New to dirt, looking for advice

Hi everybody. For the past several years, I have been an avid sportbiker. My current street ride is a CBR929RR. Well, I'm going back to school, and I can't foot the [insane] insurance bill, so I'm heading to the dirt for my 2 wheel thrills.

I've done some research, and I think the 2002 YZ426F is where I should be going. It has the off-road features that I'd like and the price is right. The only thing is that I'd like to hang out with my sport bike buddies on occasion. This would require street tires, high/low beam, signals and brake/tail light. Are there kits of this type? Has anyone created their own kit, if so, how? I know the WR is already closer to a street bike, but I'd prefer a no-compromise off-road bike with minimal streetability.

Also, I need recommendations on gear. I plan to do trails, but also a track or two. What do I need? What brand names/models are desired?

Oh yeah, what kinds of modifications do people usually do to these bikes out of the box? Do any of you guys do your own assembly and inspection strait from the crate?

Any advice or tips you guys can offer?

Thanks for everything!


J Gear makes a trai to TRAIL STREET LEGAL KIT for the WR426 it sells for 189.00 at

Also if you are thinking of going street legal you will probably want the WR426 model anyway.

As to riding gear there is really no wrong way to go the favorites are FOX/Thor/NoFear/Sinisalo/AXO.

The most important part in my opinion is the boots. Go with Alpine Star TECH 8s they are by far the best boots you can buy. Your ankles will thank you!!!

My advice-- get the YZ for dirt only. I made the switch from street to dirt a few years ago. My first "Dual Sport" bike was an XT 350 Yamaha.I spent 4 years getting the "street" out of the bike and then it wasn't fun to ride anymore on the street. I finally stepped up to a REAL bike when I bout the YZ. I was supposed to get a WR426 but ended up getting a killer deal on a brand new 2000 YZ426 4 months ago. The insurance on the YZ is about $125 a year. I am planning on getting a cheap old street bike this year to have the best of both worlds.

The final decision is up to you of course. If I had to do it all over again, I might have bought to WR and put the stuff from my XT350 (lights and plates) on to the WR. But then I wouldn't have the chance to start racing MX like I plan to do this year.-- Joe

For me the 426 has good enough suspension and power that I don't plan on doing any performance oriented upgrades in the foreseeable future. I will be looking to the aftermarket for bars and chain and sprockets soon as the stock items are wearing out (or bending) quickly. I'm not you, but if I had been riding an RR on the street then I would probably not enjoy riding a dual purpose bike onroad as a replacement for the RR. For this reason I would say keep it dirt only, especially if you plan on doing a significant amount of MX. Just my opinion. :)

I'll second the vote for Tech 8 boots. They are my first pair of MX boots and I have no complaints. They give excellent support and they're comfortable enough that I put them on for the first ride of the day and don't remove them until I'm done riding for the day.

If you are going to ride on the roads it may be easier to get the WR instead of the YZ. It already has the lights, although they are not setup yet for street, the Wide Ratio transmission would be a little more street friendly. It is much easier to make the WR like the YZ than it is to go from YZ to WR.

It seems like everyone is pointing me in a 180degree turn to the WR. The next question is, what exactly are the differences between the WR and the YZ, especially performance wize.

Does anyone have a YZ on the street? Or is this unheard of?


Ok, here's my .02

I just posted a thread a couple weeks ago called "should I trade yz for wr." I found a guy who wanted to trade. I own an 01 yz426 and love this bike. It is by far the best bike I've ever ridden. I rode the WR and was not impressed at all. If you want performance go with the yz. If you want more top end speed then you can swap out 4th and 5th for taller.

As for lights and such...there are kits available. I think somewhere around $500 bucks will get you lighted up.

The decision is yours and you have to consider what you want from a bike. The YZ is the ultimate 4-stroke motocrosser and set up right can be one hell of a trails bike too. I ride mainly trails and hill climbs and capital letters could not express how much I love riding the YZ. Not 10 minutes on the WR and I knew that I had made the right choice.

I think the best thing about the WR is the gearbox. The yz takes it in all other categories IMHO. I have a 13 tooth countershaft sprocket to help the low end luggability and will probably to with the taller 5th sometime soon just to help on fire roads.

If you really want to ride on-road a lot then this is not the bike but for the dirt...look out.

The choice is yours...but I say go YZ and you will never look back...

I saw a great sticker said "If you want to come in second, follow me..." :)

I'm putting it on the rear fender.

Take Care and Good Luck...


I too came off the street, 1990 TZR250. Started off with the 2smoke then ran in to a guy on the trail one day who was laying the thump down out of every twisty we came up on in the woods. I found my soul bike. YZ400f 99'. I can't even remember what it felt like to slide my knee thru the turns at pocono raceway. So here I am 2 yrs. later and finding the dirt so much more interesting. Street bike gone, 4 d-bikes in its place, dad, mom, boy, & buddybike. I am in the process of dualsporting the bike now. I can't wait to slide this thing around. I know that the WR would be better suited for the street, BUT. One word TORQUE. I guess I still need that knee puck fix after all. I want the best of both and feel I've found it.


Squidwerd, I was wondering what route you are going to be take towards the goal of getting a little street action? As best as I can tell I need the following:

- Lighting coil (off a WR or after market)

- Headlight with highbeam & switch

- Horn & switch

- turn signals & switch

- tail light with brake light and activators (front and rear)

- 1 mirror (2 is better)

- Street tires

Everyone is telling me that the WR is the way to go, but I'd rather be no compromise on the dirt and live with slow speeds on the street (probably a good thing anyways). I really just want to hang out with my sport bike buddies, save some cash on parking etc... I'm not looking for a dual sport bike by any means.


Nicholas if you are looking for a cool bike that is ready for the street or trails try going with a DRZ400S or the DR250S. It sounds as though you are looking for more of an onroad bike than offroad. Why go through all of the headaches and extra costs to try and make up a dual sport. I have seen the Suzukis where I ride and they are pretty quick and real quiet. Plus I assume they have electric start too..

I dual sported my YZ 426. It has an actual license plate. I used a Baja Designs kit. However, it is not set up to run down the pavement, other than short stretches. I wouldn't change a thing about what I've done. It lowered my insurance with a multi m/c discount by a whole $6.00 a year. If you care to see a little of what I did check it out at:

Dual Sported YZ 426

In my opinion to expect these bikes to be street bikes would be like taking a 700 horse power small block and expecting it to be a reliable daily driver. Not going to happen. If you want a street bike/trail bike get a DRZ S and do some motor and suspension mods. But if your still hell bent on streeting the Yamaha I'd go with the WR and do a search on motor and suspension mods(on the WR site) to get it as close as you can to YZ performance.

Nicholas, when you say "hang out with my sport bike buddies on occasion", do you mean to say actually RIDE with them, or just pose? Any sportbike will walk the 426 (YZ or WR) so bad on the street you'll probably wish you'd never bothered. A dirt prepped 426 is s-l-o-w on the street. If you are getting into the dirt for the sole purpose of saving money, I don't think that'll work very well either.

I have had a slew of street bikes (several GSXR's, R1 and back to the GSXR). I also purchased a YZ426 this time last year and converted it over the summer (Baja Kit, WR Stator & CDI Kit and kickstand got me through inspection). The only reason I did the conversion is for easy access to the local trails. The way the guys I hang out with on the street ride, there is nothing imaginable that anyone could do to make any dirt/dual sport bike fun to ride with street bikes! It's two separate worlds that I don't try to mix.

PS A few of the guys that I ride street bikes now have dirt bikes and we have more fun and have less to worry about (crooks, cops and minivans) on the dirt bikes than the street. Not to mention the rising cost of insurance. Anyone want to buy a black GSXR1000? hahaha

Well, it looks like it might not be possible to streetify a YZ.

When I say hang with my sportbike buddies, it's pretty much just sit and watch. The way it works around here is that we have several courses and area where everyone goes to break assorted laws. One area is best for wheelies, another for drag racing and another is a little race circut. I don't want to play so much as to watch :-) Some guys ride 50cc YSRs and other assorted small bikes. (especially those who ONLY race... they like to bring out their pit bikes!)

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