What would be a better bike for hillclimbing?


40 replies to this topic
  • YZLEE

Posted April 11, 2006 - 01:32 PM

#1

Alright people, I'm looking for a little advice here. I have a '01 YZ 426 with a Dr. D exhaust and a 450 exhaust cam in it. It has all the power I need on tracks and trails, but I like to climb hills. That's where it comes up a little short in the power department and I also start to notice the extra weight.

I want to do some competitive climbing this summer and would like to know if anyone thinks an early year YZ 450 would be a noticeable improvement?
(I don't have enough money for a '06, more like a 2003 or 2004) I don't really want a 2-stroke (even a 500) because I like the low end torque on the low or no run-up hills.

Thanks for the help in advance. :thumbsup:

  • smooty

Posted April 11, 2006 - 01:38 PM

#2

my 03 does extremely well on the hills. my bro has a 99 400 and mine will do much more and is lighter. i've never done any competition or anything but mine tackles some pretty gnarly hills :thumbsup:

  • ONLY4STROKES

Posted April 11, 2006 - 02:00 PM

#3

The 450 is an awesome bike to climb hills with.

But, if you are dissapointed with the 426's power up hills, I'll let you know that the upgrade from a 426 to a 450 will not gain more horsepower...just lighter weight. The 426 weighed something like nine pounds more than the first (03) 450. If all you want to do is hillclimbs, then you're going to have to make some mods for more torque or horsepower...like a big-bore kit and cams.

  • YZLEE

Posted April 11, 2006 - 02:18 PM

#4

Yeah, that's kind of what I'm wondering. Is it worth it to upgrade to a 450? Doesn't sound like it, even for 9 lbs. I'm just kind of basing the power thing on my brother's YZ 250. It really climbs well, IF he can wrap it up. Then he smokes me. Mine, I always can get it opened up fine, it just doesn't have that amazing wheel lifting top end.

Do big bores help much or are they not worth the trouble? (I will do a search)Thanks again for the help guys.

  • Butta

Posted April 11, 2006 - 08:14 PM

#5

I would actually argue on the contrary....I moved up from a YZ400 with a 420 kit to a 450 and I think the power gain is more than noticeable. The '03, especially, has a killer punch that would walk away from the 426's with comparable riders onboard. Big boring a 450 would be crazy power! :thumbsup: Have you thought about getting a CR500?? I don't think you'd be short on the "wheel lifting topend".....

  • black_n_blue_thumper

Posted April 11, 2006 - 08:21 PM

#6

I would agree the 450 would be a huge improvement. I rode my uncles 02 426 and it had way less power than my 04 450. On his 426 I had a hard time pulling a roll-on wheelie in 2nd, on my 450 I could do one in 4th easy. These were both WR's with the "YZ" mods. I would think the difference would be proportional in the YZ's. Where do you live and what hills do you climb. Do you ever go to Cowley (huge hills, lots of fun).

  • SureBlue

Posted April 11, 2006 - 08:23 PM

#7

A '03-'05 450 will not do much more than your 426.

  • darksun27

Posted April 12, 2006 - 09:13 AM

#8

Yeah, that's kind of what I'm wondering. Is it worth it to upgrade to a 450? Doesn't sound like it, even for 9 lbs. I'm just kind of basing the power thing on my brother's YZ 250. It really climbs well, IF he can wrap it up. Then he smokes me. Mine, I always can get it opened up fine, it just doesn't have that amazing wheel lifting top end.

Do big bores help much or are they not worth the trouble? (I will do a search)Thanks again for the help guys.


i have a 2002 yz 426 and i never get the chance to open it all the way up besides on the road in 5th gear and it will still pull wheelies easily. and if your are letting a 2 stroke outclimb you then i dont know what you should get besides better skills

  • YZLEE

Posted April 12, 2006 - 03:06 PM

#9

I would agree the 450 would be a huge improvement. I rode my uncles 02 426 and it had way less power than my 04 450. On his 426 I had a hard time pulling a roll-on wheelie in 2nd, on my 450 I could do one in 4th easy. These were both WR's with the "YZ" mods. I would think the difference would be proportional in the YZ's. Where do you live and what hills do you climb. Do you ever go to Cowley (huge hills, lots of fun).


I live in Lovell, Wyoming which is 5 miles south of Cowley. I love those hills.
Here are some video clips of those hills, back before I was serious about climbing. CLICKY CLICKY2

Now you guys have me confused. :thumbsup: Some people think the 450 would be an improvement and others don't think it's worth spending the money. Thanks again for the advice people. :thumbsup:

Darksun27: You live in Kentucky. I live in Wyoming. You have trails, tracks, and lots of trees. I ride the desert (no trees) and climb hills that are taller than you state's average elevation. Big difference. The reason I say my brother's YZ 250 is faster is because I have rode it. It isn't faster on the harder ground, but on soft steep hills it really goes good.

  • Butta

Posted April 12, 2006 - 03:30 PM

#10

If you're concerned about spending the extra $ for a 450, have you done everything to your 426 to make it the best for what you're doing? (tires, sprockets, I see the pipe and cam has been changed, etc?) I would think dropping a tooth on the c/s sprocket would help carry a higher gear, at least that's what I did on my WR 400 in the dunes. I raced a guy on a KX250 with the stock c/s sprocket and he won by two or three bike lengths, then I changed to the 13T c/s and took him. Might want to try it out.

btw, was the other guy on the yellow bike on an '06? Looked like he hasn't seen many hills in his day....

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  • YZLEE

Posted April 12, 2006 - 03:47 PM

#11

No, that was my Dad, who is 50, riding his DR-Z 400. My brother just happened to catch his fall-overs on film.

I'm running 14-50 gearing, which I think is two teeth bigger on the rear. It won't quite pull third as hard as I would like on the steeper soft hills, but I'm not sure if I should go much lower. And I do have a new tire to stick on.

  • yzf450jack

Posted April 12, 2006 - 06:19 PM

#12

I live in Lovell, Wyoming which is 5 miles south of Cowley. I love those hills.
Here are some video clips of those hills, back before I was serious about climbing. CLICKY CLICKY2

Now you guys have me confused. :bonk: Some people think the 450 would be an improvement and others don't think it's worth spending the money. Thanks again for the advice people. :thumbsup:

Darksun27: You live in Kentucky. I live in Wyoming. You have trails, tracks, and lots of trees. I ride the desert (no trees) and climb hills that are taller than you state's average elevation. Big difference. The reason I say my brother's YZ 250 is faster is because I have rode it. It isn't faster on the harder ground, but on soft steep hills it really goes good.

What are you 1st gear going up that little hill :bonk: Put that bike in high gear and pull the trigger :thumbsup: A 450 will go up that hill 70mph :confused:

  • Butta

Posted April 12, 2006 - 06:42 PM

#13

No, that was my Dad, who is 50, riding his DR-Z 400. My brother just happened to catch his fall-overs on film.

I'm running 14-50 gearing, which I think is two teeth bigger on the rear. It won't quite pull third as hard as I would like on the steeper soft hills, but I'm not sure if I should go much lower. And I do have a new tire to stick on.


Well, a c/s sprocket is less than $20, so I would try a 13T on for size and see what happens. If you can't quite pull third with 14/50, then you'll definitely be pulling 3rd with 13/50, maybe even 4th to start with. It's all about getting the most out of the motor at the right rpm's and speed. You'll have wheelspin no matter what, the trick is to get just enough to keep going, but not so much that you just dig in. Try the 13, what do you have to lose?

  • kawirider

Posted April 12, 2006 - 06:46 PM

#14

Holy crap dude I just watched your video and I must say you are going a gear too low. Upshift and pin it! Your trying to rev that bike. 4 strokes dont do too well at high rpm like that. Put it in 3rd (or 4th) and try again. Your bike has all the power it needs to do wheelies uphill all day long. Just upshift and you will see.

  • YZLEE

Posted April 12, 2006 - 08:51 PM

#15

Most of that was in 3rd. gear and some in second. The bike goes slower up the hills in 4th. gear. Like I said though, that was just playing around last year. I just wanted to show you guys a video of one of my riding areas.

If I buy a 13 tooth c/s sprocket, will it still fit with my chain? Or will I need to take a link off?

  • swatcie

Posted April 12, 2006 - 09:47 PM

#16

you guys are crazy the 426 has plenty of power. I love mine! It has gone up every hill I have thrown at it. And trust me there have been some pretty gnarly hills that Ive tackled with it. IMO I think you should just stick with the 426 and work on your hill climbing skills :thumbsup:

  • kawirider

Posted April 12, 2006 - 10:11 PM

#17

I should have mentioned this earlier. I imagine the Aprilia RXV550 would be a good hillclimber. It has 70hp....http://apriliausa.at...llo.asp?id=112#

  • Carbon450

Posted April 12, 2006 - 10:52 PM

#18

I know exactly your pain when it comes to the 426 vs the 450 jump. i have had many hours on both bikes and out of the box the 04 450 is by far the Fastest bike Yamaha has yet to make, even faster than the 06. If you have done your research the 04 had the highest compression, most aggressive cams and the lightest rotating assembly.
I have destroyed many bikes (pumped CR's and KTM's) and quads on hill climbs such as Sand Mountain in NV with only minimal mods. GYTR pipe and Weisco 13.5:1 piston. With the stock gearing of 14/41 this bike pulls the hill in 3 through the band with a hooker 8 paddle tire(rubber makes a huge difference).
I have been talking to Roy Woods about getting some hop up parts for this motor and I know what the WR guys think....."why do you want to go faster?"
this is the most ridiculous question i have heard. Nothing is ever fast enough. Get yourself a TM 45 carb, Roy Woods complete exhaust and the Woods cams. If you have the scrilla to spend on a 450 then go with a 523 big bore kit from http://www.maxpower-...yz-wr523ice.htm This will make your bike jump that hill through 4th and take those KTM 570 kits.

  • black_n_blue_thumper

Posted April 12, 2006 - 10:54 PM

#19

Hey man cool vids. I dont think alot of people realize what those hills are really like. Steep long and loamy. You are doing fine for someone just starting out in those vids. I bet you are alot better now. We should hook up and go there sometime. We are thinking of heading down there one of these weekends. Is that the old set or the new set in the vids. I havent been there. I have only been to the ohter ones. I went with some pro hillclimbing buddies of mine. Fun just to watch, let alone ride. You can try out my 450 if we go, just dont be mad at me when you want to buy one. :thumbsup:

  • SurvivorMan

Posted April 13, 2006 - 05:40 AM

#20

Videos always downsize what you feel and ride. you've got to scare the crap out of yourself to have any decent footage....thanks for the videos!!
Get a 500! The cr 500 AF obviously is the cats weow and very pricey but any other later 500 (look for one with an exhaust valve) will destroy these 450's on long loamy climbs. get a Terra Flex tire and shave some knobs off, some good footpegs and a really grippy seat and you will double your climbing ability (on long loamy climbs). Technical climbs require an amazing rider not an amazing bike and i think for any one of us to become amazing we need thousands of hours seat time.





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