Electric Start 03 WR450 (yeah right)

OK, so I'm in agreement that jetting could be a problem with starting the bike. Shouldn't it then be a problem with kick starting also? I mean if the bike will kick start, it should start with the electric starter too. You can't disagree with me there. Jetting or not, there is more to the starting problem.

I don't care if YOUR bike starts great. It's no help to say "that there is no problem, the bikes fine, mine always starts"...because there are a whole lot of people here with WR450's that don't start with the magic button with any reliability. You don't here the DRZ fan's complaining about there Estart.

How many others have a starter that just won't turn the crank? Guess I'll have to start a new thread. It's not my bike though. If it were, I'd be looking into it and trying to find a solution aggresively, or just use the kicker. Anyway, I don't mean to ruffle any feathers, just trying to figure out what some of the other problems are besides jetting.

I guess it's safe to say that if the engine turns, but the bike won't start, the jetting could be off.


I don't care if YOUR bike starts great.

No need to get pissy!!! Just trying to help someone..

Look, I'm not saying that the bike has a perfect starter and his jetting is way off... My personal opinion on the matter is that the force of a leg kicking the motor over is greater than the little (lightweight) starter.. The bike needs to be jetted (starter jet?) just right for the wimpy starter to get the bike fired where a kick with greater force will have better results.. Like I said before, Yamaha changed the starter for 04 for a reason, it could be that the little starter/battery system didn't have enough poop to get it going.


I don't care if YOUR bike starts great.

"No need to get pissy!!! Just trying to help someone.."


Didn't direct that at anybody in particular. I appreciate everybodies input. I've been trying to read a bunch of the posts relating to the WR estart and have seen a few people get on the soapbox stating nothing is wrong with the bike. Anyway, no offence intended to anybody, just trying to get an idea of the different problems with the estart.


One thing to consider when comparing it to the DRZ is the different uses for the bike. If they had a more powerful starter on the WR it would make the bike heavier, like the DRZ. Yamaha was trying to offer a E button while keeping the weight down.

For me, my bike won't start cold with the ebutton. What I do first start of the day is give it a few seconds with the ebutton to warm things up a bit. Then I kick it, usually starts by 2 kicks. Then the rest of the day it will start right up with the button.

With that in mind it works great for me. I race so the only time I really care if the ebutton will fire it is during a race and it does that. So I'm not willing to take any more weight on just to have a starter that works when its cold too. I believe this is where Yamaha was going with this bike also. If this is something that is unlivable for your buddy then maybe a DRZ is more along the lines of what he is looking for. Hopefully you guys can get it all sorted out for him.

Ok time to put my .02 1/2 in..

My bike was the asme way in the beginning. I made all of the normal adjustments ie rejet, removed the snorkel, threw the snorkel, gray wire, new pipe. My bike starts pretty damn quick now. You need to break it down in painfully slow steps, one component at a time. The clickinmg makes me think it is a faulty starter, or a bad battery. one thing you need to know with this particular battery is it needs to be recharged with a slow trickle charger, if not you will fry the battery. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt!. I would start by opening up the bike with the free mods, open up the exhaust, and go from there. The battery may register fine, but like I said, if it has been charged by any other means than a trickle charger, odds are there are a few cells fried, which would give you some power, but would drain extremly quick.

Good Luck :)

First Luke Please don't take this the wrong way but did you double check where the starter button plugs in near the triple clamp, just for ha-ha's pull it out and re-seat that connection I had a similar experience, if not meter out the battery, if not your starters coils are out of whack...

as for kicking it over I'm 6'2 235lbs and my bike only has 2.5 tires :) my leg shouldn't have to try that hard, two squirts of hot start is all it should have to take.

Guys thanks for all you feedback I'm only being this paranoid cause my Last vehicle was a lemon so you can understand my concern.

I just really didn't want to hear that my e-start was soley for the purpose of if (when properly warmed up) I throw myself over my bars and am too busted to kick the bike I can hit a button.

And your right maybe a DRZ might have been more along the lines of what I should have gotten for a 1st bike(learned on a DRZ350). This may sound weird but my WR (and dodging the roost of my buddies xr650)taught me how to ride. I think its an incredibly rider freindly bike and it inspires alot of confidence, sometimes a little too much :D

Could someone out there that has tried a 120cca battery pleases post a comment on if it did improve the cold starting.If it does i would gladly by a new battery.As for the drz being easier to start , thats true. I personally would not mind a little more weight if it ment the bike started easier.Perhaps thats why yamaha put the kicker on as well as the button.Maybe they knew this was the case.Unlike the drz that starts easy everytime.I used to take the ---- out of my mate about no kicker on the drz.Now i just keep quiet as it's me who needs the kicker.

Hey guys, I won't take anything the wrong way...it's not my bike! Just trying to help a friend out.

so am I just being unreasonable? :)

Sounds like it to me....no offense :D If we were talking about an XT/XR-L trail-plonker I'd agree, but the WR is a Race-bred High-Performance machine, and is entitled to be a little temperamental. Some jetting for the weather conditions is to be expected, and we need to realize that weight IS an issue, and that Yamaha has picked the battery and starter based on that...less weight requires some compromises.

Hey Ralph, just so you know, The "Hotstart" is not for starting when cold. It does NOT add fuel, it actually leans out the carb, so you can start it after a fall, or when slightly flooded. You should NEVER use this when starting cold. Read up in that part of your owner's manual to find out exactly how it works.

By the way, I do feel for you as far as starting goes. My bike would never start with the starter when I got it, and I was real skeptical about the jetting changing the way it started, BUT, after rejetting the bike starts perfectly hot, or cold in mild weather.( I still have to kick start when cold, but that's because it's a tad lean)

I hope this helps!!


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 Lukejt

Sounds like the battery to me, but I'd have to see it, and him in action trying to start it, before I'd be sure. It is a small-capacity battery, so if he's crashing or stalling the thing a lot and having to crank her all the time it may never get recharged....not Yamaha's problem, there.

My WR sat for 3 weeks and cranked right up last time I rode her, haven't had any starter-related problems, or any others...

Yeah, I just got the bike (03 wr450) with all the free mods this winter. It is a pain in the ass to start in the cold. I am alittle confused about not touching the trottle when starting it. If you kick start it and at that point were it is about to turn over you gotta give it alittle trottle, right? Or is this part of my problem?

I don't know maybe In fouled the plug, I noticed that even after 3 or 4 miles of riding (this is the furthest i have taken the bike due to the weather) as I come thru 1st and 2nd gear I noticed the bike still hestitates even when I take the choke off. :)

007, sound like you are a bit lean on your jetting. the bike is lean stock and the cold weather makes it worse. these modern thumpers can be touchy when it comes to jetting for temp. check some of the posts from people in your area. alot of them will have their current jetting listed. it's a big help. when you first start the bike, twist the throttle four or five times. the carb has an accelerator pump and will shoot raw gas into the intake. when the choke is on you should not have to give it any throttle when it starts. the choke has it's own jetting and pretty much takes care of it's self. not sure how much luck you'll have with the estart when it's cold, but you've read all that.

Yep, there are 2 problems when you open the throttle.

1) It causes a lean condition and that causes a backfire and can break the woodruff key, or worse.

2) The carb has a throttle position sensor which controls timing advance. When you open the throttle, it tells the ignition to advance the spark accordingly....which helps to make the backfire previously mentioned worse!

The best way to avoid opening the throttle is to put your hand on the throttle housing instead of the grip, when you're starting the bike. :)

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....

They don't even call it an "electric start." It is referred to as a "re-start" or a "staring aid" or somesuch. And in my experience you can easily kill a KTM's battery on a cold bike also.

DRZs start pretty good...

They make the starters heavy duty on quads because quad riders are idiots.

I 'bout spit soda pop all over my keyboard with that one.

007, if your like me coming from mainly riding 2-strokes it is hard to get over that twisting the the throttle when starting it,but you need to. You should only twist the throttle a couple of times to sort of prime the motor before starting and then dont touch it when starting the the bike.

If the starter is "clicking" I think it's safe to say that your starter is bad...... I was under the impression that the starter was turning over and just not firing the engine.. My bike came with a bad starter, it worked for a week then went "click-click", the battery was fine but the starter motor was bad... If you've got the "clicks" your just might need a new starter... :)

Could this have solved my hard start problem so easy ? I bought a battery charge / conditioner that monitors and keep the battery charged the other day.My bike has always flattened the battery when cold trying to start.But this time after sitting for a month it started with only a few seconds cranking.WOW i will be interested to see how it starts on the weekend.I will post my results.


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