I am considering buying a 02 WR 426. I currently ride a YZ250, which is a good bike. I mostly ride in the desert and I am looking for a bike with great performance, raceability and the ability to ride wth my kids. After reading some of the posts, I am confused about something. All the magazines say the WR426 is a rocket ship, but all I read in the discussions is what you have to do to it to make it run right. I see the point of taking the air box lid off, doing the throttle stop, taking the plug out of the exhaust pipe. I guess my question is, are the magazines wrong in their praise of the WR426? Maybe a YZF is better, since everyone tries to make a WR like a YZF. :)

Having been through this whole process myself, I think that you should seriously consider the WR - it is a more 'versatile' bike, but it can be made to go harder than a YZ (in certain circumstances).

Of course you are going to get generalisation from media tests - the good oil is here at TT.. Plenty of experience to tap into.

You would expect to have to tweak any bike, firstly suspension and ergos like handlebars etc. Then, you need to invest some time in jetting it and making a couple of simple mods to get it running sweet for your conditions and needs. This is an investment in time, because the payback is great.

What to do to the engine? Hang around for a week or two, look at old posts, do a search - it wiil become clear what you can do, and of course, you can do it in stages as time allows. As a minimum, do the throttle stop, the BK accelerator pump mod, do the grey wire mod, take off the airbox lid, remove the exhaust restrictor and get your jetting right.

Then, figure out if you want to go to the next stage of performance, and a bigger investment in time, and look at YZ timing mods/pipe etc.

Ride the bike for a while, and get it dialled in to your needs, then look at the major mods...

Good luck with it all...


[ December 15, 2001: Message edited by: yamaha.dude ]

I agree with yamaha.dude all the way. But I will add this to it: The midea guys have an idea what fast is but the guys on TT have another idea what fast is. It's kind of like before and after. Buy the WR, you wont be sorry.

Just re-reading the original post and realised that I didn't answer the questions that was posed...

The media are a strange subsection of the dirtbike world. They have to make a living and sell magazines. Goes without saying that they are not going to get too nitty gritty in their testing, and they want to include a big 'gosh' factor - a bit of hyperbole, some more than others... It is not often that the magazines get a bike for a long term test, and actually do anything to it to make it "better" - and all bikes can be made better... If a mag has a bike for 3 months, they will tell you what broke, or wore out, not how they dialled it in to be the sweetest thing for one particular rider... those guys are just glad to have a new bike on loan, some free gear and the occasional lunch or big-event pit pass to give to their mates.

As with most of the media, you need to look deeper, and form your own opinions - and I believe that the depth of experience here at TT is an excellent starting point... Real world experience, and not biased by the 35% (or more) of pages that have to be paid adverts...

Good luck, the WR is the prime candidate for you, but that is only my humble opinion...



I can't really comment on the media. But, I can on the WR. I think you will be very surprised at how totally bitchen the WR is in the desert. With only some very minor mods. Some of the stuff that has to be done is to undo the stupid stuff that California and the EPA make the manufacturers do before they can sell bikes here. Things like the throttle stop, grey wire, and so on. You can look at my signature to see some of the stuff I have done to mine. I just rode it hard in the desert a couple of weeks ago and still haven't gotten down off of cloud 9 yet! :) I love my WR! Good luck! P

You really need to ride them both to make this decision for yourself. They both Rip and Zip but due to the intended users of these bikes they have different nature. The WRF and YZF are both excellent bikes.

If you want a lighter bike with no lights, smaller gas tank and more zip straight from the crate look at the YZF it is intended to wrap and pass bikes like your old YZ.

If you want a bike that needs a light, has a larger gas tank and you can deal with the extra weight it Will Rip too.

I have a WR426 2001 and have done very few modifications. I love it. It has a great powerband stock. I can see in the dark. I can run it until I'm out of gas not the bike. I can deal with the weight.

It just Wrips.

Ride them both! Look at what you want after that.


If you want to loose weight after you buy a Wr426

you'll have to loose it yourself.

Also post this question to the crew on the YZF page I am sure they will have some usable feedback


Wr426 2001

TTR 125 L

PW 50

Like you, I was really trying to decide YZ or WR, but you are doing the RIGHT THING by checking this site out as well as the YZ site. After doing a few mods I think I'm light years ahead of what I would be doing on a YZ trying to make it into a WR. Take alook at below, Yes I have done alot by some standards, but they are all easy, somewhat inexpensive, and fun. Plus you will get into a wonderful group of men, women and famlies. All will gladly help you out anyway they can (please use history 1st) with any questions you might have..

Either way you decide. Welcome to this band of brother's

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