YZ426 Help

ok i need to find out a little more information about the YZ426. this will determine if i get it or like a KX

ive read ALOT of posts on here with people having troubles with there YZ426's which kind of makes me not want to get one.

the second thing is do they have good handling. and will i be able to race the bike and still be able to hang with the guys on 2strokes? (i just came off from riding a YZ250) do they feel heavy up in the air and on turns?

im thinking about getting a 2001 yz426 and i just want to make sure its right for me. yes ive ridden on one but i wasnt really able to do much with it just ride it around a little. i just need a bike i can race and be fine with. and something that i WONT have problems with like my last bike. the fact that its new i dont want it breaking down on me and me having to spend even more money while im still tryin to pay the sucker off! i would appriceate your responces. thanks

I've only had my 01' 426 a short time (about a month) but so far I am really glad that this is the bike that I got. The power is incredible, both in how smooth it is and in how much of it there is. No matter how slow the engine is reving you can twist the grip and have instant zap. I've also had very little trouble jumping it. I've got years of off-road experience but I'm a newbie at MX so I will let the other people comment on the suspension, etc.. For me personally I would definitely buy the same bike again if I had to make the choice a second time. Whatever you do, good luck!

Hi! My dad and I are new into the thumper world. I'm 21, came off a '95 KX250, and my dad is 48, coming off a '94 YZ250. I got a '01 KTM 520SX, dad got a used '00 YZ 426.

Assuming it is not my imagination, the 426 feels just like the 250. SLuggish in the front end, but steady and fast. (at least in comparison to my 520 and KX) Dad is also 5 weeks out of a broken leg, and he seems to be jumping and riding his 426 like it was his 250. We were BOTH expecting to take weeks of riding to get used to the new thumpers, but, no kidding, it took us maybe 5 minutes! In my opinion, going to a KTM is just like bolting on a CBR 600 engine to a 250 frame, without adding any weight, and the 426 is like that, just add a few pounds to the bike. You won't be dissapoitned (except practice your kicking on the 426). We plan on racing ours in Hare Scrambles, and we've got some woods JUST wide enough for your handlebars. :)

You don't need to "practice your kicking on the 426" I've had a '98 400, and now I have an '01 426. They both start(ed) on the first or second kick.

I would suggest you try to borrow a 426 and ride it on a familiar track. I know a bunch of people that have switched from a smoker to the 426(400). I only know one guy that went the other way, he went from a Husky to a CR. He got tired of ordering some jets and getting a rotor for a '78 Ducati.

As far as reliability goes; You're planning on racing it? Racebikes need maintenance, and tend to break parts at a faster pace than their non-flogged brothers. Doesn't matter if it's a 2-stroke or 4-stroke.

I bought a new 01 YZ 426 about two weeks ago, and have really ridden it 2 times since then. Both times were for about 4 to 6 hours in the woods at a fast pace. I have always had 2 strokes, and I have always liked them. But this 426 is by FAR the best bike that I've ever ridden. It handles great, has super suspension, and stops nicely. But the real selling point is the motor !!! Lots and Lots of smooth strong power. Just like someone said earlier, when you whack the throttle it moves out right away. I have a 51 tooth rear sprocket with a 12 oz. flywheel weight and I can pick the front end up with just a blip of the throttle whenever I want. Also, I took maybe 5 minutes to get to the point where I was going really fast on the bike. The only thing that took me longer to adjust to, is the ease at which it stalls compared to a 2 stroke. You'll try to coast over something slowly, and it stalls. The second time I rode I didn't stall it much at all. As far as starting or plug fouling problems, knock on wood, I have had NONE...

Good luck. :)


I have a 00 426 and I can honestly say it's the best bike i've ever owend. It starts every time and feels great. I have heard of some problems with the 01 426 like fouling plugs and sputtering. The 01 does however have a snappier throttle response. It may be due to the lighter titanium valves.

ok well does anyone think i should stick with a 2stroke?? or would i be ok with a yz426...im so use to 2strokes that its kinda getting to me on if i should switch to a yz426 but its something different i dont know much about them so its a learning expirence. so if someone can change my mind and get me to feel comfortable with a yz426 purchase i would appriceate it

YOU are the one who will have to make the decision. Do not let anyone else make it for you. That way, if you find you do not like the 426, you can only blame yourself instead of someone you do not even know. If the only way for you to make a decision is up to us...that is a bad choice on your part.

Find somebody who has one that you can spend some time on. That is the only logical way for you to decide.


im not asking for someone to make up my mind for me. im just wanting someone to help me out with knowing i can race this bike and have no problem keeping up with people who have 2strokers

Motoman- the 426 IS way different than a smoker on a motocross track. There is a learning curve but I don't know of anyone who hasn't liked it better in the end. The main difference is the compression braking, which is a plus in turns but not so much the first time you endo on a long jump. It also is more work on tight tracks, where the extra weight and higher center of gravity comes into play. In the air it feels very light, in fact I came off a YZ250 before my 426 and I like this one better for jumping. It is a great bike but if you intend to race MX be prepared to spend a little time getting used to it. As for maintenance, don't compare what you read here to what will actually happen to your bike. You have to remember that forums like these are places we come to ask questions about our maintenance issues so you'll see alot of what seems like problems when they really aren't. I know I wouldn't trade my bike for a smoker, but if I had 2 bikes I think the CR250...... and that new Raptor.... well anyway, good luck.


if i get pretty god at the bike will it have any problem keeping up with a 2stroke? like say my friend rides just as good as i do and hes got a 2stroke. will i be able to keep up with him? ive been riding 2strokes and never a 4stroke. all my friends pretty much bash 4strokes saying tgetre trail bikes. but i want something different and the 426 kinda applead to me so im just making sure ill be able to handle things like that befor purchasing it

Honestly, there are sections of the track where you will pull away from them like they are riding a moped. Then, there are sections of the track where they will either gain back or pass you. Once I got used to mine, I can keep up or pull away from them in every section on the track, even in the whoops.

Like Mike said, there is a learning process that goes along with riding a stroker. When I got a good feel for mine, I was two seconds a lap faster than on my YZ250. It is a very comfortable jumper. I can jump mine farther than I ever have a 2 stroke. I corner better but, on real tight tracks the extra weight comes into play late in the race. The better shape I am in the less the weight plays into it. Starts are great because you can roll the back tire off of the concrete while the 2 strokes are spinning theirs.

After I got my 400, I never even rode my 250 again...I sold it to a friend. Now I have a 01 426 that is much better than my 400 was. I think you'll like it once you get used to it. They work especially well for those of us who are going through the mid life crisis thing cause we are not in as good of shape as we should be.


how does the acceleration feel to you compared to a 2stroke?

217, you just aren't getting it. The 426 is FAST. It will outdrag a 250 almost every time. If you buy a 426 and you can't keep up with your friends on 250's, you aren't twisting it hard enough.

Motoman, I have a question for you, how tall and heavy are you? This bike dose not favor shorter riders, it sits tall and the extra weight is much harder to handel when your on your tip toes. If your 5' 10 or better go for it. The power curve on a thumper is the biggist appeal in my book. It starts making power right away, pulls hard untill red line, always availible. You dont have to worry about pulling the clutch in slowing down, dropping one or two gears and wondering if youll be in the powerband just after the turn when you need to hit a jump or loft the front over a bump or log. If you have a buddy with a 600cc or better sport street bike, grab your helmet and get on the back, hold on tight, and ask him to show you what its like.! :)

Yeah, if you're pretty tall, go for the 426, otherwise you will wear yourself out trying to get a good "whump" on the kicker. They take a fair amount of grunt. (not bad though) See my post wayy up there...where my dad and I converted over to our 520 and 426 from 94 and 95 250 2 strokes.

If you snap the throttle, slam the clutch, and lock the rear brake on the 2 strokes, you WILL NEED TO CHANGE YOUR STYLE. YOU WILL BE SLOWER ON THE 4 stroke. I loved doing that. I would block pass and everything else with the 2 stroke. The 4's just don't have the quick snappy throttle. However, I have been able, in EVERY ASPECT to this date, been able to outdo my jumping, sliding (powerslides), overall speed, top speed, stability, and control with my 520. Personally, my 2 stroke will be for sale as of August, and I will most likely never go back to a 2 stroke.

Is one bike really faster than another though? Nah, not in my opinion. I can go faster on my 4 stroke, but a more experienced rider could (and has) wholloped me on an 80 (as long as I can't get on the gas from tightness). SO, if you're not 5th gear wide open....it's not really the bike, to a degree.

I don't think you'd be dissapointed, but think about your style.

Snappy throttle/clutch slip/block pass style - a 2 stroke.

Rolling throttle/coasting turns/smooth, sliding entry\exits - 4 stroke.

People agree with that?

Imagine a 2 stroke that always in the powerband and sounds like a dragster. Thats a 426. Also, mine starts on the 1st or 2nd kick and is much easier to start than my Rm250. If the procedure is done correctly, it only takes a smooth push on the kick start lever. If its tough to kick, you should position the kick start lever a few more degrees past top dead center.


ok sorry guys but one more question. my friend told me that even though 2strokes accelerate faster. that the YZ426 would have no problem catching back up to it or even passing it because of all the torque it has. is this true? thanks again for answering all my stupid questions. ive ridden 2strokes for so long that im curious about this bike and its abilitys

In the beginning of your post you mentioned your weight at 215lbs. If that is true you may need your suspension resprung and valved. I am 230lbs and 6'2" and the money I spent on the suspension was the best spent by far. As far as the accel goes I am a new to racing and have been able to pull the hole shot out of 15 guys on the line pretty easy. where the 426 is at a disadvantage is the weight. You cant block pass and clutch like a 2 stroke. It requires a little more speed though the corner. Again I am new to the racing so this is only my perspective. I have seen guys rock these bikes. I just don't twist the beast enough :) good luck.

is there anyone else whos raced their bike that can give me information on what they think...and their opinion of how the bike handles in every aspect against a 2stroke

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