426 or 250F, what do you recommend

I've bugged most everyone on the web about my bike buying decision, but I haven't posted in here yet.

I'm novice coming back into the sport. I won't ride a lot, and never plan to race. Most of my riding would be trails, some tracks (practice days at MX tracks) and generally just farting around.

Should I get a smaller bike that I can throw around and relearn my novice skills (250F) or should I get a bigger bike based on my size (426). I am 6'1" and 235lbs. Yeah, I know I am a biggin for a 250F, but I am also a novice and would rather man handle the bike, versus being over my head.

Your thoughts (hopefully you have ridden both)



After a few month's of 250, you will wish for and kick youself in the a$$ for not going 426. I too am a big guy like you returning to the sport. with an awesome bike like the Yamaha your skills come back fast. I've had my 426 since nov. and finally got to ride a 250 a bit ago, I was flogging that poor bike so bad I should have been arrested for cruelty..


Get the 426...I just returned to riding after ten years...I'm 5'10" and 195 lbs. I spent three hours on the bike and had no problem with the weight (however the seat is another issue...) At your size I would definetly go with the larger bike.

Agreed, I would recommend the 426 also. I struggled with this decision also after a long layoff from riding but chose the 426 after much persuasion from a friend who rode both bikes. And since I bought the 426 and love it, I had the chance to ride a 250F. The bike felt great but the power just wasn't there, especially in the sand where I ride mostly.

If you can, try them both out ... if you're intimidated by the 426, your skills will come back fast, you will always have enough power to trail ride & mx, and in no time you will be able to manhandle it around as well. Good luck!

The 250 ? No way , because You say your a novice how about a WR 426F It has a tame powerband and you could retime the cams later for more throttle snap.

For general trail riding, a little track practice and "farting around", I would strongly recommend the WR426 given your size. The WR has what I consider to be the following advantages: a more plush suspension to soak up nearly any ugly bumps in the trail (but can still be dialed up pretty stiff with the clickers for track use), a softer power delivery (although overall power is nearly identical to the YZ), the WR (wide ratio) transmission, lighting coil and lights (if you care about lights). The YZ family of bikes are awesome, but I personally don't like the stiffer suspension for the kind of riding I do (fast on moderately rough trails). Of course, on a well prepped MX track the YZ suspension is just right...but on a rough trail I'll take the WR any day. A properly ridden WR426 will easy keep up with a YZ426 on any trail.

After being off of dirt bikes for over 10 years, it took me a few rides to become comfortable with my WR426, but go here: http://www.jcj.net/wr426/20020113.htm to see how things have worked out for me.

Get the WR426, start out slow, then grow into it. Like the other replies have said, I think you'd outgrow the 250 and want more later.

I'm 6'2, 215lbs and I simply cannot imagine being on a small bore. The 250F would be an exception only for tight single track. I've heard of a few 200 pounders loving the 250F but I say stick with the bigger 426. I have no problem whippin mine around, even at the occasional track ride.

I'm 5'9, 190 lbs. and am soon to be on a 426. I wouldn't even consider a 250F. If you want the 426 to feel like a light flickable bike...ride a DRZ for a while. :)

Remember, a bike is only as big a handful as you grab! :D

I am sure that I will get blasted for this but I have owned both and raced both and I am a 42 year old novice motocrosser and desert racer. Close in size and weight, (6" and 190..) and to me there is no better bike for all around use then the 250f. I've ridden it in everything from tight singletrack in the woods behind my house, racing it in MX and a 100 mile desert race in Mexico... The 250 was by far the most fun bike I have ever owned! I agree with the saying that "less is more". The 400/426 is a handfull, but to each there own. Just my .02cents worth....

Thanks for the input. I gotta tell you though, it seems a little odd to think of the 426 as a starter bike. Now, I am a novice (never raced) and not a true beginer, but still, the 426 sounds like a handful.

What would reccomend to a true adult beginner? 2-Stroke 125? the 250F or still the 426? Just curious.

Thanks. :)

I have to agree with Clayman. I have owned both and my suggestion would be to get the 250F. IMO it is easier to ride (25lbs lighter), jumps better, power is more manageable, and the bike rips! For the type of riding you are planning on doing, power will not be an issue. With a Dubach pipe and a vortex ignition you will not see many 426's passing you. Just look on the 250F board to see how many people are wanting to trade their 426's for a 250F. That ought to tell you something :) Both are great bikes, but the 250 gets my vote.

I own both and I don't miss the 426 at all,it just sits in the garage, I ride faster longer and have much more fun racing/riding the YZ250F.

[ January 21, 2002: Message edited by: MXOldtimer ]

Will you run out of power on the 250? Maybe not. Will you run out of power on the 426? NEVER! I agree with CAL. Any bike you ride is only as big as the hand full you grab. But... you will be limiting yourself on how big a hand full you "Can" grab with the 250.


Do you race the Oldtimers at Albany?

[ January 21, 2002: Message edited by: MXOldtimer ]


I don't "race" there any longer. I have rode on the play days last summer though.




Thanks for all the input. I am tending to side with the last couple of posts (Clayman, etc). I know a bike is only as big a handleful as you grab, but I might accidently grab too much.

I will never race. I just want to have fun, and ride so that I can ride another day. I think I would rather risk being a little bored versus, being over my head. In fact, I am seriously torn between a 125 two stroke or the 250F. I really just want to take a season (or longer) to get back my novice skills. I want to throw a bike around and just have a blast.

Also, if I find myself bored, I will just go bigger in another season. Heck, I've seen adults race XR50's and have a blast.

Clayman and others recommmending the 250F, what would you say to a 125 2-stroke? All my previous experience has been on 2 strokes.

Thanks :)

I rode a 02 YZ-125 back to back with my 02 YZ-250F. The 125 really wasn't any fun till 3rd gear,don't get me wrong 125s are a blast to ride/race they just dont have much on the bottom and they scream on top, the 250F's motor is alot more usable, alot of people call a 250F a works 125. I've let 125 riders ride my 250F and they walk away complaining that the 250F shouldn't be allowed to race against 125s.



I'm 6' and 160# and the 426 is my first bike after about a 10 year layoff. To give you some perspective, my last bike was a YZ80...heh.. Anyway, I was asking myself the same questions as you about power vs. weight, etc.. I finally decided that if I get the 250 I would probably eventually be looking for new go-fast parts at some point, but with the 426 I can leave it stock and never be wanting more. Well so far that has been accurate. It's 100% stock and I have zero complaints in the motor department. Thanks to the motor being so smooth the learning curve on this thing has been really steep for me. In less than a year I've gone from rolling every one of the jumps at the local track to passing more people that I get passed by. I haven't ridden the 250 but I vote for the 426 based on my experiences with that bike. Have fun!


I'm 6' 225 and you will just have to trust me on this. The YZ426F or the WR426 will be your best choice. I've rode both and with your weight and height you'll appreciate the feel of the 426. Like most of you that posted here the 426 has way more power and it's controllable. So I'd definately go with the 426 against the 250F.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now