what is a better bike

is the ktm 520 a better bike than a yz426. what is more reliable and witch is more racy like and has more balls. which do you recommend.

The KTM520 is WAY better than the 426 and does everything 3x as good as the 426 :) Yeah right, this is a YZ426 forum which bike do you think everyone will like the best? LOL

Really it is personal preference. I have ridden all the other racing 4 strokes and the 426 suits my style of riding the best! My favorite is the 250f but its lack of power would be frustrating after I got used to it! Later,


Here is a quote from motocross action mag-

CRF450-In Truth, the YZ426 engine is much racier than the CRF450. Side-by-side the difference is immense. On acceleration, the honda crf450 is a Chrysler minivan, while the 02 YZ426 feels like Don Garlits' Swamp Rat. The YZ426 is quicker. more responsive and snappier than the CRF450.

KTM-The ktm 520sx is faster than the Yamaha YZ426 or the CRF450. However, the Yamaha is stronget at the point of engagement revs much higher, revs much faster and, in plain English, has more grunt than its four-stroke brothers.

Where the ktm shines is comparison to the blue and red machines is in power output. With its bigger displacement, the ktm 520sx can produce oodles of power in a metered and controlled manner. From an unadulterated power point of view, the ktm is Papa Bear in the hierarchy of four-stroke motocross engines--thus is the benefit of cubic centimeters.

Ktm-weights less and is easier to start and better top end I guess are the only advantages.

Nationals-style drag race, the ktm 520 would go through the lights first, the yz426 second and the crf450 third.

YZ426 can turn circles around crf & ktm and is geared better for the track.

Motocross mags $.02 anyhow

I almost bought a ktm 520 but it was over 7000 dollars saw one at the track and it had alot of low end power/and snap.The 426 was not reliable for me so I have a biased opinion against Yamaha. The Yamaha did have gut wrenching torque. My CRF450R is much easier to ride . I really like the seperate oil for the engine. Having had both bikes I can say that the CRF is just as fast as the 426 and you can maintain your lap times easier. If I had the extra money I probably would have went with the 520.

[ April 12, 2002: Message edited by: dan Rekito ]

Hey..Dip-**** Dan is back..and now he's on our board..Hey Dan, are all the riders in Delaware as stupid as you or what?? You traded a perfectly fine machine like a 01 426 for a friggin' Time Bomb, first year CRF450..Not to smart Danny Boy..not to smart..A very close friend of mine let me ride his CRF (VIN # in the 1800's) for the whole weekend and he rode my 01 426..No way is the 450 faster man..The suspension is lacking (front end feel), sub frames are weak, top ends are un reliable..his brand new CRF smokes like Keith Richards man!!..He has an obvious oil consumption problem..Honda recommends piston & rings in 15 hours Dan..and you better believe Honda aint kidding man..so make your service appointment now dude because I know your not that smart to do the work yourself..You are right about one thing..The 450 IS easier to ride..It's not quite the beast as the Yamie..So after you make your service appt. at Honda..Go get yourself a year membership at your local gym to better prepare yourself to ride the 426..Do a lot of up-right rows, shoulder presses and some arm work...Geez, what a wuss...

[ April 13, 2002: Message edited by: Steve R. Jacovino ]


One thing I would point out is what classes do you plan to race the bike in and how long do you plan to keep it. To my knowledge either this year or next there will be a displacement limit for the 250 class and that will be 450. I can't speak for the 450 or 520 but I know my 426 has been reliable. I change the oil about every 2 weeks, (depending on how much I race and practice.), adjust and oil the chain, keep everything tight and that's it. It is a little on the heavy side but if you don't try to through it around like a 2 stroke then the weight isn't much of an issue. Plus now there are ways to take at least 5 lbs off of it with the CF airbox and the Wet sump. Not sure if the pipes take much off but if weight is the only issue, you can't get it down some and still have less in the bike than you would paying retail for a 450 or a KTM.

If you're undecided, best way would be to go out and try to ride one of each. Check with a dealer and see if they have a demo or somebody in the shop that has one what you are interested in and try to meet them out somewhere and take it around the track. If nothing else go to a practice day somewhere and offer somebody a few bucks to take a lap or two.

I know a guy that has the 520, I smoked him on his own xr400 (96), I smoked him on my 426. But you get someone on the 520 = rider ability and I am sure the bike is worth the money. Personally Euro bikes are expensive to maintain, also there is a kinda Yuppie ownership to them, Ya they look pretty, ya with a good rider there fast, But the only ones I know who want to look pretty and not go fast are the same nim rods who buy Harleys and put them in the back of a pickup to go to sturges instead of riding the damn thing. "THEY AINT GOT A CLUE AS TO THE RIDE"

There I said and I am not Sorry :D

I am not putting down Harley's I am putting down the yuppie scum who buy them and drive around town with berkin stocks and shorts, the same guys who put on the week end lethers and try and lok like a bad ass, the same freaking num nuts, who go get a tattoo of a HA symbol on there arm and have no clue as to what the symbol means.

Oh man its 6:48 and I already pegged my heart meeter :):D:D:D

[ April 11, 2002: Message edited by: EgoAhole ]

Ego I love what you just said there. I personally don't hate Harley's either, that is if you like a bike that has no power, leaks oil the day you buy it, and shakes the hell out of you when you ride it, but I can't stand all the lawyers and doctors and other rich idiots that buy them and the entire outfit and the ride around thinking the are a bada$$. I know some guys that love their HD's and work on them and ride them, but they don't think that when they sit down on them they are going to kill someone if they get cut off. I personally ride a Ducati and love it, but when I see a HD on the road and especially one with an idiot on it, I will ride up next to him and then just take off and screw with him by riding circles around him. A lot of the morons that buy those things don't even know how to ride before they get them. Most of those bike are pigs and it is hard to handle a chunk of steel that big, especially for someone that has never ridden before.

Okay I went off enough for now, I have said my peace.

Euro bikes are expensive to buy, expensive to maintain, harder to get parts for, and from what I've seen first hand recently, have a lot more problems than the Jap bikes. I will say I rode the 520 and it felt smooth and powerfull but had no where near the grunt and pull of the 426.

Just had 3 friends all buy KTMs within the last 2 months, 2 520s and a 2-smoke. All 3 had quality/manufacturing problems of some sort or another. One guy got to ride his 520 a grand total of 2 hours in the first 5 weeks he had it because of various problems. Not what I call a good value for 7 thou.......

p.s. I knew a bud that needed a spark box for a 4 year old katoom and couldn't get it, not even from Austria. No way man, this boy and dealing with that.

Organ Thumper :D Man I thought EgoAhole was a bad name, ya got me beat :)

Duck-man eh, 996, 750r or monster, Myself is going for the 998r, still trying to get a renew on my 20 year old jr license from the AMA, so I can buy the rr bike. if not then oh the s is fine.

Although the Bennelli Tornado is something to watch


RichB Nailed it perfect ! I ride sometimes with a guy who just bought a 520 has maybe 10 "MAYBE 10" hrs, and these would be slow as molasis hours. He already blew the fork seals. 300 bucks to have after shock oput them in and refill all around

Ego you can get you hands on a new Benelli, youve got more connections than Kenny Roberts.....SR.

If you can afford a new Benelli, you should buy us all new 426's out of the goodness in your heart! :)

That comment about the harleys being slow, too funny. I out ran a sportster on my 1983 XL600 one night coming home from speedway at the Orange county fair grounds. Those were the days baby :D


The waiting list dosnt even exist yet for the bennelli, I think they are behind on delivery, but there kicking ass in the SBK

Nah getting one is like wanting the mvagusta gold only 300 were made two are in California and the rest are in Euro......

BTW American owners remain annon

I got a 97 900 SS. Little older, but still runs good and handles like a dream. I have had a few others before this including a VFR, CB1, and rode some of my friend CBR's, but the Duc kills them all in cornering. The others are just huge bikes. I went down the the Honda to look at the new 959RR, but when I got on it, the darn thing felt huge. I could never go back to anything else. I love my Duc.

Oh Yeah and I love my 426 just as much.

Good come back thumper

Ya know what would have happened the next time you rode

The YZ Gods Would have punsihed you something fierce for not stateing you love your yz


Ya I have been in love with Ducs since they intro the desmo stuff. I rode a 851 once around sears point and thats when I decided that there is no other bike in the world I would buy to ride in the street but a duc, (BTW I really Love My YZ426) :D

I had a bud who has the 900 monster talk about a wheelie machine and side ways oh ya baby. Nothing like it cept maybe a xr750, :D

Steve your way out of line. Your missing what this whole site is all about!! I read your profile and you haven't ridden in 20 years???

I ride two hours straight every Wed and 2 / 3 hours on the weekend.

To clear You guys up on the piston issue with a CRF. I'ts as follows------

Honda states for optimum performance in racing conditions replace piston and rings every 15 hours.

I assure you no one is doing this.

A couple guys have posted pistons still in spec at 50 hours and nearly one hundred hours so it's not an issue. The 426 piston may / "may" last longer but It's not the same style of piston.

Ok Dan The Man...

Let's put an end to this and let me clear a couple things if you will..Yes you're right, it's been about 17 years since I was last seen in the dirt..I started out very young (9 or 10) on a SL70 and had various two strokes from Suzuki, Kawasaki & Honda the following decade or more and just got my first four stroke a few weeks back..YZ426F Got my first Harley in 81 and have always on a daily basis been riding, repairing and learning about motorcycles..My stable currently consists of the following...

97 Harley Davidson Heritage Softail

77 Harley Davidson FXS my first Harley from 81

02 Yamaha YZF-R1 silver & black..whew!!

01 Yamaha YZ426F a total beast

02 Honda XR50 my son's first

I do "all" the work on my own bikes and pretty much live and breathe motorcycles and I'm always in that circle and know "many" people from different walks and different brands..I simply stated that after researching the piss outta Honda's CRF and Yamaha's 426 and also putting in some tiring motos on both..(I'm getting my feel back and should be back to my former self by the end of the summer..excluding age restrictions LOL)..I chose the Yamaha because the suspension was better, more plush and more forgiving..I'm 6 foot, 220 lbs..,I thought I rode the 426 more aggressively..the 426's front end felt better then the CRF..definitely more snap in the throttle (I prefer this) and I liked the 426's powerband and got used to it rather quickly..I somehow couldn't get used to the Honda in this short but very trying time period..Finally I wouldn't buy a first year race bike by either manufacturer..My friend's CRF was one to roll off a while ago..VIN # in the 1800's and he was having a problem with smoking and oil consumption..he has about 50 or so hours on the bike and he couldn't perform an accurate compression test because of the auto-decom so he's now in the process of tearing it down..this turned me right off..I feel that Honda put the CRF out there to quickly to answer Yamaha's success with the 426..I know many with the Yamaha 4 strokes..250's also.. and never heard of this happening with their machines..I believe at this time the 426 is the better bike..In 2003..I'll tell ya what..Both companys are gonna be putting out the best 4 strokes you've ever seen man..and I'll be there researching once again!!! I've always been a two stroke guy and almost went with the CR250..until I rode the 426..very much like a two stroke...I know I made the right choice!!

I also read in another thread by you that you used synthethic motor oil in your Yamaha 426..this might explain some of the failures you experienced in the past..as you may or may not know..the motor, clutch & trans share the same oil and synth motor oil or any motor oil with friction enhancers should NOT be used..

And you're also correct about the pistons used that they are vastly different..I've held a piston from a CRF in my hand..it's more like a "ring holder" rather then the piston used by Yamaha..The Yamie's piston looks & feels more like..a piston!! It has a full skirt whereas Honda uses a skirt-less piston design (to probably cut down on weight)resulting in the piston rocking back and forth within the cylinder(piston rock)..Honda again being concerned about weight used a sub-par sub frame that starts to fail after some hard motos..and if a crash results it completely gives way..I've seen this with my own eyes..Again, more the reason I went with the 426...

Sorry if I was out of line in previous posts..I just see you attack Yamaha stating that you had "to many part failures" and how you'd never buy a Yamaha again..I find your statements unwarranted and unsubstantiated..I just simply stated what I've seen and experienced...Hey man, a lot of people don't like the 426 because it's such a brute and has a huge hit!! WHICH I LIKE!!! Many can't handle it's power and settle for a more managable power plant..Which might be the case with you..It's ok to admit your short comings and/or fears.. I believe it's better to face your fears Dan and not to run from them...Don't make excuses about the 426 and your "to many failures" with the bike...I think the failures you're experiencing are in the "balls" department...

Have balls and ride BLUE!!!!

[ April 13, 2002: Message edited by: Steve R. Jacovino ]

I have had every 400/426 up untill 2001. I think they are a good bike but very top heavy. In my opinion I like the CRF alot better because of the weight and handling (way less top heavy). Probably the best choice would be a 250f with a pipe. The 250f handles like a dream and is very fast when ridden aggressivly. By the way my CRF has 20mm offset triple clamps which makes the front end feel just as "planted" as the Yamahas.

I've heard that the KTM is a good bike, but just wait until you need to get parts for the big pumpkin! I love my 00 426, wouldn't give it up for anything except a 02 426! The bike has awesome power everywhere, can lug like you wouldn't believe, and parts are way cheaper and easier to get ahold of than on the KTM's.

"Hey man, a lot of people don't like the 426 because it's such a brute and has a huge hit!! WHICH I LIKE!!! Many can't handle it's power and settle for a more managable power plant..Which might be the case with you..It's ok to admit your short comings and/or fears.. I believe it's better to face your fears Dan and not to run from them...Don't make excuses about the 426 and your "to many failures" with the bike...I think the failures you're experiencing are in the "balls" department..." well said Steve and i'm 99.9% sure it's true!!!!!lol

[ April 13, 2002: Message edited by: RIDEPATE ]

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