Starting the 03 WR450

Well she'll be 3 years in my keep this year, and the kickstarting is starting to worry me a yittle bit.

Now I know that there were starter issues and they redesigned it for 04 (but did nothing for the owners who shelled out 6.5 grand for the 03, way to fix the problem without aknowledging it :thumbsup: .)

Here is my quandry ever now and then I'll try to use the e-start I'll hear a click, and then nothing, I'll try to kick it, frozen (but it will move a 1/4 of a inch), then I hit the e-start and it will move again and I'm god to go. and sometimes the kickstart will kick back but I'm not too worried about that (or should I be?)

Is this the reason people are retrofitting the 04 starters on the 03s?

Or am I on my own on this one?

Other than the Woodruf key issue (which I'm glad I read about earlier since Colombia Motorsports knew nothing about it even thought I bought it in september) and the starter, are there other things I should be looking out for prevetitive maintenance wise? I'm heading out to Hatfield McCoy this summer and want to make sure I have all my bases covered before heading 400 miles away from home for a week of riding.

yep most people retrofit with 04 parts, dont expect Yamaha to help you out any. My starter gave up about a year after I bought it new, I removed it and kick start it only now. Mine was doing the same thing but just gave out completly and wouldnt work. I am glad these bike kick start so easy.

I myself have never had an issue with the woodruff key on mine, never had anything done to it either. I have over 7000 miles on my bike.

My 03 does the same thing. Sometimes the e-start works and sometimes I push the button and it does nothing. I will try the e-start sometimes and it won't turnover and so I will just kick it and it always starts right up. I am not sure what the deal is but I have never taken it to anyone because it starts all the time. If you find anything out I would be really interested because I have the same thing going on.

Take apart your starter motor and clean it. Check that the motor brushes dont need replacing and look for dirty connections. :thumbsup:

The e-start freezing up every now and then doesn't bother me it's when it locks the kick start up that bugs me out, then I have to use the e start again to make it kickable.

As for the woodruff key some 03s were fixed by Yamaha before they left the factory. You can tell by the serial number on the head/steering tube (is that what it's called on a dirt bike as well?). All machines that were re-torqued at the factory will have a period/dot/ . proceeding the S/N.

I was just duped by a crappy dealer that played stupid when I brought them the campaign number they said it was OK ride it till it sheared and then they would take care of it. (I also came in looking for an 04 in sept of 03 and was told they weren't out and wouldn't be for a long time, to this day I don't know whether they were blowing smoke up my keister or not)

I had the same issue during a ride I went down and when I went to kick it I got a click from the e-start which I knew had a good battery, and the kickstart would NOT budge either. I told my buddies around me I thought my motor just locked up :thumbsup: since it was in neutral. I gave it a few pushes back and forth and whatever had caused the motor to not turn over was gone :thumbsup: and I haven't experianced that since. I am still curious what had caused it but since I have had no ill running problems ever with the bike I keep on ridin. I do check and change my oil a lot and nothing abnormal has shown itself.


I like your avitar. Brings back many fond memories of the days I used to drive those rigs down on CAT.


Thanks, that was last fall we had a charter trip and took 14 motorcycles and four wheelers from Green River down to Hey Joe Canyon. Even though they were all Hondas it looked really cool floating down the Green. Who did you run for?

I used for work for an outfit out of Grand Junction. Adventure bound River

expeditions. Ussualy started in moab and went on down to Lake powell on the colorado side, but I have been down the green thru there many times also. never rode there. just rafted but the must be some great riding.

Thats exactly what mine does sometimes.The battery seems flat but when i go to kick it's like it's locked up? Has anyone heard if the auto decompression can play up.Thats what i'm thinking as it would make it very hard for the starter to turn it over , and it would then be like trying to kick over a 426 with out using the decom lever.I would like to know if they play up and the fix ?

Thanks dave

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