I'm a newb...just bought '02 YZ426


7 replies to this topic
  • drrty

Posted August 30, 2006 - 08:09 AM

#1

Hey all...
I'm a newbie here. I just bought a 2002 YZ426 with the Auto Decomp cam, RG3 upper, and some other small mods. I haven't ridden dirt in almost 20 years. My recent background has been street riding (NOT stunting) on a 2006 R1LE (sold it in late July), and prior to that a 2001 Honda Superhawk.
I'm pretty impressed with the 426's power. I didn't expect it from this bike at all, what with it being a single cylinder and all. The previous owner used the bike for Hare Scrambles, which is what I'm looking at getting into.
Are there any common problems I need to be aware of or on the lookout for? According to the previous owner, the bike has been trouble-free and reliable. He said he was running an Open class in HS, and was running easily with 250's and 300's. Does that sound pretty accurate?

  • grayracer513

Posted August 30, 2006 - 09:25 AM

#2

Welcome.

An R1LE, hmm? Well, I guess we can rule out the question of whether you can deal with horsepower right away, can't we? IMO, riding one of those in a civilized manner is stunt in and of itself.

The big YZF's are notorious for their reliability, and for any shortcomings in weight or handling they might arguably have, they just about as dependable as machinery is capable of being.

The only real issues that come to mind are that 3rd, 5th, and to a lesser extent 4th gears can get beat up and start jumping in and out of engagement under a load. There have been reasonably rare instances of rod failure in 426's, but that was mostly the earlier '00 model, as I recall.

Otherwise, the only thing that you may not be used to is the wear behavior of Titanium valves. In a Yamaha, these will last literally for years without requiring so much as a clearance adjustment. Eventually, though, the hard coating on the valve face will wear through, and you'll find that they need to be reshimmed for clearance, and that they will no longer stay adjusted for any length of time. At that point they need replacement.

Beyond that, the only thing you'll have to contend with is the weight and the effort needed to toss the thing around at low speed. The flexibility of the power is one of its major strong points though, and a lot of guys here run 426's offroad and love them.

  • yz_for_me

Posted August 30, 2006 - 12:09 PM

#3

First off, welcome to TT.

As far as your bike goes, you've got a good one. The 426 has a great motor both in terms of power delivery and reliability. If you treat it right by changing the oil frequently, keeping a clean air and oil filter in it and checking your valves periodically (i check a couple times a year) it should last a good long time. The '02 is the best of the 426 years and didn't really have any major mechanical bugaboos that I can recall.

Greyracer did mention a few potential problems to be aware of but those have been very rare instances and not likely to be a problem for you. They are good to keep in mind though. Otherwise the only thing I can think of right off hand is the plastic chain guard on top of the swing arm. It has been known to start wearing through the aluminum on the swingarm so you may want to look at that. There are a number of documented fixes for it. Do a search and you'll find a lot on it.

Good luck with your new ride and have fun.

  • YZ426F Rider

Posted August 30, 2006 - 12:49 PM

#4

I have the same bike and love it. As far as running with 250 two strokes...they need to be concerned with staying up with you. I also own an '03 RM250 which is a great bike that is light and handles very well and has good 250 two stroke power but whether I'm going to the track or to the woods I wil take my 426 over it every single time. The RM handles a little better due to it's weight and 'flickability', but when it comes to power there is no comparison. The only time I ride the RM anymore is when I get a two stroke itch...and that is becoming more and more rare.

In a Hare Scramble last weekend I had been tailing a YZ250 two-smoker through the tight woods until we came out onto a long sandy straight section...he was so far behind me by the time we re-entered the woods it was almost comical. It had nothing to do with riding skill...it was just pure, tractable, long pulling torque and horsepower that smoked him...and I'm okay with that!

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  • onecolumbyte

Posted August 30, 2006 - 12:50 PM

#5

Check out Motoman's site for some good mods. http://motoman393.thumpertalk.com/

Don't know if sound is an issue in your area but these bikes are Loud. People seem to like the Q2 but i haven't run one.

You'll love the 426.

  • YZ426F Rider

Posted August 30, 2006 - 12:56 PM

#6

Check out Motoman's site for some good mods. http://motoman393.thumpertalk.com/

Don't know if sound is an issue in your area but these bikes are Loud. People seem to like the Q2 but i haven't run one.

You'll love the 426.

Interestingly enough, I have the stock exhaust with a PMB endcap w/spark arrestor insert only and my bike tests at 95db.

  • Milhaus

Posted August 30, 2006 - 02:38 PM

#7

Interestingly enough, I have the stock exhaust with a PMB endcap w/spark arrestor insert only and my bike tests at 95db.


Same setup on mine, but I am nowhere near 95dB. Guess it might be time for a repack on the muffler!

  • drrty

Posted August 31, 2006 - 07:05 AM

#8

Thanks for the responses and info everyone. I'm excited to get up to snuff on this thing. Noise isn't an issue in my area, so no worries about that. I rode it around my yard briefly last night ( I live on 1 acre, and have ample room to play), and was very impressed with the smooth power delivery. It doesn't "hit" like I expected it to. My neighbor is a Yamaha dealership mechanic and MotoX racer - he got on it and was very complimentary of the bike. I'm working on acquiring gear and will be entering my first Hare Scramble in late September. At 37, I feel like a little kid again, getting my first dirt bike for Christmas....





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