New experiences for a long time 2-stroke rider

Well, I picked up my new 01 YZ 426 yesterday, so today was spent prepping the bike and adding parts. No big deal I thought, I've been working on bikes for 20 years or so. Well, I've been working on 2-strokes. Today was an interesting experience.

First thing to do, install a 12 oz. flywheel weight. Done this before on RM's, not a problem. Well you can imagine my surprise when I removed the ignition cover only to have about 1 qt. of oil drain out onto my garage floor. Apparently the 426 carries oil in this location. Is this a 4-stroke thing, or a Yamaha thing?

Next fun item: After cleaning up the oil, loosening the nut that holds the flywheel on. On my two-stroke, I had a neat little piece of plastic that screwed into the spark plug hole that kept the piston from completing its stroke. However, the YZ has a spark plug roughly the size of a #2 pencil so the plastic plug wouldn't fit. I finally figured out a way to keep the flywheel from turning when I torqued the nut, it involved screwdrivers, my wife to hold the bike, and a lot of profanity.

Third, the asbestos gasket that goes between the head pipe, and the silencer pipe. My dealer told me that he would have some of these in by Thursday, so I didn't order one. Thursday comes, I pick up the bike, but no gaskets. He tells me that since the bike is new I should be able to reuse the one on the bike when I install the White Brothers E series. Well Yamaha should buy stock in Super Glue, because I'm sure that's what they used to glue that bastard into the stock silencer pipe. I finally did manage to get it out. It was a little beat up, but I'm not going to miss a weekend of riding because of a tattered gasket. Again, lot's of swearing.

By this point I'm quite pissed off.

Forth, greasing the suspension. Now this probably is a Yamaha thing, but it still really pushed my already tired button. There seems to be a bolt that runs through the swing arm, which needs a 22 mm socket. I didn't have a 22 mm socket, I never needed one before, I have one now after a unwanted trip to the auto parts store. At first, I didn't know what size the bolt head was. I didn't notice that the other long bolt is the same size, so I called my dealer and asked them what size socket I would need. I knew if I just guessd at the size, I would be making about 5 trips to the store. They told me that they thought it was a 17 mm. I new that this was BS, and I told them that my 19 mm was too small. But they still insisted that 17 mm was the proper size. At this point I noticed the other, similar, bolt.

Five, after I removed the chain and the rear wheel, I started to remove the counter shaft sprocket. Surprise, it's held on with a &%$#@!#ing nut, not a clip. Well again the fun physics aspect of trying to remove a TIGHT nut from a rotating bolt is presented to me. And again after much cursing and pondering, I managed to get it off. Yes I was too lazy to simply put the chain and wheel back on, and apply the brake. I did that when I tightend the nut on the new sprocket.

Finally, six: Since an undisclosed amount of oil drained onto my floor when I removed the ignition cover, I had to check the level before I started the bike. But to do this you are supposed to let the bike idle for 3 minutes. Well, I didn't want to run the bike with what could have been no oil, so I just added some. It turned out to be way too much. I'm still not sure how to drain all of the oil out of this bike.

After all this, and about 7 hours of work, I was in a pretty bad mood. That is until I rode the bike. Now I see what you guy ( and gals perhaps ) rave about all the time. The bike is way better than any 2-stroke that I have ever slung a leg over. LOTS and LOTS of strong smooth power, good handleing, and still feels light. I absolutly love this beast, and I won't be going back to a 2-stroke any time soon.

Thanks for listening, I hope you got a chuckle out of my learning the ways of the wiley 4 stroke.


Welcome to the club!

Dont get to excited to quick. You'll go through a love, hate, love affair with the 426. First you'll love the power and the way it feels. Second you'll hate the bike because you'll try riding it like a 2 smoke, there is a whole new learning experance with the blue beast. Third, when you get the starting figured out and relearn to ride the thumper you'll just love the thing again. I've gone back and tried to ride a 2 smoke and I cant believe it, I go running back to my thumper :-)


Great story John, brought back some memories and a :)!!!!!!

Even through all your frustrations, you still kept a good sense of humor. HOWEVER, wait until you attempt draing the oil from the frame tank. How many of us have oiled our front tire doing this? That oil comes shooting out like it has 20 PSI behind it. *HINT* turn the front wheel all the way to the right and hold your drain pan up and in front of this plug. The oil shoots straight out for a few inches before it arcs downward. I guarantee you that after the first oil change, you'll think twice about how to do it without making a mess the second time.

Just think, you have valve lash adjustment to look forward to now... :)


I must admit I was having quite a laugh at your expense. :D Of course I was laughing with you.

Anyway, regarding changing the oil.

1. Warm engine up for ~3 minutes

2. Remove frame oil drain plug,loosen dipstick and allow to drain.

3. Re-install frame oil drain plug.

4. Remove crankcase oil drain plug and allow to drain. I like to remove the glide plate as it is much less messy.

5. Re-install crankcase oil drain plug.

6. Remove oil filter housing cover.

7. Clean or replace filter. Put some clean oil on all rubber parts.

8. Reassemble filter and housing.

9. Remove frame oil strainer per manual.

10. Clean strainer and re-install

11. Add fresh oil per manual.

12. Start engine and check oil gallery bolt to make sure you're oil pump is operating.

13. Check oil level.

14. Go Roost!

Regarding the thumper learning curve, you have much to learn grasshopper.

Some things that strike me as unusual to a 2 smoke rider:

1. Check your steering head bearings often because the frame carries oil and the heat is transferred to the steering head which tends to melt the grease causing you to have no grease where you originally intended for it to be.

2. Do not turn the throttle grip while the bike is not running. Four strokes have an accelerator pump and you can literally fill your cylinder up with gasoline while it's on the stand.

3. Learn the proper method for starting your bike. The manual has an excellent explanation of this. It's OK if your wife asks you why you are kicking with your right leg in your sleep. This simply means you've got it down. You'll learn more advanced methods of starting the bike while it still rolling from a stall later.

4. Learn as much as you can about your carburetor before you take it apart the first time. Study the diagram well.

5. Don't forget to check your valve clearance after you get about 10-15 hours on the bike. I have heard of several people having to adjust with the new titanium valves.

There's plenty more but this will get you off to a good start. About the time you think you have it mastered you'll do something stupid like switch to a CR450F like me. :)

Good Luck,


[This message has been edited by Thumper448 (edited 06-23-2001).]

Well I went for my first real ride on the YZ this Sunday at Tower City in the mountains of Central PA. Let me just say, and I'm not being dramatic, that this bike has renewed my passion for riding. We were driving home after the ride, and I wanted to go ride again. This bike is more fun than should be legally be allowed. I had NO problem starting the bike, if you follow the drill it starts, if you don't it won't. The only thing that I really need to get used to is the ease at which it stalls. I have a 12oz flywheel weight on mine with 14/51 gearing and still, compared to a 2 stroke, it stalls easy. This however is my fault totally, I'm still trying to ride it like a 2 stroke. After about 2 hours of riding, I only stalled it maybe 2 times in some really tight rocky areas. As far as getting used to the power, that's like trying to get used to being married to Elle McPherson. I don't know how long it takes to get used to perfection, but I know I was going way faster than I ever did on all my other 2 stroke bikes. In short, I absolutly love this bike and I don't see me buying another 2 stroke again, EVER.


[This message has been edited by (edited 06-25-2001).]

John: I too am still getting past the 2-smoke to 426F learning curve. I think the only time I stall it now is when I either get to the top of a hill without giving it that last burp of trottle to get over the top or when I get toward the bottom of a not so very steep hill expecting to be able to coast without any clutch (<----wrong). With a two-stroke of any size, in either case, you'd be fine - this beast just locks the rear tire and dies......

My only suggestion regarding your fun day?

An impact wrench attached to a compressor. Works wonders on those evil nuts attached to freely turning bolts :).

I bought mine at a Wal-Mart on sale for about $250 - so you can get them cheap - and it came with an impact wrench.

-jason s.

Jason, that's exactly when I stall it also, when I try to coast over something like a 2-stroke.

Well at least the bike does start easily if you follow the drill.

I let my one die-hard 2-stroke friend ride the 426 for a while, now he wants to sell his CR 250 and get a used 426.

These bikes are major FUN.


Yeah, I get just about the same reactions when my 2-stroke buddies ride mine too. Of corse, that was my reaction too - that's why I've got one :).

The bike starts very easily if you follow the start-up drill in the manual - and gets easier once you learn where the "hardest" spot in the stroke is, how to get it to the top, and how to get just past it. I've let just about all my neighbors ride it too and have gotten to the point where I won't let anyone ride it until they learn how to start it. I've chased down one too many riders to re-start the bike for them because they stalled it........and couldn't get it re-lit!

-jason s.

Originally posted by

I let my one die-hard 2-stroke friend ride the 426 for a while, now he wants to sell his CR 250 and get a used 426.


I'll bet your "die-hard 2-stroke friend" REALLY wished he had a 426 while he sat in the woods for a few hours with a fouled plug waiting for you to return with a fresh one. :) It was good to hear that a bear didn't find him to be a nice afternoon snack!

By the way John, Thanks again. Had a great time.

Hey Chris, no problem at all. Like I've said before, riding is more fun with more people. We'll get you used to those rocks in no time.

Victor said that he was starting to get a little goofy sitting in the woods for an hour or so. He said that he doozed of to sleep, but something large woke him up and he kept thinking that it was a bear. My guess would be squirrel, but what do I know.

Let me know if you want to ride this weekend, I'm hoping to get out.


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