Small claims court, should I or shouldn't I

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my WR immensely, and I do not like to be a trouble maker. The bike is not for sale. Even though the wife supports my love for bikes, she is a little miffed though. I have a 96 Sentra that works good, an 87 snowblower that works good and a 1970's or 80's Lawn Boy that works good. But the new Yammie with 540km's let me down. And i try to take a lot better care of it than anything else i have.

I just got a $1409Can. bill to get my bike back and I don't think a proper design was done on the valve cover breather hose. Hondas have a design that will not allow the valve cover breather hose to suck up water and grit, and I understand a lot of owners reroute theirs into the airbox or at least "T" it.

I remember when I bought the bike I asked the salesman if there was anything I needed to know about this particular machine and he said, "I don't know much about them bikes." I should have ran then. This is my 11th bike and I have never had a major problem with any of them.

Anyway, I go offroading with CRF's mostly but i wanted to be different and bought blue.One day I was stuck in some mud and water up to the footpegs. Since my e-start rarely works anyway (due to my Baja Designs kit I suspect, even though it has a low wattage light bulb in it) I kicked and kicked and kicked until I got it going, I'd say 30 kicks (3 sets of ten, I didn't want to have a heart attack, i'm 44). I didn't suspect anything, kept ripping around and then the top end started making some bad noises close to home. I had new synthetic oil in it and checked it before I left, no problem. When i checked it when I got home the oil was not showing on the dipstick!

To make a long story short, the oil strainer inside had too much crud in it to allow oil to flow smoothly.

A tear down later and new rings and a YZ cam later (I needed an exhaust cam anyway I was told, and the YZ cam was $50 cheaper and I intended to put one in eventually sometime) and a good month of shop time and I am back in business.

It feels great to have the bike back, but I feel Yamaha could have had a better design of that hose. The shop obviously doesn't think so since it is not "T"ed or re-routed even though I mentioned it.

P.S. I will swear on the bible that grit didn't come in the airbox since the air filter was clean.

I don't know what to do.

playing the devil's advocate, I would say there are to many if's to make a small claims court case worth while. like if the filter was maintained at proper intervals or if being stuck in mud and water up to your footpegs had anything to it, I believe there are breather lines that hang out the bottom of the bike. there may be other if's that would make a claim tough to prove.

Thanks for the reply, I appreciate it.

I feel the bike is intended for off-road use and out here in the East that means water and mud.

I have done a lot of research on the subject and I feel that other manufacturers (even Yamaha on their YZF450 quad and European WR's) have done a better job at protecting the engine from having the opportunity to suck in water and grit and grass or whatever by having this hose in its stock location.

How is it explained then that there are so many owner modifications being made to this hose. If you do a search on the valve cover breather hose on the CRF sites you will come up empty. Not that I'm a huge Red fan but it looks bad.

This design should have been done properly by the manufacturer in my opinion.

But I appreciate the feedback. I don't want anyone else to get in this predicament either. I can afford to fix it with some sacrificies for a month or two. Some people couldn't.

I sure would, small claims court is cheap, you have a pretty good case if you can document it

Yamaha probably wont even show up, so you'll win by default


he goes to court and wins by default, how difficult would it be to collect the money from Yamaha???

Yamaha didn't do much for all the 2003 WR450 owners who got stranded on the trail by the starter design flaw. Don't think you would have much luck sueing, but try to find a dirtbiking lawyer to help you.

A while ago, the TT guys tipped me off on how to tee off the oil and carb breather hoses to avoid stalling during creek crossings. After hearing of your misfortures, glad I did the mod.

I wouldn't sue, but thats just me.

Sueing them will just make the bikes cost more for all of us. The "fix" for this problem is posted everywhere, and its also pretty widely documented not to restart your bike when sitting in water. I learned about this and the 03 starter issue within the first couple days of researching new trail bikes. Much like the starter thing, yamaha will probably incorperate a fix into the next model year. Theres enough BS lawsuits going through the court system already.

Every bike (every vehicle really) has thier little quirks and flaws... mabey the red ones don't have this particular problem but they do have a few of their own just like everyone else.

Don't rely on a dealer to reroute the hose for you either... do it yourself.

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