Help on info about WR426F!


Im looking for some help about what year of the 426 to buy.

Pref. the year that has very little gliches, and the year that Yamaha worked all the bugs out of the 426? I ride an XR 250 and need MUCH more POWER! Thank you...

I think the 2002 WR426 is the best year WR so far. May be proved wrong with the 05 model but I'll stand by that for now. It is still based on the original design WR but they had 4 years to work the bugs out.

Your post could have been mine about a month ago - I was in the same boat. I, too have an XR250 and after much research, just bought an 01 WR426 (stock). I have only had it a few weeks and because of work and vacation I have only been able to ride it on the streets around my neighborhood a few times (it is loud and I don't want to P-off the neighbors). After doing research on the bike I found that the 01 and 02 are basically the same bikes. As a rule of thumb most manufacturers do some type of new (often minor)upgrades every year and these upgrades will probably be the basis of everyones opinion as to which model year is better. I can tell you that the 426 has WAY more power than my XR250. Simply put, my XR250 feels like a mountain bike compared to the 426. For example, if I am in 1st or 2nd gear on my XR and rip open the throttle I will gradually accelerate and the front wheel does not leave the ground (or if it does - just barely). If I rip open the throttle on the 426 in 1st or 2nd I will end up on my a$$ in a hurry with the bike heading down the trail by itself. I know that I am definitely going to have to put some miles under me before I feel like I "know" the 426 like I do my 250. It is much different.

Let me know if I can answer any other questions - it really helped to be able to talk to 426 owners when I was figuring out which bike to buy.

(For reference I am 6'05" 250lbs. and ride single track trails and fire roads in the Sierra Nevadas (Nor-Cal) and am an average/slightly above average rider)

I'll agree with rich on this one. I have an 01 426 with most of the free mods and then some, and I couldnt be happier. Even after riding it for about 6 months, I still get that rush every time I crack the trottle open :thumbsup:

What part of the country do you live in? I have a buddy who going to sell his 02 WR426F when his new 04 WR450F comes in. I sure it will be price right. We live in the SoCal area.

I have to testify that while I was initially "scared" of the starting drill for my '01 WR426, after I did the YZF cam mod, my bike now starts sooooo easy, very similar to a two stroke. My buddy just spent $6499 PLUS tax and dealer prep for his '04 WR450, and I spent $3000 for my '01 WR426 and with the cam mod my bike is equally "wup-ass" as his for half the price.

my two cents......

Update - Just took my new 02 426 out for the third time. Only could ride it for a few minutes as I started having many a neighbor coming out to see what the noise was (the bike ROARS!) Today was the first day I started to feel comfortable on it and let me tell you, this bike is AWESOME! Two weeks ago I almost thought about trading it for an XR400 (too much bike and too different from my XR250 - so I thought) but not anymore - the things is a BLAST! Although I do need to fine tune the starting procedure a bit(I finally figured out that you need to twist the throttle 4 times before kicking it over - damn stock jets :thumbsup:

Hmm..something is wrong there. 4 turns on the throttle and a well tuned 426 wont start for a week. You using the choke?

I thought four turns would flood the bike out too but it worked. Albeit, that this was after trying to start it for 20 minutes. The bike is beginning to feel awesome but I still can't get a starting routing down. I had a hunch that it needed more gas so I gave it four twists, kicked the kickstarter down until it hit resistance, pulled in the decompression lever, kicked it down about another inch, let the kick starter come back up to the top and gave it a good kick. BOOM TIME, it fired. Whether 4 twists will work everytime is still a question but it did work yesterday. (For reference: my bike is completely stock)

I have very recently bought a 2002 WR426 and also haven't gotten the chance to take it out on the trails yet. I've just been ripping around the neighborhood from time to time and WOW. The power is almost scary on the pavement. It almost seems like the front tire hates the ground. I came from the 250 2 smoke world and have learned to already love the four stroke world. So I'm sure that whether its a 01' or 02' you'll be more than happy. And wr_tree I'm in vacaville, so if you ever need a somewhat virgin 426'r to trail with ya let me know.


I am right with you - it seems like the front tire is way allergic to the ground.

Yea, I would love to get out an ride this new beast. The next couple of weekends are shot but after that I am wide open. I will post somthing in the Where/When/Who - Southwest post in a couple weeks. Let's hook up and get a group together.

Hey again,

Hey we should be moved to California soon, and be riding again after we unpack the bikes! If anyone rides at Ocotillo Wells reply back to me and maybe we can set something up! thanks...

Just bought a new to me '02 WR426F about 6 weeks ago from my riding buddy's racing team. This sled is a frickin' rocket on two wheels!

I've ridden it all of two times off-road. 113-miles down in Mex and about 30 miles in the So Cal high desert. I just can't believe how much power this thing has. It's been said before but the WR's are scary fast. Just when you think you've got the throttle wide open, you can still grab another handful and basically loop it out from under you. Almost did this going over a small knoll jump and just trying to loft it up in the air. Learned to be more aware of this "added" bonus, and to use a bit more throttle control.

This bike is so much more fun than the big DS bikes I've been riding off-road. The power to weight ratio is insane. I can't wait to go riding again. This 42-year old kid is a happy camper. C'mon weekend!


I am right there with you. At first I was like "Oh, crap" I think I messed up buying this motorcycle/fighter jet but now (only after three SHORT rides around the neighborhood I am freekin hooked. It is like blue crack and I'm a junkie!

Just wish it would start easier... :thumbsup:


I am right there with you. At first I was like "Oh, crap" I think I messed up buying this motorcycle/fighter jet but now (only after three SHORT rides around the neighborhood I am freekin hooked. It is like blue crack and I'm a junkie!

Just wish it would start easier... :thumbsup:


It is an addiction. I only wish I could make more time to ride...

As far as starting goes, what are you riding and what mods have you done to it?

My '02 has had the carb rejetted and has a full Dr. "D" exhaust system so the pilot circuit is pretty rich. I've tried all different methods when it's dead cold and what works for this one is:

-Choke on, No throttle blips of any kind or else it floods

-2 kicks with the decomp lever pulled in

-No decomp lever kick until TDC

-Pull the decomp lever in and kick about 1"-2", stop and release

-Then one smooth kick

-Repeat as necessary, take 2 aspirin, call me in the morning...

This works almost every time when cold. When it's hot, it's always one kick for the beast as long as it's at TDC. Hope this helps.

My starting drill is :

Pull the decomp and kick a few times to "pressurize" the lub system.

Pull the choke.

Apply the kickstarter positionning procedure.

And give it a nice lonnnng kick.

And baboum !!!!!

Don't hesitate to use the hot start when you stall it or you think it's flooded. Much easier on your cardio. :thumbsup:


This may be a dumb question to ask but, do any of the WRF426's come with electric start? Cause i know the new 450's have the happy button, but i wasnt sure if the 426 came with it? Thanks

do any of the WRF426's come with electric start?

No, the 03 Wr450F was the first

4 twists off the throttle. some things wrong. twisting the throttle whilst the engine is not running will foul the plug, and very easy too. if u get the starting nack to it, it only takes the choke and a nice kick and she will fire. as for the standard jetting it is just about as good as it gets.good luck mate.

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