Escalation of Gear Idle break. What to do?

After the gear idle broke on my 10hr old '04 YZ450 I took it back to the dealer (Island Cycle Sales, Staten Island NY)to find out what happened and see if it was under warantee. I found out the gear idle broke in half. I was acused by the dealer of kicking it to hard, then fouling the plug and eventually not using the hot start. First, none of these acusations were true. Secondly, the mechanic had not even broken down the bike yet. Then I find out the part is on back order and Yamaha will pick up all of the costs to fix it. I think fine.....if the parts on back order it must a common problem. (Some insight - I was a pro level rider almost 15yrs ago and want to get back into racing in the 30+ class)

Anyway, after a torturous three weeks I finally got my bike back. The first day I take it out the engine seizes. I call the dealer imediately and I am told to bring it back. I bring the bike back and the dealer starts accusing me of using the wrong gas..then persists on telling me that it is a detination problem. I know when an engine seizes, so I told him there was no oil getting to the engine. When I checked the dip the oil was full and barely should have been hot after 25min of riding the track. Plus, you know that nock right before it seizes. The dealer gets angry at me and begins to tell me that it could not be an oil problem and that there is no way it could be his mechanics fault. He again trys to tell me that it is probably a detination would he know he did not break it down yet nor was he riding it.

After all of this I tell the dealer not to fix it until I can talk to Yamaha...I just don't trust the guy at this point. The next morning he calls me and tells me that his mechanic missed a hair line crack in the oil pump and that they will replace all of the damaged parts. First, I don't believe that it would have seized so quickly if it was a hair line crack. Secondly, would you let this mechanic rebuild your bike after he caused the engine to seize and consistently blamed the problem on you?

I have since called Yamaha to try to get them to send a tech to the shop to look at the engine but they currently don't want to help me. I feel like the dealer was lying to me to save himself some money and now I am getting no support from Yamaha. I have also filed a complaint with the dealer to the BBB but all I want is to ride.

Does anyone have any suggestions on what else I can do to expediate the resolution of this problem?

and, is it possible for a hair line crack to seize the engine that quick on this bike?

That sucks large! I wonder if you could talk to another Yamaha dealer and see if they are willing to work with you on this. Be nice and if your getting good answers tell them your going to be buying more bikes down the road and you will be back.

A good dealer means everything, more than the make of the bike. Good luck.

First off, there should be no questions asked by the dealer for that type of failure. That's what a warranty is for. As for the crack in the oil pump, that could definitly cause a loss of oil pressure and the resulting seizure. I would be pushing for a new engine if it was me. The crank could be damaged, bearings, camshaft journals etc. etc. etc. Given that they missed the oil pump problem, I'd be very leary of that tech going into the engine any deeper. When you talk to the Yamaha Customer Service Representative, explain your situation. Be polite but firm. Escalate to the next level as needed. Explain why you purchased a Yamaha in the first place over another make. Persistance is the key. Getting bent out of shape will put them on the defensive and make it harder to resolve the problem. You're better off trying to win the rep over to your side rather than being confrontational. I've worked for Yamaha dealerships in the past and the factory is reasonable as long as you present your case firmly without turning it into a personal attack. Good luck and I hope this has a happy ending...

You are absolutely correct. It is however very difficult to remain calm sometimes when dealing with morons. I have been in this situation several times in the past with Yamaha. At the dealer level I just step back when something completely stupid is said and just say "ok bud, open her up and show me why you think that?" My first response to the idler gear situation would have been "dude, what's the tensil strength on that gear anyway?" Not having a clue he would have most likely just shut up. Low tensil strength in gears has been a problem in the industry for years.....Man I remember the fiasco that Kawasaki had with the KLX 300's a couple of years ago... That was embarrasing and luckily Stroker came to owners rescue with a superior replacement gear right away. Anyway, my point is, if you must deal with morons, be ready to disarm them immediately with facts. This seems to work really well 99% of the time for me. As for the oil pressure problem. Yes most definately a crack in the pickup tube will cause a major oil problem because the suction of the pump is lost by air being sucked into the pump. Your issue is unusual but not unheard of. I had an incident with a bad pump a couple of years ago and have always followed the process of breaking loose the banjo bolt at the exterior oil line and slowly kicking over the crank after an oil change or after the bike has sat up for a period of time just to ensure that oil is moving before cranking it up..... (Nothing like a 3K engine job to get your attention) In your case it was totally unexpected and unavoidable.... But you have come to the right place for help...Remember knowledge is power.

Bonzai :)

Thanks for the info. At this point I don't want the bike back given the unknown damage that may be done, heat or otherwise. Plus, given the line of S_ _ t I have heard from the dealer I know he is not looking out for my best interest.

On Yamaha's side I talked to a Customer Service Rep and they will not send a Tech out to look at the bike. They contest that it is a dealer issue. However, they said that they would contact him. I don't think that will do much good.

Have you called other dealers in your area. Their is a possibily that another dealer would honor your 30 day warranty. It can be difficult to get someone else to take responsibility for someone elses mess, but it could happen. Document everything that has happened. In most states you can file a complaint with the commission that handles consumer auto complaints and get assistance under a states lemon law. Might be worth checking into. Personally I would force the bike down the dealers throat until he get's it right. Then at the end of the warranty period if it has not been resolved, I would pay an attorney fifty bucks to threaten a lawsuit(letter) if he didn't replace the bike. (I've seen that little number work numerous times.) If they know your serious and not going to go away, they will make it right just to get rid of you.....Then you show your appreciation for the hassle by doing business somewhere else.

Bonzai :)

I did file a complaint with the NY Better Business Bureau yesterday. I have not yet talked to other dealers....I want this guy to make good on the hell he has put me through. I would hate to see him do this to a kid just starting out in the I will eat it for now and make a stand. I figure the lawyer will be the last step in this process...I am still hopeful Yamaha will step up to the plate given it all started with a weak gear idle.


I know exactly what your saying. It's hard to stay calm when you just laid out 6g's for a new bike. I think he needs to find a good dealer ( there are some of those out there believe it or not) that he can trust to 1) go to bat for him and 2) fix it right. I've seen so many cases over the years of customers getting so far bent out of shape, they shoot themselves in the foot. The factory reps are people too. If you go calling their mother names etc., they'll just shut you down.

Don't feel to bad,my 03 dicenigrated in 45 minutes.Bring it to a different dealer that has a good mechanic.My dealer took five months to rebuild mine.He did give me a new bike [i THINK} after three.I am still fighting with them for a title for the bike they gave me 7 months later.

I'm going to take a guess on what happened. When the mechanic replaced the broken gear, I'll bet he didn't try to put the gear back together to make sure that he had ALL of the pieces, and I'll bet one of the pieces ended up in your oil pump. Or maybe it wasn't an oil pump problem at all, maybe one of those pieces got jammed up somewhere else in the motor and caused a pile of problems. I could be wrong, but a left over piece in the motor is the most likely thing I can think of. The whole situation sucks, I'm not very good at those situations so I will say good luck and please let us all know what happens.

Considering the hassle involved, I would try to get the dealer to warranty the whole thing at his leisure and get him to shoot you a price on a brand new bike. Convince him that once the attorneys get involved, neither one of you is going to win. Explain to him that you would be willing to give him your old bike, let his mechanic spend as many hours as necessary to fix it right (in his spare time, on his own dime), and that you just want to ride. Tell him you will give him $300, your old bike, and you just want to grab a brand new one off the showroom floor. Tell him he can send the old one back to Yamaha, fix it, sell it, whatever. Then tell him you will also buy some accessories from him (I don't know, helmet, gloves, etc.) Tell him you just might end up being his best customer. Most dealer owners are very wealthy and money is really not an issue with them; it is more ego.

Schmooze him as much as you can tolerate without feeling like you're his prison [@#$%&*!]. :D

I know this sounds like you are rolling over instead of taking a stand, but will most likely be your cheapest and fastest way out.

If this doesn't work, see if your state has a lemon law. Try to persue that avenue. You could end up getting a new bike out of it or all your money back. Talk to an attorney and see what they say. You could also talk to some postal workers: they have their own unique way of dealing with stress in the post office :) (just kidding)

In these instances, negotiation is the key. :D The satisfaction of being right could take some time and you will most likely not be riding for a while. How much is your time worth?

I appreciate all of the info. Right now I am working on a contact at Yamaha and trying to get a sooner rather than later solution. At this point my biggest fear is to not be riding all season. I will keep everyone informed of my progress.


Just goes to show that dealers worldwide will bend you over as soon as they get a chance. When I got my 2nd hand WR426 from a dealer, the gearbox died the same day. I got them to pay for the parts, but wouldnt let them work on my engine as long as my arse faced the ground. The big problem with any warranty work is that the bare minimum amount of work and parts are invested. Sounds like a lack of cleaning that caused your failure.


When I worked in the field, I used to CMOA and order any part that could possibly come back to bite me in the a**. Techs only make flatrate on warranty repairs so they should want to get it right the first time. Nothing like a comeback that you didn't make money on in the first place.

Which gear broke?

I find it strange that after the side cover was removed for gear replacement that the bike starves of oil. After just getting done working on / rebuiding a 98 and an 03 I can say that if the mechanic failed to place the pilot spacer AND OR O-ring back on the face of the oil pump before reinstalling the side cover you pump WILL NOT get squat for oil delivery from the frame line feeding the RH side cover. It will suck air around the fillting in the side cover rather than pull oil in from the line.

The second place for failure is the lip seal in the RH side cover that seals the end of the crankshaft to the side cover. But I see no reason for them to have pulled that seal out, it should have been fine?

Now my pump had a real big gash on the front face between the pump shaft drive gear and what is called the kidneys in the pump cover. It appears as if some gear matter (lost fourth gear) got between the drive gear and the pump face and did a fair amount of grinding. But even so it still didn't leak thru the casting.

Not that it's makes any difference now, Wether he is nice or not, he (the dealer) is gonna start to cover his tracks REAL FAST.

Good luck

The gear idle is what broke. It actually broke in half, not a pretty sight. The fact that the dealer was trying to accuse me of kicking it to hard was my first hint that he had no idea what he was talking about. No human has the power to do was obviously the engine kicking back and a weak part for that matter.

I still think Yamaha should try to help me out.....the gear idle was a weak part and the amount of damage it can do to the guts of the bike are enormous. Which in my case lead to mechanic error and anyone's guess since the dealer will not be honest with me.

The worst part is that I can not take the bike back without a completely new engine. I know the dealer is trying to get off cheap and will only replace the non-working parts not all of the damaged parts. I'm getting to the point of buying a CR450...unless you have heard of weak internal parts with them also? Maybe it is back to two-strokes.

I don't know if you guys have heard this one......The dealer keeps saying "these f'in two-stroke riders they shouldn't buy these bikes". My question is "IF RACERS SHOULD NOT BUY THESE BIKES WHAT THE H''L WERE THEY BUILT FOR?


You should tell Yamaha that if they don't have you riding with a new engine in short order that you are going to buy a CRF450 and pait your riding gear with "Yamaha sucks" and explain your story to anyone who asks.

You could also point Yamaha to this thread. A LOT of people read this message board and this is a great opportunity for Yamaha to come out smelling like a rose or like a pile of poo, they have the option to go either way. :)

everybody is smiles when your buying. But after you have shelled out the cash alwasy a differnt story.

Hang in there.

The gear idle is what broke. It actually broke in half, not a pretty sight.

I assume you mean the kick starter idle gear. The oil pump wouldnt have been removed to replace this gear. Hmmm :)


Yes, it was the kickstarter gear idle.

I was discussing this with a fellow rider at work and a few good suggestions came was to take a web came and go pick up the bike...strap the tire and drag it down the street. I would suggest a headline like "Yamaha the way to ride". Here's a little more irony for you.....I get a letter from Yamaha two days after droping it off at the shop telling me how I just bought the best machine in racing. I have some thoughts on that one!

My current anger stems from 65degree weather and no bike! Looks like it will be a street filled weekend for me.....

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