Electric Start 03 WR450 (yeah right)

Ok so from day one my bike doesn't care for electric start :).

takes about 10 trys and is damned near impossible from a cold start. Anyone else having the same issues? It's being re-jetted (the only thing I could come up with.)

anyone cut the Gray wire yet? results?

I,m in australia and my bike doesn't need the grey wire mod as the come out that way.It doesn't like the electric when it hasn't been used for a week.Someone sugested that the batterys are not rated enough cca .This could be right a s when i flatten mine and recharge for a second go at starting it starts easier.I will go into this a bit more when i get time and post the results.If you look back a week or to someone else posted a reason or idea for what size battery would be better . i have a felling they said you neen at least 120 cca but the stock battery is 70 ?.As i said i need to see what my stock is and what the biggest is.


I have noticed the same problem with my bike. With my WR250 I use the kickstarter when it is cold (below 40 degrees). It usually take three to four stabs to get it started. It also saves the battery for any starts needed shortly after.

Yeah, I tried to start my new WR450 last night. No way with electric start. All that did was wear my newly charged battery down.

My buddy with a new Honda CRF450 called me up to see how I was making out and my leg was half kicked off. He said, "get out there".

So, went out and pulled the choke, didn't touch the gas (they mean it) and it went! She sounds like it has some serious spank. Drove it around the icy streets a little bit, can't wait for spring!

I have come to the conclusion that the e-start might work in optimum conditions, but if it's been sitting be prepared to kick first. I hope the e-start is at least good enough for that. Don't know the bike yet, so time will tell.

Think I'll look into getting a battery tender.

Also, would too hot of a battery cook the electrical system?

If a better battery is available, please post the brand name and model number. If I don't have to kick I'd just as soon not.

Don't worry about to hot of a battery. Any good battery will have close to 13V when fully charged, if something gives in the electrical system it's weak anyway.


OK so I talked to Colombia Motorsports, my guy there says the starter for the WR's are a joke, they are off an 80cc bike to save weight, where as the YZF450 (racing quad /w same engine) has the raptor starter, lines, and battery.

And guess what no retrofit.

As for the bike it's incredible not that I'm a authority...

It's my first dirt bike (over protective parents what can I say?) I learned on a DRZ 350 /w a shot kickstarter (theft recovery) around july and ordered my 450 cause my leg couldn't take it anymore... So I checked out what bikes had an electric start and could handle a 240lbs rider (6'2). and 9/6 my paper work was signed... I constanly get pissed at the Elec start thing but when she's wot running up a twisty hillclimb she can do no wrong...

But I THINK Yamaha should step up and fix this. I didn't fork out something in the neighborhood of 6Gs for a novelty electric start (didn't know it was a raceing bike then) :)

I tried takeing it the snow (bour 8" before it all melted yesterday) I just spun it :D I think I'm gonna need spikes

and I couldn't get it out of 3rd (or keep it steady)

Guys, When I first got my bike the estart didn't want to start the bike. Now that I've had the bike and it is well broken in it starts no problem.. I realize the frustration but I mostly kick it first thing in the morning, after that the estart works perfectly... By the way my bike came with a broken starter motor. Yamaha took care of it...


I agree with Dan. Give it some time. I've had my wr450 since Feb. It was the same way when I got it. Now, the only time it is trouble, is when it is cold and the bike has sat out (or in the trailer) all night. Then, I lean the bike over until gas runs out the carb, do some combinations of kicks and use the button. It still doesn't take very long then.

It's the best bike I've ever had.


Man I hate to say this but for a $6400 bike it should fire up with a push of the button, End of story. I've put on about 800 miles isn't that broken in enough? I go for 30-50mi clips... I get a lot of flack from they guys I ride with (all Hondas)... "you payed what and it's that much of a pain to start?" I can kick it fine, but there is no reason to say a bike has electric start unless thats really the case.... heck once I finally get it going the electric start works 7 times out of 10... but for me thats lacking quality. Hey if a Kia can start up on the first shot c-mon... :)

Man I hate to say this but for a $6400 bike it should fire up with a push of the button, End of story.

Doesn't KTM($7000+) recommend to start their e-start bikes with the kickstart when they're cold?? Seems to me I read that in several magazine reviews....

I have been using the electric start on my bike from the first day without any problems, it starts every time, maybe on the second or third push of the buttom but never without fail. I would hazard a guess there is maybe something in your jetting setup making it difficult to start.

You guys with new 04 450's Please take note:

Cold starting in cold weather requires 72 starter jet, full choke, 3 - 5 full cranks of the throttle with ignition light on then shut the throttle completely and e-start for a second. If it does not fire up repeat. Do not engage the starter for more than 2 seconds at a time. When it is in the 30's or colder she can take up to 10 or 12 times to fire with the e-start and then the battery starts to go.

Below 40 degrees just kick her over! As your bikes break in it will start easier in all conditions but beware below 40 degrees I just kick start it after e-start fails. Jetting is very important. The starter jet for summer is around 65 but more is needed in the cold.


so am I just being unreasonable? :)

You have to richen up the jetting. The WR is lean form the factory. They won't start easily in the winter unless the starter jet is richened up. Do a search on TT and you will find the jetting. When its cold out I twist the throttle a bunch of times. I was out riding in the snow the other day, the bike ran fine.

They make the starters heavy duty on quads because quad riders are idiots. Yamaha made the e-start as light as possible. Quit whining and fix the problems. It takes about 2 hours and about 50 bucks to get one running right.

A WR450 will make your buddies Hondas look like mopeds.

Hey guys, the problem is not jetting (well, OK, it might be, but there are many more problems here) Jetting has to be adjusted for your location, temperature etc. We are talking about the electric starter here, not how the bike comes tuned from teh factory.

Hate to keep on saying my buddy this my buddy that (he's too lazy to read the forums or post and relies on me for fixing and advice), but his 03 WR450 just goes "click" 80% of the time. Even when hot, battery charged, bike running all day etc. Sometimes turning the crank past TDC helps. I can understand starting by kicker when cold, but the damn thing just does not work. So if he richens up the pilot jet the bike won't go "click" when pressing the magic button anymore? Don't think so. I'm starting to think he should check to see which battery is installed and buying the 120 cca model.

To the guy who stated the battery is not the problem, "it's showing 13 volts", did you check the voltage with the starter under load? Voltage and amperage are two completely different measurements. The battery could have all the voltage in the world, but without enought current, it don't mean squat. You could show 13 volts, but as soon as you try to start the voltage could drop to 6 or 8 volts if the crank won't turn. I'm thinking the extra oomph from more CCA might make the crank turn over more reliably.


but his 03 WR450 just goes "click" 80% of the time

Your buddy has some problem with the bike, that is not the starting problem guys are talking about here, in general. Sounds electrically to me.

the only time I ever had a click is when the batt was low or when my woodruff key sheared. OK so it's really looking like yamaha really screwed up the pilot jet settings on the 03's. One last thing my dealerships SVC MGR said never twist the throttle if you need a little fuel in there hit the hot start lever...

And I'm not whining, the bike has been waiting at the dealer since tuesday waiting to be rejetted thats why I have been on here every 5 min :)

Sounds like when the battery is low in a car and the starter just clicks and won't turn the motor over. Has your buddy checked the battery under a load (when starting?)

I've been using my e-start since January (when I picked up my WR) and it starts everytime. I've never heard a clicking sound like you've described. I do kick it the first time when it's colder than around 40 degrees outside just because the motor and oil are stiff from the cold. I've never put a single charge on the battery either... :)

wow, this cold start thing went in about five different directions! check your manual, page 1-17. the little box says to twist the throttle 3-4 times to start a cold engine below 41 degrees. i twist about 6. it's not perfect, but it helps. i thought the hot start opened a small air passage not fuel. i'm probably wrong. the part number for the 72 start jet is 3tj-1494f-16. double check if the shop has to order it (mine did).

now for the starter itself. you can probably do a search under "starters" but a lot of the comments have been in other topics. along with some of the other problems the '03's have had, a few have had bad starters. even when the motors warm they just go "click". they are a pain to remove but if you do, the manual show a way to test it. page 6-14 has the info. if the armature has a bad spot it will not hit when that spot is in contact with the brushes. the really bad news that goes with it is, you can't get just parts. the whole starter motor has to be replaced.

It takes about 2 hours and about 50 bucks to get one running right.

I'm gonna agree with Beezer here....

I do think it's jetting and the fact that the bike has 800 miles on it.. Yes, you're probably right the bike's broken in, but my bike got easier to start as time went on. Before you get too angry with the bike make sure it's jetted correctly, sounds like you took the right step by having the shop do it..

I do believe that Yamaha could've given the 03's a better starter, they changed the 04's around for a reason, they had to improve it. When you get the bike back let us know what happeneds...


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