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TheBigKahuna

Which bike....02 YZ426F or 03 YZF450?

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02 YZ426F or 03 YZF450?

Both in really good stock condition...price within $100 of each other. Which is better, and why?

Used for track play, some trails, fire roads, etc...general purpose off road bike by 6-3" 200+ pound guy.

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I had an 03 WR 450 and a friend had the 02 426. I realize the wr had a different powerband, but from what I observed and have gathered from others is that the 426 had more aggressive power. The 03 450 will have slightly better susp. and parts of all types will likely be more available.I'd probably buy the one with the best maint. records and I'd avoid paying over 2 grand!

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No question, get the 2003 450. Auto decompression, frame, suspension, motor, all good reasons.

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Price range between the two is about $1500-1600. Both look well cared for, not raced, pretty much completely stock.

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Yep, the auto decomp is worth the price diff even if everything else was the same on the 03.

No question, get the 2003 450. Auto decompression, frame, suspension, motor, all good reasons.

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I realize the wr had a different powerband, but from what I observed and have gathered from others is that the 426 had more aggressive power.

You got that wrong. The '03 was abrupt and aggressive to a fault.

The '02 is probably a bit more versatile overall ride, while the '03 is 15 pounds lighter. The '02's a 5 speed, the '03's a 4 speed. 4thh gear in the '03 is nearly as tall as the '02 5th, though.

Auto decompression can be added by changing the exhaust cam. Suspension is about the same

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I agree with Grayrider. The 426 if it was properly maintained is a better and more versitile bike. I know several riders with the 03 450 and to a man they said it is brutish and abrupt (as grayracer said) The suspension is pretty close to the same. My 02 426 has done me well with just springs from Race Tech to match my weight and keeping fresh fork oil in the tubes. I am biased but that is my feeling on the 2 bikes. Your money and it is certainly your choice. Check them both out carefully, especially the 03 frame, several bikes I have seen personally had minute cracks on the down tube.

Bill

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I had an '01 426 and an '03 450. Both were awsome bikes. I rode mx and trails with both of them. If both bikes have been well maintained, my suggestion would be to go with the '03 especially for $100 price difference. The main reason is the weight. The 450 feels much lighter, especially in the front end, than the 426. I agree the 426 has a more versatile motor and the '03 motor in stock form is a beast for trails. The 450 can be tamed though with a fly wheel weight, but that extra 15 pounds the 426 carries is impossible to get rid of.

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I had both and the 03 is more of a race bike than the 02, it has a much sharper focus and the bike doesn't suffer fools, it's really fast and the suspension is very stiff stock. Spend a few more bucks and find a good low hour 04 crf it's a much better all around bike.

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Most people can't afford to own an '04 CRF.

An alternative would be to save a little more and step up to a used '06 YZ450, which is a far better bike than the previously mentioned ones combined, and can be had in good condition for under $3K these days.

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The power delivery on the 03 450 is the reason I stepped down to the 250f. I liked the 400 and the 426 power but the 03 450 was way more than i wanted to handle as I could only hang on for short periods.

I guess the answer depends on how you like your power delivered.

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As you described the type of riding you want to do, you will be happier with a 5 speed. The Auto Decomp is an easy mod. You can't add 5th gear. You will like the 5 spd gearing better when trail riding, and 5th is overdrive, so you will have a lower cruising RPM. I doubt you will notice the difference in the weight for what you are doing.

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I had both and the 03 is more of a race bike than the 02, it has a much sharper focus and the bike doesn't suffer fools, it's really fast and the suspension is very stiff stock. Spend a few more bucks and find a good low hour 04 crf it's a much better all around bike.

:bonk: its a yamaha furum!, unless you are a valve specialist,tranny mechanic or just like to work on your bike more then riding, i whould stay with yamaha for 06 and under, they have the reputation to be bulletproff, unlike suzuki honda or kawi in there first years of production.

this days all colours seems to be preety close, but then again there is a new yamaha 450f around the corner:worthy:.

:bonk:

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I've owned 3 crf 450's never a single valve issue or tranny issue of course two i bought new and I am very careful to keep the airfilter clean and the oil changed. Maintaince is the key to any bike. 02 426's have problems if you don't keep grease on the head stay bearings, if they dry out and grove in the races they are a pain and expensive to fix. my 03 yz450 use to sheer off rear sprocket bolts about every 2-3months and with red locktite on them. With that the rear hub would go and it was big $$ to rebuild the rear wheel. I switched to talon gade "8" bolts and no more problems, I went though 3 rear hubs. It only happened in deep loam or thick mud, but the it was a problem. Also on my first ride on the 03 450 the rear shock leaked out all its oil on the garage floor after only 2 hrs on the bike. No bike is without it's problems, however the stock motor, suspension and handling of the honda is in my mind a superior product. Overall quality I would say the Yamaha is a little better then the honda, but the performance of the bikes is where the real difference lies. My next bike is a 2010Yamaha 450 so I'm just trying to offer an unbiased opinion here on the yamaha forum

Edited by gfmoto
spelling

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true, it was a general comment.

im sure that not every honda kawi or suzuki had mechanical problem, but after millions of hours seaching and some personal experience, i can sey that the blue bikes are more relaible= happy customer, especially when you are not a pro racer that need to pay for his stuff.

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