426 or 250?


I need some advice. As a kid I was a complete motohead and rode almost every day, then life kicked in, went away to school, lived broke student life, etc... now a few years later I'm settled (married) and it's time for a new bike (YAHOO!). I can't decide between the 426 or the 250. I live in florida and will do some off road riding and hopefully some racing in the first time racer class (rode lots, never raced), mx and/or offroad. I want more power than a 125 but I'm thinking that the 426 may be to much work to ride (never tried a bike this big). On the other hand I'm concerned that the 250 may be geared to low for off roading. I've been reading the messages here for about 30 minutes and I'm divided between the two bikes, any tips would be great. I'm about 6', 165lbs with no gear.

Also if anyone knows of any good south florida riding areas, please let me know! All of my old favorite areas are now covered with houses and condo's. :)


[This message has been edited by needathumper (edited 12-21-2000).]

the 250F is more than capable of doing offroad work. i specifically bought mine to RACE offroad. the 400/426 are awesome, but WAY to heavy for me in the woods. no thanks. 250F is very light, heck it is 4lbs lighter than the 2stoke yz250.

in my opinion, the 250F is by FAR the best bike i've ever been on.

Hey needathumper,

I asked myself the same question for months. It sounds like we have the same type of riding experience. Im 6'4" 220lbs though, I went with the 01 426. Its not too heavy for me, but I do a lot combination riding (pits, woods-tight and long fire trails, mx). I was worried that I wouldnt be able to handle such a big powerful bike like the 426...after break in on the 1st day I had it pinned in 5th for minutes at a time on a fire trail, then back at the pit just punching it between 2nd & 3rd. It depends on how your going to use the bike. The 426 is awesome!!, but not real light and its only as fast as you twist the throttle. Now I hear only good things about the yz250...but I am leary about buying a new model with no real maintence/performance history. Jeeze I guess that speech didnt help!..Oh well good luck with whatever you choose,


needathumper, Unruh is right. I am the same height and weight as you, and I love my 250F. You won't regret it.

If your racing MX with the bike here are a few things to think about

426, you can race 250,open,thumper class, and age classes +30 & +40 etc. with the bike and you wont be searching for power in any of the classes.

250F, you can race the 125 class, thumper class, and the age classes also

The 250f is a great bike but it wont run down a 250 2 stroke or and open bike, and in the age classes thats what you'll be up against. In the right hands yes a 125 will beat a open bike but that take a very rider. The 426 can be ridden mild and the next min. be a fire breathing beast, just depends how you want to twist the throttle. I think the 426 is great just because of all the class choices you can run with the thing and beside why start out under powered, you will not, beat a 250 2s or open bike to the first corner with the 250f on an mx track.



TMX AND MY DOGS BITE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The 250F will be competive on a MX track with the 2-stroke 250s. If the start is long and up hill it will loose a little but it will turn under and wear you out less than any other 2-stroke 250. So unless you're Joe Pro you won't have to worry about it in the lower classes.

If you sit at a desk all day like me the 250F is the way to go because it doesn't beat you up so much and at the end of the race in stead of trying to hang on you'll be fresh enough to pass a couple of people.

Yamaha hit the nail on the head with this one.

OH YEAH!!! Finally a question comes along that I can answer! 426!!! I'm 34 years old and my riding experience is as follows: Honda Z 50 at age 6, then Honda trail 70, then Honda ATC 110 up to age 15. No bike for 18 years after that. A year ago I bought an XR 200 to Play with ( first bike I owned that had a clutch!). I always had friends that raced and I started taking my 8 year old to race, so I deciced to get a bike suitable for the track. Since I know nothing about maintenance, I figured I should get a 4 stroke. Pretty much the only thing out there was the 426, so I bought one in April 2000. At first I thought it was way too much bike and was saying "Damn, I wish they had a 250!" But now, I love the 426. I had my first race ever 2 weeks ago. A friend of mine who raced expert 20 years ago is trying to decide the same question right now and I'm trying to persuade him to go with the 426. WHY? As an older guy getting into racing, my reasoning is that the 125 class is full of young hotshots that are moving up from the 80's class, etc. Their bones aren't as brittle, If they break a wrist, they don't have to do homework for 2 weeks. If I break a wrist, I miss a mortgage payment. The 250 class, however, is full of older, wiser racers and not as wild as the 16 year olds. The kids rarely move on to the 250's because by then they have a girlfriend and have better things to do. The vet and senior classes are also made up of guys on 250 2-strokes and 400's or 426's. Will the 250F keep up with these bikes? Yes, if you ride balls out 125 style. On the 426, rather than scream through a berm, you can ease in and the blast out down the straightaway and pull away from the 250 2- or 4- stroke. I don't think you have to muscle the bike because of all the power you have in reserve. I saw all I needed to last race. A guy who usually races the vet class on a 426 wins the class easily every time I see him race. He usually has a 2 or 3 bike lead holeshot every race also. Last race he raced his 250F in the Senior class, which is a lot less competitive than the vet class he usually races. He was middle or back of the pack at the first turn, and eventually worked to 2nd, passed for 1st, than got passed back and finished 2nd. On the 426, he would have smoked this class. So the conclusion to this novella is, I'll take the extra power because I don't feel I need to work as hard to use it despite the extra weight. That is my beginner's view.

Iceman has the best advice, buy both. I have a 01 426 and had a 99 400. I have raced HS for 3 years. The 400/426 are awesome for that (except the dead engine start). But our terrain is MX mostly, only a few tight first gear corners. Some real wide open straights where I can make up time on better riders with lesser bikes. The 426 is an awesome beast on a long straight! Hovever, I rode my 400 in the mountains a few times and it was too much for me if it got tight. Stalling is a big problem, even with a 10 oz flywheel. It does not like talus fields! I expect the 426 will be worse. I have a 96 WR250 two stroke, I want to sell that and get a WR250F to solve that problem. Unless your name is Ty Davis or something, expect a 426 to be a handful sometimes offroad. But the 250F will be better there, and still quite competitive in MX. If I could only have one? I would go for the 250F.

Thanks everyone for your input, this is really helping. Here is one more question. What exactly is the weight difference between the two? I've checked the yamaha site and I can't find the weight anywhere (all charts say N/A for weight). I read SUnruh say that the 250 was 4lbs lighter than a YZ250 but how much does the 426 really weigh (on the scale and in feel)?

Thanks again!

a 426 wieghs 251 with out gas i have one and i think way too much is made about the wieght most vet riders with gear are 190 + so a 200 lb rider on a 250 lb bike would be about the same as 160 lb rider on a 210 lb bike besides a think the stability factor offsets the wieght .keep one thing in mind when choosing between the 250 and 426 moto x at the ametuer level run short motos were the start is everything so i would go for the power

he weight on the 426 in feel is not all that bad. A friend of mine who raced expert level 125 about 18 years ago just got a bike last week. I tried to talk him into the 426, but he got a 2000 RM 125 since he used to ride 125's. We went to the track Saturday and today, and now that he is getting used to riding again, he took a few laps on my 426. When he finished, his first words were, "I think I screwed up." He loved my 426. He said even though it is 40 pounds heavier than his 125, the 426 feels easier to ride because it is so smooth and so stable. And the extra power is nice, too! Doesn't really matter which gear you are in (being a beginner, I'm usually not in the gear I want to be in due to inept shifting on my part}, youn can nail all the jumps anyway since the power is there when you need it.

I've never been sorry I bought a 426 but if I were buying now and the 426 and the 250 were sitting side by side it would be a tough decision. I mainly race MX but I still think I'd go with the 250...


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