Am I The Only One With This Problem?

Am I the only one with this problem: 2003 Yamaha WR 450-- Rotor bolts to Starter gear suject to failure, removal of themselves and breakage? Any feedback would be helpful.

Thanks :thumbsup:

I haven't had that problem or the woodruff key problem....yet. Haven't heard of it(the rotor bolts) either...

hey to all who care. the wr that i bought new never dropped the rotor off the crank. or spun , or what ever a lot of these did. but i had heard of it before i purchased the bike well over a year ago. as for a nother problem in the rotor area, thats why im here. the bike has only 480 miles, and was used mainly as a extra bike. yamaha says i am the only person so far that this has unusual problem has came to plague. owners beware

First of all Yamaha tells everyone they've never heard of their problem so that's no surprise. The rotor bolt problem is just another symptom of the the starter kickback issue. It has happened to many bikes though not nearly as many as have sheared keys. Basically if the motor kicks back and the key doesn't shear then something else has to give and the rotor bolts are one of the next things in line. Upgrade to the '04 parts and you won't have any further problems.

ok easy fix. but whats so special about the o4 bolts? larger size/better grade? well to me this up-grade will come to late as i was two laps into a hare scramble when it munched the stator and all bolts came out and one broke. my consern now is how much fillings and debre are inside the engines oil system. this thing most likely will need complete dissasembly for propper cleaning. thanks for the bolt suggestion it will be the final bridge on this rebuild project. actualy im trying to find some one else with this problem so i can try to some help from yamaha. [yeah right} thanks

The '04 starter drive has a torque limiter in the gear train that slips at a lower torque than would shear the bolts, keyt, etc. The bolts are the same in the '03 and '04. It has happened to others but I don't think Yamaha has been very helpful. Good luck.

well its a comfort to know that there is a solution to the starter/gear problem , just to late for me. sounds like somebody did some homework. the first year model of any bike with a major change could always be a gambel to the warry consumer. i am charging forward in my quest to find others with the same problem as i and go from there. what do i have to lose. heck this corner to corner ballistic misille has lost its bark.

yesterday after going threw 10 pages of post about the woodruffkey failures i found a person with rotor bolt failure, some have never heard of this problem. yes and yamaha is one who says im the only one thats had to deal with this. the cuase is improper tuning cuasing the motor to kick back. rider error maybe its my fault for not doing my home work on the bike when i bought off the showroom floor. though the dealer faxed a couple of pages of mods/ thats al i ever saw on tuning, but i guess i should have looked on thumper talk. beings how the bikes aready had rotors falling of before dealers where even getting in new 03s :thumbsup:

looked though some more old post on the key issue today, found several more with simular problem as mine. i thought i was the lone ranger for a while. maybe a letter to yamaha might be in order, from what i can gether phone calls done count. it wont be long and i will be left side motor expert from all the data i have seen. i have never heard of putting lock tight on a crank to rotor! this could be the same guys at yamahas idea as the ones who got the taper off :thumbsup: on the crank and rotor. maybe the 04s have all the glitchs ironed out.


I only had 2.3 miles on my bike when I had when my bike died. The woodruff key didn't shear, but it did bend a little, so everything was out of alignment and the bike wouldn't start. What was the true cause?? Lean backfire? Backed off rotor nut?? Both? Who the HELL knows, My bike would F(*&ing start! Pretty mad at the time, over it now.

Anyway, I upgraded to the 04 parts that they talk about in the post. I haven't had a problem since. And that's with 4 Harescramble races, plenty of stalls, and only using the electric start.


still looking for bikes with related problem as mine.

also someone said there was such a thing as GYt-r. how do you get in touch with them. [maybe you dont] :thumbsup:

found one more person today that the bolts to the starter clutch gear fell out on. he listed a post under wr 450 stator fault. being from norway his english was a little broken, but he has the right idea on bolts. he upgraded to a larger size and loctite be came his best friend. i have had my head in sand. i was thinking loctite on the crank-to rotor may be some off the wall fix, but as it seams i talked to tech who deals with a lot of jap bikes, he said this not un heard of and that honda does it alot. :thumbsup:

well i guess im the minority with this problem. still looking for feed back from persons with simular problem that thinks yamaha should stand good for this defect.

check those rotor bolts! had a nother DNF for the blue team this weekend . dont get caught with your pants down. upgrade :thumbsup:

well i guess im the minority with this problem. still looking for feed back from persons with simular problem that thinks yamaha should stand good for this defect.

Let me start out by saying yes I think Yamaha should stand behind this problem. Will they? Very unlikely. This is an old subject rehashed. Last year when all the '03 starter problems began occuring there was a significant campaign by owners to get Yamaha to acknowledge the defect. It was largely unsuccesful. Other than the "lap & loctite TSB" (which IMO did more harm than good) Yamaha has been unwilling to help the '03 owners. Honda has done a similar thing with the valve issues on the CRF450/250's. The truth is that none of the manufacturers stand behind their off-road products because they don't have to. The NTSB does not regulate OHV's but if these were street bikes they would be all over the mfrs. The fact is that the wr/yz 4xx's have been very reliable with the exception of the '03 WR. Personally I'd be nervous as hell riding an '03 knowing that it is just a matter of time before it will fail and with my luck it would be 30 miles from nowhere. I know it's distasteful but my advice is upgrade to the '04 starter parts (~$250) and ride it. The '04 is a great bike and with the upgraded parts I'm sure that the '03 is as well.

RoosterJ, Did you read my post about the cracked crankcase cover?? Same problem as you, mine just failed a little further up the line. YES!!! I think YAMAHA should take care of this problem. I think it's ridiculous that they lie about not acknowledging the problem and saying....HHMMM, this is the first I have heard of this problem. Us TT'ers know better. rekless :thumbsup:

The '04 is a great bike and with the upgraded parts I'm sure that the '03 is as well.

I totally agree! :thumbsup:

I wish that i would have waited and bought the 04, hindsight is 20/20. i dont have the figures yet on how many that have had our problem yet but im willing to bet its larger than we know. some folks dont have this imformation super highway. like i say stay on top whats under the left side cover and you might ride the 03s minny a mile. my problem is my right hand twisting on the grip trying to break throttle cables. :thumbsup:

I know it's distasteful but my advice is upgrade to the '04 starter parts (~$250) and ride it. The '04 is a great bike and with the upgraded parts I'm sure that the '03 is as well.

Would the starter upgrade have done anything to save these bikes that have had the rotor bolts back out? Wouldn't you also need to make sure you have the longer bolts installed in the rotor?


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