Starting tips on a 2001 YZ426F

I am a new owner of an almost new YZ426F, I bought it from a friend who never rode it. It's the most awsome bike I have ridden thus far in my riding days. One problem, what is the trick on starting this bike when it's cold? I have an older Honda XR600 and if it sits for months, I can give it 5 or 6 kicks and it fires right up. The Yamaha on the other hand is much more difficult to kick over.

Most every bike seems to have just a bit different starting procedure wether its a 400/426/450, but for the most part the drill is the same. Some people give the throttle a blip or two to shoot some gas into the combustion chamber. Some dont (like me) because it will flood the bike.

Just pull the choke, find TDC (top dead center), and kick away. If this dosent work for you try pulling the hot start. You shouldnt have to do that, but I have heard of cases where folks have.

Finally if none of the above works. Give the throttle a blip or two and re-try the above. With trial and error and the right combination you will find what works best for you. :)

Cold start: I get on it, choke it, gas on... of course, I give it three twists of the throttle, 10 kicks with the compression release in, release compression release, top dead center, 1/2 a kick with the compression release in, release compression release, return kick start to the top and pow!! This works 99% of the time on MY bike. :)


I've got a 99WR400, should be similar enough. Fuel on, choke out, 2 turns of throttle, slowly push the kick start down until it won't move any further. Let it come back up. Then pull the decomp lever and give it a slow quarter kick and let it come back up. Release the decomp lever, then kick very aggresively (on kick start lever) like your driving it into ground. That's the drill. :)

To all of you who gave me the advise, thanks a lot. I gave it a try and it worked. I'm not a very big guy, 5'7", 140 lbs. I was thinking there has to be an easier way. Thanks again to all of you. :)

i'm 6ft and i still find it way easier to kick over if I have the bike on the sidestand and stand on the pegs, the extra height means the weight of my leg helps, makes it very easy to kick over in fact.. :)

Last sunday I was participating in an organised bike ride. And while waiting for the start, I was chating with some guys, they were commenting how hard it is to kick start a 4 stroke. And specially the Yamaha 426. I said that all it needed was the proper procedure.

I decided to demonstrate how easy it could be :D.

I press the decomp and kicked it a few times holding it.

After a few stroke I left the decomp, pulled the choke knob, found the hard spot on the kicksarter, depress the decomp and barely past the Top Dead Center.

Return the the kicksarter to its highest position and give it a full swing without touching the throttle, and voila ! :)

I had a bunch of guys startled watching my blue beast roar to life. I think I was lucky, normally it start on the second kick. :D

All the guys gave you good examples. Take the time to learn what works best for you.


I had the same thing happen Sunday, I watched a guy kicking the heck out of his YZ250F, and never using the de-comp lever, cussing up a storm. I unloaded my bike, did the drill, one kick started. He came over and asked how I got it started so easy, I said the way the owners manual recommends :excuseme:I went over and started his bike on the second kick :)

I'm vertically challenged as well at 5'7" and I always try to put it on the kickstand. Slowly move the kickstarter down to the hard spot, pull the decomp lever and go 1-2" farther. Let go of the decomp lever, return the kickstart to the top and give it one good kick. Mine usually starts 1st kick. I always pull the hotstart when warm, choke when cold and it works awesome for me.

from MXA magazine:


There is no doubt that the Yamaha YZ-F will encourage lots of new riders into the four-stroke fold. The rite of passage for any neophyte four-stroke rider is starting one of the beasts. The golden rule--tattoo this on your forehead is: "Thou shall not touch the throttle at any time during the starting process."

If you are smart, you will do exactly what we tell you. If you’re not smart...good luck.

Step one: With the transmission in neutral, turn the gas on and pull the choke out.

Step two: Kick the engine through slowly until you come to the hard spot (where the kickstarter will not move). This is called "bringing it up on compression."

Step three: Once you have brought it up on compression, follow these three steps: (1) Pull the compression release in. (2) Move the kickstarter about one inch past compression. Do not move the kickstarter so far that the piston goes through compression and moves too far down into its intake stroke. A little dab will do ya. (3) Once you have nudged the piston over top dead center, allow the kickstarter to return to the top of its arc.

Step four: Release the compression release.

Step five: Kick with a steady but full stroke (from the top of the kickstarter’s arc all the way until the kickstarter hits the footpeg). If you did everything as prescribed, the YZ-F will start. However, if you touched the throttle, it will not.

Throttle tip: instead of holding onto the throttle with your right hand, hold onto the brake master cylinder.

Hot starting tip: Pull the hot start button out and follow steps one through five. Push the hot start button in as soon as the engine starts.

Cold start tip: Before you start the YZ-F for the first time, give the throttle two little blips. This will put a small dose of fuel into the top-end. No more than two blips. Never blip the throttle before starting a hot or warm engine.

Enemy tip: If you don’t own a YZ-F but want to ruin the day of a YZ-F rider who you don’t particularly like, go over to his unstarted YZ and give the throttle four or five healthy twists. The accelerator pump will fill the engine with fuel and it won’t start until the following Thursday.

The word: The Yamaha YZ-F isn’t the easiest starting full-size four-stroke engine made--that honor goes to the KTM 520SX or anything with an electric starter, but the YZ-F will start every time--if you follow the drill..

Since my last post I noticed something, I too only give my bike 2 blips when cold. HMMMMM Yeah, I sure don't understand the "hard starting 4-stroke" mentality. I have had 2.... 2... time when "I" flooded the bike cold and had a work out getting it started. My XR400 was harder starting than this one. Remote hot start is so great... no searching just a flick of the thumb.



Everyone has ideas on this! No chants or waving crystals?

I've had the 2001, 2002 and currently the 2003, so here's my experience:

1) Pull in the decompresser and kick through slowly about 5 times. This primes it and also clears it if it doesn't start right away(does not work for 2003, but you can use the electric start to prime it and then just kick it to life)

2) Kick slowly to TDC (top dead center) and then an 1/8 kick past it.

3) Fire it up.


A) Standing on a bucket or stand helps most everyone while kicking.

:) Do not kick a second time until you do the TDC gag. If you do, it probably will not start and you'll just look like a lab monkey hitting the cocaine button (or a 2-stroker).

C) After a few trys, wait 30 seconds and start from the beginning.

D) Turning the throttle more than a slow 1/4 turn once will flood it and you'll need to change the plug. (the next time you take the carb off, point it away from your face and see what it does when you twist the throttle! Most people can't pee that far!)

E) If it's colder than about 50 degrees, use a hair dryer to warm up the carb.


I like your answer ColoradoTim,

How do you power the hair dryer? Do you just plug it in your DC truck lighter? HeHe! :)

the yamaha website will tell you //

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