Weak starter

I dont know much about electrical stuff and electric starters in particular but I was wondering. Is it possible that Yamaha didnt get a starter with enough power to push the motor thru the compression stroke every time. When I used to use my starter (a long time ago) I would get that metalic clank that some are calling a backfire. I never thought it was a true backfire (I could be wrong). I just thought it was more of a kick back due to the starter just not having enough poop to get the piston thru the top of the compression stroke. This could also have a tie in with not enough battery power. Some posters said that if they had a real hot charge from a charger they never had a problem. Maybe we also need a starter with a few more windings and a battery with a little more umph. (I dont think umph is a very good technical electrical term but its the best I could do). Igor.

NO Kidding! I have starting problems also. Kicks over fine though right?

The WR450 starter motor has plenty of Umph! The problem is the battery does not give it the umph that it needs and the jetting needs to be good. I keep my battery on a charger all the time and it has never failed me. I kicked my bike once just to make sure that I could. Kicked over first time! :)

I've never had a charger near my battery and it works just fine.....since 7/2/03.

So Indy, I gather umph is proper technical jargon? Seems like when I have ridden hard for 30 minutes or so the battery should be charged to the max but I would still get the same clanking kickback anomaly. Does a charger make the battery store more juice than the stator? I was told the starter was made by the same contractor that makes Suzuki's starters and that they know their stuff. Wonder what an aftermarket battery costs and if it might be any better. My starter also didnt disengage a couple of times. The bike kicks so easy its not really worth 3-7 hundred $ to do the 2004 upgrades to me. You can lay the bike over and usually get it going in 3 to 5 kicks. My last bike was an XR650 and if you laid it over it was 10-15 kicks to get it going. Now there is a bike that could use an electric leg. The weight was not the only reason its called the BRP. (Big Red Pig)


Hey Tim I have found out on my bike that if every thing is just right(jetting and pipe insert( I made two diff inserts myself). My bike fires right up. IF it doesn't I pull choke and twist throttle 4 to 8 times and it will start. Right now with the cold weather I have too use my kikstarter(in the past fired up fine in the cold, just for-got my cold weather setting should have wrote it down. If its bearly turns over you might have a bad batt or starter, or if really cold try a lighter weight oil. :)

Hey Timvv51,

I have had such good luck with my starter that I am going to risk not doing the 04 upgrade until I actually have a failure. Then I will order the parts and deal with it. I just cant see spending $400 to get to feel more secure. Anything can happen while riding. hole in case. rad puncture, pipe torn off, etc. etc. My starter works great and the coils charges the battery fine when riding. Cold weather seems to drain the battery more and make the engine tighter. This makes the bike harder to e-start but she will fire up. :)

My jetting is right on. 48P, middle clip, and 165 at 3800 feet. And runs like a striped ass ape. Your darn tootin I have a bad starter. If you really read my post you would have read that I have had several problems with the starter. And how about your starter and battery. If they were worth a crap it would start when the weather was a little cooler. And my oil. For cryin out loud I am not about to change to a lighter viscosity just because the temp drops 25 degrees. Give me a break. Face it some of us got a couple of bad components on what is otherwise a terrific bike. It happens. Yes the jetting was way to lean with the baffle in the airbox and stiffleing insert in the exhaust. I expect a lot more starter problems to start showing up when other 03 owners get as many miles on the bike as mine has. Although I sincerely hope I am wrong, don't wish problems on anyone. Go back thru the posts, I am not the lone ranger. Hi O Silver Away :)

I'm doing the same...carry a spare woodruff key and the tools to fix it and it'll prob'ly never break :)......That's how it always seems to work for me, anyways. :D

Luckily back in Febuary when I took delivery I had allready started hearing about woodruff key problems. Thanks and kudos to the guys here on TT. The first thing I did when I got it home was retorque the flywheel nut. Sure enough it was loose. No sheared keys here. Tim

If you have used a standard car style battery charger on your bike battery, you could have damaged it. I did on mywr450 and I had to buy a new one and use a battery tender. I agree that the battery is weak, very weak compared to the one on my drz400e, but it is also a lot smaller. I kick start my bike whenever it hasn't been running for about 4 hours or more. After that I use the the ebutton. Sometimes I need the hot start lever if it is at the compression point of the stroke. I have ridden a KTM 525 and it starts well but is sounds like marbles rolling around in a barrel. The DRZ E is the best in this area.

While on the starter subject. Two friends have KTMs. One has a starter that seems to work fine. The other, it seems to turn over slower. He can kick it for a one start cold kick. I told him to disassemble, clean and lube the bushings for optimum starter rpms.

Have you tried this as an option? They don't put a lot of lube anywhere on the bikes when they are new. Why would the starter be any different?

When you are riding make sure your light is off. This will help keep your battery charged. My was acting like yours untill I remembered to always ride with the light off.

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