Any older 426 riders ?

I just bought a new YZ 426 and I am 43 years old. I rode a bunch in my youth, curious to how much this is gonna hurt and how limited I will be due to my age. I am excited to get out there, but ordered my helmet etc. and they are in the mail. Just looking at the bike is nice feeling. Ah... to be in love again!! Any older riders out there with stories ..advice..?


You may be surprised to hear, that you are the average guy, here at ThumperTalk. Many of us are 35+ and returning to riding after years away.

Here's a few of my observations after returning to riding after a 20+ year break.

The ground is just as hard.

I get more sore.

It takes longer to recover.

The bike is AWESOME :)

It's great incentive to get into shape.

It's as much, or more fun.

Speed is relative, I get huge air and rail (at least that's what it feels like, till some kid on a 80 blows past me :D)

The bike is AWESOME :D

Don't scrimp on riding gear, enjoy and welcome!



99 WR400f, YZ timed, MX-Tech suspension, Scotts steering damper, White Bros E-Series (12 discs), tapered header and a/f. Kouba T-handle for the fuel screw. Works Connection billet throttle tube and frame guards. Cycra Pro-Bend, triple clamp mount handguards. Thumper Racing rad guards, Renthal Jimmy Button highs, YZ Tank and IMS seat, YZ number plate, odo removed, EKP, 48PJ, 175MJ at 500-1000' Thanks James Dean!


42 here Rick,Its more fun now than it was when I was 15. Kinda nice being able to afford the things I couldn't years ago.Getting and staying in shape is a must if you want to compete,its still fun if you don't want to race it.

I'm 44 and never stopped riding.

Rick, you'll love this bike, just take it easy till you feel confident enough to push it.

Something to consider are some knee braces, check out the post on this.

I am down for 6 months due to a torn acl. All I did was bang my foot in a turn when the front wheel washed out.

Also make sure you warm up and stretch out before you ride, these old muscles and joints are not as flexible anymore.

41 here


I'm 45 and currently recovering from a knee injury. I have been riding motorcycles since I was 9. I cannot imagine life without a dirtbike. Whether it is racing or simply cruising around the trails with the wife and kids, I truely enjoy my time on the bike.

Remember this, age (in numbers) is a subjective term. You are only as old as you want or allow yourself to be. I race with guys that are over 70. I hope I'm still alive by then!!!!!


Rick, welcome. As you can see, you are not out of place. I am 42. I raced when I was 15 to 17, had the old yellow Yamaha monoshock 125. Went off to college and never found the time or money after I graduated to get back into it. Got into soccer, rock climbing, and then triathlons (was 53rd overall, 20th American one year at the Hawaii Ironman). I was hit by a drunk driver on my bike, and my back went bad about age 35 and I could not ride in the cramped triathlon position anymore. I started mountain biking. The mountain bike downhill was so much fun. Mountain biking made me start thinking about dirt bikes again. So in 96 I got a wr250. In 98 I graduated to a kx250, and started racing hare scrambles. In 99 I bought a YZ400, it was the most awesome bike, I did not think they could get any better (that is until I rode a 426). I placed 3rd in the series in my class on it and was psyched (considering I was fairly talentless this was a good accomplishment for me). This year I bought a YZ426, and have started racing MX (which I think kind of sucks the way they do it here, lots of waiting around in the heat to race for TEN minutes at a time!) Also bought a WR250F, and started doing enduros. They are pretty cool, you get to do alot of riding, but very little air). Our HS are long distance motocross, held in the fall and winter, they are the best! Despite a 10 place finish in last years series (the dreaded plug fouling syndrome so many of us had last winter) I am really looking forward to the HS season again.

Welcome, dont be afraid to get out there and do an event. It will make you feel 18 again!

OH, one more thing. The guys above telling you to get knee braces-LISTEN TO THEM! I have CTIs, dont ride or skii without them, and no injuries yet. My family has glass knees, I watched my brother deal with the ACL/cadaver tendon thing. We are too old for that. BUY them! Mine are wearing out and I am going to go for the Asterisk when Bush sends me my refund check.

hey- I forgot about that refund check! should just about cover a couple of knee braces and after I get some of those I'll look like a football player with all that armor on!

I'm 44, started racing this year after 25 years off a dirtbike. It's a blast but as the others say - get all the protection you can buy. Small injuries take at least 6 weeks to heal, big ones ???

It's funny if you think about it. Alot of people can't enjoy anything when there younger because they can't afford it. Now that you can afford it you may be to old to enjoy it!

But I don't care how old I get I'm going to enjoy it if it kills me. :)


39 here, and had not ridden since I was a kid! Bought a YZ426F, and i'm a kid again! You'll love it. It's a great way to enjoy family time too. Ditto on getting as much protective gear as you can. Just go at your own pace and enjoy it. Great incentive to get in shape. :)

40 years old here i have been riding again for about a year and half last weekend at village creek mx on friday night i did the infield double tripple and the west side 80 ft double went to lk whitney on sunday and did my first double ,tripple ,tripple combination it was the best feeling i have had in years

41 one here. Been riding since I was 12. I think the ground is harder now. Maybe I just don't bounce as well. I wear just about all the gear possible (elbow pads,chest protector, fox riding shorts with the pads, etc.). The 400f has brought back the true fun of riding for me.



99'YZ-400 (Mine)

00' TT-R 125 (Hers)

91' KX-125 (Son #1)

93' CR-80 (Just sold it. Looking for another TTR125 for Son #2)

99' PW-80 (Son #3)

A follow up to mikeochliney's post above, I did a little looking and here's the link to those asterisk knee braces he mentioned if anybody's interested:

Looks like you can order from them directly and the price aint bad either- $549 a pair.

Read several replies to your post. Guess I might be the old man here (am most places!) I will be 53 this month. I used to race BSA 441 Victors - before there were many 2 strokes around. Haven't ridden dirt bikes for about 25 years. Got a used 2000 426 a couple of month ago.

I copied this from a email I sent to a best friend in Canada - also a 53 year old with a RMX 250 "...Found out several things

1) can't ride slow (never could)

2) too old to ride fast

3) that "body armor" stuff is really neat

Remember when the best protective gear was a helmet (round), hunting boots and a tee shirt?"

Haven't enjoyed a toy more in lots of years.

Have fun & be careful!

Rick- 38 here. Rode my first race last year and I'm still in one piece, and still racing. Every time I think I might start acting my age and stop racing I'll go out and have a good race, so I'm thinking I'm in it for good. I usually race on either friday or saturday night and spend the next day laying around and healing up. One thing I've learned is to wear ALL the gear you can get on, with a bare minumum of a good pair of boots and a chest protector. Good luck and when they tell you to "just have fun" or "be safe" just look at them and grin...


Oh yea I'm part of the Geritol set, will turn 43 in August. Never been w/o a dirtbike since I was about 13. It keeps me sane when everything else in the world could be crumbling around me.

The guys are right, do not scrimp on Protection, it can save you. Ride within your limits, Jeremy and Ricky are not gonna be looking over their shoulder for ya.

And above all HAVE FUN!!



[This message has been edited by TStates (edited 07-08-2001).]

[iam 36 just went out today on my 01 YZ426 for my first real ride. I have not rode dirt in 12 yrs. What a load of fun, I truely did miss the dirt, and WOW what a beast of a bike! I really love the thumper and know I would not go back to a smoker. My buddy was on a 00 YZ250 and he could not come close to keeping up with the big thumper. Glad to hear from all the other old farts out there. My tail bone is very sore now I think I will go out and buy some more safety gear, The more the better for these old bones. You all ride hard,, but safe, and roost those youngsters when they try to go past. Thane. ]

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