WTF?? New Bike Learning Curve???? HELP!

Need some advice/help:

Check this out: I just picked up a 01 WR426 (stock) and the thing has flat-out power – so much that I feel like I have to learn how to ride all over again. I am upgrading from a XR250 - and let me tell you, the XR250 feels like a mountain bike compared to the WR - seriously! The XR250 is WAY underpowered for me (I am 6' 05' 250 lbs.) but I know the bike like the back of my hand and feel very comfortable on it – especially on the tight, technical single track stuff. Also, I have a lot of trust in the bike and my ability to ride (albeit, as long as I don't have to go up hill that actually require horsepower :thumbsup:). With that said, here are my questions:

Am I ever going to get used to/grow into the WR and have the comfort level that I had in my XR250?

Also, has anyone else experienced this "new bike/more power learning curve"? Everyone tells me what great trail bikes my WR426 is but, crap, I am beginning to think I am going to either kill myself or do $$$$$ worth of damage to the bike trying to “get used to it”. I am beginning to think I should have wasted my money on an XR400. Even though it, too, is underpowered it felt similar enough to the 250 that I actually felt comfortable on it – right from the get-go.



Missing My Comfort Level

I can imagine your problem. I came from a YZ250 2 smoke which I passed on to my girlfriend, onto the 01 426. Even though the YZ250 is way closer to the 426 in power to weight than your XR is, I still had 'issues'. Probably the best advise I can give you is 'throttle control'. On underpowered bikes such as the XR250, when you come out of a corner you just crack the throttle open and away you go. With the 426 more self control is required is you want to keep the front wheel on the ground. The 426 is the kind of bike that will physically drain me in 15 minutes if I ride it as hard as it'll go. On steep hillclimbs (1st gear) I find the best method of attack is to hold the revs a bit higher and control your speed with the clutch. It's a lot smoother and much less likely to flip you off the back, which is something the 426 will do in a heartbeat going up a hill in 1st gear. If the 426 isn't set up for your height and weight you are fighting a loosing battle. Get the suspension dialed in, and get the appropriate bars/top clamp. YZ cam timing may help you as it takes a bit of power out of the bottom end, but u'd better watch out for that midrange hit!

hope this helps,


Don't worry I havent been on a bike for a few years, and when i did I had a 2 smoke WR250 Huskvarna 93 model. Then i got the the WR450.... Holly crap :devil: this thing is mental, but im slowly learing to ride again and understanding the bike. And after a few come off's im finding those limits and now know how far to push it :thumbsup:

You will get used to it and 10 rides in be saying to yourself "if this thing just had a little more snap and over rev..." When I was a kid I went from a XL175 to a YZ465, talk about a learning curve! I got used to it and it was no big deal. That 465 had a sweet motor. I guess what I'm saying is they feel fast at first but you will adapt. Then you will want the YZ450 which has about twice the kick of your WR :thumbsup:

I know exactly how you feel. I was in the same boat 2 months ago when I got mine. coming off a TW200 none the less, the 426 threw me off, and I mean THREW me, 3 time the first week I had it. I was ready to turn around and sell it. I said the same thing, It will either hurt me or end up costing me a lot of money when I break it, but you can control both of those outcomes with your right hand. Respect the throttle, get to know the machine, and don't over-ride your abilities (not too much anyway :thumbsup:) and you will get used to it. It takes some time. It's like they say, "Its not if you fall off the horse, its if you get back up and get on it again." Good luck.

I had the same experience. Picked up my new 2003 WR450F last year and went riding at Big Rock in Maysville, KY. Coming from old XRs and DRs for most of my dirt experience and mainly being a quad rider in more recent years--I was worried if I had made the right decision. Not to mention the day I took my first ride was muddy and being a 30" inseam the bike is a little high for me--up hill climbs were very scarry. Now over a year later those concerns are gone and now I am looking at doing all the free mods to get a little more punch. A steet riding buddy of mine came over last week and took a spin on the WR, he was shocked at all the power--keep in mind it is all stock still so it is definately relative--his only other dirt riding experience is on an XR100s dressed out for big kids.

cowboy up dude, in 6 months you'll be adding aftermarket parts to get the bike working even better. The really neat thing about your new bike is not how fast it is but how well it handles, that suspension will get you out of a lot of sticky situations..So take your time getting used to the bike and you'll learn to love it. And remember to make sure the throttle hand is connected to the right head. Good Luck!!! Big Jim :thumbsup::devil::awww:

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