I was inspired to tell my story after reading the posting where father and son get surprised with new bikes for xmas. I started riding at an early age on a Yamaha yz 80, a 1979 to be exact. After my father quit riding a year later, and sold the bikes, I had to resort to BMX. Then after 17 years in 1997, I finally saved a couple of bills, and got my hands on a 1986 YZ250 very clean, garaged with low hours. I rode the hell out it for 5 years. What a rocket, all top end. With an FMF pipe, good reeds, and bigger rear sproket, I was able to get just enough mid to ride the Goat Trails, but the hills, Ha Ha. Hit em wide open balls to the wall, and clutch it like hell to get to the top. I never thought I would want a 4 stroke. I loved risking life and limb riding like a bat out of hell with little to no control. Oh That hard hitting feeling of a 2 stroke, powerband kicks in and my 150lb rattle cage of a body hanging onto the bars for dear life. A Thumper could never do this. BOY WAS I WRONG!!!! It was a Friday night in early October 2001. I was reading a motorcycle publication, and enjoying a cold beer while the wife was watching the tube. It had been a hard week at work, I was day dreaming about the new 2002 yz426f. Over the last few years of watching this machine develope, I was curious. Every article I read, raved about this bike. I rode a DR200 never again, an XR400 whatever! To see this 426 race indoor, outdoor on a motocross, and a supercross track. Hmmm? Anyway, Im in Day dream mode, I said to myself outloud "man I'd love to have a new bike. My wife says "Lets go look tomorrow!" "What?" I said. not really realizing what she said. "You want a new bike" she say's. I said "Hell Yes,.... but babe dont tease me like that, Im not in the mood." "Im not!" she say's. after a pause for thought, I said "if we go look, that to me means with full intentions of buying" "Well." she say's "We can afford it, interest rates are low and no money down. We may not have a chance like this later." Off we went Saturday to the Yamaha dealer. I already knew I was going to buy a yamaha, just didnt know which model yet. Yamaha had just rolled out the 2002 YZ426F. After discusion over the WR426 with the dealer and mechanics, it was out of the question. Yz 250, 2 stroke, or the YZ426f? Hmmm??? I got to ride both bikes in the back lot. I went with the 426F and will never look back. I have rode that bike every weekend except 2 in th last couple of months. I bought that Dr. D pipe. and have replaced both the clutch and brake levers after crash and burning a few times... The long and short of this story, The 426f is more than I could have ever dreamed of. And yes I owe my wife big time, too bad she dont like ride.