Woodruff goes south

Before loading my bike for its first race I tried to start it and guess what? All it would do is backfire and not start(broken woodruff key). I posted a few days ago about having over 400 miles on my 450 and no problems of any kind. I knew if I did that,and still had no probs I never would. Well so much for being bold. The good part is my dealer had a key and lapped the S.O.B and got it going for this weekend. They had retorqued the rotor nut when I got the bike back in Jan. Sorry for the bad news but this is more than a torque(rotor nut), jetting issue. I'll post Sunday night if it holds up or not.

My luck continues...FTR canceled the race this weekend due to a wet parking area. I think this is the third race in a row canceled down here.

Had you rechecked the torque since you picked it up ??? I think I am going to check mine asap.

It does not hurt to check it. It only takes a few minutes. I used to check it after every ride. But now I am confident that it will stay on and I do not check it anymore. I have only 462 miles on mine. Some of the desert guys may be up to 1000 miles without a failure. I am sure that the majority of the WR's are holding up well. If you were unfortunate to get one that failed a good repair should provide long term satisfaction. I have only heard of one double failure and I bet the first repair work was not up to par.

sorry to hear the news. Post show that there have been multiple repeat failures after the first failure. Apparently the rotor\crank can be damaged. Good luck. Keep us posted. When will Yamaha speak?

Hey Alabama, I know you have a lot of miles on your bike and even some race miles, since your season started earlier than ours. How is your bike doing in regards to the woodruff key and how many miles are you up to.

Well, I went for a trail ride Saturday and my bike didn't even make it four miles before shreading the second key. I stopped to pick my four year old and his PW out of the sand, when I went to start it nada. It didnt' backfire or anything when it went either, just wasn't going to run anymore. I've always said how much I like this bike, but I'll tell ya. Its no fun pushing these things through the woods. Can't wait to talk to Yamaha tomorrow.

sorry to hear that. post back what you find out

The Polinis I mentioned long ago with the same key/taper setup for their clutches were exactly like that: Once they started going bad; they never stopped. And it was more and more frequent. It obviously causes wear to the hub and shaft when it goes. I would demand a new shaft and hub at Yamaha's expense. See what they tell you. Your confidence is going to be very low no matter what, I'm sure. New warning sticker to "fix" the problem: "WARNING!! DO NOT RIDE ANY FARTHER THAN YOU CAN PUSH BACK" ? :)

I really hope Yamaha makes this fiasco right with all you guys!!! :D

Hey Indy, I've got 248 miles now with no failure, about 60 of it at race speed. Some rules I always follow:

1. Never touch the throttle while starting. If it's cold twist and release before touching the E start 2. When it dies come to a complete stop and restart, thus your not hitting the E start while rolling. 3. Stay as rich as you can. I often use cold choke when starting and not cold.

That having been said I still believe my turn is coming sooner or later, as you can only dance around a bad design for so long before it gets you. I plan to check torgue this weekend, but am hoping for a service bulletin from Yamaha that will address the problem. Other than the key issue, I luv this bike and have passed all my riding buddies. They are trying to figure out what's up. My son is ready to replace his XR200 with a 250F, but we are waiting to see how this issue plays out before deciding on Honda or Yamaha. One other note, this bike is very sensitive to improper "sag". Make sure you got it exactly right or you will be all over the place... My next race will be an Enduro on May 4th.

Just got back from Danville VA. for the Loretta Lynn Area Qualifier. I have three MX races on this bike (2 classes each race) and three full day practices. Have not had a problem. I have been kicking it cold and not touching the throttle when using the electric leg. Not sure if this makes a difference or I've just been lucky so far. This bike rips. I feel faster now than last year and I've had a 8 month layoff.

I am glad to see there are still many of us that are not having problems. I think Alabama Rider has a few wise rules for using the e-start. I agree with his regiment. I am planning to ignore the service bulletins and if the starter clutch or woodruff key goes I will deal with it then. I hope somone else can give the WR450 2 thumbs up. We need some more confidence in Yamaha engineering and a better understanding of part manufacturing tolerances that may be at the source of these failures. :)

Indy from what Ive read, which is obviously not the whole story, it sounds like the key to not breaking the woodruff key is proper jetting and checking the torq on that rotor nut. I had assumed that the locktite was on the nut but someone was saying it is actually applied to the mating surfaces of the flywheel and crank. I also see that far more people are not having problems than are.

Follow up on last post, After 3 retorque's, flywheel torque remains the same. Had a test ride at Budds Creek for about 5 hours. Used E-Start all day No Problems. Ditto on the starting routine, also you must fix carb lean condition. You should richen up so bike idles good and steady. Very nice test/breakin day. Adjusted gear shifter and rear break height. I am coming off a XR400 Wow what a difference. I do have 2 complaints, 1- lots of arm pump, 2-Boy my shoulder sockets hurt from holding on. Oh well, No Pain No gain.

Hi Bean329,

I thought it was my age and lack of exercise all winter but my shoulder sockets are sore all week after rinding hard all weekend. It is subtle and not painful but I feel like a 500 lb. gorilla stretched my arms out of their sockets. Boy has this bike got torque. I wonder if they are going to invent shoulder braces for us older guys who ride these powerful beasts? Maybe a Harley back rest? :)

Went riding today for the first time on the WR and torqued it before I went. The torque was low at first I torqued it loosened it and torqued it again. Went riding about eleven miles and rechecked torque, it was loose again. Retorqued to 47 ft. lbs.,marked the nut on the shaft,and put 30 more miles on the nut did not move but I have not checked the torque. I believe the fly wheel may be taking a while to seat properly for some reason??

By the way this bike flat rips and the starter works perfect every time.

bleedblue,Yep same as mine #1094, I did check torque once when engine was still hot. The last 3 times i have checked torque, it has not moved. I also think flywheel is in the seating process. Time will tell.

:cool:Here ya go on another vote of confidence.Mine broke once they lapped and retorqued.So far 300 miles after the fix. :DI hit the e-start when it's cold when it's warm.I roll the gas and hit the button.I want it to break if it's gonna while we still have Yamaha's attention.

I love the bike and am not suprised to see failures being noted again.All the snowed in folks finally able to ride.

See ya all on the trails :)(Without a rope)

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