YZ426 Trail Conversion

Howzit fellas,

I am fairly new to TT and enjoy reading the topics. I don't contribute because I simply don't know much about my bike as I kept it completely stock. I have been back on for about a year now since a 15 year break. I rode a '84 IT 490 since I was 12 then after high school not much at all.

Well, some 15 years later I picked up an '00 426 to get back into dirt biking. What can I say but they've came a long way in suspension! I live in the Phoenix area and ride the desert trails (enduro & two-track) as well as some technical mountain-climbing. I don't race and am only a weekend warrior.

I am wanting to make the bike more 'trailable'. My problems I am currently having are:

* stalling going up mountain sides that are technical

* a 'bitchy' clutch that's difficult to feather

* not enough low end

My gearing as purchased on the bike (used) is 15/48. I am going to change to 13 & 14/53 based on some of what I have read on this forum. I'm sure that will help allot. My question is I am also considering a 12oz heavier flywheel & the magura hydraulic clutch.


Money is not too big of a deal if the parts work, but of course no one wants to light a match to $400.

Anyone's input is appreciated.




Welcome back to the fold...

I ride/race an '01 426 offroad as well. The only mods I've done to the bike are to have the

suspension revalved for offroad plushness. I shouldn't say "only" mods, as I have a damper,

handguards, etc... all the enduro necessities.

As far as stalling, I've read (no firsthand experience) that a 8-10oz flywheel weight all

but cures the problem. I like the snap so I've left mine as-is.

On the clutch, I think the grabbiness you're seeing is inherent to the 2000 model. Replacing

the basket with a Hinson unit should fix that problem. I'm not sure if the juice clutch

will fix your problem.

Oh, you might want to get a remote hot start switch if you're racing... comes in mighty handy.


I have an 02 YZ 426 and ride/race mostly desert and mountains with some track riding. I added the Zip Ty weighted flywheel and really enjoyed the change, I have to screw up pretty bad for it to stall now. I also like how it sort of mellowed out the power delivery and made the bike much more trackable (sp?). When I do ride the track it made that easier too, not having to worry about it stalling so easy. Also if you primarily ride offroad, having your front end revalved will make a huge difference. In the stock form the have a tendancy to be a little harsh on small stuff like braking bumps, rocks and small bumps.

Good luck.

Welcome, Bob!

Hey, are the guy whom I spoke to yesterday out at the Poker Run? If so, I appologize for not being able to talk more. I had the rest of the sweep crew waiting on me (spent the bulk of both days out on the course - loved it!).

Sounds like your bike was geared for desert racing (top speed) and I think the gearing changes will make a very big difference for making that beast work in the tight stuff (enduro). The fly wheel weight is also a good idea.

As far as the clutch, I agree that you probably will want to address the "bitchiness" of the earlier model clutches by going with newer model parts or aftermarket even if you do go with the juice. As far as clutch pull, you could go with a clutch lever design that gives you more leverage (I like the MSR Raptor) or lengthen the actuator arm. Either will give you nice two finger clutch lever action without dropping alot of coin. Suspension valving would be a better place to spend that money IMHO.

And of course, a full skid plate and enduro handguards go without saying, but I assume you have those already. Other than that a steering damper would be nice, but not absolutely neccesary. The remote hotstart as suggested is a very useful and worthwhile mod.

Look forward to seeing you out on some rides! I'm pretty much a weekend warrior myself, but I have also started to race enduro's. There's a pretty fine line between serious trail riding and competing in races. It's all just riding to me and I can't seem to get enough. The MM 11.5 area out there includes some National level enduro course terrain and it's a blast to ride whether you are competing or not. :)

I believe your grabby clutch can easily be fixed without spending $200 on a Hinson. You just replace a few parts with '01 parts.

Send a PM to E.G.O. to get the details. I think he just did it to his.

The others have already addressed your gearing issues. Here's a tip though. Buy the "Primary Drive" steel sprockets from www.rockymountainmc.com. They are only $14.99 each (rear) and $7.99 front. They are heavy but for trail riding they are durable AND inexpensive. I've used them and like them. They are functional.

Thanks for the input guys. I really dig the bike and am not considering another. I just want to tailor it to the trails a little more.

Thanks again,


Hi AngryBob,

I upped my rear sprocket a couple of teeth from stock and left the front alone. I installed an E-Line stator which basicly bolted on a big chunk of flywheel to the existing one. I also dropped in the 3 clutch plate pieces from the 01 to fix the grab/chatter, and I believe that also changed the engagement force near the engagement point due to the spring plate. Any dealer can look up the 01 plate stack on microfiche and note the three odd ones at the inside edge vs the 00's simple metal or fiber plate choice. Pull the innermost fiber and drop in the three-stack. Done.

Between the smoother clutch and flywheel I almost never stall, except in panic braking or perhaps really poor traction situations where it's easy to lock up. I find I can lug the engine too in slow technical spots where with no flywheel you'd get the "pop" and stall routine. With the new clutch engagement you may not have to gear down for the odd tight spot, but if you're perpetually in tight stuff maybe gear down. The extra effect of gearing down is that with the big motor, just touching the gas creates possibly hard to control rear wheel torque re keeping traction in a touchy situation. I did gear down once and found that to be a problem. On the other hand I've gone through many a snotty spot with a little clutch action. For slow, technical climbing the flywheel, gearing down a bit and lugging the engine is the ticket (with fingers on the clutch just in case it gets real nasty).

Once you adapt to "Conan" mode required to muscle the bike around vs a light smaller bike, you'll get used to the clutch pull too. If it's really bad, maybe the cable is just gunked up with grit. A new cable often works wonders. Or, take it off and clean and lube it. Option 2 is cheaper but may not get as good of results as a new cable. I'd try that first before $$'ing a Magura.

Bark busters are also lever savers. Maybe you've discovered this already.

Good Luck

You could purchase a Rev-lok clutch. Pricey, but it definately will cure all of your problems! I have one on my '01 YZ426, and wouldn't trade it for anything. I hear that another company makes one that is cheaper, but I don't know much about it other than that. Maniac :)

Hey Bob,

Come out to MM-11.5 sometime and try my YZ-426 (400 with 426 parts installed) with flywheel weight added. It also has a juice clutch. If the problem is chatter you need the 01 fix. If you want less pull the juice clutch works pretty well. Check for rides on http://www.arizonatrailtalk.com/cgi/yabb/YaBB.pl

See ya on the trail

Maniac & Yz400court - Thanks!

I'll look into the Rev-lok clutch... I have just rec'd the new gearing and am going to play with that at first. I decided to hold off on the wet clutch for the time being. Effort really isn't the concern but more grabbiness. I also ordered the '01 fix (5 part #'s + gasket - THANKS EGO***!) but don't have 'em yet. Really what left for me is the flywheel weight, but again I want to check out the change with the gearing alone.

I'm meticulous and want to know what incremental change each component does. And because its $200 for the add'l flywheel (thats the route I would go) I want to make sure its necessary.

YZ400court - Thanks for the offer! Thats very cool of you. Unfortunately I won't be back on until May or so...just in time for the heat :D I had a bolt kit installed on my left ankle from a tib/fib fracture from a get-off on Jan 5th - hence all the spare time to work on it.

I will touch base with you when I'm back in the saddle. To add salt to the wound I loaned my bike to a buddy who is going to the exact spot you are referring to tomorrow (Jan 26). If you're there look for an '00 426 with an Acerbis desert tak & pro gaurds and let me know if he's mis-behavng on my baby! :)

BTW - one of the guys I ride with is in Anthem on an '01 CR250. I'm in Peoria at 67th Ave & Happy Valley...I usually ride right from my house through my sub which border the desert south of Carefree Hwy.

Thanks again for the info,


Angrybob, two of your three original problems, stalling in technical spots and better low end power are solved by the flywheel weight. Unless you want to go $$ right off the bat and get an autoclutch system. Lower gearing alone doesn't take away the engine's tendency to pop and stall. Instead, the bike will either stall or jump suddenly when you grab some throttle because of the quick revvability of the original MX, light flywheeled engine. I added flywheel even before the clutch plate fix was publicly known and that incremental effect was a huge improvement in slow spots. Once I did the clutch plates, it was even better for not stalling when going through slow, tough stuff. You know what the cheap fixes are; it's your call on what you decide to do.

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