WR450F starter motor.

My WR is now one year old, 3000 kms. I just had to have the starter motor replaced (no warranty), and am pretty ticked off as I am hearing that this is a common fault and well known to Yamaha. I am interested in hearing from other owners particularly here in Australia if they have had similar starter problems.

Wally, I have an '03 and have had the same trouble, to the point, that I have removed my whole starter assembly. My bike is now kick-only, and to tell you the truth, I don't mind it, as long as the bike is jetted properly. That being said, I am putting mine up for sale in the next couple weeks....and I'm looking real seriously at a KTM 300EXC. Yamaha has done nothing to help the starter situation, and I am very hesitant to buy anything from them again. Just my two cents. rekless :thumbsup:

Yamaha has done nothing to help the starter situation

As far as the '03 goes your right on the money. Fortunately they fixed the '04 and so far it has been a very reliable bike. I agree that they should have taken care of the '03 owners but hey look at what Honda has done to the '02, '03 & '04 (and most likely the '05) CRF owners. Those guys are in such denial Honda has got them all convinced the valve problems are the owners fault or it's "routine maintenance"!

Blue, I do agree with you, and I should have added that in. And don't get me wrong, I have to say that other than the starter, this has been one helluva bike. It has never stranded me..actually, I had the decomp. plug blow out on me, but I didn't realize it 'till I was back at the truck, and it only lost a negligible amount of oil, (WHEW!!), but it has never left me stranded. I just felt a little disappointed in the company. I own three Yamaha's and the other two have been absolutely bullet proof. I just feel like it's time to venture on to other pastures. Same with Honda, they really should have backed their product. rekless :thumbsup:

DONT BUY THE ktm until you ride mine !!!! where you been ????? What valve Problems ?

My starter motor has been fine! Over 9000. miles and never been stranded! This bike is so reliable! I have no fear taking this thing out deep into the desert some 70 miles and getting back. My biggest issue with this bike is having a 3.4 gallon tank and still carrying a gallon of gas on some desert rides so I can make a 160 mile loop! :thumbsup: My brother says I look like a terrorist with 8 water bottles of gasoline strapped in my netting of my back pack. Hmm. Where is that fuse. :devil:

Over 9000 miles and never been stranded!

And I thought I was doing good at just over 4,200!! GEEZ!! :thumbsup:

You are doing great Dave! But you got me beat in wheelie miles! I think you have got about a thousand miles on the rear wheel only! :thumbsup:

OK I haven't posted anything for a long time but here goes.

I've had starter issues on my 03 450 since last spring but it kick started so easy I never got around to fixing it.

My bike would just click when you hit the button or turn over very slowly when it did work. Sound familiar anyone?

I just thought it was a weak battery. A couple of weeks ago I decided to look into all the starting issues.

What I found was the starter itself was no good. I took the starter apart and checked it as per the manual. Checking with an Ohm meter I found that the commutater had 3 dead spots. Great I need to buy a new starter!

Being cheap I thought maybe I could fix it. When I looked more closely at the starter core it didn't smell or look like burnt wiring. Next I checked where the wires were crimped onto the commutater strips. Each strip has a little tab of metal folded over a wire in the windings. I wiggled the tab for one of the dead spots and voila, conntinuity again! So I decided to scrape clean and solder the connection points for each commutater strip (about 14-15).

I put everything back together again and now the starter spins over faster than it ever did when new!

If your starter turns over slow or doesn't work give it a try.


thanks for the info Wacko, I am in the same position, the bike starts so easy without the starter never got around to checking it out, I found out my battery is fine putting out about 230 CCA according to battery guy who checked it, my relays were fine too leaving only the starter at fault, I was thinking of taking it to a local electrical motor guy to check out but plan to take it apart and see if it checks out like your did.

Yea it made a huge difference in how fast it turns the engine over. I just scraped the top and sides of the little tab of metal and then scraped the insulation off of the wire where it went into the crimp if that makes sense. Once you take it apart you'll see what I mean. On my Ohm meter the readings between the commutator strips was around 6 Ohms after soldering. Before that I think it was around 14-16 Ohms if I remember correctly. And of course infinity for the dead ones.


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