YZ426....Can it be started easily?

I bought a 02 YZ426 a few days ago and I feel I made a big mistake. I have rode 2-strokes all my life and I am starting to wish I still had my RM.

I follow the starting directions in the owners manually and it still doesn't want to start. Please, someone tell me a secret in starting this thing.

After you learn the drill, and jet the bike properly it starts easy. Do a search on "Starting". You'll find over 200 previous posts.

Shane, I know just how you feel dude, I was once blind but now I see!

Put 5 gal. bucket left side of peg

pull in comp. release / kick over several times-no no no no no gas! release comp. release, try to find top dead center @ comp. stroke, pull out black choke lever, pull in comp. lever and kick over just beyond T.D.C., bring starter back up for full stroke, and stand on it like you mean it- no gas ever! - no start - repeat until it starts. Still no start you might have to replace plug which intails seat,tank removal.

Dont get discouraged, you'll get it down.

You'll love the bike when you get the proceedure down pat. (You too will be a Thumperhead forever) GOOD LUCK

I had a hard time learning how to start my bike when I first got it 1 yr 6 months ago (I was used to XR's and 2 strokes)! The night I brought it home it took me about an hour before it started. For the next 3-4 rides it was still hard to start but after that it began to start much easier (whether it was the bike "loosening up" or me just learning how to find TDC who knows)

I have found if you turn the gas off after a day of riding and let you bike idle 1-2 mins (to get most of the gas out of the float bowl) it starts much easier when to go riding again.

You also need to adjust your fuel screw (depending on your location/temp/altitude) this will really help your bike start easier and this would be the 1st thing I would adjust after you learn how to start the bike!

If you still have trouble do a search on "hard starting" or "fouled plugs" and you will find ALOT of info. You also might check here http://mx393.tripod.com/bluewire.html Hope it works out for ya,


YZ400Court, Looks pretty cold in AZ. picture, Be thankful your not in OH. (cant complain though, I rode almost every weekend here)

Ok, I'm not here to piss anyone off or to give flack to anyone. This forum is probably the most informative site on the net. It's been indispensable to me. The only thing that I hate is how all you ex two-smoke weenies complain about how the big blue bike starts, carbeurates, blah blah blah. If you can't deal with it, go back to the dealership and get your ring ding back.

So, here it is for the record, my foolproof starting meathod, works in hot and cold and believe me up here in maine it gets cold.

1. Turn gas on (duh)

2. Pull Choke

3. Turn Idle up two-3 turns (sounds weird, but it works)

4. Twist throttle two times (real quick)

5. Bring bike to TDC

6. Pull in compression release

7. Nudge bike past TDC

8. Release Comp release lever

9. Return kickstart lever to top position

10.Kick Hard

I know it sounds like a lot to do but really it becomes second nature and you don't even realize you're doing it. By the way, when it starts turn the idle back down and don't run the choke for more than a few seconds.

Don't take what I said before personally, I'm just spouting off.

Thinks for the advice. I took the plug out and it was wet and there was no fire. I am going to the dealership Tuesday to and get some new plugs and give it another try.

I guess all bikes are different? I never touch throttle while starting mine. Fuel on, choke on, decompress to two inches past tdc, kick it like I mean it. Sometimes it works, sometimes not, usually I know when it's not going to work because I can feel I wasn't in the right position (still new to it).

Fired it for the first time ever on the first kick. Never takes more than 3 or 4 even at it's worst (usually when I don't choke it). I've also never fouled a plug. Mine's a 2000 for whatever that's worth.


Look its simple as ABC not reply, reply, reply like turn your throttle three time real quick(Rule 1 Kill Anyone who touches the throttle whithout being started first) or Stand on the top of you house and jump down on the kick starter GEEZ PEOPLE(S) :D

Motocross action Mag has the Details step by step on learning the drill, You follow these steps "FIRST" I will grantee this will start you bike first kick every time.

Here is the link


Once you get the Technique down, then look to the mods....

:) Glad you bought the YZ instead of the Cannondale or KTM or Honda or ARGGGGG DRZ :D

[ April 01, 2002: Message edited by: EgoAhole ]


I wanted to offer something that I hadn't seen listed on here and I went through your same pains back in Sept. When you say you are having a hard time starting the bike, are you able to kick through fully when you are trying to start the bike? Before you go rejetting, making mods and doing all the things I went through and ended up going back to bone stock when I got things figured out you may want to even find somebody at the track who has seat time on one and have them start yours or watch them start their's.

My problem as I mentioned wasn't with the jetting or anything, it was the fact the compression was so stiff it was extremely hard to get the kick starter to go through the entire range of motion.

You'll have to get a feel for how to pull the compression lever in and finding the "hard spot". And then I had found that not bringing the kick starter back up all the way but more up to about 3/4's helped alot.

Then after about 3 of riding when the engine got broke in well enough it's not really any different than starting the 4 stroke. Well minus holding the throttle open. Mine starts about the first kick. Maybe second kick in sub 30 degree weather.

I read where your plug isn't firing and I would suggest replacing it before wasting a trip to the dealership. I've ran into a couple of instances and read of some more where brand new plugs were DOA.

Good luck and don't give up on the bike too easily.

Dont worry about it too much, you'll learn the drill. I can start mine with flip flops on, right after a wash. Sure mine starts first kick everytime, but I grew up on thumpers. Ego is mistaken with his KILL anyone comment. But this is what I do.

Assuming the gas is on:

1. 1 quick blip of the throttle

2. No thottle during KICK

3. Bump the engine around to compression.

4. Pull the comp. release, and push it past about an inch.

5. Return the kicker to the top and kick it. Don't be stabbing at it like a two stroke, Ya gotta kick it all the way through.

All five steps only take about 5 seconds when ya know what your doing.

I only use the choke on mine when its really cold out. Turning the idle up helps, but you can go too far which will exasperate your starting problem, not unlike twisting the throttle during start.

Until you get the hang, put your hand on the Brake resivoir. Doing this will eliminate your previous habit of twisting the throttle while your kicking. Id be willing to bet that your doing it without your knowing it.

well i have an 01 426 and it dont start near as easy as the 00...if you even look at my throttle, you might as well change plug...but then again i have had 2 smokers all my like...all i can say is i have one tricked out HEAVY,FAST 426, that has a mind like a woman! :):D

Take your hand completely off the throttle.. That made all the difference for me when I bought mine.


I start mine a little different. I firmly push the kickstart until it doesnt want to move any more. With foot/leg weight still in the kicker, i will just blip/pet/stroke the comp release. This releives enough comp to move the starter a fraction. Return kickstart to top and strong kick it all the way through. (I used to get up on the kickstand to kick it.) Once it warmed up I do the drill and just stroke it and its a 1-3 kick process. I only have 30 miles on the bike so far.

It's what works for me.

Shane, one thing to add to the posts above, when the bike is cold, don't kick it like a two-stroke. A thumper needs a long, full and deliberate kick when it's cold.

Double post ( son of a ***** ) Sorry , Please refer to the post below this one .

[ April 02, 2002: Message edited by: rvanliere ]

Try this , Its a video of the starting of you blue beast by Doug Dubach . The Guy who probably knows best about the BLUE BEAST :

www.yamaha-motor.com , then go to motorcycles, then competition off/road , then YZ426 , then starting tips

[ April 02, 2002: Message edited by: rvanliere ]

[ April 02, 2002: Message edited by: rvanliere ]

[ April 02, 2002: Message edited by: rvanliere ]

Shane, Look at the video referenced in the above reply. I have a 2000 and admit that I was stupid at finding TDC. Just didn't know how until I watched the video on Yamahas site. Now I hit it right every time. (1 kick, maybe 2 on a cold day and I'm gone!)

Going from a 2 stroke to this beastly 4 banger is like throwing away the comfortable, old pair of shoes and putting on some new ones. At first it just doesn't feel right, but in a couple of days...whammo...you'll never look back!

Just hang on or you'll be doing an unintentional "one-hand seat-grab" when you twist the right grip! :)

Trade that beast in for a Honda or KTM. They start within two kicks and there is no drill. Just kick it. They also have better ergonomics. You don't have to worry about somebody taking your head off while you are looking for the hot start button in the middle of the track. :)

I know two people who traded in their 426f and 250f for their two stroke counterparts(cr125, yz250). 4-strokes aren't for everyone. You have to have a strong leg and the attitude of a gladiator to handle one of these beasts. If you have neither of these qualifications you will not be satisfied with a 250 class 4-stroke.

Everyone is going to think i'm crazy here...but my starting drill is far off from everything that i've read here. I pull in the decomp lever and kick the bike through about 12 times to 'prime' it. Then i give it two quick blips of the throttle, pull out the HOT START button ( yes, i said the HOT START button) and find TDC. Pull the decomp lever and push it past a hair, it doesn't take much, and it will start after a couple of kicks. By the way....i crack the throttle a little while kicking. I have no clue why the bike starts this way but i have tried everyone else's way and usually put around 300 kicks into it to no avail. I am attributing the use of the HOT START button to a weak spark/coil, as the only reason it should start with a lean mixture while cold as opposed to a rich mixture(choke) is that the spark is no hot enough to fire that much fuel in the combustion chamber and it fuel-fouls the plug. After getting it started it seems to run fine, but i feel the power is not on par with what it should be for such a large-bore thumper. Any thoughts...feed 'em to me.

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