Help dirt bike decisions 02 yz 426

Hey everyone, I am a sport bike rider looking to get into the dirt bike world.. I am 6ft and an agressive rider. I ride a 600 honda

What bikes would your reccomend? I'm taking a look at a 02 yz 426 tomorrow, single owner(vet) never had engine work done, low hours... Asking 1800

I also considered a honda 450 but heard they have valve problems that i dont really feal like dealing with...

Is this a good sized bike? I have ridden a yzf125 2 stroke, ttr230 4stroke(under powered)

I loved my 01 426 but an 02 with no engine work done? Probably is just waiting to explode, then you end up with a $2000 rebuild on a $1800 bike. I would go a few years newer if you can. I think vet owned is a good way to go though. . .

I am used to two strokes, and have always done work my self top ends, valves etc. Can you do preventitive maintenance like slap some new rings on? What is the typical rebuild interval for a non compitition run 4 stroke engine...

I have a 2000 YZ426 that I have ridden the $%!@ out of for the past 5 years. I think the previouse owner also rode $%!@ out of it. I won't lie, I have been anticipating the explosion but it hasn't happen, yet. If the bike is in good shape and he asking $1800.00, I think your getting alot of bang for your buck! My feeling on a YZ426, as long as the maintenance stays on schedule they're a great bike.

You never know when a motor is going to grande.

It would also be nice to ride a newer 450, but that also cost more.

Good Luck

Well that is just the thing if it has had exceptional maintenance, which most don't then the Yamaha motor is very reliable. You can buy a topend kit for it as a long as you are mechanically inclined and have a good selection of tools. As far as interval it depends on the use of the bike I am 50/50 mx/trail and my 04 450 still has great compression after 60 hours on a valve grind and new topend. After this summer I am planning to tear into it again and minimum do a top end job on it.

I have a 2000 YZ426 that I have ridden the $%!@ out of for the past 5 years. I think the previouse owner also rode $%!@ out of it. I won't lie, I have been anticipating the explosion but it hasn't happen, yet. If the bike is in good shape and he asking $1800.00, I think your getting alot of bang for your buck! My feeling on a YZ426, as long as the maintenance stays on schedule they're a great bike.

You never know when a motor is going to grande.

It would also be nice to ride a newer 450, but that also cost more.

Good Luck

I would think he can find a 04 or 05 450 for just 400-600 dollars more. Just shop around.

The guy said it has a Factory Connection suspension as well.. I have done top ends on 3 cyl jetski motors and many smaller 1cyl motors before. They guy said he was neg on the price, was planning on offering 1350 and settling on $1500

What's a top end cost in parts for one of these?

I'm taking a look at it tomorrow, what should i look for in one of these? Any valve chatter, abnormal wear etc... Should it kick over 1-3 time for normal start?

Thanks for the help..

WOW thats a lot to answer I will try.

1. as far as valve chatter most 400/426/450 motors are noisy so listening won't help you a whole lot.

2. 1350 IMO is a slap in the face you don't want to piss off a seller either. I would offer 1500 like you said, and if he doesn't take it walk away.

3. the top end depends on what needs to be fixed just a piston, rings etc. is 200-300 bucks.

4. If its warm should pretty much start of 1-3 kicks, that also depends on if its jetted properly not necasarilly engine problems. I would feel the engine to see if he started it and let it warm up before you got their.

5. If it takes 10-20 kicks to start it could simply be because it hasn't been ran in awhile my 04 is a pain to start when it sits for several weeks during the winter.

6. See if you can ride it and make sure it goes through all five gears and everything in general feels fine other than that it is mostly left to fate!

Good luck!

If you're just getting into it and want a cheap easy to maintain bike, the yz125 may be the way to go. That being said, I was in a similar situation a couple years ago, got a 125 2 stroke (I'm 6ft/170 geared up) and was wishing for more useable power after a few rides-I ride mainly trails, fire roads, and sand dunes.

For comparison, I recently bought a clean low hours everything stock 01 yz426 for $1800. It has good tires, chain and sprockets and really only needed valves checked and the 2 exhaust valves were slightly out and needed 2 new shims. Here's what I learned with mine.

1.It has all the power/torque you would ever want. yz426's are generally bulletproof if taken care of properly. You probably won't need a new top end unless the bike was neglected (owner didn't clean air filter or change oil)

2.Valves and cam chain seem to make noise even when in good shape, but you will need to check/adjust valves and replace the cam timing chain ($30-40 for yam oem) anyway-this goes for any used yz426/450 more than a year old.

3.Most here recommend adding an exhaust cam with auto-decompression while your at it.

4.The suspension work was probably for his weight and riding style and shouldn't add value to the bike. You may need to have the suspension re-valved for you (unless your weight and riding style are similar to the current owner).

5.Since you're new to dirt bikes, yz's don't come with a spark arrestor (most mx/race bikes don't). You'll need a spark arrestor for use on public land.

6.Look at obvious things like tires and check chain and sprockets, if worn, factor into your price.

7.As opposed to your streetbike, dirtbikes need bearings serviced and repacked with grease frequently due to dirt, mud, water, frequent washings, etc. If the bike has minimal use, they may be OK. I would ask him if he ever seviced bearings.

8.Pull up on the back fender to extend the shock/suspension and if you feel metal on metal clunking, its a sign of bad swingarm/linkage/shock bearings. Ideally, put it on a stand or bucket and wiggle wheels and swingarm back and forth, there should be very minimal to no movement. Same for front end movement at forks/head bearings.

9.Look for leaking fork and shock seals.

10.Have him pull the seat off and look at the airbox, if the filter is ripped, exceedingly dirty or otherwise full of dirt/sand, it has probably not been taken care of and a good chance dirt and sand have made it into the engine and caused wear.

11.Ask what oil he uses and about when it was last changed, he should know if he does it. These aren't like streetbikes where you can go a couple thousand miles, needs to be at least every 6-8 hours or maybe 4 rides, and some consider that stretching it.

12.There is a starting ritual you have to go through with the manual decompression which isn't bad if you know what you're doing, the owner should be able to show you and start it in 3-4 kicks when cold as long as the spark plug is new/good. Number of kicks isn't always a great indicator of the engine condition, he might take 20 kicks if he doesn't know what he's doing and floods it. You could find the link or maybe somebody here could post it on the starting routine.

13.Ride and shift through the gears and make sure it doesn't “jump out” of gear since some on here have had problems. I think this is more on bikes that have had a history of a lot of stress on the transmission and possibly not so smooth shifting. I think its usually 4th or 5th.

14.You could talk him down a little on price just based on the need for valve check, cam chain and possibly the need for suspension work to set it up for you. If it checks out OK, sounds like a good deal if you can pick it up for $1500-1800. If you need the suspension reworked for your weight, I would go closer to 1500.

15.If you get it do the auto-decomp cam, BK mod and free powernow/jamesnow-I just added these last two and it runs like fuel injected and way easier to start. Also, if you need one, you can find a link to a free repair manual here somewhere.

WOW, thanks tons AJ and every one else for your time.. Good points on everything.. I just did a valve job on my sport bike my self so it should be childs play compared to that.. I'll look into to manual decompression tonight befor i go so I can tell if he knows what he is talking about.

If it runs good go for it. Seams like a great price. I have a 2001 426 that has never been torn down except for the hot cam upgrade. They are very reliable and great bikes!!

I took a look at the bike to day. The owner used the bike for racing strictly.50 race hours on it. Bike was jetted for winter. Said he changed the oil and air filter every race..

Never had valves or any other work done to it.. Head bults looked untuched.

I asked how low he would go he said 1500.. I didnt try to get him down because i wasnt sold yet..

It ran good and started fine.. Looked in good condition newer tires.. All shocks and bearing were tight and performed as would be expected..

I'm leaning towards no because the way i figure it I would have to do a preventitive top end-$200 for parts Valve adjust and timing chain.. I'll be into it for 2k at that point..

I also think he was an agressive rider because he said he had to stop riding because he has had 5 concussions.. Maybe a little retarded now as well lol..

... the way i figure it I would have to do a preventitive top end-$200 for parts Valve adjust and timing chain.. I'll be into it for 2k at that point..
That's an assumption not supported by any history. The timing chain is a good idea, but don't put money on it needing a valve adjustment, or a top end.

I don't know what you think you might be able to get into for $1500, but you described a well maintained and cared for unit in good condition as is. If you pass on that, it should be in order to spend more on a later model.

I would pass on it for another bike that has been ridden less hard regardless.. I know that when in compitition you dont exactly ride conservatively. If he ran it strictly for comp, I assume he was on the throttle hard and running the motor to more extream conditions than the average rider would. 50 hours racing is darasticly diff that 50 hours of mixed riding giving the owners take equal care of the bike..

I'm leaning towards no because the way i figure it I would have to do a preventitive top end-$200 for parts Valve adjust and timing chain.. I'll be into it for 2k at that point..

I also think he was an agressive rider because he said he had to stop riding because he has had 5 concussions.. Maybe a little retarded now as well lol..

Maybe the concussions have impaired his judgement:bonk: , $1500 sounds like a steal on a well maintained bike that you describe. Your there looking at it in person, so decision is up to you and your gut feeling.

I wouldn't rebuild the top end. You would only have to pay for a couple shims if any valves are out and a cam chain for $30-40 bucks.

I have an 01' 426 and all original motor and is tip top.

Well tuned, well taken care, not over revved because someone doesn't understand where the power is on a 4 stroke....should last for many years!Paid $1600 for mine in the dead of winter last year.

I had an 00 426 that i bought new.i had the wiseco high comp piston put in it regretted doing it tho as it ran alot hotter and made a few more noises but power was awesome.But then sum low life pinched it on me.So now ive got an 03 450 and must admit i prefer it over the 426.Not as top heavy and a bit easier to ride.But i still miss the old beast and would love to get it back.But do your self a favour and pay the extra and get a 450 and there a bit easier to ride aswell

I took a look at the bike to day. The owner used the bike for racing strictly.50 race hours on it. Bike was jetted for winter. Said he changed the oil and air filter every race..

Never had valves or any other work done to it.. Head bults looked untuched.

I asked how low he would go he said 1500.. I didnt try to get him down because i wasnt sold yet..

It ran good and started fine.. Looked in good condition newer tires.. All shocks and bearing were tight and performed as would be expected..

I'm leaning towards no because the way i figure it I would have to do a preventitive top end-$200 for parts Valve adjust and timing chain.. I'll be into it for 2k at that point..

I also think he was an agressive rider because he said he had to stop riding because he has had 5 concussions.. Maybe a little retarded now as well lol..

I wouldn't pass on it just because it was race many racers take better care of their bikes than the average guy does and according to your post seems he is the type to do the extra maintenance.

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