WR426 or DRZ400

28 replies to this topic
  • AZGlock21

Posted June 25, 2003 - 05:18 AM


Guys, I understand that I am in the Yamaha forums but I am looking for objective opinions as to which bike I should buy and maybe the plus and minus of each. I could either go a 2002 WR426 in perfect shape or I could buy a new DRZ400. Both seem like great bikes and the prices are within 500.00 so that is not the decision maker for me. I am 6"01" and 260lbs so I need a little bit of power. I don't really know much about the WR's so I am looking for some info that I am sure you can provide. I am not a really expeienced, agressive rider but want somthing reliable for years of use. Thank you in advance for any input.

  • blireef

Posted June 25, 2003 - 06:47 AM


The 426 handles better, it's lighter, it's faster (maybe because of handling). The DRZ has the magic button which is a really good thing. motor is good, it's very heavy, suspension is soft and needs mods to work right.. If you're a pretty good rider you will like the 426 better but it's not dual sport and you have to kick it. (not too hard to start but kicking is necessary) Hope this helps!

  • Jim_Patterson

Posted June 25, 2003 - 06:49 AM


I have owned and ridden both. If you want to trail ride and do dual sport the DR may be a good choice. The WR seat height is almost 2 inches higher. The Dr is heaver. The WR is quicker reving and has more torque. The WR suspension is stiffer so it's better for a heavier person. The WR requires more rider involvement on single track. Both are reliable. The list of differences is quite long. Get more opinions from TT. I currently own a WR 450 and DRZ 400e. I ride the 450 and I let my friends ride the DRZ.

  • wrkaholic

Posted June 25, 2003 - 07:00 AM


I never rode a DRZ400. I am about your same height and weight. I used to own an XR650L. The power to weight ratio of the WR426F is hard to beat. You should have no doubt that it is a high tech racing engine set up for trail riding. If you change to YZ timing, watch out, the bike screams. Jetting is critical. From the factory, the bike is corked up. You have to do all the "free mods" and jet the bike correctly. The engine is really awesome, 21 to 1 compression, 5 titanium valves, etc... The suspension is really good, but, it will be soft for you because of your weight. It depends on how aggressive you ride. For me it is OK, I do not do much jumping. If the bike is jetted properly, starting it is easy, one or two kicks. You have to know the procedure and use the decompression lever. So, in my opinion, I would choose the WR426F. Like I said, I have never rode a DRZ400, but, I always (rightly or wrongly) equated those bikes to Honda XRs, not Honda CRF450R. The WR is a YZ set up for trail riding, what could be better than that?

  • wrkaholic

Posted June 25, 2003 - 07:07 AM


OOPs, I meant to type 12 to 1 compression

also, If you live in California, the WR426F is also green sticker.

  • Eagle426

Posted June 25, 2003 - 07:12 AM


I just wanted to correct a mistake in the above post. The compression is more like 12 to 1, not 21 to 1! That was just a common error (typo)! HOLY COW, found you imagine trying kickstart a 21:1 engine! Ha! I am 6'2" and 260 and the WR is awesome. I rode the DRZ400S and compared to my WR, the DR would make a great boat anchor. However, like I said it was the "S" dual sport model. I have no idea how the "S" model stands up to the other 400 models! Before the WR I had an XR400. It was a great woods bike but I like the WR better!

  • wrkaholic

Posted June 25, 2003 - 08:04 AM


Another thing to consider. If you are like me, as you get to be a better rider, you will crave more performance, this is why I sold my XR650L. Why buy a bike now that you may want to sell later. With the WR426F, you are pretty much at the top of the performance ladder for a trail bike. Where else can you go? either WR450F or convert an MX bike which is cost prohibitive. The other option with the WR426F is to leave it WR timed for a while, then when you crave more performance, go to YZ timing (free mod). The additional performance will shock you.

  • Sylvain

Posted June 25, 2003 - 01:05 PM


Why the hesitation for $500.00 ? :)

The wr is easier to ride at "high speed" :D but harder at "trail speed" :D .

And the drz is easier to ride at "trail speed" and bla bla bla ... again :D .

It all depends of your objective(s).

Both are great bike but ... :D

I had the same choice to do, and I don't regret the blue :D

  • AZGlock21

Posted June 25, 2003 - 02:18 PM


Guys I really appreciate your opinions. All the dealers keep telling me is how hard the WR426 is to start and that if I dump it that it will flood and never get it started again and that the "magic button" is basically the second comming. But I am also smart enough to know that they understand that if I buy a WR426 I obviously will be buying it used and therefore not from them. Hence it makes more sense for them to push the DRZ. Again, the price diff is not a deciding factor for me as I just want to get a great bike and know that you guys have the experience to help me make that decision. Anymore comments are of course appreciated...........Thanks.

  • wrkaholic

Posted June 25, 2003 - 02:33 PM


Hey, I had a XR650L with electric start. I sold it. I do not care about electric start. I care about performance.
The issue with the WR426 is that it comes corked up from the factory. When you uncork it and do all the free mods, you have to rejet accordingly or the bike will not run right. Once you dial in the jetting, it is a dream. Starting it is a piece of cake.
My WR426 starts first or second kick everytime. Don't let people scare you about starting the WR426. My 14 year old son starts mine all the time. He loves to start it. In the end get the bike that you will be happy with, either one is good, but, do not be forced into the DRZ because people tell you the WR is hard to start.

The only thing I wish is that I sold that XR650L tub with electric start earlier.

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  • DR.Zaius

Posted June 25, 2003 - 03:05 PM


I'm gonna try not to be biased here, I have a DRZ, but I did try a WR426f a couple weeks back.

I do like the WR, it is a good bike. I'm a little on the heavy side, so no matter what stock suspension (on ANY bike) is gonna be too soft for serious/faster paced riding. I did some suspension work on my DRZ, and it is beautiful now! If I had the WR with worked suspension I'm sure it would be just as good (although I don't like USD forks for trails for some reason, not the same feeling!)

Power wise (WR timed, but uncorked; DRZ is uncorked/piped/jetted perfect) the WR hit harder, which I didn't mind where the traction was good and the terrain was open, but I don't get that too often around here. DRZ powerband is super wide and easy to use, lugs or winds out easily. Overall acceleration (drag race pavement) was close, ended up tied in wins. Starting was easy on the WR, as long as it didn't tip over, then it took either of us 6-10 kicks. I love e-start, wouldn't give it up for anything!

The wieght factor is tricky. DRZ seems a lot lighter/more flickable in the rocks, I think mostly because of lower seat height/center of gravity. WR handle's well though in the more opened up terrain (again, didn't get to try that out much around here.)

Overall, I like the WR for more open terrain where you can open the bike up all the time. But when at my regular trails where I can barely get into 2nd gear for 15 miles, I'd rather have my DRZ- I don't get worn out in the tighter stuff after an hour or so, can ride all day without a break!

Good luck, hope I made sense. :)

  • Machster

Posted June 25, 2003 - 03:18 PM


Help me out guys...another great feature of the 426 is you can put the 450 cam in and gain the auto-decompression right?? :) :D

  • toyota_mdt_tech

Posted June 25, 2003 - 05:06 PM


OOPs, I meant to type 12 to 1 compression
live in California, the WR426F is also green sticker.

Well, its actually a smidge higher at 12.5:1 and requires 95 octane. :)


Posted June 25, 2003 - 05:09 PM


My DRZ is great. It is lighter than the E by almost 20 lbs and starts 1 kick 99.99999% of the time. HOWEVER I have lots O money in it to make it perform near what an lightly modified WR 426 performs.
...BUT I agree that the WR FEELS heavier in the twisty tight stuff, but the suspension is better than my Z. Back and forth bla bla. And the WR has better feeling brakes. The 426 isnt as good ergonomically, but they fixed that for 03 on the 450.

  • Chaindrive

Posted June 26, 2003 - 02:38 AM


OK, so since the Iowa DOT is refusing to renew my WR registration after 3 years of being street-legal and licensed, how would the WR engine, forks, and rear suspension be on the DRZs frame?

Seriously, especially for you guys who have experience with both bikes, how do-able do you think this is? I can do whatever cutting, welding, etc. is necessary just so long as I retain the DRZs-model steering head (street legal frame number). What do ya think?

Next question: Where can I find a DRZs frame?

BTW: 21 to 1 must be the new diesel bike being developed for the military and truck drivers like me? :D (poor guy makes ONE little typo and we are merciless! What are friends for?!! :) )

  • Sylvain

Posted June 26, 2003 - 02:50 AM


I had the same concern about the starting drill. :)

But let me tell you , my bike is bone stock except for the snorkel removed and 8 holes drilled in the end of my canadian pipe. I never had any trouble to kickstart it. :D

It fires 1st 2nd kick with choke when cold, and when I stall, it starts again first kick with the hot start.

I had it upside down a few times :D, and after cranking it with the decomp a few strokes, then pull hot start and it starts ! :D

Magic button ? I'm sure when you are use to it, it becomes a must. More so on steep incline or very bad position of rider/bike. :D

You have to make the decision and live with it, :D

(go blue :D)

  • racemile

Posted June 26, 2003 - 05:08 AM


I just recently talked my best friend into a DRZ400e. He was heading for a Honda 400.

My friend does not ride as well, as fast, as aggressively,or in competition as I do. Because of that, why buy a race bike if you don't want or need one. He also just wants to wash it and put it away. He is not into the tinkering like I am. Riding is a hobby for him and an obsession for me.

Even though trail riding is what I do 90% of the time, I have enjoyed everything about my WR. I get really funny looks from folks when I show up to ride a race with a headlight.

Long story short, REALLY examine what you want from the bike. Really examine what you want to do on the bike over the next three years. If your habits are more like my buddys get the DRZ. It is an outstanding ride. If you want to push the edge a little more, if you are going to do some harescrambles or enduros in the next few years or catch a little air now and then then I would really reco the WR.

All that being said; there are tons of people on this board on DRZ's that could and would beat me easily in any kind of race.

Rider ability counts for a hell of a lot more than the color of the bike you ride.


  • blireef

Posted June 26, 2003 - 07:08 AM


I can't really understand one thing. (actually there is more than one), but here goes AGAIN I had a WR426 and put 5000 miles on it from Baja to 5000 feet in Washington state. I "uncorked" it, cut wire, cut throttle stop, took top off airbox,put in Vortip in exhaust, put hot start on bars, and rode it... end of story, I never touched the carb, it never missed a beat, started first kick, hot or cold.. If I put it upside down I had to clear it with the compression release and then it started immediately. I DO NOT agree that you have to do all this re-jetting people talk about. I also agree that I would NOT get a DRZ just because it's hard to start the 426, they are great bikes! :D :)

  • Cid

Posted June 26, 2003 - 08:37 AM


OK OK OK.....6 months ago I was in the same position...exactly. DRZ400 or XR400....then by chance I happenend up a 2002 WR426. The price was great, and the bike was said to be in perfect condition. It had 72 original miles on the odo. I however knew nothing about the bike. I was just getting back into dirt bikes after about a 12 year lay off. I am 6'3" 255lbs 34 years old. Before going to check out the WR I was lucky enough to test out a friend of mine's XR 400. Wow...what a pig! Put some tracks on that thing and it could easily pass for a tank. Poor handling, funky suspension and fluffy power. The ergo's felt wrong. Next I went and checked out the DRZ 400. The ergo's felt better then the XR <i love a soft seat LOL>, but the bike was still HEAVY. Like Pig heavy. However, that magic button was very appealing. Lastly I went and looked at the 02 WR426. One ride up and down the street and in a local dirt field and I was like..."Sweet Mother Apple Pie I've found home!" Needless to say I was impressed. I keep hearing how it is "corked" from the factory, which to some it might be, but good grief mine is stock and it SCREAMS. I love...I mean LOVE the ergo's of this bike. It's the first bike I have ever been on that seems to fit me at over 6 foot. I love the seatheight, I love the way the bike handles..the suspension stock is very acceptable. The bike I bought looked brand new. It still had the little injection moldis on the front tire. The guy put an FMF powerbomb pipe and FMF powercore IV silencer on it before he rolled it out of the store. Gotta love it :) As far as starting? What a crock. Unless there is something bizzare about my bike, I have never had a problem starting it. NEVER. Not once. I went to Yamaha's website..watched the streaming 2 min video on starting the bike...use it every time and it fires 1st to 2nd kick everytime. /shrug DONT let that "hard to start" bs stop you from getting a truely amazing bike. Good luck.

ps I paid $4400 for my WR 6 months ago.

  • AZGlock21

Posted June 26, 2003 - 01:22 PM


You guys are amazing. Thanks very much for all the replys. I have learned more in a day of reading these posts that I have in weeks of talking to dealers..........Thanks again.


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