YZ400 opinions - new rider


11 replies to this topic
  • dcg4403

Posted June 16, 2004 - 06:46 PM

#1

First off, yes, I've used the searched feature and have read several valuable posts similar to this topic.

I've got the MX bug. Been riding my brother's CR250 so I now must have a dirtbike. Quickly, I've been riding sportbikes since the age of 17 (10 years now). I have track experience, owned 7 total sportbikes including two GSXR1100s and my most current & cherry ZX-11.
I've only owned two dirt bikes. A 98 XR400 and a 88 CR500 and wouldn't consider myself a very experienced dirt rider but I'm pretty comfortable on them considering my lack of riding hours off-road. The CR500 was the craziest thing I've ever been on period. I sold it pretty quickly and felt lucky to walk away from it. So as you can tell, I lean towards big bore and heavier bikes.
I'm wanting to know what you guys think about buying a YZ400 vs a YZ426 vs a race modified 2-stroke. I'll be riding some track and some trails. I want something with balls but have a limited budget. I'm told the YZ400 will take most 2-strokes and has plenty of power. I like to be able to open up a throttle and experience a major rush. However, I don't want a tank and would hope to have some good handling compared to the XR400 (a power starved tank in my mind). Yes, I sound like an immature squid but not totally the case. Finally, I'm 6'4" and weigh 210lbs so height is a big issue to me.

Thanks,

Devin
01 Kawasaki ZX-11
01 Dodge Off-road 4x4
74 Custom Build Jeep CJ-5 Rockcrawler

  • oldnbold

Posted June 23, 2004 - 11:03 AM

#2

there is a marked difference between these 3 bikes. You should try and ride all 3 and base your opinion on that.

the most radical is the 03 450 yam. the 400 is the msot mellow. the 426 has the best of both. Ride them and then see which one you gotta have.

  • rush66

Posted June 23, 2004 - 12:22 PM

#3

the 400 or the 426 will be way mellow powerwise compared to the cr500 but these bikes have some serious balls. i was in the budget crisis too and couldn't find a decent 426 so i bought a 400 i use it for track and trail i love it i think i'll love it alittle more after it becomes a 426 or a 440 but its an all around great bike that will keep up with the 250s and im 6'3 200lbs and it fits me fine :thumbsup:

  • Ga426owner

Posted June 23, 2004 - 12:30 PM

#4

I would stay away from the 400 & 426. (I have owned both of them)As a newer rider you will be frustrated with the starting - finding top dead center everytime to kickstart, especially in the woods(sorry 400/426 owners)as well as the weight. If you want to go 4 stroke get a 03 450 Yamaha or a 450 Honda - 2002's are cheap right now. You will be happier :thumbsup:

  • Shane_Bettin

Posted June 23, 2004 - 05:36 PM

#5

ya i own 99 400 and it rips. i haven't had any trouble with it as i maintain it pretty good. as the for the staring i didn't have a problem with the drill at all. it started first kick almost all the time. i did install in the 03/04 exhaust cam which elimated the decompression lever. that was probably one of the best you could do to that bike. the drill wasn't a big a deal but not having to do it is awesome, just giver a good kick and itll start first kick most of the time. ive riden a crf450 and those bikes are pretty crazy. not that its to much but theres a big dif. is power. never riden a yz450 but have heard they are pretty nuts, couple pros told me they are to much for some tracks, just the way the power is delivered, im sure anyone could get used to it soon enough. i love the 400, it seems like the right amount of power. im an intermidiate rider, mostly track. alot of ppl say that they weigh lots but i don't really notice it unless i hop on my buddys 250f, which is pretty underpowered for me. one of the problems with the 400s or 426s is there could be an off idle off bog, meaning if let off the gas and crack it again it bogs out usually pretty bad. there are a few mods you can do to fix that. putting a wheel collar on the accelerator pump is one of them, i had a slight bog and installed the JD needle and that alone fixed it. good luck with your choice.

  • yzf400man

Posted June 23, 2004 - 05:58 PM

#6

I would stay away from the 400 & 426. (I have owned both of them)As a newer rider you will be frustrated with the starting - finding top dead center everytime to kickstart, especially in the woods(sorry 400/426 owners)as well as the weight. If you want to go 4 stroke get a 03 450 Yamaha or a 450 Honda - 2002's are cheap right now. You will be happier :thumbsup:



......... or you could just get used to starting them (its not that hard i have a '99 400) and buy a kick stand (80 bucks OOOOHHH mmaan thats goin to break the bank)
there is still weight but i'd rather have a few extra pounds then spend alot more money.

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  • LJ

Posted June 24, 2004 - 05:23 AM

#7

I use my YZ400 mostly for trails and I love it. It has so much low end that climbing nasty hills is so easy. I came off of an RM250 and the YZ400 is so much more fun to ride. As far as the weight goes, I really don't notice it that much accept for picking it up after I fall, or loading it in the truck. In some cases, I think the weight is not such a dissadvantage. The ratio of un-sprung weight to sprung weight is lower (un-sprung weight is wheels and tires, swing arm, brakes...etc, sprung weight is engine, frame...etc) and therefore the suspension is more reactive to small inputs, like how a big heavy cadillac rides so much better than vw on a bumby road. In otherwords, my bike sucks up the trail junk better than any bike I've ever owned.

I've ridden a YZ426 briefly and liked it also, but not enough to compare the two.

I don't think you'll be dissappointed in either the 400 or the 426.

  • tricky

Posted June 24, 2004 - 06:15 AM

#8

I had my 400 for about a year and a half and I love the bike. The starting drill if tough for some, but I feel if you have good leverage you can get it started in one kick. My drill is usually step on the kick starter until it stops, pull the decomp lever it just to drop the kick starter a little pass TDC and then give it a good kick. Unless I flood the bike or my carb is dirty...it fires up fast then other bikes I have seen. But its mostly about leverage. The power on the bike is great, not too much but can be for certain tracks. The weight isnt a big deal UNTIL you get it covered it mud. You can definately feel it. Other then that, its a great bike...6' 220#

  • Fly-nBri

Posted June 24, 2004 - 11:09 AM

#9

Love my 400! Keep it clean and maintained and you will too!

  • MaxAZ

Posted June 25, 2004 - 01:46 PM

#10

I love my 400. I use it almost exclusively on tight nasty rocky trails and it's got plenty of torque. It's tuned just right and starting is no problem. My buddy wishes his 426 started so good. I am tempted to add a little flywheel weight sometimes if it stalls climbing boulders. But since it fires on the first kick it's no big deal. If weights a big deal, skip breakfast for cryin' out loud!

  • Glen_T

Posted June 25, 2004 - 08:35 PM

#11

Hi dcg,
Been a long time since I've been on this board, but for what it's worth, I would choose a Honda, but if you must buy a Yamaha (the ergos are better for us tall people) I would stay away from a 2000 YZ426. I replaced an 88' CR5 (most reliable beast I ever owned. Eye opening headshake though) when I bought my 00 426. Sold it in 03 because of the trouble I had with it. I planned on keeping it at least 10 years. I got a lemon, but everyone I know who has/had this year has had some unorthodox troubles. Most of the problems were fixed (I think) in 01. I'll never ride anything but red again, but I loved my YZ when it wasn't spread out all over the garage in pieces. Good luck,
Glen

  • Hick

Posted June 25, 2004 - 09:05 PM

#12

I'm wanting to know what you guys think about buying a YZ400 vs a YZ426 vs a race modified 2-stroke. I'll be riding some track and some trails. I want something with balls but have a limited budget.


Given that you know your way around a motorcycle (I would hope) a YZ 400 could be a great buy for you. Try to find a '99 that hasn't seen too much use, the YZ400 was way ahead of its time and is going to be much easier to ride, and easier to go fast on, than your typical 2 stroke, particularly a "modified" one (most any stock MX bike is going to be plenty fast, even for a big guy, remember it ain't just the motor that was scary on your CR 500, the chassis shares some of the blame).

As was already mentioned, you are probably better off avoiding the introductory '00 426, look for an '01 or '02. The few glitches in the '98 and '00 models were mostly dealt with the following year.

As for starting a 400/426, any rider w/ a modicum of mechanical ability will learn to start a them easily and consistently, but most folks will have a little trouble at first (particularly relighting the bike after stalls).

If you can afford a used CRF then by all means get one, but on a bang-for-the-buck basis nothing can touch a YZ400 (426 a close second).

Having said that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend a '99 (or newer) YZ 250, a great bike even by today's standards (and much lighter of course than a 400/426).

Keep in mind that unlike road bikes it doesn't take much $$ to get a dirt bike "ready" for hard riding on the track (or trail). I would shy away from anything described as "race modified." Stock is best.

Hope this helps.





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