Transition from XR to YZ?

I would assume that the transition from XR400 to YZ 400/426 would be easier then say trying to adapt to the power/handling traits offered by any of the 250 strokes, regardless of make. I have decided to try my hand at local 40+ MX and the XR simply wont cut it. I understand the YZ's offer less low end grunt, compression braking ect then the XR, but I would assume that they still bear a closer riding characteristic then a YZ250 or CR250. Since returning to riding after nearly 20 year absence, all or most of my time has been aboard a mid size thumper. A used machine is the object of my desire.

I also had a 20 year layoff until about a year ago. I bought a really nice used KX250 and found it to be a real handful to control, particularly off todays jumps. I had lots of problems fouling plugs too. Decided to buy a '98 YZ400 last March, a great decision! It's as fast as the KX and much easier to ride. The compression braking is still there probably not as much as your XR though. Sunday I did 6 laps on a local track, my goal was to try to ride the entire track in 4th gear. I did all 6 laps in 4th with a little clutching here and there - way cool! It was like I was riding an automatic. I completely forgot about shifting and found myself concentrating on more important stuff like staying on two wheels and preparing for jumps. Right now the only other bike I could see riding would be the new YZ250F when they hit the market - less weight would be nice.

Paul in AZ


i altered the cam timing very slightly a month ago on my WR & the bike has tons of stomp now.

look up a thread from 14 days ago by me.

i have a flat spot off the bottom which the enduro riders notice a lot more. i doubt that an Xr has the stomp of my bike. i can leave a KTM 250 EXC in 2nd, 3rd & don't even talk about 4th & 5th-it's not a fair fight!

if you're into cam timing & squish bands there is a lot of room for improvement. the higher the comp the higher the engine braking.


I owned a YZ250 and an XR 350 when I got my 426. My 250 was a '95 model and I rode these 2 back to back on several occasions and I noticed quite alot of difference. The engine feels similar to the XR with the exception of luggability and the XR had way more engine braking. But the 250 and 426 felt worlds different, in fact when riding them both back to back I noticed the weight difference much more than I thought I would. In tight stuff I actually preferred the 250 and I think I still might if I still had it. I have since sold both the "lesser" bikes :) and I no longer feel the weight of the 426 as much as I used to.


I dunno, the YZF has the same chassis and suspension (except for stiffer fork springs) as the YZ 250.

Having ridden/owned an XR you will not be subject to the “four-stroke learning curve” like most folks who are used to two strokes. I haven’t ridden an XR 400 but I imagine the extra oomph of the YZF will knock your socks off. It revs forever and then, if you still aren’t going fast enough, you can rev it some more.

I guess you could say the YZF is like a YZ 250 with a John Force-modified XR powerplant wedged in there…

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