WR 450 letter to Yamaha

Now that the 04 design and parts are here, it is time to push for the free upgrade from Yamaha.. :)

November 25, 2003

Yamaha Motor Corporation USA

Customer Relations Department

P.O. Box 6555

Cypress, California 90630

Dear Yamaha,

On (date) I purchased in good faith a 2003, WR450F from your dealer xxxx, located in yyyyyy. Since that purchase dozens of Yamaha 2003, WR450F’s have reported failures due to a design flaw in the woodruff key starter system. The failure rate of these bikes has been calculated at over thirty percent (30%) within nine months from date of purchase.

Yamaha Engineering has recognized the engineering design flaw as evidenced by their complete redesign of the woodruff key starter system for the 2004 model. A retrofit to the 2004 design from the 2003 model is estimated to cost including labor around $700 list price.

Yamaha issued a “Technical Bulletin” number M2003-007, informing dealers to put the loctite 648 glue on the failed 2003 models crankshaft. Many who have had this fix have had repeat failures. This is unacceptable.

Please inform me when I should bring my WR450F to my dealer for them to do the woodruff key starter system upgrade to the 2004 model at Yamaha’s expense. I expect this will be handled in an expedited manner.

Thank you for your help. I will be awaiting your response.


My name

My address

cc: My dealer – his address

Kudos Bamy. My letter is going out tonite and I am holding my breath. Igor

We need to overwhelm Yamaha with letters... Everyone needs to write and copy your dealer... :)

bump :)

I'm gonna send one. I just put the electric start back on this last weekend and I'm a bit paranoid about it. Thanks for taking the time to write this out and pushing for a real fix! :)

Its time to get the letters going! :)

Great job on the letter Bama! I'm sending mine today as well. I did add a bit more detail to mine however - I've had 3 failures which I detailed in the letter along with a mention of the resell situation on a machine with a known design flaw. :):D

Good job guys. I bought my WR450 from Canada, so Yamaha USA would probably tell me to go pound sand. My flywheel has failed once so far after about 1300 fun miles. Maybe I will send a letter to Yamaha Canada. Anyone have the address?

I have sent letters to Yamaha and to my dealer. I don't know the Canadian addresses. Let's get those letters going... :):D

I prefer to write letters to a particular person. Does anyone know the name of the President of Yamaha Motor Corporation USA?

Check out this site for officer info for Yamaha Motor USA:

Yamaha Motor

Send your letter to the attention of Customer Service - JIM OWEN.

He called me today and said mine is the only letter they have received in 3 months and they consider the problem solved... ?

Has everyone sent a letter? :)

The address is:

Yamaha Motor Corporation USA

Customer Relations Department

P.O. Box 6555

Cypress, California 90630


Send your letter to the attention of Customer Service - JIM OWEN.

He called me today and said mine is the only letter they have received in 3 months and they consider the problem solved... ?

Then tell him your problem still isn't solved or you wouldn't be complaining, nor would they have changed the parts for 04. I'd tell him that his response is insulting, then ask if he would like the same if someone had sold him something that had issues.

I sent my letter (almost like yours) back in late Nov. or early Dec.

On 1-14-04 I got a call from "Lou" at Yamaha Customer Relations.He said that since my bike was fixed by the dealer per the TSB,that was all they were going to do because the problem is solved.He said they saw the letter on Thumpertalk too.So we know they check out this site!

They are hoping that we all just get tired and go away.

I can afford to buy any bike I want,but after this I'll never buy another Yamaha. And I will tell people the whole story so that they won't buy Yamahas either.We all payed $6000 for what we thought was the best bike for our money.And now we get treated like crap.Never again.

("Lou" at Yamaha,I know you're reading this!)

i know i shouldn't do this but i have to. ask your yamaha dealer about the current recall on the '02 and '03 v-twin street bikes. there is supposed to be a transmission problem. yamaha is sending update kits to the dealers and allowing a credit of nine and a half hour of labor per bike to install. '04's are okay. so, according to jim owens at yamaha, they do not support updating '03 wr's to '04 specs but if it's a road star it's okay. the shop i deal with has had no reported problems with the street bikes. sorry if that's just fanning the flames. who knows, maybe yamaha does check this website. we're on to you.

Just my 02 cents worth; several of us went through this with them over the 2000 yz gas tanks; long story short, two stock tanks later a Clarke tank no more problems. They are experts in sounding sincere while blowing you off. Sorry, good luck. :)

It kinda stinks that this is happening. Other than the woodruff key, I think this is the best bike out there. The thing is a flat out animal and has the best motor and feel of any bike I have ever ridden. However, this alone will not keep me a loyal Yamaha customer. It is my first Yamaha and will be my last unless they correctly address the problem. If they do, I will probably always buy a Yamaha high perfomrance 4stroke and 2stroke since they seem to have the sickest motor out there. Oh well,if they dont correct things its either red or orange for me. Hopefully not though. I LOVE MY W!!!!!!!! :)

I heard from a lot of others that say they've had too many problems with the woodruff key splitting cases, and they will never go back to Yamaha! I don't blame them. I also can't stand by as a company falters on its loyal consumer market.

I think Jim Owen should pull his head out of his ass. You aren't helping matters with your consumers, and you certainly aren't making Yamaha look good by doing this, and you are coming off like a bean counting dickhead. They should fire your ass on principle. I'm sure your name will get around as the A-hole who cares more about a few numbers up front instead of caring about where people will look after getting screwed by you. Guess you don't care Owen. :)

I believe Jim Owen is simply following orders from the top! Yamaha management has made their decision to dump the 03 buyers... We are being tossed out like a disposable diaper.

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