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Desperate for an understanding

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I got an '03 WR450F about 3 weeks ago. I've been reading these forums for a month or so now trying to figure out as much as possible and have learned a good bit being this is my first bike. The auto decrompression thing is still a lil confusing. I have an '03 therefore i should not have a lever right? Then what is the black lever up by my clutch? I broke the kickshaft off the other day trying to start it. I had been able to start it 3-4 kicks for the first 1-2 weeks I had the bike then one day trying to start it that happened. It wouldn't start after like 10 kicks or so, so I figured I'd try the black lever up by the clutch thinkin it was the hotstart/decompression lever. The kickstart first stopped returning up by itself, about 7 kicks after that (with me pulling it back up) is when it snapped off. It is getting fixed right now along with the estart. I just wanna fuly understand all starting aspects when I get it back so I don't break it again.

Thx for anyone's time and information. I only want '03 specific information so I don't get confused. I get confused easily

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The lever is indeed a Hotstart lever which leans out the carb, it's like the opposite of the choke.

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The '03 WRF/YZF 450's had some trouble with the kick starter assembly failing occasionally. It's unrelated to the use of the hot start or the auto decompression system, only to a weakness in the assembly.

Here's an explanation of auto decompression:

http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?p=2776890#post2776890

... and here's one about the occasional problem of finding the engine hard to crank after a stall, which is related to the AD system:

http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?p=3287531#post3287531

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thank you. do you know if the problems with the kick shaft breaking has been fixed or when they replace it is it going to suspect to failure again?

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Good to hear. Unforutnaley my parts have yet to come into the shop. Should be there tomorrow and should get my bike back tomorrow evening. I'm not really holding my breath though. Can't wait to just get it back and finally use it!

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