Help Me Choose! 2001 WR426F or 1999 YZ400F

For the same $2,500 I can get either a 1999 YZ400F or a 2001 WR426F. Both are CA street legal which I need. I am 6'1" and 210lbs. I want to ride 80/20 dirt (mostly trails but want to hit the dunes as well). Seems like the YZ and WR are both 250lbs. dry. Bigger gas tank on the WR but better power on the YZ? Is there any huge difference between these two bikes that would sway me one way or the other? Right now they seem like they would be a draw...thoughts??? Thanks in advance

Those are both pretty old bikes

I would inspect them with great detail before buying

Condition is everything.

Do not guess; take your time.

Stop looking at the features and look at condition

I'd take that 2500 and put it down on a new bike!

Assuming condition and maintenance is about equal, I'd go for the WR.  You get a few reliability redesigns, such as a larger upper connecting rod bearing and bigger swing arm pivit, a bit better carb (internal hot start), a few more ccs, and taller 4th and 5th gears for open trails and highway.  You can perform just a couple of mods on the WR (re-time the exhaust cam and block off the air cut valve) and you basically have a YZ with wider ration trans.  Used to be you could pick up YZ springs and pipe for next to nothing on flea bay as well, but I don't think they're as available as they used to is kinda drying up due to the age of these bikes. 


Regardless of which you choose, $2500 seems a bit steep (even with a CA plate) unless the bike's been rebuilt (with receipts to prove it) recently.  Though the YZs and WRs are about as reliable as a claw hammer, those are getting pretty old.  If you do have to rebuild, you will spend $1500 in parts for a complete rebuild (crank and bearings, piston, valves, springs, etc + machine shop work) if you do the work yourself. 

My last dirt bike was a MX bike.  I hated that thing anywhere but the track.  If I had bought the WR back then, I'd still have it.  The thing was like trying to drive a top fuel dragster through the woods.  NO tractoring over obstacles at all!!  I even went down a tooth in front in hopes of making it more trail worthy.  Basically I bought a MX bike and really wanted an Enduro.  Oh, it was an '11 RMZ450.  What a beast!

If that was my choice id go the WR.

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