Yeah, but if it's not as peaky at least it's easier to manage. I also want to learn to rebuild engines and do more intensive maintenance, which was another reason to get a dirt bike.
Rebuilding thumpers is expensive. Hundreds of dollars for a top end. You can rebuild a 2-stroke for like $100. Granted, if you want to learn how to adjust valves and such, a 426 is a good place to learn.
Also, if you're interested in working maintenance, I'd start by tearing the rear suspension linkage and steering head apart and greasing all of the bearings. That was a yearly ritual for me.
XR's are all a lot older and more expensive than my YZ.
They updated them in '96 and sold through '04 before replacing it with the CRF250. Yeah, it's an older design, but you're not at the level to really take advantage of what the YZ426 offers above an older XR250. The 426 is a full-blown, open-class race bike, built to meet motocross homologation rules, intended for experienced racers.
Nothing, I just thought it was interesting, since I had never heard of the 426 till after I started looking into them to buy one, and these two guys randomly had them as well. I wasn't trying to use them as to why it was a good idea for me to buy one.
They were kind of a blip. They only built them for 2 years as a sort of stop-gap between the original YZ400F and the later 450. Given CA's restrictive offroad limitations, not surprising they're pretty popular there.