Why was I better on the 426?


17 replies to this topic
  • BlakJak

Posted August 08, 2008 - 09:15 AM

#1

After taking a break in my twenties to grow up (ya right :) ) get an education, earn and settle my family; at 30 I purchased an 01 YZ 125. Rode it for awhile, blew the cobwebs out and got back to form. My buds were on 426's and you know what peer pressure does. I sold the tiddler and purchased a twice ridden 01' 426. The original owner had installed a huge flywheel weight but otherwise the bike was stock and pristine. One word can describe this bike, wow! It felt like a streetbike motor in a dirtbike frame. I was able to do any & everything with this bike; MX, dunes, single-track, etc... Buddies that were once faster were now equals and some were now lesser :D. Tracks with obstacles I’d never cleared were now cleared. I know, “of course I can clear it; this bike has more power”. But it was much more than that; I'd developed an ability to flow instead of just clearing obstacles. Initially I left the fww in to adjust to the power (of course takin it out for the dunes), and eventually I ran all the time without it (unless riding CC). I had a couple of major get-offs but my confidence stayed high. I rode it for a couple years and besides chain, sprockets, removing filter cage screen, tires and routine maintenance; the bike was left bone stock. After reading about its weight, how hard it was to start, how superior new suspension, aluminum frames and their geometries were; I sold it. Since that time I've owned an 03 YZ250, 04 CRF 450 (for me, worse bike ever), 06 YZ 250F LE, 07 KX 250F, and an 08 RMZ450 with exhaust and suspension work. Apologize for the long setup but here is the question: I still ride many of the same tracks / places as I did on the 426, but why am I not as comfortable nor ride as well?

  • eclipseworld22

Posted August 08, 2008 - 10:17 AM

#2

you need a yz450f. comfort is going to differ for everyone but i have rode all of my friends bikes from yz250f rmz250f cr450s of all years, i used to own an 01 yz426 and i can honestly say out of all the bikes i have been on my 03 yz450f is the most comfortable, most powerful, and smoothest feeling of all for me.

  • BlakJak

Posted August 08, 2008 - 10:46 AM

#3

After trying the 250F's, I know the 450's are where I need to be. Its just that none of the 450's I've ridden are anything like the 426 was.

  • biznet1

Posted August 08, 2008 - 12:29 PM

#4

After trying the 250F's, I know the 450's are where I need to be. Its just that none of the 450's I've ridden are anything like the 426 was.


You're the first I've heard say that. My 426 was like driving a school bus with a 2600 HP engine. Your body size and shape may be more attuned to the weight distribution of the 426. Weird. In contrast, I had a 07KX250F and couldn't ride it well to save my life but the 06YZ450 for me is perfect.

  • BlakJak

Posted August 08, 2008 - 12:50 PM

#5

I know, makes absolutely no sense to me either. I'm 5'11 175lbs, so not quite sure on the size / weight thing. While RMZ is a blast, just not quite the same as the 426. I'm beginning to wonder if the fww had something to do with it. I 2nd the motion on the KX; feels odd.

  • Chadimac22

Posted August 08, 2008 - 07:21 PM

#6

Why is it you say the 04 CRF450 was the worst bike you've owned yet? I'm about to go through an experience similar to yours and am thinking of replacing my ever faithful 2001 426 with something lighter, sexier, and quite possibly red. I'm not totally sure though... I love to hate my 426. So heavy, so old, but yet soooo sweet!!

I'm definitely interested on your thoughts about the 04 CRF450, especially when compared to the 426 because I'm going to look at one tomorrow.

  • biznet1

Posted August 09, 2008 - 02:20 AM

#7

Why is it you say the 04 CRF450 was the worst bike you've owned yet? I'm about to go through an experience similar to yours and am thinking of replacing my ever faithful 2001 426 with something lighter, sexier, and quite possibly red. I'm not totally sure though... I love to hate my 426. So heavy, so old, but yet soooo sweet!!

I'm definitely interested on your thoughts about the 04 CRF450, especially when compared to the 426 because I'm going to look at one tomorrow.


Do a search of the archives in the Honda forum for any of the 450's before 06 before you buy one. The 06 and up have been good bikes (I had an 06) and I never had any trouble. The valves were on the tight side of tolerance but never moved while I owned it. A lot of people had issue with the older ones, valves in particular. Much to my belief the cause for the "high maintenance" reputation of the 4 stroke. Yami's MX 4 strokes have never been high maintenance.

  • BlakJak

Posted August 11, 2008 - 06:53 AM

#8

Why is it you say the 04 CRF450 was the worst bike you've owned yet? I'm about to go through an experience similar to yours and am thinking of replacing my ever faithful 2001 426 with something lighter, sexier, and quite possibly red. I'm not totally sure though... I love to hate my 426. So heavy, so old, but yet soooo sweet!!

I'm definitely interested on your thoughts about the 04 CRF450, especially when compared to the 426 because I'm going to look at one tomorrow.



In 05, the CRF got a new frame and is supposed to be much better than previous years. I did all the wrong things to my 04'. Power now in the carb, 1 tooth larger on the rear sprocket, full Yosh exhaust; while great at the dunes; ridiculous everywhere else. I never experienced a problem mechanically with the Honda. Good build quality, just not for me. My advice for you is to go and ride before you buy. I know that most of the current crops have very similiar performance; but I do believe if you're a Yamaha guy, then stick to it.
I also think I'm further answering my own question about that 426. It was as comfortable as an old shoe and setup for me.

  • eclipseworld22

Posted August 11, 2008 - 12:40 PM

#9

another thing i thought i would add... i ride a lot of tighter trails and i have noticed that my bike rarely ever overheats but the hondas and kawasakis are steaming just about every time.

also i rode my 450 and got off of it and hopped on my old 426 one day and the difference is night and day. my 450 had way more power, was a lot smoother and a million times easier to start!

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  • Pilotguy28

Posted August 11, 2008 - 02:21 PM

#10

I have an 01 426 and a 08 yz 450F. Im an intermediate MXer..I really like both bikes. I have had the 426 for a about a year and the 450F for 3 months. The 426 is a tank but very stable in the air, but I wouldnt call it flickable. Suspension and handling is great. It will pull my 450 down straights. The Powerbands are different. My 426 likes to run mid to high like my 250f that i used to own. My 450 has more usuable power everywhere, and feels lighter which it is. 8 years of technological upgrades between the two. If they werent different I would wonder what the H**L they were doing in Japan. My Lap times are actually a little quicker on the 426 on the big tracks and faster on the 450f on the smaller tracks. The 426 wears me out quicker also because of the weight, but oh well. Both are great bikes and the reliability is unparalled by any other manufacturer. My 426 valves are still within specs since 2001 since my friend is the bikes original owner. So enjoy the BEAST.

  • Chadimac22

Posted August 12, 2008 - 03:21 AM

#11

I am definitely coming to the conclusion that my 426 is a keeper. I went and looked at an 03 CRF 450, but I can't bring myself to get rid of my 426. There's just something about that bike that makes it feel so comfortable. I'll probably get a newer 450 down the road (probably Yamaha), but even if I do that, why get rid of the trusty 426? If nothing else, I'll have a spare bike.

It's been sitting in storage for three years straight up until three weeks ago. All I did was put some gas in the tank and she started up on the fourth of fifth kick. I love this bike. In fact, I think I'm going to buy some new plastics for the old girl today. She could use a fresh look.

  • BASSic

Posted August 12, 2008 - 10:49 AM

#12

What is all this talk about the 426 being hard to start? The only time I had trouble starting mine was when the spark plug cracked at the top of the threads because I used the wrong plug wrench, causing a loss of compression.

In cold weather, it's choke on and two twists of the throttle (for the AP squirt), then one kick to start the engine for the first time that day.
In warm/hot weather, I leave the choke on and only give 1/4 twist of the throttle to start the engine for the first time that day.

When the engine has been running, use of the hotstart knob is dependent on how I stalled it. If it stalled after I had just twisted the throttle, then chances are that there's too much fuel inside and the hotstart knob is required. If it stalled while the throttle was held steady, or after I hit the killswitch, then the hotstart knob isn't needed.

As for the overheating, that hasn't been much of an issue for me. I've ridden in the upper 90s with high humidity and haven't overheated. Just this past weekend I boiled about two ounces of coolant out the overflow tube for the first time, only because I was waiting for some friends to catch up and was messing around on a small muddy hill (revving the engine and not enough airflow over the radiators).

  • Chadimac22

Posted August 13, 2008 - 02:49 AM

#13

Maybe you misinterpreted my my post.... I do not consider a bike starting on the fourth kick after sitting in storage for three years straight "hard to start.
I was thrilled when she roared to life on the fourth kick. I've never had an issue with starting any of the YZF's I have owned... very easy to start as long as you have the technique down.

  • jonkers

Posted August 13, 2008 - 03:32 AM

#14

i havent read all this thread but maybe it has something to do with power delivery. i have owened the 400 426 450 and the 426 was a great bike. Was probably the snapiest out of the lot.

I also noticed that you have an 08rmz450. Mine just got stolen and got an 09 yzf450. I couldnt ride the rmz anywhere near as fast as the yzf but all i have been riding for the last 8 years is yz's so it maybe something to do with geometry changes between the yzf to the rmz.

for me the yz is where it is at handiling wise. i dont care if the rmz turns quicker or what ever as i can get on the gas a lot quicker on the yzf. I just wish it now didnt have to bottem end bog that the rmz didnt have.

  • BlakJak

Posted August 13, 2008 - 06:13 AM

#15

I am definitely coming to the conclusion that my 426 is a keeper. I went and looked at an 03 CRF 450, but I can't bring myself to get rid of my 426. There's just something about that bike that makes it feel so comfortable. I'll probably get a newer 450 down the road (probably Yamaha), but even if I do that, why get rid of the trusty 426? If nothing else, I'll have a spare bike.

I wish I'd never sold mine. Spare bike with reliability of a vault sounds like a good idea.

It's been sitting in storage for three years straight up until three weeks ago. All I did was put some gas in the tank and she started up on the fourth of fifth kick. I love this bike. In fact, I think I'm going to buy some new plastics for the old girl today. She could use a fresh look.


I get your "starting comment"; and I never had a problem either. After hard running in the dunes, all my buds would have to kick the crap out of their newer and "so much easier to start" other brands"

  • BlakJak

Posted August 13, 2008 - 06:17 AM

#16

i havent read all this thread but maybe it has something to do with power delivery. i have owened the 400 426 450 and the 426 was a great bike. Was probably the snapiest out of the lot.

I also noticed that you have an 08rmz450. Mine just got stolen and got an 09 yzf450. I couldnt ride the rmz anywhere near as fast as the yzf but all i have been riding for the last 8 years is yz's so it maybe something to do with geometry changes between the yzf to the rmz.
for me the yz is where it is at handiling wise. i dont care if the rmz turns quicker or what ever as i can get on the gas a lot quicker on the yzf. I just wish it now didnt have to bottem end bog that the rmz didnt have.


Man I hate to hear your bike got stolen. Hope Karma finds the culprit and lands on him hard and continuously :)

I second your RMZ sentiments as well. As I mentioned before; I know the new crop of machines are supposedly so close in spec to each other, but I know that Yamaha will always be my brand; just feels like home. The power on the RMZ is great but just can't get comfortable. Now if I can just find someone willing to trade my 07 KX for and 07' YZ 450 plus some moolah; I'm in!

  • BASSic

Posted August 13, 2008 - 10:18 AM

#17

Maybe you misinterpreted my my post.... I do not consider a bike starting on the fourth kick after sitting in storage for three years straight "hard to start.


No, I didn't misinterpret your post. I wasn't responding to your post; I was referring to all the posts on TT (and a comment earlier in the thread) that "the 426 is a pain to start" I've heard it has a weaker ignition than the newer bikes, but that has never caused any starting problems for me.

Four kicks after sitting in storage is impressive, exactly what I'd expect from a 426. Acutally, I'm surprised it was that fast. After sitting for three years in storage, I would have guessed that there would be some varnish in the carb no matter how well you prepped it for storage.

  • Chadimac22

Posted August 14, 2008 - 05:03 PM

#18

No, I didn't misinterpret your post. I wasn't responding to your post; I was referring to all the posts on TT (and a comment earlier in the thread) that "the 426 is a pain to start" I've heard it has a weaker ignition than the newer bikes, but that has never caused any starting problems for me.

Four kicks after sitting in storage is impressive, exactly what I'd expect from a 426. Acutally, I'm surprised it was that fast. After sitting for three years in storage, I would have guessed that there would be some varnish in the carb no matter how well you prepped it for storage.


Ah, I gotcha... :) Yeah, I too was definitely surprised. I thought I would at least have to drop the bowl off of the carb, but there was no need.

I did take her to the track today and the valves were protesting quite a bit, so I think a valve check is on the top of the short list of things to do.

I spoiled myself and the bike today... A new plastics kit just arrived, with the graphics shortly on its heels. I never was one for buying new plastics when the old ones were ragged out because it didn't make my bike any faster, but I figured, why not?? Maybe I'll post some pics once her makeover is done. Since this is the first time I've had brand new plastics on any bike, I just hope I don't lay her over on her first outing!!





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