Test rode WR400 & KTM520SX

Yesterday went to Speedworld in AZ and rode my buddies 99WR400 (YZtank and seat, and YZ timing) and a 2000 KTM 520SX with ohlin forks. Things I noticed after getting off my 97CR250, to prepare for the purchase of the 01 426:


1) Seemed like the forks were soft, but they didn't bottom, this resulted in a stinkbug effect. But what I noticed was this made it turn sharper then my CR! Could be also I have the forks set up to help with headshake

2) The power is deceiving, after riding 2-strokes my whole life. It doesn't seem like your going that fast and I didn't have the confidence to jump big.

3) I didn't get tired! Even riding in 95+ temp it seemed like I could have kept going. Did about 6 laps on the long track.

I had heard about the arm-ripping pwr of the big 520, observations on that bike:

1) Bike is easy to ride too, biggest problem I had was with the rear brake chattering going into corners. I guess I need to learn to let the engine brake more, instead of brake sliding like a 2-stroke.

2) Cornered really well too. In a long sweeper corner, I was able to stand as the front end sticks, where on my CR, I need to be on the gas tank.

Anybody else feel like this when you first ride your 4-stroke? Not feel like your really going fast? I'm still pretty sure I am going with the 426. But has anyone not been happy and gone back to the 2-stroke?

Thx in advance,



Gary, my experience is very similar to yours. My last two stroke was the '97 CR250. I really liked that bike because it was a top end screamer. The only big negative was that it had too much rake, and tended to wash in the turns.

After test riding a '98 YZF, I bought one and have never looked back. Then I bought a '99 YZF and a '00 YZ426F. I still love these bikes.

I agree with all of your observations except 2). You will be amazed at how well these bikes jump. I believe that on most jumps, the YZF is easier than a 250, even on very short approaches. They hook up and rev out. I have jumped 70' in second gear, and 110' in third, and I run a 50T rear sprocket.

Some people love the YZF's and don't go back, some can't adapt and switch back. Personally, I could switch back if I wanted/needed to, but I have no incentive to go back.

Just yesterday I was riding at that crappy Elsinore track, and there was only one straight where I could get into third. I grabbed a handful and was going so fast at the end that I couldn't make the turn. I routinely get holeshots against 250's. These bikes are plenty fast. You just have to rev them out. On all MX tracks, I mostly ride in second gear, with third only used for the fastest straights and biggest jumps.

The bike I had before the 426 was also a 97 cr250 (is there a trend here?). Strange that in some of magazine tests of the 97-99 cr250's they said "handles just like all Hondas have - slices turns with ease" and now that the 2000, 2001 models are here, they admit that it had a front wheel push problem.

My moto results improved dramatically when I went to the 426 (but there was and still is, a LOT of room for improvement). I had a string going of 7 consecutive holeshots, but was beaten to the first corner yesterday by a cr250 (wouldn't you know it).

Scott F:

Because of my spodely riding style, I've never attemped a 70 foot jump, but if I were to attemp it (in my dreams), it would be on a YZF. I have to settle for the under 50 footers, and even then, I have to go the track at least three times, study every angle of the jump, meditate, sleep on it and then maybe, just maybe, I'll go for that 45 footer. But I would never try it on a 250 two stroke.

There was a Pro at the OTHG race at Sunrise yesterday, who borrowed someones 426 and made every jump look like a molehill.

I'll have to admit that the KTM 520SX looked pretty awesome as well.

Wow there are some familiar traits here..re.97CR250 to YZF.

Thx for the input.


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