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ripntear

Handling and a YZ 426F

38 posts in this topic

Hey everyone. I am new here but have done some surfing trying to figure out if the handling on a 01'426 is as bad as I have heard. I am buying a 2001 YZ 426F in a couple of weeks from a friend for $2250 (low hours, well maintained) and am very excited. However, I keep hearing about how bad they corner and would like some suggestions on what would be a fairly low cost enhancement. The closest thing I have ridden to this bike, is a buddys KTM 620 LC4 4-5 years ago. I have owned 87 CR250, 90 KTM 300 EXC, 91 KTM 300 EXC, 93 KTM 300 MXC and a 94 KTM 300 MXC (sweet bike I might add) so I am somewhat nervous that my expectations may be higher than they should be.

I would greatly appreciate any direction you can give me and web links to check out the parts/add ons necessary.

ripntear

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Since it belongs to a friend, can't you ride it first and see what YOU think about the handling ?

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DrThumper,

Handling was not the correct word to use. It is mainly cornering that I have heard all the bad buzz about. I see that you have or had a 2000. Dose it corner as well as you feel that it should? I have ridden bikes that seem to push through the corner where you are having to fight and muscle the bike. I have also ridden bikes that seemed to glide without effort through and out of a corner. I seen where others had spoke of the Storm Linkage for help with this, but it dose not look like Storm offers one for a 2001.

I know most of the other tricks like raising your forks up slightly, rebound and sag. I guess that I need to just spend somtime on it before I have myself convinced that it isn't going to handle well.

ripntear

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426-Texan,

Yes I can try it first. However, the bike is about 6 1/2 hours from where I live and don't have the time to really take it out and put it through a true test. This is why I am searching for a possible fix so that if when I get it back home and it is hard to corner, I will have a game plan to remedy the problem.

ripntear

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I have a 01 426 and a 02 250. My son likes the 250 because of the weight difference but with a different style can ride the 426 as fast. His complaint is that when he nails the 426 in a corner it wheelies, so he has to drive it in harder and pivot it to drive it out. For me, much older, I like the power of the 426 over the 250, both make me tired fast. I have not heard any complaints from my crew about handling. IMO

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I have an '01 and have the sag set at approx 100mm, forks are up 10mm in the clamps and the rear wheel is as far forward as possible, giving me the shortest wheelbase possible.

I have no trouble turning the bike at all.

Merf

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Merfman,

Thanks for the info.

How dose your 426 take the mountains? I ride Tres Ritos NM but have never been there on a 426 thumper. It has always been on a KTM300 2banger with a heaver flywheel, being that they were an EXC and MXC models.

ripntear

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brucifier,

So it is a torque issue. Traction is wanting to stand the bike upright instead of the rear tire breaking loose and letting it maintain the lean. Sounds like I am in for a whole new riding style than what I am use to.

ripntear

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To quote a motocross magazine on the '02 426, "it corners like the front wheel is planted and gowing roots. In fact it corners better than the '02 YZ 250". My 426 corners better than my YZ 250. It rides different than a 2 stroke but it is just a matter of learning how to ride it. I love it on the trails too.

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notuagn,

Nice Bike!

Have you done any mods to it?

I know that there were several improvements in 2002 over the 2001. Do you think that the '01 corners anything like the '02? Is there quite a bit of engine brake when you let off of it? I am glad to hear you like it on the trails. Thats my favorite type of riding!

ripntear

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I've got a 400, and there was a lot of engine braking , still is I suppose compared to a two smoke. I did the 450 cam mod and this helped me out a great deal.

You may want to do some research on this mod (450 cam with auto decomp). Also, if you are into trails, a flywheel weight will help. Maybe gear down a tad too. Mine is still too tall in first for tight single track. Took a ride on my friends WR450 and his 2nd was about where my 1st gear is.

Can't comment too much on the handling as the 400 is my first bike, but I like it :thumbsup:

Enjoy your new thumper!

Lukejt:usa:

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Merfman,

Thanks for the info.

How dose your 426 take the mountains? I ride Tres Ritos NM but have never been there on a 426 thumper. It has always been on a KTM300 2banger with a heaver flywheel, being that they were an EXC and MXC models.

ripntear

Well, any YZF will run circles around a KTM when it comes to turning, especially in hard pack. I think most KTMs tend to push the front end, the 426 has the opposite characteristic. As already stated in this thread, it is completely planted and goes exactly where you point it...

...getting it pointed there requires slightly more effort than most two strokes, but the 426 is very predictable, planted, and fast when it comes to corners. That is its strong suit as far as I'm concerned (even more so than the motor, which gets all the pub).

I've owned and thrashed an '00 and '01, trust me they corner like they are on rails compared to most bikes, that was the biggest difference between my old bike and current one (an '03 CRF).

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Hick is right! the YZ 426 is a good handling bike. Front end sticks, great in the whoops, but the weight is the issue compared to the new 450's and a 250. It's an elephant that can dance.

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Merfman,

Thanks for the info.

How dose your 426 take the mountains? I ride Tres Ritos NM but have never been there on a 426 thumper. It has always been on a KTM300 2banger with a heaver flywheel, being that they were an EXC and MXC models.

ripntear

I raced this bike for 3 years before switching to a WR450. My impressions of riding in the mountains after riding the WR.

1) A flywheel would help.

2) It's geared a little tall for the really gnarly stuff.

That's all I'd change. My WR is a little heavy when pushed to the limits (limits as defined by me anyway) and I can feel the diff between the YZ and the WR. I really like the lower 1st on the WR in the nasties though and the flywheel makes it a little less vulnerable to stalling.

The YZ is really a great bike for the woods. I had mine set up for a 50/50 mix of woods/track. I kepts the YZ when I bought the WR as the WR isn't very moto-friendly. I now have pretty much the perfect setup for me for woods and track.

BTW, I raced the YZ in the TSCEC circuit too. It's a GREAT bike for your neck of the woods. (Amarillo)

Merf

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notuagn,

Nice Bike!

Have you done any mods to it?

I know that there were several improvements in 2002 over the 2001. Do you think that the '01 corners anything like the '02? Is there quite a bit of engine brake when you let off of it? I am glad to hear you like it on the trails. Thats my favorite type of riding!

ripntear

Thanks for the compliment. My YZF is 100% bone stock. No plans on modifications right now.

The '01 will corner just as well as the '02. I enjoy trail riding and motocross tracks. I went with the YZF for that reason. My neighbors took me on a trail ride and all of them were running 2 strokes. I had to keep my distance back because I always found myself right on top of them.

All of the replies to this message are correct. Basically point and shoot. I went to the library and checked out an '02 motocross magazine that had reviews of the bike when it first came out. They did a shootout with a CRF450 and a KTM 525. They said the YZF was the best all round bike and cornered the best out of all the bikes.

I have noticed a weight difference compared to my old YZ250. It's like jumping a tank but it has an incredible amount of power and will fling you over the jumps.

It does have engine braking. It can be an advantage and a disadvantage. For trail riding it is an advantage for me for going down steep hills also coming in hot into corners. Jumping was a learning moment. The engine braking gets less and less the higher in the gears but make sure your gassing it through the jump. I guess you can tell I like my bike.

I will never go back to a 2 stroke. :thumbsup:

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The 02 bikes use a different linkage and different length shock. The frame geometry is the same.

You cannot use the storm linkage on the 98-01 bikes, but you can use the ZipTy Racing Magic linkage to help things out. The bike will corner quicker, but you will have to reset the sag on the bike after the installation of the linkage.

Cornering is not a problem on the bike, it is just getting over the extra weight compared to a 2 stroke. The 450s only have about 7lbs less than a 426, but still more than the 250s. It is something you have to get use to.

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I have an 00 426. I recently moved up from a CR125 which handled excellent [iMO]. I was concerned about handling, weight, etc. I'm happy to report that I am enjoying the ride. The power delivery is excellent, the agility is good and I haven't noticed anything negative about the bikes handling yet. I primarily ride trails but have had it on the track [where I am more comfortable] and it's responded very well. So going from a very light and agile bike [CR125] to the bigger, more power bike has been a good experience for me.

to steal a quote... "I highly recommend it if you have the means... it is so choice!" [Ferris Beuller] :thumbsup:

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I have an 02 426 and with the stock Dunlop 739 it did corner like crap in sandy sections. But the 739 is not designed for that. I moved to a 756 and the problem was solved. The bike really responds when I lean it over, sit on the outside of the seat and weight the outside peg. You can feel the sucker dig in and go. I have ridden 02/03/02 CRF450s and they were perhaps a little easier to get to turn in. Have also ridden a 98 or 99 400 and and 03 YZ450. The 03 did feel lighter and that made it turn in good but I was under strict order to not crash it so I was not pushin as hard as I would have on my bike. I felt the 400 turned well also so I suspect the 01 426 will be fine.

Also, don't feel like the cam mod is a neccessity. Lot's of guys have done it and it does work as advertised. It is just that personally, I have not had the need. When I first got the bike I stalled it alot and felt I needed, but as I got a better feel for the rear brake and got better on the bike that problem went away. It is rare the I stall it now, maybe if I panic when someone falls in front of me (rare) or a couple of time my big ole foot hits it when I land a jump. And I like being able to pull in the decomp lever to kick it over 15 or so times to clean it out if I screw up an flood it. I have seen a lot of 450 rides kicking the snot out of there bikes and mine starts very VERY reliably. Not knocking the cam mod here cause it does do what is is supposed to do, I just don't think that it is as neccessary as some people thing. Heard it does give better power but I can't use what I have now LOL.

The 03 YZ4550 I rode IS a better bike but after riding I do actually feel much better about mine. It is not as far behind and I tought it was.

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Matt96xr6,

Thanks for the tip on the ZipTY Racing Magic linkage. I will check into it. Is there anyone here who as actually installed one? If so, what do you think about it?

I am use to riding with a lot of weight anyway. Fannypack (loaded with tools), CamelBack (2 Qts) and all my other riding gear. Hopefully It won't be to much of a weight shock. If it is, oh well....gas it and go!

ripntear

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