Taking Responsibility!!!

Dave,

I think the Honda will have just as many problems, as do the KTMs. Of course we don't need to mention Cannondale.

I will admit that there are some problems out there with the 426, and I'm not sure if it's within the expected norm for a newly released high-performance machine.

But I do think that if you speak with others that own hardware of the same nature and you'll most likely find the same stories.

I own and raced a 916 that had a host of issues that exposed themselves when the bike was used heavily.

I also hang out at the road tracks during amateur auto events and can tell you that just about every Ferrari, Viper, Camaro and Mustang spends an equal amount of time on the jacks with someone underneath them trying to figure out where the smoke, oil, and noise is coming from.

The two-stroke bikes have been around forever, with little or no engine advancements in the last 5 years.

So the 400/426 fit's in the new breed category, as do its manners. So it's probably not the bike for the guy who wants full-on dependability, or who doesn't like to work on bikes.

As for my sick brain, things get interesting when they fail and have to be fixed. Based on some of the photos that I've seen posted, I would assume the same as others on this forum.

Hope this helps.

DaveJ

Dave,

I'll agree with you that hi perf street bikes and cars have major failures, as I too once raced 750's and had valve trains twist into knots and pistons that no longer wanted to hold together. But, I will say that the motorcycle industry has been producing off road 4 strokes for several, several years with amazing reliability. But I guess they are getting to be more "advanced" and higher revving machines, so yes, there will be more of a chance of certain failures. You may be right about the Honda Dave, but I guess the point I'm making is that the last Honda I bought failed the entire top end and it was extremely out of warranty. Do you know why they chose to repair the whole motor for me? They knew they had a problem with wrist bearings coming apart. So, they essentially were admitting fault and fixing their mistakes. That event kept me on Honda's for an additional 5 years until I bought my 426. It mean't CUSTOMER LOYALTY. Well, I think you can see where I'm going with this. I don't know if I'll buy another Yamaha. Yes, they are hi tech machines and are prone to having failures, but I think that should be part of the companies worry financially when they produce something like this for the first several years. Just as cannondale is doing, they are watching every bike they shipped like it was sold to an employee. They want to please the customer 110% and that says a shitload when they finally get the kinks ironed out. So, we'll see what happens in the future. All I know is that I'm staying on four strokes somehow and it may be a Yamaha if I can bury the bad experiences of this past year. It's no fun being without a bike for 2 months, especially when it falls on June and July, primo time for riding.

Cheers.

Daveyg

Originally posted by DaveJ:

[i will admit that there are some problems out there with the 426, and I'm not sure if it's within the expected norm for a newly released high-performance machine.

DaveJ[/b]

I specifically did not buy a 98 for this reason, I am an mechanical engineer myself and it is scary what goes on sometimes when a product release date is imminent. But I guess I was spoiled by my 99. I had two years of trouble free operation. I changed the oil and air filter, did some lubrication, changed tires and such, shimmed the valves and changed the plug once (neither were needed). Maybe I had a really good 99. Now I have a really bad 01, and Yamaha has had two more years to refine their design and production line. What gives?

From having read nearly every post in this forum covering the last year, I'm starting to see a pattern of Yamaha's attitude to try and minimalize customer complaints and possible design flaws regarding this machine. Japanese manufacturers historically have had a corporate philosophy of accepting a financial loss for a few years in order to establish a loyal customer base because they believed in the superiority of their product. That's why many of the Asian companies have been charged with violation of "anti-dumping" laws in The US. ("Dumping" is the marketing of a product at a price well below what an American company can compete for the purpose of capturing an unfair share of the market and driving out of business the competition. Then, the price is increased greatly when there is no viable competition). Many Asian companies believe that they can eventually become hugely profitable by following this philosophy...and they have. Just take a look at the history of the Honda automobile. The CVCC, released in the early 70's, was at first a joke, but it quickly gained attention due to it's durability and great gas mileage just as gas prices were rising drastically. Honda kept refining their design and look at where they are today with the Accord. What I'm getting at is that Yamaha seems to have veered off the track of standing behind their machines and have adopted the American manufacturer's attitude. Even though I enjoy my 2000 426 immensely, I feel absolutely no loyalty to Yamaha. If my 426 has a mechanical problem in the future due to a design flaw and Yamaha gives me the cold shoulder, I'll never buy a product of theirs again. PERIOD! Kawasaki stood behind my KLX even though it was 3 years out of warranty and replaced my crankshaft at no cost to me. If Kawasaki ever makes a competitive MX 4-stroke, they can count on me to buy that bike. I hope the manufacturers have some of their people monitoring this forum. They might learn a few things.

Boit,

Agreed, Agreed, Agreed. I know there are company rep's that look at this site and if it causes Yamaha or any of the other manufacturer to wake up to customer loyalty, then it's been a priceless service. I drive a Honda Accord as a matter of fact. Why? Well, they are good vehicles, they stand behind them (in fact they just installed a retainer clip on a main seal because they have a tendency to back out, and at no charge) and I'm a big fan of customer loyalty. To their motorcycles, cars, lawnmowers, generators, etc.... I respect their business practices.

It's a sad state of affairs when you buy a new 00 250, your gearbox fails 4th gear, and Yamaha won't replace it or pay for your labor because it's out of warranty. But, the clincher is, it happened to my friend and he worked at a Yamaha shop as a parts manager for 10 years. This speaks in volumes and I know YMC is listening. Wise up or lose out. If Honda and Kawie put out some romping 4 strokes in the years to come, your sales will suffer tremedously and you'll be wondering how it could have happened.

Daveyg

"Ride it like there's no tomorrow!"

There has been so much talk of Yamaha not taking responsibility for the products, or defects in products that they manufacture. All I know is that I owned a 2000 426 that had many problems (from the gearbox going, the 00426 stumble, and a cracked clutch basket). Yamaha never admitted fault for any of those problems, but they would attend to the clutches on a case by case basis. WEll, now that the 01's are out and about, the 2001 Carb Glitch has many of you scratching your heads. I'm sure Yamaha engineers are doing the same thing back in Japan and here in the U.S., but they won't admit there is a problem. Admission of fault means Recall, and to a manufacturer of hi tech motorcycles, that's an omen. I think they have some kind of mission statement over there that says, "Never, never, admit that we are at fault."

I still have yet to buy my bike for 01 and with all of these issues, I may just look back to the 2smokes until Honda releases it's beast. For all of you committed to Yamaha, best of luck with the Yamaha Rep Line. I always felt like I was calling AT&T when I'd talk to them. A scripted response to all of your problems.

"Ride it like there's no tomorrow!"

Daveyg (bikeless)

Boy, glad I bought the '99 400! Had second thoughts a few weeks ago even though I saved 2500.00. I am replacing plastics, chain / sprockets, tires, bars and am doing a complete tear down over winter. From what I see on the '00 bikes it may not have been such a bad decision. Anything to look out for on the '99 that I should know of? Hang in there guys!

[This message has been edited by Hugh LePage (edited 12-28-2000).]

Dave,

Point taken, and I think I'll have to agree based on the hassle I went through with the customer reps on the hub issue.

Perhaps there's a bit of a disconnect between Yamaha Japan and Yamaha of North America on their customer service policy.

Perhaps we need to formulate some communications to Yamaha.

DaveJ

Hey Guys,

All IM gonna say here, is that I am now locking horns with YAMAHA because my clutch is completely gone after only 7 clockable hours.

I am committed to working very diligently and professionally to get Yamaha to resolve this matter fairly and equitably, so that minimal damage is felt, however, enough is enough...

What good is a dirtbike, if the last thing it sees is the DIRT!

I keep you posted on the heat, only if y'all are interested.

Sorry to hear of your woes DAVE!

Randy

YZ426 Kicks ( So I thought )

Randy: I would like to know how this pans out for you.

As a further note on this subject, and to show how strongly I feel about how manufacturers treat their customer base, I refuse to buy any GM product. Why? Because, some of you guys my age might remember this, The Oldsmobile devision tried to pull a fast one on the buyers of cars that were "supposedly" equipped with the rocket 350 engine back in the mid 70's. This engine was highly sought after due to it's 4-bolt main design that could withstand the stresses of high performance modifications done to the engine. They sold 1000's of these cars with the regular 2-bolt main 350 engine and charged the buyers for the higher priced engine option. This was a blatant attempt to ROB the customers. GM can bite my a**! Funny that they are now dropping their Olds division which is their oldest division. If Yamaha treats me similarly in the future, I will never buy anything with a Yamaha logo on it...no matter how superior it is supposed to be. I refuse to buy tickets to ANY professional ball sports games due to the over paid prima donnas. $252 million for 10 years to ONE baseball player! Give me a break!

Randy,

Do you have an 00 or an 01? Please keep us posted as to the outcome of your situation. There is a bit of irony here, that this should happen when we start to bring this subject back to light. I do hope Yamaha reads these posts and will be more empathic to their customer base. I believe the Offroad community like ourselves are extremely passionate about our sport. I know some of you out there have worn Scott goggles for the last 20 years because Bevo handed you a pair at the races and said, "Here, try them." That goes a long way, especially when it pertains to a motorcycle company, one that is selling MX'ers that cost twice as much as they use to 10 years ago. Ok, inflation is at work here, but you should get what you pay for and that doesn't mean just a quality product. You are buying a bike, a name, a companies reputation, and a company that stands behind every product they sell.

Boit, I find it comical as well that Old's is being phased out. What do you expect when a company like GM sells crap like the Chevette to families and the car is over and done with at 80K miles. Like they say over in Scotland, "If it's not Scottish, it's CRAPPPPP!"

Daveyg

My '00 426 broke the gearbox a few months ago. Yamaha fixed it and I just paid the oil.

I was beginning to get confused and scared but, in the end, they treated me well !

(s.m.)

SM,

I think I remember your situation....don't you live in Portugal, or something like that? I may be wrong, but one of the guys here lived over there and had a gearbox failure. After many days and weeks of waiting, I believe they fixed it for him. I'm glad to you were able to get Yamaha to fix yours, but for me they didn't and that isn't fair. I shelled out over 800 bucks for the repair and had to wait over 2 months to get my bike back. I'm sure you can envision being without your "new" bike for that long during peak season. Not fun. --

Like I said before, if Yamaha was responsive to my plea for help, they would have a return customer, but I'm searching elsewhere for my 01 come February and possibly many February's after that. I loved my 426 when it was working. I just wish I could have trusted it more to keep it around the garage for another season.

Daveyg

I have had problems with yamaha also. my sons ttr 125l had the chain come off and break the case, yamaha was no help and the customer service rep was not considerite. Iknow what your thinking, the chain was loose, not the problem. I have been a mechanic for 30 years and maintain the bike perfectly. the tension roller at the extent of the travel does no good, the guide at the sprocket is only one sided, and it looks like the bike was not designed to have this much travel. I admit my son rides this bike very hard but he only weighs 85#, this kind of bike normaly will not get the watchful eye of a mechanic or a concerned racer. My 00 426 came missing a front spoke I had to prove it was not abuse, even though the nipple was missing and was located above the rim lock. the bike was 1 month old. the ttr has no protection at the case for a broken chain, something honda learned in 1969. I hope yamaha improves customer relations and quality, I have always riding hondas and worked on cycles my first 5 years as a mechanic and honda is very fair and goes beyond what you expect. I thuoght yamaha would be the same, I hope they read these.

------------------

Wow Im getting scared. I have on 00' 426. Absolutely love it.

I have very little hours on it(still has stock tires). The clutch is gone. Now I cant ride it until I save the cash for the Hinson treatment.

I was a CR guy since 1983 and crossed over after riding a 98' 400.

Im seriously considering puting a deposit somehow on the 02 Honda.

I remember I had an 87' Cr 125 that siezed several times. Honda did there best to figure it out and eventually just gave me a whole new motor!

Originally posted by daveyg:

SM,

I think I remember your situation....don't you live in Portugal, or something like that? I may be wrong, but one of the guys here lived over there and had a gearbox failure. After many days and weeks of waiting, I believe they fixed it for him. I'm glad to you were able to get Yamaha to fix yours, but for me they didn't and that isn't fair. I shelled out over 800 bucks for the repair and had to wait over 2 months to get my bike back. I'm sure you can envision being without your "new" bike for that long during peak season. Not fun. --

Like I said before, if Yamaha was responsive to my plea for help, they would have a return customer, but I'm searching elsewhere for my 01 come February and possibly many February's after that. I loved my 426 when it was working. I just wish I could have trusted it more to keep it around the garage for another season.

Daveyg

Yep! I'm the one.

Sorry guys but I got lucky this time.

I just hope that my 426 keeps up with me and lasts for some more years...

I'll be in touch with this forum.

(S.M.)

Portugal - Europe

s_m_c_m@hotmail.com

I bought a used 400 for tt competition. I figured it was better than spending 2k to get my XR400 in the same hp range. Having read for some time the complaints about the Yamie, I put my name on the list for the new Honda. Honda has built a reputation of over engineering their products. When their new 4-stroke mx'r comes out, I'll be very surprised if we see 1/10th the complaints about it. I won't be surprised however, if we see a bike that is not pushing the envelope as much. I don't think they'll sacrifice reliability for performance.

My $.02

Fastkevin: You make a good point. However, Honda isn't exactly snow white either. The aluminum framed CR's didn't exactly set the moto world on fire when they were first introduced. The complaints were that the bike was harsh and the vibration was horendous to the riders. Don't get me wrong, Honda was trying to break new ground and I applaud them for that. At the same time, they shot themselves in the foot by discontinuing the contingency program. Many amateurs who depended on contingency support to break into the pro ranks were left high and dry. Logically, one would assume that Honda would have been the first manufacturer to build a competitive 4-stroke MX'er given the AMA rules. They build the premiere F1 car engines so they have the know-how to adapt to a MX application. Why has the XR line been allowed to stagnate for so long? Many argue that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I don't buy into that since technology is advancing quickly. Why has the CR line suffered from the most absurd suspension woes for so long? Honda owns Showa but uses Kayaba on some of it's bikes. Go figure. I'm neither defending Yamaha, nor condemning Honda. I would simply like to see the builders use a "forward thinking" approach. Yes, I realize that there are other dynamics in play here, such as market acceptance, government red tape..etc, but that doesn't mean that the builders can't be daring. Perhaps as our sport grows, the manufacturers will commit more R&D bucks toward development of these machines. Yamaha merely opened the door and demonstrated what's possible.

I concur. Speaking of contingency, I can't remember the last time Honda payed money for road racing. Design wise, Honda seems to be a little more conservative these days. If you compare the 600's,or even the new 929 against the R1, you can see where Honda didn't go as radical as Yamaha. Maybe years ago when Honda was kicking everybody's asses, Yamaha decided the best way to get back market share was to go the route of the full race replica bike. I too applaud their progress.

The current crop of Yamie 4-stroke mxr's is overkill for 90% of the riding that's being done. If you look at the street side, the current 600's are overkill for ALL street riding. It's the old adage: Win on Sunday sell on Monday. In this case however, you can actually buy THE bike that won on Sunday. These bikes are very high strung. The compression that they're running is very high for a single, and the stresses that are being generated is severe. Talk to people that road race singles. Catostrophic destruction is just part of the equation when building singles at this level. When I look at the performance generated by the YZF mxr's, I'm actually impressed with the relative reliability of these machines ( We'll wait and see about the 250 and it's 13,000+ redline). We all just need to remember, whether you race it or not, it's still a racebike. I'm still planning on getting the new Honda ( I do reserve the right to change my mind:-). But until then, I'll enjoy myself more on my YZF than I would have on my XR.

BTW, We all are very lucky to benefit from the information posted on this page. I for one, WILL take that in consideration when I make the final decision on my next bike purchase.

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