Starter died on 03 WR450

I recently replaced my starter clutch and all was well until the starter seemed to be laboring. Sometimes it would not turn at all. Now, all I get is the click of a relay when I hit the button. I tried to jusp start it an I got the same thing... so the battery is not the problem.

Any advice?


Jim.. Sorry to say it's pretty common on 03s. The difference between the 04 and 05 starting systems is major, I remember my 03 starter sounded like it could barely start the bike and eventually quit. Somewhere on TT is an 04 starter upgrade mod to get your bike starting like a champ, might cost a bit but I think it's a worthy upgrade for you. Sorry to hear the bad news.


The upgrade is to stop damage when backfiring.As i did the upgrade to mine and it developed the same problem a couple of weeks ago i would believe that isn't a problem.You bet me to posting.I to feel my battery is o.k as it's got 13.2 volts but when i put a multimeter on it and try to crank it drops to 5 volts.Maybe the cranking amps are down?.I did read a while ago that the terminals aren't soldered inside the starter motor.Hopefully some one replys with some more info on this subject.The 04 upgrade is well worth doing as it stops the flywheel key shearing when you get a backfire , mine happened it a very hilly spot on a very hot day.

Thanks dave


I just did the 04 parts update and also had to replace my starter. It was very loud, sluggish, and most of the time would not start my 03 wr450. I first replaced the battery hoping that was the problem, but it wasn't. The starter was filled with sand, grit, and water. Rebuilding it was going to be $140.00 so I opted for the new one. Took about an hour to install.

I found Xtreme powersports had the best price $221.00 for the entire "starting motor" as they called it. Here is a link.

Good Luck

Anything to make the starter spin slower will consume more amps and pull the voltage down lower. And in some cases, over a period of time, the excess current could take out a relay too from the excess current/load. I know the 03 WR450's had some issues with the starter.

I had the exact same issues with my '03 WR. The starter was slow and seem to be lacking the proper cranking power. I would charge the battery and not much change. I tore into the starter and cleaned it up and even made a new battery cable. Tested the battery again and again, it looked good until I put a load test on it. Finally I broke down and did the '04 starter mod and bought a new battery and it starts no issues. 5 rides no problems. never have charged the new battery.



After testing it now appears my battery is braking down under load although it still reads 13.5 volts but just won't crank to long then goes flat.If i put it on the charger it cranks fine at first but quick dies.Of to get a new battery a.s.a.p.Did any one manage to get there starter out from the back without removing the side cover?.

Thanks dave

Jimbo, i had exactly the same thing happen on my 03. starter clutch went south so i replaced it, all was well for a while then about every third start just a click! so i took the starter out and took it apart,the brushes were worn right out of spec s so i replaced them put it together and bench tested it ,it still did the same thing! :) i took it apart again and had the armature tested at a local auto electric place and it was shot. i could not buy just the armature from yamaha canada just the whole starter at a cost of 380.00 can. so i sent the armature away and had it rewound at a cost of 160.00 can put the starter together and its been working fine ever since :)


sells the starter motor for $200 plus $8 shipping

My buddy had on 03 as do I. His starter gear shattered then broke the engine case monut housing as well. First it would just click click like yours then it was all over. You might want to pull the starter and make sure your starter drive gear is in tact.

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