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WR426 - Pros & Cons

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Looking at purchasing a used bike for trail riding and some desert and sand riding. I am 205lbs, 6' and have not be riding for several years. I use to ride a lot (last bike KTM 495) and even raced a little when I was much younger. Just want to have some fun now. Any suggestions on a good bike to get?

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One with E-start, I had a 2000 WR400 and it was an awsome bike but starting those is a PITA.

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An opened up, YZ timed WR426 will provide plenty of entertainment and they're reasonably priced. They're fast, reliable and have great suspension. The only thing you really need to do is get a YZ seat/tank setup and there are large capacity YZ tanks. It improves handling a ton.

Stay away from the 03' WR450 even if you get a screaming deal. You can search the WR400/426/450 forum for "Woodruff Key" and see why I am telling you this.

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Welcome!

I have lots of WR experience.

Pros:

- dead reliable machine

- plenty of power with the basic mods for trail, desert and even sand

- tons of aftermarket parts still available

- decent suspenion out of the box

Cons

- A bit top heavy, sometimes making tight trails a bit of work

- Starting drill

I rode my WR all over the place and honestly it was a great bike. It never let me down. To me, it has much of the utility of the XR400 but with more power and suspension. If you can find a well taken care of machine, you really can't go wrong.

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I absolutely love my bike. Other than the bike being so damn powerful it vibrates out all your bolts, it is a good damn bike. Plenty of power and great suspension once set up for your weight.

2 thumbs up

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I know you said you want used, but I gotta tel ya, the 06 WR450 is incredible! Sign up for some payments if you have too! :thumbsup:

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they are cheap, reliable, and still a weapon.

starting drill sux, but my neighbours wr426 starts first kick every time.

Just get jetting nailed and you won't have a problem.

You can change exhaust cam to later model auto decomp which is just as great as the e-start.

the spring rates were a bit weird, the fronts would be perfect for you but you might need a heavier shock spring.

For a used bike, I can't really think of a better bike. They are a ton of fun to ride, are a lot lighter than the XR's and nearly just as reliable, if you keep up on the maintenance, which is easiest of all "enduro race bikes". Just fresh oil and filter every 250 - 300 miles and you are fine. My neighbour's '01 WR426 valve clearances are still in spec, after about 6,000 miles of fairly hard trail riding.

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Stay away from the 03' WR450 even if you get a screaming deal. You can search the WR400/426/450 forum for "Woodruff Key" and see why I am telling you this.

Ok, I've just read some threads on this and need some clarification. Was the Woodruff Key problem limited to certain serial number motors or was it a problem on the entire production?

Also, seems like people had theirs fail right off the bat. These 03's are 3 years old now, I would think that if someone had an key failure it'd happened way before present day and didn't Yamaha issue a revised part i.e. can you even still purchase an "03" Woodruff key?

I know that my neighbor went through hell with is 01 Raptor tranny but the last one he put in it was an updated part unlike the 2nd one that went in under warranty which was the same bad-design/same exact part as the original that were prone to failing.

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You will love the 426/450 whichever you get.

If you can afford what amounts to $8k (if you are financing) for a new bike then that is a good suggestion, you can get one for about what???? $7600.00 if you pay cash?

A well maintained 426 or earlier 450 would be a badass machine to have, and if you get the Wr then like the other guy said, put a YZ tank/seat on it and call it a day.

Mine has been so much fun and so reliable that I am actually just fine with it for now, for what I do with it.

Go get one!

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03-04 450's can be had cheap lately, to the tune of about 4k.

Dont shy away from an 03 due to woodruff key issues, it can be definitively fixed, and many that are on the market have been fixed already.

However, if all else is the same, an 04 is a better choice only due to that.

All that being said, the 426 is an excellent bike, and a few of my friends ride them.

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I agree to be cautious of E-start problems with the 03 model, but if someone has a fear of the woodruff key shearing, they can always upgrade the related parts to the 04 version as lots of folks did, or do like I did and remove the E-start. I haven't missed it, although I might if I raced. And for what it's worth, many people never had the problem and have lots and lots of miles on them.

From what I've read, the 03/04 WR450 has the strongest motor(maybe just more "hit") of the recent years.

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Last year I picked up an immaculate '01 yz426. It was practically new, had been routinely maintenanced, and was only $2300. I found the ad on Thumpertalk. The only downside was it cost a lot to drive from OH to Minn! We harescramble back in NE OH and I love it way more than my '02 wr250f. The power is excellent, and although somewhat heavy, I've had no problems. My buddy has the 01 wr426f and I feel like I have the advantage on him because the yz has more snap, it's lighter, and I even prefer my gearing in the woods (although I'm looking for an auto clutch). Like the guys have said before, it's terriblely reliable. Mine has always started in the first couple kicks (and should if it's jetted properly). If you're not going real long without refueling, I like the slimmer tank on the older yz than on the wr. My wr's tank was HUGE.

Hope this helps. One things for sure the Yammy won't let you down!

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I picked up an '02 WR426 last fall for $3200. That included a Rekluse w/perch adj, auto-decom cam, pro tapers w/handguards, NPG coolant, radiator guards , street legal, relocated hot start, JD jetting kit, revalved suspension, etc.

With the decomp cam, it starts in 1-3 kicks every time, hot or cold.

IMHO, paying less than half of new and getting a great couple-of-year-old bike with lots of upgrades already in place makes a hell of a lot more sense than spending $8k for a new stock one...

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IMHO, paying less than half of new and getting a great couple-of-year-old bike with lots of upgrades already in place makes a hell of a lot more sense than spending $8k for a new stock one...

smartest thing i have heard all week!

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Looking at purchasing a used bike for trail riding and some desert and sand riding. I am 205lbs, 6' and have not be riding for several years. I use to ride a lot (last bike KTM 495) and even raced a little when I was much younger. Just want to have some fun now. Any suggestions on a good bike to get?

The pros and cons well? I bought my wr426 01 almost 2 years ago used paid $2500 for it and it was almost new. As for reliablity I have had no real problems with the bike and I have rode the crap out of it. launched it pilotlessly on several occassions 10 to 12 ft in the air over granite. nothing broke or bent for that matter. As for bolts rattleing loose I have never even had to tighten anything on the bike which I did not take off my self durring what little maintenance I have done such as chain sproket. seat to clean airfilter. I believe the whole trick is use loc-tite when removing and reinstalling bolts. My wr has a 3.4 gal tank on it I am 5'8" tall and 200lbs I ride desert and tight and harry single track the bike will go about 100 miles on a tank of gas with about another 15 to 25 using the reserve. The wr does not pose any problems from weight issues in my opinion.

Cons : I dont think there is any

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Went from my 01 yz426 to an 05 wr450. I love the 450 but it can't compare to the top end hit of that properly set up 426. Dead nuts reliable (if you don't forget the loctite ). learn the starting drill and it will run just fine. My has a big tank and has been supermotarded, harescrambled and raced in the desert.

Can't really go wrong if you find a nice example in the 2k$ range.

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My brother-in-law has a xr650r with a ton of mods and he loves to trade bikes with me to feel the mean 426 hit. His honda is very comfortable with liner power and I think would be killer in wide open spaces but no fun in the tight stuff.

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