Newbie needs fundamental advice

I've wanted a dirt bike since I was 6 years old and I just got my first one (01 YZ426FN, great condition, all stock, with 2 stands, 8 ft ramp, manual $2500). I changed the oil (it was very dark) and spark plug and have taken it for 2 rides. The last ride was 56 miles in the national forest and everything worked great, I kept up with my more experienced buddy through the "more difficult" trails and was even comfortable blowing by him on the straights. (I still cannot believe how much power this bike has). My buddy doesn't know that much about dirt bikes and I don't really know anyone that I could get advice from. Here are my questions.....(I looked briefly and couldn't find answers to these on the internet)

How important or how valid is the suggested maintenance at the intervals listed in the manual? (i.e. clean and lube the rear linkage after every 300 miles) What are the must do-s after every ride? every year?

For aggressive trail riding what kind of suspension settings would be ideal for me (195 lbs)?

I know this is not the optimal bike for trail riding but I know some members here use it for the trail and would like to hear some suggestions for sprocket ratios.

Thanks for your input. Here is a cool pic of my last ride

I'd suggest doing everything by the manual. I sometimes stretch the limits on stuff though. Mostly just on valve train stuff, but the valves are always in spec. For suspension I can't really help you out. I weigh 225. I put mine in about 8 clicks on the forks, 6 on hi-comp, and 6 on low-comp on the rear. Haven't messed with the rebound. I ride mostly track but I do ride trails with mine and it works fine. As for gearing, I always need either more out of first, or less. I've got 50 teeth on the rear right now, but I think for trials I'd go with either 48, or 51, depending on your situation. Don't take my advice to heart as I've never geared my bike differently before.

Welcome to TT by the way.

14/51 gearing and a 12oz flywheel weight and you will have the optimal trailbike. And welcome to TT. :thumbsup:

The manual maintenance intervals aren't much off, if anything be a bit ahead. That is if you want it to stay in as close to like-new condition as possible. Most important is change the oil very often. As for suspension, that's 100% your call. I would say put the clickers in the stock position, then fiddle with them as you ride to get an idea for what you want. on the trails you'll most likely want to back off on both compression and rebound, but it's personal preferance. Gearing with also be determined by where you ride. If you find yourself in 5th gear on the rev limiter often then go for taller gearing; or if you find yourself stalling it in 1st gear then perhaps shorter gearing and a flywheel weight would help.

Lastly, viewing your trail picture, I hate you. :thumbsup: Where I life (south Florida), even IF we had a hill that high, you wouldn't be able to see more than 1/4 mile without seeing a row of condos. Where is that? Enjoy and welcome!

Was that pic taken Sunday 2-5-06???

If so I was there too, I was on a black and white 01 426 and was with two other riders on KTM's. We were in a big black SuperDuty???

Check the bearing in the bottom of the shock, I have found that they are lucky to last a year.

Welcome aboard. That riding area looks awesome. I run a 14/50 sprocket set-up myself but my riding area is hilly and in a forest which is probably a little tighter then where you ride. Invest in the Summer Seal Savers (long ones asap). I haven't blown a seal since installing them almost four years ago.

Thanks for the input guys!!!! Greatly appreciated.

Crabtree426, What are the Summer Seal Savers?

ZX10R, I think I saw a blacked 426 there. It was a great day. My second ride and didn't eat feces once, yet still pushed it pretty good. I was thinking of heading off lockwood valley road next time.

The pic is from the Los padres national forest in southern cal.

Guys, what does a flywheel weight do? Does it smooth out the revs? Man, I am a total newbie! But I love learning. I could return advice favors in the areas of hunting, guns, archery, gunsmithing, machining, airguns, backpacking, reloading, spearfishing, and speargun making.

I would also like to get a digital tach and digital temp gauge. I searched for products but came up empty.

What are the Summer Seal Savers? , what does a flywheel weight do? Does it smooth out the revs? I would also like to get a digital tach and digital temp gauge. I searched for products but came up empty.

Seal savers are little stretchy things that go over your forkseals and keep all the dust and grit out, smart money.

A flywheel weight will really help your MX bike become more of a woodsbike by taming down the power delivery to the back wheel. It won't loose the torque, just smooth it out so you won't get as much wheel-spin. It will also help from stalling when you chop the throttle in tight situations. I've got the 12oz which works perfect for me in the singletrack.

Look at TrailTech for your bar-mounted computer, they work great from what I hear. That'll probably be my next mod. :thumbsup:

I bought my seal savers from SRC (Summers Racing Components) if I remember right. I like the longer ones. They're probably around $30.

A couple other tidbits for your 426 Sharpshooter, would be to change your oil every 10hrs minimum (I change mine every third ride) and keep an eye on those spokes, especially the rear wheel cause they loosen up quite a bit. :thumbsup:

I would also like to get a digital tach and digital temp gauge. I searched for products but came up empty.

I don't know that you will find much in this department...if you ride hard enough, you won't have time to look at the tach anyway, and as for the temp, if you aren't spewing coolant, than you're fine on a dirt bike. These aren't exactly fully instrumented machines.

Been trail riding for 15 years. Maintenance is imperative for a long lasting relationship with your bike. Intervals really depend on conditions. If you go through a lot of water, clean and lube the wheel bearings, swingarm and other rear suspension bearings everytime they go through alot of water (especially muddy). Keeping them clean and lubed will increase the life dramatically and won't get you stranded. I would suggest oil and filter change after every ride.

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