Yamaha YZ426F Motocross Bike Reviews on Cycle Insider (26)
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2010-09-06 2001 Yamaha YZ426F Motocross Bikes View Listings

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I am 15-1/2 years old and I am racing it at the local track but this bike is made for anything. It has all good torque. it pops up in 1st, 2nd, even 3rd gear on the road. I have an amazing bike and it is this one.
- Terry Cheatham, Chowchilla, California

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2010-07-18 2001 Yamaha YZ426F Motocross Bikes View Listings

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This is an amazing bike. I just turned 15 and I've wanted a big bike that I could grow into. This bike is perfect for me. It's the best bike I've had so far. The only problem I have with it is that it leaks oil out of he motor when you ride for a few hours and the motor gets hot!!! But is a great bike overall.
- Eli stone , Pennsylvania

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2010-01-21 2001 Yamaha YZ426F Motocross Bikes View Listings

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This bike is the absolute best. I have no trouble keeping up with my mates when riding through trails and motocross tracks. This bike will pull up in any gear without trouble. This is the most powerful bike I've ridden in my life. This bike will beat any 2 stroke and the sound is 10 times better than a 2 stroke. If you have the chance to buy one, you should get one.
- brooksy, ulladulla, Australia

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2009-11-09 2001 Yamaha YZ426F Motocross Bikes View Listings

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Like everyone else, starting it was difficult for the first three days. I live in Colorado Springs so we have tons of trail riding. The bike tears it up on the hills, rocks and sand. There is enough power for anything you want to do. The bike is very maneuverable through the turns and rocks. It is hard to not go fast on this bike. I bought it from a guy who wanted to get rid of it badly. It was the best money I have ever spent.
- Steven Tafoya, colorado springs, Colorado

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2009-10-15 2001 Yamaha YZ426F Motocross Bikes View Listings

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I traded my snowmachine for this bike, I thought I was getting jipped out of the deal. The first day I had it, I had a hard time starting it. The Decomp level took a little getting used to. On the 3rd day I could start it 1 kick everytime. This bike is so fast! It will pull wheelies literally in any gear. I live in alaska so it's usually a little cold out but this doesn't affect anything! It's usually a little easier to start on chillier days. So far I havn't used my hot cam pump thing, just the lever. This bike was an upgrade from my 03 rm 125... and it was so worth it!
- Christian Killian, Alaska

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2009-06-21 2001 Yamaha YZ426F Motocross Bikes View Listings

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I mainly ride trails, all sorts, rocky, tight, sandy, rutted, some of everything, and this bike can handle it all. The suspension is plush enough to keep you on the bike all day (comfortably), but stiff enough to resist bottoming well, even in big whoops. The hardest thing for me, and others, at first was the starting procedure. I was used to easy to start 250 and the big bore starting takes a bit to get used to. With the bigger rear sprocket, my bike has plenty of get up and go in the bottom end with smooth power throughout. I have tried my hand at motocross too and this bike performs great (granted mine is heavier due to the weight the offroad accessories add). All in all, this bike is a great, light-feeling, maneuverable bike that can meet a wide variety of needs.
- Brendan H., P-town, Wisconsin

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2009-06-08 2001 Yamaha YZ426F Motocross Bikes View Listings

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I bought this bike three years ago from an ex-supercross racer. I mainly ride trails and I have to say that many people can't keep up with this bike. It doesn't matter where you ride: tight trails, smooth soft trails, sand; this is the bike you need. It kills the KTM 450's and 530's. The two strokes don't even have a chance. The bike (set up properly) smashes throught the whoop sections and has no problem carrying wheelies through them. To those who say that the KTM's handle better than the older four strokes... go out and ride with somebody who owns one of these bikes and you might not be saying that too loudly anymore.
- Alan Rosencrans, Puyallup, Washington

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2008-01-30 2001 Yamaha YZ426F Motocross Bikes View Listings

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I have a 01 YZ426. It's a little bit heavy when compared to the latest generation of 450 MX bikes, but it's still an amazing bike. The power is unbelievable; I can pull wheelies in any gear. This bike really shines down low. I race enduros and on my KX250, I had difficulty going up steep slippery hills. I had to rev the engine out to get enough power up the hill, but once the revs on the smoker get up I lose traction. NOT ON THE YZ426! These tricky hills are no longer a problem and I can speed up any of them with ease. The power delivery of the 426 is incredible, especially down low. It's a torque monster! I have never had a problem starting mine either. It starts first or second kick, hot or cold. If the manual decomp lever bothers you, you could always put a 03 450 cam in it which will give you automatic decompression. The WR is corked from the factory compared to the YZ (but can easily and inexpensively be brought to YZ spec). The only negative thing about the YZ426 now in 2008 is that it's very heavy compared to newer bikes. Although it could potentially be competitive on a MX track or in an enduro race with newer 450s, the weight of the YZ426 will tire the rider out more quickly. Another big advantage of the 426 is the reliability. I don't know how reliable the new Yamaha 450 is, but I check my valves once or twice a year and for the past seven years my valves are still in spec. NO ADJUSTMENT NECESSARY! Do you know of any other 4-stroke MX bike that can make that claim?
- lowrydr310, Torrance, California

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2007-05-30 2001 Yamaha YZ426F Motocross Bikes View Listings

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When I was 15 years old, my football coach made me give up racing motocross. I was riding a state-of-the-art Honda Elsinore CR125 (supposedly the best production MXer ever made at the time regardless of displacement). I vowed that I would get back into MXing sometime later in life. 32 years later, I just returned to MX play riding with a used 2001 YZ426. Boy am I old! This bike can do wheelies with ease in the 1st 3 gears with no effort and by just twisting the throttle. I've only ridin it 3 times on a fairly short track in NJ and have NEVER even gotten into 4th or 5th gears, but 1st gear is literally all you need on this track with such a powerful bike. Handling seems good but it is hard to tell because the track is 100% sand which is terrifying (I grew up in Ohio and used to race on packed dirt/mud, etc. and never experienced the vagueries of sand riding). I'm taking it very easy for now as I try to regain some of my old form. My only complaint is that the kick-starter is so high I can barely get my foot up on it. Thankfully, it starts on one kick (once you learn how to do it). Overall, this has been a great play bike that has performed flawlessly - so far so good!
- JV, Philly Burbs, Pennsylvania

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2006-07-21 2001 Yamaha YZ426F Motocross Bikes View Listings

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Previously a 2 stroke devotee - never thought a 4 stroke could deliver the performance of a 2 stroke - Wrong. Smooth predictable power and heaps of it! Starting? nothing difficult about it. Decompress just past top dead centre, return kickstart to top, release decompression lever and 1 committed fast kick. haven't had the opportunity to thoroughly test suspension - but experience so far tells me it's going to be good. This is easily the best bike I've ever owned.
- Rod, perth, Australia

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2006-01-28 2001 Yamaha YZ426F Motocross Bikes View Listings

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This is my first dirt bike, motorcycle, and other than truck vehicle. Rode an old (1970's) 250 down the street twice many years ago and that's it prior to this. Obviously, comparison wise I cannot give a valid opinion but my observations were as follows: It was intimidating at first (Ocotillo wells) but got the hang of it quickly and within an hour was quite comfortable on this bike. INSANE POWER!!! Slowly working my way into the throttle after each ride I got to open it up with 1/2 throttle and my eyes sucked back into my head and the world shook. It seemed like I could easily blow other guys away with the power of this bike. Yet it was easy to handle, liked to stay straight, and is pretty light. I had no trouble picking it up or starting it; it was comfortable. Within a few rides, I was trying wheelies and skidding turns (I am sure there is a proper term for this). Seems easy to work on and pretty straightforward.
- AMC, san diego, California

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2005-07-28 2001 Yamaha YZ426F Motocross Bikes View Listings

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This bike is sweet. It flies like no other. I am so excited to own this thing....if I were you I would go out and buy one right now...Yamaha rules!!
- Dirk Diggler, Winchestertonfieldville, Iowa

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2003-08-25 2001 Yamaha YZ426F Motocross Bikes View Listings

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I have a 2001 426, and it has all the power you need for anything. Very nice bike, fast from takeoff and thru every gear.
- Derek, Sabine Pass, Texas

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2003-06-14 2001 Yamaha YZ426F Motocross Bikes View Listings

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Learning to start the bike was difficult, until I read the manual showing you how to start the bike. I always thought 2 stroke 250s were the defacto bike to ride, boy was I mistaken. This bike has loads of power and torque. My brother and I race, he rides a 2002 yz250. He has a hard time keeping up with me now, he he. I can Climb hills, without a head start, something that the 2 strokes have a hard time with.
- John Brass, RIverside, California

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2002-12-07 2001 Yamaha YZ426F Motocross Bikes View Listings

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I love this bike because it does everything I want it to do with no problems. Thanks Yamaha!
- julian, horwich, United Kingdom

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2002-10-25 2001 Yamaha YZ426F Motocross Bikes View Listings

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I just Bought a brand new 01 YZ426F. Can't wait to ride my own! I have ridden my friends. They are a truely awesome bike! There's nothing like it. It is (The) bike of the decade!
- Paul R Coon, Benge, Washington

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2002-09-17 2001 Yamaha YZ426F Motocross Bikes View Listings

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The YZ426 is one hell of a machine. If you have trouble starting you need to know the drill. Once you do then they start 1st or 2nd kick everytime. I rode 2 strokes before if you try to start it like one it will never start. Once you get used to starting the power and reliabilty is awesome! They are slighty heavier than a 2 stroke but that is my only gripe. The power is like an XR250 at low revs but like 250 2 stroke at high revs. Remember these babies put out 50+ HP at over 11,000rpm! A very quick bike
- Mal, Australia

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2002-09-04 2001 Yamaha YZ426F Motocross Bikes View Listings

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THE YZ426 IS THE BESTMXER OF ALL TIME IT HAS POWER ALL OVER THE PLACE AND IS VERY FORGIVING. AS FAR AS STARTING THE BEAST, WHEN I WAS GOING TO TAKE IT FOR A TEST RIDE BEFORE I BOUGHT IT THE DEAL WAS IF I COULD START IT I COULD RIDE IT. IN ONLY FIVE TRIES I GOT THE SYSTEM DOWN. MY BIKE STARTS FIRST OR SECOND KICK EVERY TIME HOT OR COLD. UNLESS I FORGET TO TURN THE GAS ON.
- CRAIG WRIGHT, YUMA, Arizona

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2002-08-31 2001 Yamaha YZ426F Motocross Bikes View Listings

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I started with a 99 CR250 then wanted more power so swithed to a 99 CR500. I enjoy riding the dunes, wheelies and racing up Oldsmobile Hill in Glamis. This bike does it all. The control is outstanding, the power there whenever you need it, regarless of rpm. Its basicly a YZ250 with a much more useable and powerful engine. I wish this was my first bike I had purchased!
- Paul De Medeiros, Artesia, California

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2002-01-02 2001 Yamaha YZ426F Motocross Bikes View Listings

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This bike is a total bad ass!!! It is incredibly fast.It will do a wheelie in any gear! It will do over 100 mph. It is perfect for the track. It has tons of snap. It is a good trail bike too, but I would install a flywheel weight. I would like to say "SHUT UP, YOU DUMBASSES!" to everyone who says the YZF is hard to start. There is NO problem with starting this bike. I am 13 yaers old, 5'8", and 125 lbs. It is simple for me to start it.Roll the throtle forward and grab the front brake. Kick it untill you can't kick it anymore. Then, pull in the compression release. Kick it over just a TINY bit. Then, let go of the compression release. Peturn the kickstarter to the top, and kick it like you got a set! (not tits) If it hasn't been started in a day or longer, give the throtle ONE twist before starting kicking procedure.
- Chris Ryan, Dallas, Texas

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2001-08-16 2001 Yamaha YZ426F Motocross Bikes View Listings

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In the Washington Cascades, trails can be steep, switchbacks or tight tree riding, either way, this bike handles it. For a big bike, it handles so great, and the power is always there, just a flick of the wrist to get you over those nasty root sections. "When in doubt, gas it" now comes with a grin instead of a frown and you start looking for the hardest trails around. Wide open is fun too, as this thing will do wheelies all day. I did follow the unwritten hint about removing the throttle stop screw, although the mechanic told me to just cut off half of it and re-install, so the throttle won't stick. The rest of the upgrades can wait until I feel like I need something more to play with, until then, this bike has me daydreaming of mountains...streams...and ear to ear grins.
- Kowboy, Washington

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2001-06-02 2001 Yamaha YZ426F Motocross Bikes View Listings

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OK - back in 1992 I was a motor cycle freak - mainly dirt bikes but my last road bike at the time was the genesis 5 valve from Yamaha - what a beast!. I have ridden YZ's, RM's, KX's and CR's and personally I have always loved the power from Kawasaki and the handling from Yamaha. About a year ago I again got the fever and bought a HD fatboy with a totally worked donk - 105HP on the Dyno - what a machine - straightline machine that is. The bug got me to re-visit my dirtbike enthusiasm but I really hate 2 stroke engines - they suck gas, sound like model aircraft, smell bad (really bad for the environment) and you always have to keep them in the powerband - they always top out so quickly and when you are in top gear and peaking it out - they sound like they are hurting badly - which is true because frequent top-end rebuilds are popular with these oil burners. I needed something that was reliable - like a 4 stroke engine, has power throughout the RPM curve, has low maintenance requirements with proven technology. Well I always loved the handling of Yamaha and now they have the 5 valve technology (remember my Genesis beast) in a dirt bike - WOW! My mind was made up - Yamaha handling with the 426F 5-valve titanium engine has to be it. I have always loved motorcross but enduro is much more challenging to me so I opted for the WR426F - and assumed that the engine was the same as the YZ426F (more about this later). The next week I picked up the beast and on the way home at a gas station some guy came over and said that most people he knows HATE the 426F engines because they are so hard to start - obviously this concerned me because at the dealer it took 5 different guys to start this beast (every single one of then tore a hole in their expensive shoes :))and now within 2 hours from owning my pride possession another person confirms my fears - If you ride enduro and cant start your bike after a fall - your screwed. I got home rolled it off the trailer and tried to start it - about 100 kicks later it started much to my disappointment. I jumped on it with jeans and tee-shirt and rode it - what a disappointment as far as power goes - it had what I considered the power of a YZ125, and I immediately thought something was wrong with the throttle cable - not opening enough (more about that later) - I decided that this dog was going back the following day. Woke up the next day tried to start it - another 100 kicks and it still would not start - I then came to my senses and did some trouble shooting - after some checking I found much to my surprise that the spark-plug was bad. I got a new one and put it in and she started after 3 to 4 kicks each time. After the run-in period the WR started after 2 to 3 kicks every time - You MUST get the hang of starting this 12.5/1 high compression beast - once you figure it out (it also helps if you are over 6" and weigh over 200lb) - your laughing, I remembered what the guy at the gas station had told me - I chalked it up to pussy riders complaining - I'm OK with it as long as she starts on the 1 or 2nd kick - I was getting 3 or 4 kicks at this time. After the run-in period she started after 1 - 2 good kicks - every time - hot or cold - sweet - my confidence was coming back. Now - is it still going back? I asked myself. No I thought because the engine has to be the same as the YZ and the YZ's have gotten such awesome reviews - what is missing? I took the carburetor air box side off and looked at the needle travel while operating the throttle - AND THERE LAY THE PROBLEM - the throttle only operated 60% of the way. 20 minutes later I had the "throttle stop screw" out and the carburetor back in - what a pleasure to work on this machine - everything is designed so well and is re-assembled with ease and without any problems. I was excited because this was the REAL test - she started after 2 kicks - sounded the same - I let her warm up and then revved the engine with 80% throttle - she replied with a completely different voice - the voice of EVIL POWER. I jumped on and WOW she comes up in 1, 2 and 3rd gear without ever trying. I came back from the ride stopped the engine and re-started it after 1 kick. THIS is what I expected - a bike that can do enduro, has motorcross suspension, clearances, lights, long range fuel capacity, AWSOME power and a 4 stroke. Power came all the way through the rev curve, handling was what I was used to from Yamaha but better - what a machine!!!!!!!!!!!! You don't need this much power in enduro racing but - it is nice to have it there in-case. BUT WAIT - I am a WFO rider - I can add header and pipes and change the timing - providing even more power - this will have to wait till later - until I harness this incredible bike. Suzi, Honda, Kawasaki and the European high maintenance jobs - Y'all have some catching up to do!!!!!!!!!! SHWeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet
- Jakester, USA

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2001-05-25 2001 Yamaha YZ426F Motocross Bikes View Listings

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This is the best dirt bike in the world. Starting takes a little getting used to, but once you develop the "touch" it's really easy. The way this thing just hooks up out of corners is incredible-no more two-stroke fishtailing. The power is everywhere and my favorite thing about the power delivery (since I'm a beginner/novice)is when I'm coming up to the face of a jump, I don't have to worry about bogging the motor or the sudden hit of the motor coming on the pipe. Very confidence inspiring.
- Racer66, Arizona

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2001-05-21 2001 Yamaha YZ426F Motocross Bikes View Listings

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My review is actually on the WR426F. First off, it is very difficult to start. I don't care how many times you read the manual or got tips from a dealer. Every review that I have read states that this is a great alternative to a two-stroke. Not even close. I have ridden 125 two-strokes with more snap. don't get me wrong it has gobs of low-end. Comes up easily in first with just the throttle. Getting it to come up in second takes a little clutch work. For all types of riding, I will go with a good 250 two-stroke any time. Not impressed.
- Guy, Atlanta, Georgia

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2001-02-20 2001 Yamaha YZ426F Motocross Bikes View Listings

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This is my first mx bike, I did not want to buy a 125 2 stroke and out grow it. My choices seemed to be the yz250f or 426. I went big am glad I did. Fear not of this blue behemoth awaiting you at the local shop, if I can ride it anyone can. The power is smooth as silk from the basement to 10 grand and past. If you get lazy, put it in 2nd or 3rd and it will pull all the way around. This power has what some say are 2 drawbacks, the compression braking as you roll off the throttle, and starting. The compression is handy I think, for my skill and aggression, which are both in the 1-2 range, a down shift usually suffices in for rear wheel brakes, sure I could go deeper and brake late, but I am too busy thinking about that pesky step up 3 turns later. As for starting the thing, my dealer said try the choke, then the hot start, then nothing. My advice is read the manual. My bike so far has been simple, just learn the procedure. Make sure the neighbors baby is not napping, this thing sounds like a .50 cal at the cyclic rate. As for the weight of the bike, they say 231 lbs. as far as I can tell it does not ride heavy. Keep the throttle on for takeoff, that pesky compression will pitch you forward the first chance it gets. If you are just starting out or want to upgrade, give the yz426f some thought. The smooth power is easy to manage for a first timer or it will scream like a scalded ape in experienced hands, and the bike is bullet proof. Happy landings.
- rider, ca

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