New '03. How to check for starter up grade?

So I'm buying a bike from a buddy who says that the previous owner did the '04 starter upgrade. How can I verify this?

Also, I'm a bit of a getto dog. What items (chain guide, chain sliders, bearings) are compatible with other bikes for the purpose of ebay searching.

Lastly, the starter is shot. The pinion is badly worn and the brushes are 99% gone. I think I'm going to buy one from for $180. Anyone know of a better source? Is the a cheaper solution to a new starter form a dealer?


If the bike has the starter upgrades you can tell by looking at the small round cover (about 2 inches in diameter with two screws) that covers the end of the starter on the left side of the engine. The '03 cover is nearly flat while the '04 and later has a pronounced dome shape to it. Individual starter motor parts are available from Yamaha and relatively inexpensive.

Almost all parts from '03-'06 WR450's interchange and many parts for '03-05' YZ450's will swap as well.

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