Should I Buy a 426

15 replies to this topic
  • gobes32

Posted September 30, 2006 - 12:44 AM


Hi guys, Looking at buying a 2000 model 426. However, i keep hearing horror stories on maintenance etc. Not very mechanically minded but not that bad either. My problem is this, what is involved with a thumper or am i better off on a newish two stroke 250 instead. Thanks guys

  • MJC476

Posted September 30, 2006 - 01:38 AM


I wouldn't buy a 2nd hand 4 stroke unless I knew the previous owner & their mantenance habits. The 2000 426 is getting a bit long in the tooth & is probably due for a good overhaul. The 426 also feals really heavy, for the same money you should be able to pick up a newer & much lighter 250.

On the up side, the 426 produces awsome power & is a fun bike to ride. I have never even considered riding a 2 stroke since making the switch.

  • SRT426

Posted September 30, 2006 - 02:22 AM


The 426 is a great motor. You may want to due a search of this site because I believe the 2000 model had a transmission problem that needed to be fixed by upgrading to 2001 parts. As far as the bikes they are great, a litttle heavy but great bikes. Sometimes the motors if not maintained can be expensive nightmares but I would check it out cause I bought mine second hand and it's been great. I would check comression and maybe check the oil to one smell it (burnt) but also look at it to see how old it may be, that'll give you an idea about the previous owners maintenance habits. With mine it started 1st kick cold so I knew the motor and valves were in great shape. So far I have had it almost a year and it still starts first kick so all is gravy. Go for it and never look back, except maybe to see if your buddys are still back there :thumbsup:

  • yz_for_me

Posted September 30, 2006 - 11:08 AM


The 426 is a great bike. I would make sure it has been maintained well, but assuming it has, these bikes run for a long time. I wouldn't be scared to pick one up. The 426 has a reputation for being about as reliable as a machine can be. The motor makes great power and is a lot of fun to ride. The only downside is they are a bit heavy feeling compared to newer bikes or 250 smokers.

As far as the transmission goes, there were a few of them that had trouble with the counterbalancer key wallowing out. This was a pretty rare problem, but it was enough of an issue that for 2001 Yamaha went to a spline shaft on the CB instead of the key. I don't think it's a major issue, but is something to be aware of.

  • 02YZ426

Posted September 30, 2006 - 11:13 AM


The 426 is a great bike, almost bullet proof. I would look into a 2002 model, they are the best of the 426 generation.

  • TL426

Posted September 30, 2006 - 12:40 PM


what exactly are the differences between the '00, '01 and '02 models? im curious.

  • mikerm85

Posted September 30, 2006 - 01:08 PM


dude get the 426 because it has a compression release and i know someone with one and the 2 strokes are too unpredictable and they have a strong power band and the loudness gets people mad. therefor get the 426!!!!!!

  • mikerm85

Posted September 30, 2006 - 01:12 PM


hmmm, should i get the yz85 or the rm85? but i know the colors and i dont want anyone to just say oh i like yamaha so you should get that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • mped220

Posted September 30, 2006 - 03:02 PM


get the 426 i had a 2000 that i bought used and never had to touch the motor i rode it for 3 years before i sold and the valves were still mint when i sold it. the bike is pretty much bulletproof and has alot of power. It was one of the best bikes i ever road

  • cowboyona426

Posted September 30, 2006 - 06:39 PM


The Y2K 426 was a great bike... yes I love my 450 but I still miss my 426. By now the issues have probably been taken care of, like the clutch (some of us had grabby clutches, which was fixed by putting 01 parts in the clutch). In 01 the bikes got Ti valves, clutch changes, and updated carb settings, and about the only change from 01-02 was probably carb and suspension weaks. If you give the 00 a good once over and it looks to be clean, I wouldn't hesitate to buy one, they are GREAT machines.

  • 426_kid

Posted October 01, 2006 - 02:57 PM


I have an '01 426 and its a blast to ride but make sure that u know the mantinace habits of the previous owner... these bikes are very very touchy.

  • kid on a 426

Posted October 01, 2006 - 03:16 PM


hmmm, should i get the yz85 or the rm85? but i know the colors and i dont want anyone to just say oh i like yamaha so you should get that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My friend has a 02 yz85 and its VERY fast for an 85, but Ive never ridden a rm. Also the yamaha looks better because the RM only has a shroud on one side and looks weird

  • kid on a 426

Posted October 01, 2006 - 03:19 PM


I have an '01 426 and its a blast to ride but make sure that u know the mantinace habits of the previous owner... these bikes are very very touchy.

My bike is SUPER reliable, even more reliable than the xr80 i had and has more torque than anything I've ever ridden. It is an incredible hillclimb bike because it has power so down low. It is HEAVY but still I take it for a spin on the track a bit.

  • TL426

Posted October 01, 2006 - 05:09 PM


yea... thats what i love most about my 426, the meaty powerband. i havent ridden any other MX style bike, so it doesnt really feel heavy to me.
off topic, but kid on a 426, why do you have a 426 if your older bro has a 250? just curious.

  • MichiganMXer

Posted October 01, 2006 - 05:29 PM


I bought my 01 off the showroom in 2001. Its been a great bike. I'd like to say that I wasn't a wrench when I bought it; and it taught me a few things.

But I'd like to say that I ride it. I ride it pretty hard at Baja Acres MX, FreelinMX, I hit single tracks in northern Michigan that are 50 miles long and 36 inches wide. I ride it.

Over the past 5 yrs the bike has given me starting problems for one season, it was at the beginning of the year and was related to some 87 octane shit I borrowed from a quad rider the previous season. I had that crap in my tank until April until I finally drained it all and put some 94 in there and....BANG!!!


I'm still running stock valves with no work. I havent cracked the head on the bike since I bought it. It starts on 3 kicks... I have stock decompression lever with no mod and don't have any problems starting it after I stall it.
BTW.. Beware of the compression. Its a beast and if it locks up on you it'll throw you right over the handle bars..

I ride tracks most of the time 3rd gear grunts harder than the 06's, but don't let that mislead you that the bike is faster...Its not. Its just brute torque.

Heavy, strong, hard hitting and unforgiving are some of the characteristics it has compared to the newer ones..(04-06) One of the biggest and most detrimental characteristics of the 426 compared to the new ones is the raw, ass-kicking decompression braking the bike has. The new bikes glide over most braking bumps into turns. The 426 just dives when you cut the juice.
If you don't juice it in the air before you land, prepare for one hell of a bench press.

I love it, I still race it and its my bike. It is by far one of the most reliable bikes ever made. Just change the oil, keep the filter clean and it'll last.

  • rlp1

Posted October 01, 2006 - 08:57 PM


I love my 2001 YZ426F, and wouldn't go back to a two stroke. I used to own a 1999 YZ250, but the 426 is leagues ahead, to me at least. The torque is amazing, and it's pretty fast, especially in a straight line. It doesn't handle as well as a newer bike or a 250, but it holds its own on the trails. I agree that it's pretty much a heavy, powerful beast, and it goes up hills like a tractor.

My friends, who all ride 250s, commented on how much they like the bike and the power. They brag about how fast their bikes are, then when it comes down to a straight up drag race, my bike easily pulls the 250s.

I bought the bike from a total ****ing idiot, who had no idea how to maintain a bike, but apparently had the engine rebuilt. It's not that touchy, and I've never had a single problem with it. The only things it has are some quirks, like the grabby clutch and the weak front brake, both of which can be fixed with some aftermarket parts, but haven't actually given me enough trouble to fix them.

Also, the manual decompression will be hard at first, but there's an easy technique to start it: kick the starter all the way til it locks, with the decompression lever still out, let it back up. Pull the decompression lever in, and push the kick starter down just a little bit, I'd say 1/8th of the full stroke, you'll feel the gears moving, and get a sense for it eventually. Then let the kickstarter back up, release the decompression lever, and kick firmly, the bike should start right up. If it doesn't move or locks up, you need to push it down more or less when you have the decompression lever in.

If anyone has any suggestions on the front brake issue, it would be good to post them here.

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