for what it's worth, a year ago i was in the exact same place you are asking the same exact questions. long story short, i bought the yz426f and haven't looked back. it's been incredibly dependable, fun, and easy to maintain. it has more power than you'll ever need, and you might want to take it easy and adjust to the power it puts out until you're comfortable. long story short......get the 426.....you won't regret it!!!