Need input on buying a four stroke!!

I'm new to the 2 wheel market. I'm looking at getting a four stroke bike. I want a bike that isn't too much for me, but I don't want something that I will quickly grow out of as my skills improve. I went to the dealers and looked at the DRZ400, CRF450R, WR/YZF 400/426 and the YZF250F. I also looked at the KDX220, but have pretty much eliminated it already. Since I'm new to this I wanted to get peoples opinions on the handling and maintenence records of some of these. I'm already leaning toward the 400/426 but not sure about the WR or YZF. I would like to gain the skills enough to get on a motocross track as I am a former quad motocrosser. Raced for 5 years. I owned a 98 kX250, but could never get comfortable riding it. It intimidated me so much, it sat in the garage for an entire year. I'm 6'2", 200lbs. in good shape (not the same as riding shape. Any input, good and bad, will be be helpful and appreciated.

426 power is similar to the kx250 my buddy has a 1998kx250. The Wr 426 has a tamer powerband and can easily be modified later on if you want more power . Retime the cams and remove air box snorkle, also disconnect gray wire . all free modifications that make a huge difference. These new four strokes are so much easier to ride than a two stroke 250 or 500. Dont get me wrong the power is there !! Yz426F has 58 horsepower stock I think the Kx 250 has 42 horse.

The YZ426 puts out about 48hp at the rear wheel. I think your KX puts out 45hp. Your 98 KX250 hits hard - I remember that bike having a violent hit - at least the one I rode. Well, the 426 also hits hard. Not quite as hard as the KX. It's much more manageable due to it's 4-stoke nature but she's still a very potent ride. If you were intimidated by your KX, then the 426 will do the same.



[ January 23, 2002: Message edited by: Odie ]

Ihave had many bikes over the years ranging from 2 smoke 125's to my ole 90' CR500 (talk about not being able to get comfortable on something 60-65 rear wheel horses) to my 93' KX 250 that is for sale because I bought the best bike money can buy. An 01' YZF426. I thought I could ride on my 93' till I started ridin the 426. It changed my whole ridin style. I am 6'2 amd about 175-180 and this bike is perfect for me. All the power I could ever need and more than I will ever use. I love this bike. Simply put I cannot ride it enough. The weather around here is not cooperating at the moment cold rainy snowy etc etc. I will never buy another two stroke and can't imagine owning another bike other than maybe an updated YZ in a couple of years. No need to be intimidated by a bike because you control the power, the more you twist the throttle the more power you receive. Hope this helps with your decision. I ride a ZX9r Ninja on the street so power has never been a problem for me. LOL 135-140 rear wheel hp, 180 miles an hour whew, now that is power. LOL You can't go wrong with the 426 YZ or WR. later, Frank :)


I agree with you 100% about the YZ426. I too have had many bikes over the years - both on & off-road. I think my 00'426 is by far the most fun of them all. But the guy (newto2wheels) has already mentioned that he was intimidated by his KX250. Hey , my little brother is scared sh!tless of my FZR1000. Do I suggest him looking at a R6 or do I tell him to stop whining like a girl while I'm strapping him onto a CBR929RR.

I feel that if someone is comfortable with a 250, then a big bore 4-stroke is a natural move. Granted, he'll have to learn the bike a little. Even a 125 pilot will adapt. It's also the perfect bike to come out of retirement with. But if someone is hesitant or nervous (scared), don't push them. Fear is the hardest thing to overcome. And besides - we've all been smoked by smaller bikes. Sometimes the smaller bike fits that particular person (physically & mentally) better.

Hey Frank - I'm not trying to bust your chops - I hope you don't take it that way. It's just I've seen this scenario too many times over the years. I'm probably one of the few people on this board that usually suggests someone getting the smaller bike. For me and you, No Problem - give me more cc's. But for people new to this sport or worse - new to motorcycling, I don't like to strap them to the biggest bull in the ring. I've seen way too many people get hurt because they were in over their head. That's all.



You mentioned you checked out the KDX 220 2 stroke, but did you look at the KLX300R. It's basically a KX 250 frame but with better suspension than the KDX it has USD forks... It is a liquid cooled 300 4 stroke that is fairly tame stock, but has a lot of potential if you want more power later. The power band is nothing like a YZ 426/250F or your KX 250. The bike is light (232 lbs) and nimble. I've had it on motocross tracks and it is a blast in the corners! And, it just so happens I have mine up for sale. It's a 01 purchased Sept01 and is totally stock.

If you have any further questions about the bike feel free to e-mail me direct.


I think the decision should depend on what type of riding you plan to do with it. You mention racing, do they have arenacross, supercross, or outdoor motocross where you're at? If you're a little intimidated by the power of the 426 and all you'll ever ride is an arenacross and some woods, the 250 would be the poop. If you plan on outdoor racing with fun runs out in the desert, you might prefer the 426 long term.

My 426 was my first dirtbike ever and my friend and even the dealer told me I was nuts for buying it as my first bike. But I've grown to love it and the power doesn't scare me any more (crashing and breaking bones still does though :)

Good luck, they're both good choices!

P.S. If you're looking at the Honda, I'd personally wait to see what improvements are planned for 2003 before I bought one. It's a great bike, but the 2003 might be that much better.

YZ426 horsepower is 58 Its on the certificate of origin! :)

Thanks everyone for all the reply's. All this information from owners of four strokes really helps. I like to compile as much info I can before I make a decision. I still would like to see a YZF250F and a CRF450R, but the dealers say it would take forever to get one. This bike is more of a learning tool for me to gain the skills and confidence on a bike. If I think I'll mx all the time, I'm not against getting a 2 stroke and go mxing. I just don't think I need to start with one. There are alot of MX tracks around here so a trip to the track may be in order soon. I miss MXing on my quad, but financially racing quads is way too expensive and I would like to start my son, when he gets big enough, on a bike and not a quad. My wife still doesn't know I'm looking at getting a bike! I guess she'll find out when it gets here!! :)

I read threads constantly until I bought my '01

WR426 last March. You can't compare a Honda 450F to a 250F. Believe a 450F for MX (or a YZ426) is a great investment if you're worried about $$$. The YZ isn't 58 hp, or everyone'd have one. Dont't know about the Honda, but the YZ's are pretty SOLID.

Check this joker outfrom the KTM side.

Posted January 19, 2002 11:50


The KTM's are very, very, very tough compared to jap crap bikes. In 2000, I bought a new YZ 250 and in 8 months, before the race season was even over, I had rebuilt the bike 8 times. Not only that, I had spent over $5500.00 in acessories (counting the rebuilds) to get it race worthy. Since I purchased my KTM, I have raced it over a dozen times, not to mention several hundred fast trail rides, and the bike keeps getting stronger. Besides oil changes and a whole lot of Michelins, I haven't had one part brake or fail.

And if your are worried about crashing or laying it down at 20 mph then I'm already 63 miles an hour up on you. I wrecked at Rimrock lake at 83 miles an hour on a dried up rock bed and the only thing that happend was my chest protector got ripped and I lost one position. Don't worry, you bought the best bike that will take punishment like an anvil in a cotton field.

AA pro

KTM 250exc

Posts: 5 | From: Enaville (Silver Valley Idaho) | Registered: Jan 2002 | IP: Logged

If you get off the track quite often (just guessing), you'll love any of these bikes. Those powerful quads are quite amazing IMO.

[ January 23, 2002: Message edited by: John H ]

FWIW - I bought the YZ426 after 20 years of no riding. I was scared of it when I got it home! I wanted the WR but couldn't find one locally.

Now after 6 months I am very comfortable and looking forward to start racing. Yes - it has a lot of power and a bit of a "hit" but I personally think it is very manageable. I am also very happy that I didn't get the WR. The YZ is it for me! :)

With that said and a little riding under my belt, I think I would have been very happy with the YZ250F as well.

Anyway, if you are hesitant about the power, try and ride someone's to get the feel. You really can't go wrong with any of the bikes you mentioned although the DRZ is the least suitable for MX.

BTW - a guy on a stock WR was blowing past me this weekend at the local MX track. I was grinning from ear-to-ear though since a kid on a YZ85 was blowing past him (and me) like he was standing still!

Good luck and let us know what you decided on.

Steve T

If you want a DRZ, click below. It's already got all the goodies on it. I went from a '96 KX250 to my DRZ and loved it. Definately hooked me on fourstrokes.

Click Here


The YZ426 puts out 48hp at the rear wheel. That's what matters. That 58hp is probably at the flywheel or something. My certificate says the same thing - it's




[ January 24, 2002: Message edited by: Odie ]


Not trying to push anybody into buying a 426 by any means. I just know how much I like mine and everybody I know who has a 2 stroke wants a 426 in my area. I ride with a guy on my local track (1/2 mile up the driveway) and he has the best of both worlds. He has a KTM620(only made a few) and also has an 01' yzf250. He now just basically rides the 250 but he is constantly banging off the rev limiter and he is about my size. For the price difference of 3-$500 dollars I just can't see buying the 250 but hey "different strokes for different folks" LOL. New2wheels the best thing you could do is ride the bikes you are interested in and see what you think. Sure the first time you get on a 426 it will be a handful but if you shell out the money for the 250 you might be disappointed down the road. And availability wise you might could get a 426 cheaper than a 250. Just depends on your riding. The KLX300 is a good bike but it is like stacking an XR250 against a CR500 power wise. You can hop up a 300 though to be competitive. All jokes aside any new bike to somebody is a blessing in disguise. LOL Hours of fun can be had on any bike. Good Luck on deciding. Just don't rush into a decision I have in the past on bikes and really regretted it. I will never buy a used bike again. New is the way to go cuz at least then you know what you got!! Hope this helps! Just my 2cents........Frank

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