I am just about nuts with indecision... HELP!

I am up, down, sideways, and back again with trying to figure out what bike I should buy... XR400, YZ426F, WR426F, KTM520MXC, XR650R, something otherwise... I am just about nuts trying to figure out what's going to give me the versatility I want without the "mess, expense and smell"... I am 6'5", 260 lb.; 25,000+ miles of mixed street/trail riding under my belt with '83 Yam XT550 (sold years ago) and '99 Kaw KLR650 (ride it everywhere; on-off; but it's too BIG for the harder dirt riding that I also want to do now). I own 80 acres of woods with trails right out my back door and there's an active SX-style club track just four miles away... I need a stone-reliable dirt bike that requires little maintenance (because I do NOT dig mechanical stuff -- I'll do basics, but that's it... it just doesn't trip my trigger)... The bike has got to be able to deliver excellent trail performance (XR400), but also I want to learn how to ride that SX track (YX426F)... so, it'd be cool if I had a bike that could manage the trail and the track reasonably well (OK, I'd learn what to do to be able to switch a few parts around to transfer from one scenario to another)... but, I am not very interested in racing; just want to get into the dirt glide and the challenge of it without losing my shirt (like the 520MXC price does to you)... I have a Honda/Yam dealer within 5 miles and a Kaw/Yam dealer within ten miles... So, I can get a deal and I can get parts readily, if necessary... OK, what would you recommend? You probably know more about this than I do, but I share your passion for riding, having fun, and a solid challenge. Care to help me out with your opinion?

If you hadn't mentioned the SX track next door, I'd have said the XR650R for your size and style of riding but if you want the option of riding the track, go with the WR. You WON'T be disappointed!

Yeah, Chabon99... I just said the same thing over on the YZ board... the XR650 seemed appropos for my size and style, but instead of my former San Diego haunts (Baja and desert riding opportunities), I'm now lving in the Connecticut woods and also near that danged SX track that keeps calling me... I hope I don't kill myself on it... Anyway, thanks for your input... NOW, do you think I'm better off with a YZ or a WR, IYHO?

I'm 6'4"/250lb and the few KTMs I've sat on have felt very cramped to me. I believe the seat height on a KTM is 36" & the WR/YZ is 39". They have about the same ground clearance so the diff is in the seat/peg distance. I run a tall/firm(?) GUTS YZ seat & IMS YZ tank on my '99 WR400. The XR650 or XR400 don't have any business being on an MX/SX track - so rule them out.

In my mind the choice is between a YZ426 & WR426. The WR is the better 'all around' bike IMO - wide ratio trans, lights, kickstand - and it is easier/cheaper to make a WR like a YZ than vice versa. But there are lots of guys riding YZs very fast in the woods.

Put tall seat foam & bar risers on whatever you decide on and you'll be much happier.



You can't go wrong with a 01 WR426

This is a bike that the dealer should negotiate on if it's still in his stock.

I got mine for $6000.00 out the door, right before christmas.

As delivered it was rather slow. I did 3 simple mods and it became a completely different animal.

I could of purchased a DRZ for $1000.00 less but was led to believe the WR is much more capable.

Although I didn't get the chance to ride both, I

would be hard pressed to see that the Suzuki offers more than my WR with the airbox off, baffle out, grey wire cut, and the throttle stop trimmed. From what I've gathered, the YZ timing and the BK carb mod also offers another noticable power gain (also a free mod if your a reasonable mechanic).

I haven't made it to our local track yet,but my stock forks & shock are so stiff that I'm sure it would suck it right up.

A 4 stroke HUSKY wouldn't be a bad choice either, if your a guy who's willing to work on his bike and order parts by mail order.

I'vr also got a bud who swears by his KTM 400, even though it's a very capable bike I believe my WR will dust his ass when we go ride together next.

NOTE, this is based on the fact that I rode his bike several times before my purchase, and after the free mods I did, I know my bike is faster.

Hey Futura (one of my favourite typefaces BTW :) )

I am similar proportions to you, and it doesn't matter if you get the YZ or the Wr, you are still going to have to change or tweak the following:

1 Bars - higher set, flatter, with bar mounts, and/or triple clamps

2 taller seat foam

3 Suspension mods - front fork springs and valves, and rear spring at least, if not revalve the shock...

You would have to do this to almost any bike you get - the YZ & WR are a good starting point, not nearly as heavy as the XR 650, and more race-bred to start with - i.e more potential in the suspension and motor.

You can get the WR to do a pretty good imitation of the YZ, for just a reasonable amount of time, very little cost, unless you hate wrenching that much and you will pay the dealer to change your cam timing...

As for reliability, if you look after them early on, they give years of trouble free service... common sense maintenance such as oil changes and airfilter hygeine, lube up the bearings, linkages and headstem, and then just keep an eye on the coolant, sprockets and chain...

Basically, I reckon it comes down to:

Do you want to ride to the track, or are you prepared to trailer it there?

The WR has lights and a wide ratio gear box, but apart from that, little to differentiate it from a YZ once you do the free mods... (free mods you ask? search the archives or hang here in the forum for a week or two, the questions always come up - cam, jetting, grey wire, airbox lids etc...)

Good luck, go blue and you will not be disappointed...


[ February 01, 2002: Message edited by: yamaha.dude ]

Props to Brian and huskyrider for your replies... yeah, you're making sense to me... I would prefer a bike that goes when I snap it, and that's what I hear about the 426's... Now, Dirt Bike mag says on one hand, the YZ is the more versatile bike and a lot of eastern woods riders use it... but they also have another article that says great things about the WR... I don't know for sure, but I will probably ride more in the woods out back than on the track...simply because it's literally right out my back door... thing is, when I do ride the track, the bike has GOT to be able to take those jumps, etc.... what I'm hearing from you is that the WR is going to do OK on that track, even given the greater flywheel weight, bigger tank, etc. ... eh, who am I trying to kid? Honestly, some of thie technical particulars are lost on me... but, I just want to make sure that when I shell out my VERY hard-earned bucks, I'm not going to be disappointed BY THE BIKE... I ask a LOT of the equipment that I buy, no matter what it is... OK, so thanks to you guys for being so good about giving me your thoughts... This is a VERY cool forum.

Yamaha Dude! Queensland! Right on... I've got a good ol' mate over that way... he's a prof now at U Brisbane... we did a bit of school and surfing out in San Diego a few years back... Anyway, very much appreciate your detailed feedback... I'm printing it for reference... it seems like a bunch of people are converging on the idea that I should have a Yamaha, and that the WR model seems like a good choice... I've a pretty solid relationship with the Kaw/Yam dealer locally, so it may just be time to latch on... reckon I'm going to run with that thought a bit, and see what I can get out of it... Ta, mate!


I was in the same position as you. I weighed 250+ when shopping, (238 now :) ) and my choice came down to the YZ, WR or 520SX. I went with the WR and have been very happy with it. I have ridden all kinds of terrain, raced cross countries and mx's. I have had absolutely no problems and the bike is holding up very well. Respringing the bike was a great improvement that only cost about $200. I got the RaceTech springs, .48 front and 5.4 rear.

BFLee, yeah, man... Thanks for your input. I think that I am starting to come out of my nuttish indecision... Thanks for your advice.



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