12 wr450 sputters after a wash

Twice now after washing my WR it will be hard to start, run with a miss, and die at idle. Once the bike dries out the issue disappears completely. I'll attack the various connections with dielectric grease but am curious if anyone else has had this issue and if so which connection was responsible, thanks!

Edited by Wintyfresh

Wet air filter?

Wet filter? Water in carb?

No carb (fuel injected) and I swapped air filters (and tried w/o an air filter) last time with no change to the issue. 

Do you use a pressure washer?

Yes, although it's a low-power electric and I use it on the lowest setting (I can put my hand directly in front of the nozzle with no discomfort, pretty much equivalent to a high pressure nozzle or putting your thumb over the end of a garden hose). 

I think the problem is due to the water.

In all seriousness, your bike is water resistant at best, not water proof. I only use a pressure washer for heavy mud built up under fenders, under the engine and swingarm and on wheel rims and tires. Everything else is hose or hand wash with just enough of a rinse to clear off the soap. Avoid directly spraying any wiring, switches, connections, speedo assembly, bearings, joints of moving parts (except foot pegs and kick stand, that's fine), the chain (more so for o-ring), and intake or exhaust openings with a pressure washer. After everything's dry, give a shot of WD40 or silicone spray or whatever you normally use to moving parts. Chain lube, WD40, motor oil, spit, or anything but brake cleaner for chains.

You might be able to troubleshoot this one by only washing a small section, like one side of the engine, and then see if it does it, and let it dry completely before moving on. Does it happen when you ride through water (if you do), or only when washed?

Edited by RockerYZWR

Thanks, I try to be very mindful of the pressure washer and am aware of the effects enthusiastic use can have on bearings and o-ring chains (I use compressed air to dry the latter, then spray with WD-40 and apply chain lube before the next ride). 


That's a great idea about doing one section at a time to try and troubleshoot the issue. I haven't ridden any water crossings yet (SoCal's in a drought and I'm a desert rider) but that's my biggest concern... waiting for the bike to dry after a wash is no big deal but having a bike that won't start or stay running after a water crossing will eventually be a huge issue. 

Edited by Wintyfresh

Harness behind the headlight, TPS sensor cover, Clutch override switch, tipover switch, and kill button are the weak spots for water

Maybe put some dielectric grease on your contacts for ignition coil.

Do you plug exhaust when you wash it?

2014 WRR-Totalled

2012 WR450F-Stolen

2012 WR450F-Third bikes the charm.

Yep, the exhaust is plugged, great call on the ignition coil! Headed out this weekend, will grease some of the easier to reach connections before washing it this time and if it still sputters afterwards begin a more comprehensive teardown. 

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