05 wr450 Starter not disengaging

I just pulled my bike out of storage. I put the battery back in, turned the fuel on, and pulled the choke out. I always kick stat it when it is cold as the starter just doesn’t seem to have enough to turn it over. It started right up no problem. I was running for maybe 2 minutes and I tried pushing the choke in. It caused the bike to stall. I thought I would give the starter a try, it cranked it over just not enough to start the bike. I then tried kicking it and nothing. I tried the starter again and it made a terrible grinding noise like it was engaged and not meshing properly. I tried kicking it over again and it sounds like it is turning the starter motor. I tried putting the bike in gear and rocking it back and forth. It didn’t seem to do anything. I just don’t know were to go now. Any suggestions?




I've got an 05 WR 450. I hate to say this but I have had problems with that starter from day one. The sound that I hear is a metallic grinding noise. The cover that the starter mounts in and also the torque limiter does not let the starter shaft and torque limiter mesh. I have a new starter, new torque limiter. The only other option is to buy a new side cover but I am fed up.

Hopefully someone can help us both out. I have been working this problem for quite a while. I end up pulling the torque limiter out and just kick it. Once again the noise sounds like the starter shaft is spinning against the torque limiter but not engaging. It's awful.

If you come up with something let me know or any other questions come up I can let you know what I have tried.

buff :)


I have done a lot of reading on here and there seems to be a lot of talk about when the battery is low there is a clicking from the solenoid. For some reason I did not think it was a solenoid clicking last night for two reasons. It sounded more like mettle grinding and that the bike would not start afterwards, even after 30 min. It seemed like the starter was holding it form starting.

Anyway this morning I tried it again. I gave the throttle two twists (thank you TT), pulled the choke and one kick she fired right up. I must have flooded it last night when I didn’t let it worm up fully before pushing the choke in.

I did try the E button again and it dose sounds like it could be the solenoid clicking. The battery was sitting in my basement for the last couple months. It was fully charged when I pulled it out. I though it would hold a charge better then that. I will be picking up a Battery Tender on my way home tonight.

Thank you for your help.:)

The solenoid will give a clicking sound but as for the metallic grinding noise I feel that the starter shaft and torque limiter are not meshing. I have already tested the starter clutch and that is fine.

It is beyond me as to why the starter and torque limiter will not mesh. There are bushings that the torque limiter sits in but as far as I know they cannot be changed out. I think one would have to purchase the whole side cover. This is where I stand now. I just don't feel like throwing another 100 bucks at the problem.

I have talked to other WR owners of the same year and they have had the problem, however, theirs seems to be only occasionally.


Has there been any Resolution of this? Mine just started to do this. I pulled my side cover off to change the stator and when I put it back on the starter does not mesh and grinds to all hell.

are you sure its not your button shorting? My starter button did this. Disconnect it from behind the speedo, kick start the bike and see if your problem is gone?

The starter is not sticking on. The teeth are not matching up with the clutch. When you hit the button they grind like crazy.

Sorry to hear the troubles but I was the same way with my 05 450....3 new staters, torque limiter, etc etc.....then finally I spent 100 bucks on a new side case....and WOW believe it or not but it is a perfect fit with zero issues...trust me here I measured every angle with a feeler gauge to see if the case was warped and it showed zero indication of this....so I spent the money and haven't looked back since!!!!

Did yours work for a while and then stop? Mine worked fine until I took it off to change out the stator. Maybe I should loosen it and tighten the bolts across from each other with a torque wrench.

Well mine has been working since.....why the tolerances are so tight on the starter I have no idea...meshing seems to be a problem but since the case that problem went away...good luck!!

Mine is 09 and it really has never worked since a month after I bought it! Thats the reason I started a thread on weather I could run my bike with out the battery. Its just easier to kick it than worry about the estart...Plus I think I could do without the topheavy battery..


I tried that on my 05. I would love to lose the weight but the problem I had was that it was very difficult to kick this thing over without the battery. I don't know why it won't start easily without the battery. It may supply some voltage for easier starting. I think after a few hours on the trail that the last thing my leg wants to do is kick. That's what's frustrating about the problem, I'm carrying around all this weight, and expense, and can't use it.


I have a 04 WR and had it totally apart for a 3rd and 4th gear replacement. Notice an awful noise like you are describing due to trying to crank engine backwards after replacing rear bushing in starter. This was because I forgot to mark housing and end caps on starter before I took it apart. If the are not lined up correctly the starter will run backwards. It was an easy fix just had to rotate inner part of starter 90 degrees one way or the other. Remove torque limiter and check to see which way starter is running. If the starter wasn't tampered with then it is doing it for another reason. It is hard to believe that the gears are not meshing because the splines are fairly tall and never lose contact with each other. Gears not meshing will leave very noticable marks on limiter. The limiter can make an awful noise if dry and locked up or is trying to be ran backwards. Installing limiter backwards is hard to do. Wouldn't hurt to throw limter in a pan of oil and let soak for a little while and ensure proper installation. Replacement parts are not available to repair the limiter so a new would be the only option. The only other possible reason for the noise can be the sprang gear on back of the flywheel needing either lubrication or it's locked up. To remove flywheel a puller will be required, recommend lean it over on stator side for a little while on allow oil to lubricate. The cover is out of the question because where the starter fits into cover and the pilot hole on limiter cap is pretty hard to misalign to cause gear meshing problems.

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