old question?

This has probably been dealt with extensively, but I am considering the '01 wr426, but I live in New England and ride enduros. Is this bike good for TIGHT woods and mud. I weigh 255 with gear, but I don't think that's the issue. I've heard these bikes are too snappy for the woods and don't like to turn...I find that disturbing. Let me know what's up.

The answer to your question has many answers. But the most relevent should be....From stock they turn fine, However you can always improve on it's capability just like anything else that goes through an assembly line production. To increase the turn angle one only has to raise the forks up 1/2 inch in the clamps to see a major turning radius change. The proper tire for the terrain are also important...The general concensus is that the 756 is best for soft terrain (which is what I use) and others are using the M12's. The 739s flat out suck for traction in most applications (other that serious hard pack). Anyway I digress.... Tires that bite well also have an effect on turning. To go along will all this rider position is a major factor as well. Get your weight forward on the tank and you can turn on a dime and give someone nine cents change. Sit back on the seat and a Tractor Trailer will turn faster than you. Your weight is only a factor with the suspension. The current factory suspension is setup for a 180 lb Ballet Dancer....Many of us in our second childhood are tipping at 200+....That having been said...you would need to revalve and re-spring to do anything radical (with Comfort)....Also keep in mind that you should want a bike you can grow into. When I first got my WR the power Freaked me out at first (As it has most riders), You find yourself a comfortable spot in the powerband and work from there. Within weeks of purchasing mine I was balls to the wall and loving it. The (extra) power is great when you plow through the mud while your buddy is tryng to figure out how to dig out.....Its especially great to be the only one at the top of the hill not whining about how tough it was to get there.

It's not a hard decision really, just depends what you want to get for your money...

Bonzai :)

it's phuqing awful in the woods, after all you've done to it. you'll be dead meat after one lap. forget it. the katoom is the boy or something like a 250 two stroke.


I have to agree with Taffy, I am alot faster on my KX 250 than I was on my WR in the tight woods riding. The bikes(WR's) are heavy and have ALOT of torque on the bottom. YZ timing helps the motor issue, but the weight will kill you. Get out in the open however, and the bikes kick ASS!! they are dead stable and have power galore. If this was a perfect world I would have both bikes, but I would ride the KX in woods enduros.

Being a New England woods rider (6' 185+ lb.), I found the WR's power to be quite an asset, once used to the delivery. After gearing it up two teeth in the rear, 2nd gear was very useable and controllable for the tighter stuff. 1st was rarely ever needed. The 426's tractable power lets you use just throttle modulation in many instances where'd you'd be slipping the clutch on peakier or smaller bikes. Being a recreational rider, the bike's weight only came into play after sustained rides threading trees - the weight is carried high and it can get to wear on you. The bike tracked very well through through rocky sections, and rutted uphills with roots. If you're in shape to handle the weight, I think the bike is worth looking at.

I've decided to downsize to a lighter bike, but have yet to commit. The WR250F I've got in my garage now feels much lighter, but oh so weak off the bottom. It's turns easier, and is much less fatiguing to ride. The suspension is setup softer than the 426 though, and it shows in the whoops. I decreased the compression damping a couple clicks and increased the rear rebound one click and the 426 was good to go. After experimenting with raising the forks for improved cornering, I ended up just altering my style a bit.

No doubt I can ride the 250 faster, but the 426 was a helluva lot of fun to ride. The snap of the 426 was quite useable where just a twitch of the throttle would let you clear obstacles, no clutching required. Tough call.

I am also about 255 geared up and the olny time the WR 426 is wears me out is if I get it stuck and need to man handle it out. I have friends that are smaller than me that ride the WR and they do get tired quick on the bike. I can't compare it to other bikes as this is the only real bike I have had in 15yrs but I think it handles just fine in the tightest of places. Again I think my added weight helps in putting the bike where I want it.

For fun in the woods & the occassional enduro the WR426 is fine. For serious enduro schedules, meaning every weekend or every other weekend, buy yourself either a light 2 stroke or KTM. You will be more energetic & happier. My 2cents......

I live in a perfect world so have both. Get the KTM for the woods. A big guy like you should get the 520. It totally rocks! :)

I gotta agree the bike manhandles me around if i am not in the groove, but when I am in that sweet spot I wouldn't ask for any other bike. I mainly ride the woods, have been to the dunes in Florence, OR once and am chompin at the bit to get back.

A scotts damper... and its a woods bike!

I have lots of TIGHT woods, as well as fast woods, MX, fire roads, and FAST woods. The WR excels in everything (especially when your stepping up from an 87 TT350, which is a nice bike but a different story).

My friends all ride smokers... KTM 125 Rm250 KX 250 Kx125 ...etc. all nice bikes.

I can run away from all of them in the tight stuff, as well as any where fast! :)

If you decide you want a 2001 WR426, I have one with 2.7 miles here in Mass.

email me at dbarney@nwc.com

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