buying a yz400 or yz426 used

Please advise... I am thinking about buying a used yz400 or yz426. Can anyone give me their opinions on these bikes, both good and bad? What are they good at, what are they bad at? Anyone had problems with these bikes? What should I look out for on a used one that might be bad and expensive to fix? Any particular years that are better and/or more reliable? I'm not interested in anything after 2002 because I want the green sticker.

Thanks for da' advise,


I got an '01 YZ426 and i love it!! Its really good at fouling plugs, and really bad at keeping the roost down :) The only problem i have is on tight, tight, tight single track trails, even with lower gearing it will die without slipping the clutch. All the bike needs is a flywheel weight and its golden.

You should buy a WR for trails, I have mine all YZF'ed and its awesome. My WR will smoke a normal yzf400 or very likely a yzf426. If you want a YZF, I would reccomend a 400, because they are cheaper. The 400 came with steel valves, I have only had to adjust mine once. I think the 426 has titanium valves(im not 100% sure). Steel valves last longer. They share the exact same cylinder head. Watch out for worn head bearings, wheel bearings, messed up radiators, exhaust with dents, bent bars. Look around the welds on the frame for any chipped/cracking paint, it indicated 2 things 1-Yamaha's cheap paint, and 2-A possibly bent frame. The 426 weighs less than the 400. If you plan on modifying the bike, get a 426, because you can get all black plastics for it, and they can be bored out to 444cc's. whatever you get, make sure you look at everything on the bike that will need replacement. I spent more money fixing up my bike than I did on the initial purchase. Check for loose spokes, they are probably seized like mine were, and will need replacement. Also look for dents in the rims, it would be a pain to fix/replace the rim. Good luck! :)

I have a 00 YZ 426 and it's a great bike on the track or on the trails. How much are you looking to spend? I'm thinking of selling my bike.

i bought a 99' YZ400F last summer. i live in arizona, the bike came from back east somewhere like iowa... the bike defintly needed some TLC. however the guy before obviosly didn't maintain the bike properly. but after a month or so of being apart spending like 400$, to catch up on the maintain, it has been an awsome bike since. i have ridden a lot this winter, and ride @ Glamis a lot. i just keep up on my maintenence and it always fires up, and haven't done any thing major since august. so i think the bikes are good as long when you get it go throught right away and fix, or repair the minor things, and it will make a major difference. and the power is sick... i have a flywhell weight and that is a must for the 400F :)

I bought my 2001 426 this past summer, for 3000$. It was mint too! Came with protapers, RK chain, brand new tires on the bike almost and a brand new set for extra. The paint wasnt even rubbed off on the frame! I have not done a single engine mod to it, and i only trail ride it, and its fine!! I have fouled 2 plugs though. Other then that, the bike has been great! Starts right up during the summer cold or hot. Fast bike too!

the 01-02 426's are excellent bikes

The '98-'99 400's have proven themselves to be venerable performers and nearly indestuctable. They are the heavyest of the YZF's and are not the fastest, but they are great bikes all the same. They can be made to be just as competitive as a 426. The '00 426 was the change over, middle of the road year. The YZ was the bigger 426cc. while the WR was still a 400, and they were still running steel valves. There were also many various things Yammy did to try and lighten the '00's. The '01's saw the WR get the larger displacement and they all got the new titanum valves and springs along with more weight savings. The titanium valves and springs did not make them faster than the '00, only brought them up to top speed quicker. Personally, I agree with 99WR400 about steel valves lasting longer, but that's just an opinion. There were also clutch and carb tuning changes in '01 that the '00 426, and I believe the 400's as well, can greatly benifit from. '02 didn't see much in the way of engine performance changes, mostly more weight savings for less rotating mass, but there were a lot of chassis changes made to once again reduce even more weight. The '02's are the lightest of the pre 450 YZF's. There are also some things from the 450's that can be adapted to the earlier models as well.

There were many slight changes that took place over all the years like brake rotor diameters, rear shock linkage geometry, head tube angles, etc., so the '02's will be the most 'advanced', but they are all great performers and can be modified to the ends of the earth. They're all already stupid fast out of the box, and you can just keep making them faster. :) You could pretty much just jump on the best deal you can find and you'll end up with a great bike. :)

I've had two 426's, an '01 and last September picked up a mint '02. All I can say is, change the oil, keep the filters clean, and you've got one of the most reliable, bulletproof bikes you can buy. I never had one problem with the '01, started 1-2 kicks hot or cold, valves never had to be adjusted, just solid as a rock. So far, my '02 has proven to be the same. I sold the '01 and rode an '02 YZ 250F for awhile, and that bike was just as reliable. I found an '02 426 that had literally only been ridden 2x by a beginner guy who got hurt and didn't ride it for two years, I couldn't pass it up for $3500 (with extras). The tires still had nipples on the knobs, frame paint was perfect, not a scratch on it (even under the frame rails!) Find a good, low-hour, used 400/426, put in fresh fluids, check the valves initially, fresh tires, bars, etc, and have a blast :)

i have a '99 400 and its a blast. i trail ride very tight single track, steep and rocky (tons of it here in idaho) and i love the bike! rode a XR400 before for reliability, but soon relized the weight was silly and when tipped over was impossible to start. when i got the yz i was worried about being geared to high and more maintance. ive found i can ride harder and faster, bike starts 1st kick after a crash handles awsome in the air, and with a little learning about better clutch control handles the tough stuff great. its also just as reliable as the xr. i also agree about the steel valves, always good. just put a quiet muffler on with a spark arrester to keep the trails open for the rest of us and have fun!

BDS Surf,

I have a low hours, never raced 02 426 for sale in WA state. I'm a vet rider who has used it to ride trails with the kids and occasionally a few (slow) laps around the track. Oil and filters have been changed regularly. All the bearings and bushings were removed, cleaned and re-greased when the bike was new. The bike is still on it's original set of tires and has the following extras: New set of tires ready to install, new DID chain, RG-3 top clamp w/Protaper bars, 03 auto decomp Exhaust cam and TT plug, Uni-filter, Promoto Billet end cap with SA and quiet insert. $3800

Reason for selling the bike? I've gotten hooked on the vintage races and already have a WR 250 for trail riding with the kids.

I picked up my stock 2001 YZ426 this January for 2 was also mint!

I got an '02 yz426f a couple of months ago. I love this bike to death. I will never buy anything but yzf's from now on. The '00 426 had a few problems. They were all sorted out by '01. But any of them from'99 -'05 will suit you just fine. Enjoy!

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