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vospertw

WR426 and some advice

13 posts in this topic

Hey folks, I currently ride a DR650 which is my commuting to work bike and my dirt bike for Baja. I'm pretty new to the dirt and would like to get a "real" dirt bike to practice on - tough to learn good techniques on a bike that weighs 360+ with gear and a couple gallons of gas. That, and I'd hate to dump it trying to push the edge since I need it on Monday mornings to head to work. I'm a fairly experienced street rider, 6'2" 185lbs, so I've been looking at bikes in the 400cc range.

I have an opportunity to buy a 2002 WR426F. First of all, are there any particular issues with this year/model? Second, for you guys in CA, would this be a PITA to make street legal? Is it worth trying to make one of these bikes street legal, or does it cause problems with the electrical system, add too much weight etc.? Or should I just keep it simple, throw it in the back of the truck, and drive it to the trails?

Thanks in advance for the advice.

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It's a great bike, as reliable as a tank. They aren't tough to DS, you cqn eihter go with a kit like Trick or BD and spend about 500 bucks and 4 or 5 hours to install, or pick up all the bits yourself for 200-250 and spend about 2 days building the harnesses etc and get exactly what YOU want. No issues, either. The switch, flush mount turn signals, and mirror don't add that much weight. The trick is getting it through the DMV to get a plate. Check in the Cali and DS forums for stories that range from Piece of Cake to No F'in way!, then decide for yourself if you want to take the plunge.

The WRs are a great ride with lots of performance potential, and as I said earlier, are stone reliable. Mine is DS'd and I love it.

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I also have a DR650 that started out mostly on the street and then got dirtier and dirtier. After a hard day of single track riding, I decided I needed a dedicated dirt bike and bought an used 2005 WR450. The lighter weight, better suspension and more responsive engine made trail riding much more fun. It definately is not as comfortable of a bike for road travel but it was meant to play in the dirt. The DR is one of the better 50/50 bikes but is definately out of its element in the tough stuff.

Paul

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IMO the 02 wr426 is one of the most bullet proof bikes ever made. Decent handling, good all around power and a healthy mid range hit. You can plate them in CA if you jump through the right hoops. I just got mine plated a couple of months ago.

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I'd also been looking at XR400's, though I seem to read more about hard starting XR's than DR's. One thing I noticed about the XR is that it has a much lower compression ratio... I'm assuming the WR uses premium gas. Price isn't my worry, but premium is sometimes hard to find in Baja. Do you guys have any advice/experience on running an occasional tank of lower octane fuel?

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I don't think I would compare an XR to a WR though the WR is a High compression high revving motor lots of power with better suspension Than the XR you would most likely have to do alot more work too the XR to get the performance of the WR.I have always ran premium in mine I LOVE my 02WR426

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I don't think I would compare an XR to a WR though the WR is a High compression high revving motor lots of power with better suspension Than the XR you would most likely have to do alot more work too the XR to get the performance of the WR.I have always ran premium in mine I LOVE my 02WR426

JRambo - any problems with the top end (engine, not speed...) on WR's? I've heard rumors that the 426 had some issues but I haven't seen anything solid. How about valve adjustment interval? Rake and trail specs?

I rode one yesterday but it was so far from stock that I'm not sure I got a good feel. Didn't feel good either about the current owner being convinced it was a 4 speed transmission (yep, there were 5 gears). Not sure if he hasn't seen 1st or 5th, but either way it's being lugged or over-revved. No idea of jetting, mods, etc. that were on the bike.

I was all set to pull the trigger until a friend of mine (who's a great dirt rider, but not a Yamaha guy) said he'd heard something about 426's, etc. Now I'm a little gun shy trying to make sure I know everything I should know.

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I rode the yz400f for five years, with almost 4500 miles logged in. I only ride trails and an occational track. Checked the valves at about 1500 miles and at 3500 miles, both times still were in spec. Not a single engine problem the whole time I owned it. Frequent oil changes (200-300 miles) and clean air filter every ride is about all it took.

I have since sold it and now on the wr426 for the last year. Love it! Best bike I've owned. Great low to mid power, and does OK on a track. IMO, 400/426 power plants have proven themselves many times. I think there are more rumors on the honda top end then yamaha.

my .02

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I rode the yz400f for five years, with almost 4500 miles logged in. I only ride trails and an occational track. Checked the valves at about 1500 miles and at 3500 miles, both times still were in spec. Not a single engine problem the whole time I owned it. Frequent oil changes (200-300 miles) and clean air filter every ride is about all it took.

I have since sold it and now on the wr426 for the last year. Love it! Best bike I've owned. Great low to mid power, and does OK on a track. IMO, 400/426 power plants have proven themselves many times. I think there are more rumors on the honda top end then yamaha.

my .02

Yama, I just added another post asking about the 600 mile valve interval I saw in the manual I downloaded. Sounds like that's not really a problem in reality. With the frequent oil changes, do you use synthetic or stick with a good regular oil/blend? Thanks!

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I have always used Motul 5100 full synthetic 10w-40. I have never had any problems with it. I've had great clutch life also with this oil.

The valves are not really an issue. If the bike is hard to start and doesn't produce good solid power, then I'd look into checking the valves for spec. Just keep it breathing clean air and keep clean oil in it, should get some years out of it. My buddy can't even start his '02 honda 450 because the valves and seats are hosed. I keep telling him my '02 runs like a top!

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Who would ever want a WR426?

they carry over 3 gallons of gas. They have lots of power. They don't have any starter problems. their suspension is good (very good after respring and revalve). They have huge radiators.

You should get a Honda!

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I have only checked mine never have had to shim them yet getting close but not yet.Never done anything to my top end yet either great bike.SOLID.

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I appreciate the info guys. Almost without exception, everyone I've talked to says they are great bikes. Going to Phoenix for Turkey Day so I'll have to wait until I return to pull the trigger. Thanks again for answering my questions.

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