WR426 vs. DRZ400

15 replies to this topic
  • jlsutton

Posted August 22, 2001 - 05:02 PM


I've learned a great deal from this forum concerning the WR and YZ flavors of Yamaha dirt bikes (Thanks FPilot...). I've reviewed the DRZ forum and understand the pros, cons and bias's of the DRZ crowd.

Now it's your chance. For you WR426 owners who have experience with the DRZ, what advice or input do you have. I will be purchasing a new bike shortly, but I really appreciate hearing from those with experience.


  • jamracing

Posted August 23, 2001 - 05:01 AM


In short:
1. The DRZ has squishy suspension, the WR has superb suspension.
2. The DRZ's motor will probably last longer, and has a starter motor. The WR has a monster motor, but no magic button, and requires more maintainence.
3. The DRZ was designed to be a fun trailbike (it replaced the DR350), the WR was designed to be a racebike.
4. The DRZ is heavier. The WR is less...
5. The DRZ is cheaper.
5. Out of the box, you will need to spend less on the WR, unless you like the DRZ's squishy forks/shock.
Bottom line is, what ever floats your boat, and what r u going to be doing with the bike.
I hope I cleared some confusion.

01' WR426
99' YZ400
87' FZR1000
Uh, like twist the throttle...

  • Gobbler801

Posted August 23, 2001 - 05:19 AM


It really depends on you. If you don't want to kickstart a bike, the DRZ is for you. If you are a horsepower junkie, the DRZ is not for you. I have a 01WR426. I have it jetted good, no airbox lid, Uni filter, cut throttle stop, YZ timed, and a white bros E series pro meg shorty. My bike rips. One of my good friends has a DRZ. You ride it after riding mine, and you will want nothing to do with it. I have a friend with a 00 KX500 with quite a few mods. He rode my bike and was happy with the power. He then rode the DRZ. His response after riding the DRZ was "what a turd" "It would make a good boat anchor". Granted the bike is not a turd, it is a nice bike, but if you are a fast agressive rider, WR is for you. If you are a guy who just likes to plunk around, the DRZ is great. Just be honest with yourself.

  • Sean_McCutcheon

Posted August 23, 2001 - 05:56 AM


My brother bought the kickstart model of the DRZ and has had a lot of trouble with it. Another friend has the E Start model and it seems to run really great. The reason my brother had trouble with his is because two wires came disconected some how and it didn't want to run after it got hot, but after we connected those wires together it has ran great. Both of these guys have the FMF Powercore IV Pipe on there bikes which made a big difference, but still don't compare to the WR that is for sure. I heard the Yoshimura is a good pipe for the DRZ, but it is pretty pricey. If you buy a DRZ I recomend the first thing you buy is Radiator guards because the radiators on those bikes are really weak. From experience with both of these bikes I would recomend the WR.

  • *mike68*

Posted August 23, 2001 - 06:39 AM


It's really tought to get an unbiased opinion no matter which side you post. They are both nice bikes and both are fun to ride. E-start is really nice. There are guys that race the DRZ and do well, but there are more people racing WR's. If you are looking for an out of the box, semi race ready machine, the WR is for you. If you are looking to go out, ride technical trails at a good pace both will do fine. If you are going to be a casual rider, I would stay away from the WR because the WR suspension works best when ridden hard. Good Luck

  • cetris

Posted August 23, 2001 - 07:20 AM


Ouch, that "what a turd" comment hurt...do you really think it is that bad? I have been riding a KTM 360 for 5 years, and now have a DRZ. No, it's not the beast that the KTM is, but I gotta tell ya, I am impressed with this 4-stroke. Dirt bike did a 4-stroke shootout last year and said that the DRZ motor (with a pipe) could possibly be the best in the test, which included WR's, RFS's, 'Bergs, etc. Of course they hated the suspension, but for hard charging in the woods (I'm ~170 Lb), it seems to work great for me. I also like the fact that, with some jetting mods and the restrictor pulled out of the air box, that it runs this good with the stock QUIET pipe. I got my kick version for $5000 OTD. It usually starts first kick....I have had it since December 2000 and have never used the hot start button- just haven't needed it yet. Having said that, I'll also that I am a Yamaha fan, and if it hadn't been for the difference in $ (~$1000), and the fact that you HAVE to pull the restrictor out of the WR pipe to get it to run strong, and then it gets obnoxiously loud, I probably would have bought one. Hopefully I will have the chance to ride one some day and compare.


  • xr600r

Posted August 23, 2001 - 02:27 PM


forget all of the above , and buy a ktm
400 exc rfs......pretty simple huh ?

  • Dirk_Diggler

Posted August 23, 2001 - 09:34 PM


KTM 520 RFS - Even simpler

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  • J.T.

Posted April 21, 2002 - 03:19 PM


You have all got me pondering all over again. Maybe the 400 exc is the bike for me ??

  • northernryder

Posted April 22, 2002 - 03:07 AM


wr 426 will stomp on a 400 exc, no problem. the 520 on the other hand is pretty close to a 426 but the price sure ain't!

  • lewichris

Posted April 22, 2002 - 04:38 AM


try finding parts and buying new breaklevers for your KTM. That is one thing you need to look at brfore buying a KTM. Very nice but very expencive. I tode a 426 for the first time on sunday. i have a 400. Holly crap. The 26 cc make a huge difference. WOW i liked it.

  • BRIAN400

Posted April 22, 2002 - 07:31 AM


I,m a DRZ-E owner thats has ridden both the 426 , the WR 400 and my sisters YZ250f. Out of all four bikes I like my sisters 250f. I'm not a racer by any means so the power of the 426 is wasted to me.The DRZ is a lead turd on the track but very comfortable at moderately high trail speeds. The WR426 however is a ripper. If you are going to ride scary fast get the 426 if you are just going out to have trail fun get the DRZ. If you want to do a mix of track and trail you can't beat the light weight of the 250F. If they put automatic decompression on the 250 my DRZ is gettin traded. I found myself getting braver[dumber?] hitting the jumps on her bike I just love how light it is with very usable power. For tight trail riding the 250 is it. Wide open gettin it...the 426. Nice leisure trail riding..the DRZ-e.
Figure out how you are going to use it and buy the appropriate machine.

Other choices:KTM 400/520
Canondale 440c/e[big money]
I've not ridden either of these bikes but they sound good.

P.S. I love my DRZ no problems just to heavy.Plenty of power too.

  • racemile

Posted April 22, 2002 - 08:46 AM



This is the choice I was faced with. I am not a racer, however, I may do some enduros this year.

I bought the WR 426.

1. Lots more power than the DRZ. At 245 and 6'1" I wanted to make sure I had the power to get up the big hills.

2. Lots of rave reviews on the bike itself.

3. Common bike, lots of parts available. Most needed parts are usually on a dealers shelf, not 8 weeks away in sweden.

4. I wanted to try riding the toughest horse on the barn. You are usually never dis-satisfied if you buy the top of the line.

5. This bike is so popular that I knew if I didnt like it, I would be able to trade it back for just about anything else.

End result, I really like the WR426, but I only have 10 hours on the bike. It is making me relearn how to ride. The bikes abundance of power has made me change my riding style to suit the bike. All I really do is woods riding.

Bottom line, the jury is still out. If I can adapt my riding style and tame this beast, there is nothing this machine wont do in the woods. If not, I will be looking at the 03 DRZ.


  • Private_Joker

Posted April 22, 2002 - 09:42 PM


Take all this great advice and then try to plan on how and where you'll be riding in a year or so. Unless you've been riding steadily and consistently for a while, you'll be a more experienced and aggressive rider after several months of riding.

I realized after having not ridden for about 25 years and then having my DRZ for 2 years, that I wanted something that was lighter and could handle more agressive terrain. I ended up with the 250F and couldn't be any happier.

The DRZ is great for trail riding and an outstanding dual sport bike.

  • jschner

Posted April 22, 2002 - 04:11 PM


One thing I can say about the DRZ is it is a tractor. It's not a bad hill climber when you have a lot of technical stuff to navigate.

I'll throw another bike out there for you to consider.

The 2002 Cannondale C440 or E440.

-Awesome Ohlins suspension revalved by Pro-Action. Huge range of adjustment.
-Smooth power for woods or can be re-mapped for MX.
-Comes stock with liquid clutch, O-ring chain, talon sprockets and hubs, Magura bars, skid plate, hand guards, Michellin S12's.
-Only 268lbs with 2 gallons of fuel and e-start.
-Quick release seat and no tool air filter.
-Unbeatable customer support.
-And the list goes on.

The Dale will do both trail or MX and has the smoothest powerband I have felt in a dirtbike. The "E" map pulls smoothly from idle to 11,500 rpms and makes the bike deceivingly quick. The throttle is very snappy, it doesn't have a choke, it doesn't flood when dumped, doesn't need any jetting changes with altitude changes, and mine starts in about one second everytime. 5 secs when cold.

All the bikes mentioned above are great and fun to ride. I prefer my buddies WR for fun over a friends DRZ except on the hills. But my Dale has been an been a blast and is raising my confidence level much quicker. The thing jumps like a gazelle in the woods. And turns ion a dime at the top of a berm.

Couple things the Dale is lacking so far is a wide ratio cassette, and some aftermarket things like larger fuel tank. But I hear they are in the works.

If anything the Cannondale is worth a test ride. Also, a lot of big guys like the bike with the stock suspension. Something to consider.

All this typing has got me wanting to go riding.

Good Luck and Later!

  • CAB

Posted April 23, 2002 - 05:56 AM


I've got 3300 mi. of rough singletrack and two track on my DRZ. This bike shines in the gnarly, slow, rocky stuff. For high speed desert riding, hare scrambles, etc... I'd go with the WR. The DRZ could be good but would require more mods that the Yamaha to be fun at high speeds. The DRZ is like the XR, the more tired you get, the easier the bike is to ride- the same definitely cannot be said of the WR. The KTM is sweeter than both but requires more $$ and maintenance.


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