Which YZF to buy?

12 replies to this topic
  • ben_suhard

Posted February 11, 2002 - 05:12 AM


Sorry to bother you guys, but I'd really appreciate any tips or advice you can offer.

I'll be honest and say that I'm not really a Yamaha fan because I know people who have had problems with them and I've never had a (major)problem with Kawasaki, which is all I've ever owned. I don't want another 2stroke though.

I've considered getting a KTM or CRF (Kawi don't have a nice big 4stroke), but after riding an 01 YZF426 a couple of weeks ago and listening to fellow riders and reading reviews, I really want to get a 426. The handling is unbeatable for MX and fast track stuff.


I have been reading posts on this discussion board to get an idea of any problems and I'll keep checking them out, but a bit of help from you guys would be great.

1. Are there any problems with any of the models of the YZF426 that I should watch out for or be a reason not to get one, (I know that's a pretty dumb question to ask you lot seeing as you love your bikes)?

2. What would be the best year model to get if buying second hand (I'm assuming the later the better) or what year(s) should I keep away from (the 400 seems to have a few little problems that have been addressed in later models)?

I'm pretty set on getting one and most likely will, but I'd appreciate your honest opinions.

Thanks for your time.

  • fastkevin

Posted February 11, 2002 - 05:34 AM


The 2000 seems to be the red-headed stepchild of the bunch, but I think it's still nit picking. I have an '01 and have had zero problems. Before that I had a '98 with no problems( I flogged the piss out of this bike too). Having ridden them all (except the '02), IMO the '01's suspension is light years ahead of the rest.
One last thing: Keep in mind, that of the perceived "problems" you see posted , a lot are complete B.S., others are blown out of proportion, and some are caused by the owner/rider. When you see one posted, look to see how long they've been a "member"

  • john.hilton@cape.k12.de.u

Posted February 11, 2002 - 05:44 AM


I would agree with Fastkevin.

I also have an 01' that I've had ZERO problems with.

A friend of mine has an 00' that seems to have a small bog, even after the BK mod. Also, the brakes and suspension on the 01' feel a lot better. ( to me anyhow. )


  • Odie

Posted February 11, 2002 - 06:15 AM


Hey - I have an 00'426 and it's by no means a red-headed step child. She's SWEEEET! But yes - some people seem to have some troubles with the 00' model. Some had problems with the clutch. But like fastkevin stated, most of these problems were rider induced. This is not a 2-stroke - STAY OFF THE CLUTCH.

Anyway - if I were you, I'd maybe try to find an 01' model. Obviously, with yearly updates to suspensions or so, the newer the better. But regardless of which year and model you buy, you won't be dissappointed.


  • ben_suhard

Posted February 11, 2002 - 10:06 PM


Thanks Kevin, John, and Odie, sounds pretty good so far.

I've been trying to work out how I can get one as soon as possible, but depending on what price I have to pay, it's up in the air at the moment. With house repayments and car repayments aswell, I may just have to get rid of my new ute and get my old pintara on the road again, but it's a price I'm willing to pay, dirtbikes do come before cars in my book!

I have a friend at work who's father is in Japan at the moment buying cars for his wrecking yard over here in Oz. He can buy dirt bikes while he's there so I'm hoping that he can get a 426 there and hopefully really cheap (then I can keep my ute). I should know in a few days or so, and as you can understand, I'm pretty anxious to hear from him.

Thanks again.

  • h_bomb

Posted February 11, 2002 - 11:42 AM


Go with the 426 there bullet proof. :)

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  • ben_suhard

Posted February 14, 2002 - 06:42 AM


Ok, H bomb, you've talked me into it, it's just a matter of time now (sometime this year, hopefully soon), then I'll be hassling everyone here.

I know that you guys have no trouble starting your bikes, but when I had to start that 426 a couple of weeks ago, I couldn't believe how hard it was to kick! The bike had been sitting there (about 20 mins I think)a while after my friend's last ride, but he insisted that I use the 'hot start'.

I'm thinking that maybe it took a few kicks because it wasn't getting enough fuel. Unlike other bikes, it didn't even make a sound (that I could hear with my helmet on anyway)until it actually fired up, I'm used to bikes at least making a bit of a warble when I kick them! I'm gonna have to learn the proper starting procedure!

When I took it for a spin, I was on the clutch the whole time, making sure that I wouldn't stall it and have a loooong walk back if I couldn't get it started. I was petrified of dropping it in a corner and flooding it, which would make it even harder to get it started!

  • lco

Posted February 14, 2002 - 07:17 AM


. . . first day starting, you learn alot, but once you get the rythem (tdc, decompresion lever, one inch down, start it up) it truly is easy. Rest assured, it's not bad. They manual says something like, choke only when it's cold. . . maybe it's the cold weather but if it's been off for more than a minute, I use it with great results. Hope that helps.


  • sirthumpalot

Posted February 14, 2002 - 08:37 AM


I'm in the "the newer the better" boat, but the main reasons that I would get at least an '01 is there is no bog without the BK mod done and there is no problem with the counter balancer key going bad (the key was replaced with a splined shaft, more heavy duty). I don't remember if the clutch was an issue for the '00 models (or was it only 99' and earlier?) but my '01 has a great clutch with no grabiness at all. All years seem to be very successful models and I'm sure these problems are the exception and not the norm, but this is what I've taken from reading messages here and from experience with my own '01. I have never ridden any other model year.

Starting after a fall is typically no sweat once you know the drill.

  • Odie

Posted February 14, 2002 - 09:28 AM



I can relate to your concerns regarding the starting. I was also concerned about that - very concerned. All I can say is - once you learn the drill, it's no longer an issue. You won't even think about it. When you first bring home the thumper, practice the drill. Purposely stall the bike and practice that. Sh!t - I even layed her down on her side and practiced that. No problem. It's definitely different from what you are used to and it does require some patience but you'll get it.

My friends can't start my bike and guess what - I like it that way.


  • Boit

Posted February 14, 2002 - 09:34 PM


Being the owner of a '00 model, I need to respond. So far I've only experienced some clutch grabbiness which I solved with a Hinson basket. I have a very good friend who also owns a '00 and he's notorious for neglecting routine maintenance to the extreme. It amazes me that his 426 has had no mechanical failures. Other owners of this particular model have had back-to-back problems such as 4th gear failures, rear hub crumbling, counter balancer shaft key wear, clutch problems, etc. Maybe my friend and I lucked out and got "good ones".

  • meangreen75

Posted February 14, 2002 - 10:01 PM


Hey Boit I've got a 00' as well and have had only one minor problem. I've had backfiring as long as I can remember. While this isn't exactly preferred, it hasn't really affected much. I've gotten advice on what to do and I'm looking into to it. ie. Richer on the carb. Hasn't really helped. But the bike is great and I would recomend it to anyone.

  • ben_suhard

Posted February 15, 2002 - 10:07 PM


Thanks again y'all for the replies, I'm taking it all in.

As for the backfiring, is this when you back off of the throttle? I recently read that it is caused by having a lean mix of fuel in the exhaust, causing it to detonate. Your jetting can be spot on and you may still get backfiring.

I too was concerned about backfiring on my bike, but it only really started happening after I took out the baffle. Read on.

This is the reason why it happens:
The exhaust valves are still open when the piston starts descending, causing air to be sucked in through the end of the pipe. The more open your exhaust end is, the more air can be sucked in, the more chance of having a lean mix with the unburnt fuel in the exhaust gases, the more chance of detonation.

I guess that 'yes', a richer fuel mix may help the issue, and also a lower idle, but who wants that, it'll just stall easier!

I've been wanting to know that for a while now, and finally I know. I'm relieved.

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