like to know what was (hopefully) recently rebuilt. BUT, I also think a well used bike should go for a nice low price - otherwise I wouldn't buy it.
 

70 marlin

Mi. Trail Riders
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#6
Top end maintenance and repair can be very costly for that era of YZF. If I remember correctly the 426 had some valve issues? Correct me if I'm wrong. Do a search on top end rebuilds YZF. If there has been no top end maintenance on this bike. For what it will cost to do the work on it. You could buy a newer machine.
 
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#7
I'd buy a bike that was raced over a, "trail ridden" bike anyday.
Most guy I know want the bike to finish, for them to do well.
A bike can looked, "tired, (plastic cracked, seat ripped, frame rubbed) but be in perfect mechanical shape.
Take a look at where the bike comes from. Is there paarts all over, does the guy look like a wrench head or a beater?? Look at the fine details of the bike, (the air filter, box, is it clean?? Is the chain lubed or rusty? The gear oil, a racer dumps it often, so if it's black, the warning lights should go on.
A 20 year old will run a bike harder than most 45 year old guys.
As why he's sellin' it.
Good luck! A used bike is always a crap shoot!
Joe
 
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#8
70 marlin,

The top end issue is one of my main concerns. Don't want to spit out several hundred on maintanence 2 weeks after purchasing.

===========


joe28kdx,

Yea, I'm 35 and he's 19 yrs old and I've seen him ride - scary!
 

70 marlin

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#9
camrider said:
70 marlin,

The top end issue is one of my main concerns. Don't want to spit out several hundred on maintanence 2 weeks after purchasing.
===========


joe28kdx,

Yea, I'm 35 and he's 19 yrs old and I've seen him ride - scary!
I think it's almost like a grand to fix a topend? Correct me if I'm wrong.
 
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#10
hey
whats up hey do you think i should get a used but in really good condition TT-R 125 LE let me know
 

truespode

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#11
70 marlin said:
I think it's almost like a grand to fix a topend? Correct me if I'm wrong.

You are wrong.

I have never seen a dirtbike engine take a grand just to put a new piston and rings in.

A 2-stroke top end should only run a couple hundred if you do it all yourself and the dealer doesn't cut you any breaks on parts.

A 4-stroke top end is more but still way under a grand.

Ivan
 

nikki

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#12
Lots of good advice here...

First off - a top end for a 4-stroke will run you around $200 for parts. The 426 OEM piston is around $140, ring set around $30, and pin/circlips/gaskets $30. Yes, a 2-stroke top end is a little more labor intensive to replace than a 2-stroke, but not by that much. The biggest difference is on a 4-stroke, you'll have to deal with removing the cams, but you don't have the pesky 2-stroke powervalve assembly to worry about. Also, a 426 can go much longer on a top end than more 2-strokes. If I can put a new top end in my 250F, I believe anyone can do it with the proper guidance.

But back to the raced versus not raced. I think everyone hit that on the head. More often than not, raced means better maintained than a trail ride machine. Your best bet is to get specific with the owner and find out what he has and hasn't done, and the timing of his maintenance schedule.

On a 4-stroke, I would want to hear him tell you he changes the oil regularly, replaces the oil filter as needed, and keeps the air filter clean. Then I would hope that he has checked the valves every 10-20 hours and either found them in spec or, if not, reshimmed as needed. Next, depending on the time on the bike, I would hope he has done at least 1 top end and 1 clutch replacement. If the clutch is stock, you're probably gonna be putting one in the bike. OEM plates/springs will run around $110, and (if worn and notched) inner hub $60 and outer basket $240. I would also hope that fork seals have been replaced at least once. It's rare for a racer to not service their suspension over a 2-3 year period. Also check the basics, such as spokes, frame/motor mounts/footpegs for any stress fractures, check the chain/sprockets, look at the oil, look in the airbox, start the bike, check the brakes, test the clutch, shift the gears, etc. I would also ask if the crank has ever been rebuilt.

Also, 426's had a bad habit of shattering the rear hub. Take a close look by the sprocket for and stress fractures or ovaling where the bolts connect the sprocket to the hub. Also check that the owner kept the sprocket bolts tight. The hub grenade can be costly, especially if the chain flies and attacks the case.
 
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#13
70 marlin,
Top ends do not cost a grand! Maybe on your Husa they do?

Camrider,
YZF's are really reliable bikes I have a 02 426 and my girlfriend has a 03 250F. I do all the maintance on both bikes. I did adjust the valves on the 250F once. I check the valves on the 426 often and they still do not need any adjustment. If you change your oil every two rides and clean your air filter every ride then the thumpers last a long time. If the bike you are looking at smokes or knocks then pass it up, if it runs good then buy it.
 
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#14
I know that it already needs fork seals on both sides. He also said that it makes a "ticking" noise every once in a while, assuming that it is a valve that needs an adjustment? It has a few cosmetic blems like the seat has a small rip, plastic has a few "white" stress marks, etc.

I'm sure it has been maintained fairly well. I saw him race it several times. I also know how he rode it - hard. He pretty much ran circles around folks at my local track with the bike. The 90 foot table-top was no problem for him. That's gotta be rough on the suspension.

What's it worth with the above being known?
 

nikki

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#15
We sold our '01 426 two years ago which was in tip top shape for $3,800 I believe.

Knowing you're gonna dump $120 into the forks right away, and there has been 3 new model years since '01 and the change from the 426 to the 450, I would think maybe $2,600-$2,700? There is quite a few at www.cycletrader.com for around $2,900-$3,000 (a few as low as $2,500).

But the ticking noise would make me not purchase the bike until it's at least identified if not fixed. I doubt it's a valve problem. When the valves are out of spec, the first thing you'd notice is hard starting. If the bike starts okay, then there should be no valve ticking noise. When I hear the word "ticking", I usually think of the bottom end bearing having a little play.... if so, rebuilding the bottom end isn't too fun.