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sheesfast

Best Year of the 426?

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Hey guys, I have not posted much AT ALL here, but i have been a lurker for some time. I have decided that I want to buy a YZ/WR426f, because of the price and power. So What year would you guys recommend? Would you list the changes if any?

Thanks

-Ray

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All the 426's are pretty much bullet proof. The 2000 model had SS valves which last forever, but they had a grabby clutch and a few other quirks. The 2001 & 2002 had titanium valves, but most bikes out there are still on the original valves. The 2001/02 are pretty much the same bike. The 02 model was a little more refined.

With that said, look at a few 426's and make your purchase decision based on how many hours are on the bike and how well the owner maintained it. I wouldn't base my decision on an exact year, because they where all good bikes.

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wow thanks for the quick reply!

What would I keep a look out for to help me know how used the bike is?

Some ads say low hours, but how would I verify that?

So the best buy would be the bike with newest with best care taken?

-Ray

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wow thanks for the quick reply!

What would I keep a look out for to help me know how used the bike is?

Some ads say low hours, but how would I verify that?

So the best buy would be the bike with newest with best care taken?

-Ray

Lift up on the seat and listen for a clunk, if so it needs some swing arm bearings or some internal shock parts. Wiggle the rims back and forth to check for loose wheel bearings, while your at it look at the rims and spokes for damage. Pull the seat off, remove the air filter and have a look in the air intake, it should be clean of course. Pull the dip stick and see how clean the oil looks. Start it up, a 426 in good condition should start within 3 kicks. Smell the exhaust for a burning oil scent. Ride it down the street and make sure it shifts smoothly and make sure it doesn't pop out of gear. Some guys on here have reported tranny problems (mostly from abuse).

Also ask lots of questions to see how knowledgeable the owner is. If he doesn't know there are 2 drain plugs then chances are he hasn't taken care of it. Ask to see reciepts for parts and accessories, most people hang on to them.

Good luck. :applause:

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Having a '00, I'd prefer a 01 or 02. Certain aftermarket parts are not made for the 00 model(i.e. Hinson clutch basket, front brake rotor, etc.)

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thanks 642!

and Gix, thats helpful, I didnt think to check for parts availability.

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sheesfast, here's my advice as a former 00 426 owner. The 00 is a rock solid bike... if it has been taken care of (the same can be said of an 01 or 02 though). The 00 did have a few problems, but chances are any previous owners will have taken care of them. The clutch was the major one, but is easily fixed with 01 parts. The 450 exhaust cam is a must do mod for a 426 IMO. Other than that, you can't go wrong with any of the 426's. If you get an 00, I'd suggest getting an 02 take-off upper clamp or an aftermarket top clamp, because the 00 clamp was a little low. Change the front brake line to a CR style, and maybe do the upgrade to a Honda or newer Yamaha front master cylinder. I had my 426 since new and owned it for 6 years, I still regret selling it :) If you have any questions, feel free to post or shoot me a PM.

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I had a 2002 and supposedly it started easier than the 01 but you can fix that relatively easy.

Learn from my mistake...Bring a motorcycle stand when you go look at the bike and throw it on to inspect. I bought a bike that had original tires and almost brand new and he wrecked once on it. Got home and threw it on the stand and the front brake rotor was bent:thumbsdn: When it's on the stand it's a great time to check the wheel bearings like mentioned before. Also check the clutch cover and see how much has been worn off from shifting. Good indicator especially if they have repainted the frame, i have seen that one before too but it was super easy to tell that it had been repainted

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I have a '00 and love it. The SS valves I prefer over Ti. However, the clutch had been upgraded to the '01 so no worries there.

The cam mod is a good mod, but the AP mos works wonders (unless you go to ZipTY which is better).

Anyway, as was already stated, check all the bearings for play. I would bet the linkage bearings are worn as that is the most overlooked part. Take a look under the rear brake line and see how worn the swingarm is, that will give you a good idea how much the bike was actually ridden.

As for parts, you can get the hinson when you upgrade to the '01 clutch. Also, you can do the 450 conversion for fresh graphics and to screw with the rangers in CA....lol (just finished mine).

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I recently purchased an 02 that had been neglected by it's owner. Not from hours of hard riding, but from a lack of maintenance and cleaning. I pulled the entire bike apart, cleaned everything and found these areas that you might check. I also asked him to take it to a Yamaha dealer to get it running, change the oil, replace the air filter, and check the valves. He did it, so you might think about requesting that.

1) Front forks and Rear shock - I had new fluid installed in the forks and the rear rebuilt with new seals and oil. The suspension guy told me it was just dirty. It rides like a dream now vs. it acting like a pogo stick before.

2) Air cleaner - my air filter box had sludge build up and dirt in the bottom of the case. The part between the filter and the carb was clean but all that crap in the bottom isn't good. Clean it out.

3) Swingarm and wheel bearings - Luckily I still had grease in my swingarm bearings so I lubed them the best I could(will do a full removal and relube this winter). Wheel bearings looked good, I'm guessing he didn't use a powerwasher on the thing.

4) Chain and sprockets - Original and were junk. Purchased a new chain, 14/50 sprockets and put them on as well.

It looks like you have enough posts to spend months checking this bike out, but I can tell you if it's priced right, buy it. I hear nothing but bulletproof reliability and it's a blast to ride.

Good Luck!

Eric

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you guys are so full of info!

this is great, I will make a list of the key points for when I check things out.

I still have to sell some of our quads so I can get my funds up, so I'll be moving a TRX300EX soon. I guess its a good idea to check out the stuff you have listed here on my quads lol.

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I have a '00 426 and until recently have been very happy with it. Now it either won't idle or idles fast, pops A LOT on deceleration, is a beotch to start when its been sitting for a few weeks. I've cleaned the carb out thoroughly, replaced the pilot jet (went to a 48, have a Power Bomb and Q), put on a Boyesen pump cover and cleaned up all the vent hoses. It was running poorly before I did all that and still runs poorly.

Don't let this scare you from the '00 426 sheesfast, I'm more looking for any advice the other '00 owners might have.

Once I get it running its up for sale anyway, but I don't want to dump my problems on someone else - that's not cool.

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I have a '00 426 and until recently have been very happy with it. Now it either won't idle or idles fast, pops A LOT on deceleration, is a beotch to start when its been sitting for a few weeks. I've cleaned the carb out thoroughly, replaced the pilot jet (went to a 48, have a Power Bomb and Q), put on a Boyesen pump cover and cleaned up all the vent hoses. It was running poorly before I did all that and still runs poorly.

Don't let this scare you from the '00 426 sheesfast, I'm more looking for any advice the other '00 owners might have.

Once I get it running its up for sale anyway, but I don't want to dump my problems on someone else - that's not cool.

Check your valves, it's probably time to adjust them. After 7 years they may have finally moved outta spec - Maybe? Knowing these 426 motors though they may actually still me in spec. Maybe check for an air leak or check out your hot start system. The popping makes me think it's lean and thats where I'd start.

Sheesfast - Buy the 426 and never look back. My '01 is rock solid, I've ridden tight trails to hill climbs to Baja. The bike just rocks and keeps rockin. Just check all the items that have been suggested to check for abuse and then enjoy :)

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Thanks alot guys this post was very helpful, didn't have to ask any question, going to buy my first thumper tomorrow, will share pics, have not ride in a while and this seems to be a hell of a bike so will trake it easy, but I am a big guy 6'3"and 270 pounds and losing weight so this should hall my butt around nicely, just looking to do some light trail riding on my of days. OH almost forget its a '02 yz426 brap brappp:ride:

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I bought a lightly used 01 around 2 years ago....Im riding around 100 hours a year..This is a great machine..I was really nervous about buying a 4 stroke..but I found a nice one, and this site helped me make that decision..

I paid 3 grand...and all it has cost me is tires and oil changes and a couple of jets...I replaced the cam chain as preventitive maintenance..chain and sprockets also..

If I had to dump a grand into this bike for a total rebuild, I would..its plenty fast, tons of torque...and rebuilt, I would get another 3 years out of it..I Love riding, but I like getting in, spending wayyy under what a new bike cost..Lets say Im thrifty...Im not a racer, not a track rider...Just desert singletracker..and this bike fits the bill...

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Thanks alot guys this post was very helpful, didn't have to ask any question, going to buy my first thumper tomorrow, will share pics, have not ride in a while and this seems to be a hell of a bike so will trake it easy, but I am a big guy 6'3"and 270 pounds and losing weight so this should hall my butt around nicely, just looking to do some light trail riding on my of days. OH almost forget its a '02 yz426 brap brappp:ride:

nice!

yah man please do keep us updated!

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Ok, took off the wazoo Applied hot start kit that routed over to my front brake perch, reinstalled the stocker and idle/popping problem went away. I knew I had eliminated any air leak problems in the intake so that was a good place to look. Thanks for the tip SRT (its got very low hours for its age, but its going to get a valve adjustment anyway as well). I'm going to stick a 42 pilot back in there anyway since I'll probably end up in Gorman once or twice with it before it goes up for sale.

Bigworm - give George at ESP a call. He'll make it ride like a Cadillac for ya.

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I've got an '01 YZ426. Never had any major mechanical issues with it. Rock solid bike. My wife is after me to sell it, as I hardly ride it anymore because i've got a few 450's now.

I just don't have the heart to part with it just yet.

You can't go wrong with any of the 426's. :)

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I've got an 02 and love it. Never had any major problems with it, the only things I've had to do to it was replace the front wheel bearings, and replace the petcock gasket (it was fauling every time I tried to start it). Other then that, just regular oil changes and whatnot has kept it running like a top. I'd say the 02 is the best year, because its newest and its what I own. :)

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