notchy wr450 shifting

Hi all. New guy here.

I have a 2006 WR450. I bent the shift lever hitting a rock while riding. I straightened it trailside by shifting it down into first then bent it back by using a kind of a cheater bar and bending it down to sort of back where it should be. Since doing that it is now pretth difficult to find neutral, and shift from first to second. Did I bend anything in the transmission? If so, what should I expect to find inside if I get into it? What typically bends and gets out of alignment inside the gearbox if this happens and causes it to be difficult to shift from 1 to 2, and find neutral? It used to be real smooth...

Thanks for any helpful advice


I'd think that the shift lever would bend before having enough pressure to destroy the inside?

I've hit mine before and just bent it back

Boy! I'm willing to bet you bent one of your shift forks. That will require you tearing the complete engine apart to get to it. So before going that far, have you looked at the shift shaft itself, and made sure it isn't bent? Maniac

If a shift fork was bent wouldn't it make it hard to shift into/out of all the gears not just 1-2?

Nope. There's 3 shift forks in there. And more than likely, the one that controls 1st & 2nd is bent. I know that's not what you wanted to hear! Have you checked the shift shaft yet? Maniac

Also check your lever bend back as well. Years ago I was riding my old XR and tipped bending the lever. We thought we bent it back right but it was hard to shift from first to second and was weird to shift but it turned out to be just not bent back straight and touched the engine case.

Like Maniac says, check the shaft as well. It takes a big hit to damage something inside the motor, but it can happen.


Thats what I figured , it's designed to bend just the shift lever before damaging internal

Thanks for the replies.

I checked the shift lever, it's not binding on the case anywhere. I'll look at the shaft to see if it's bent, but I doubt it. I'm thinking it's something internal.

Too bad. I was secretly hoping for you that it was the shaft, but even I didn't believe myself. I'm afraid your going to find a bent shift fork. Definately keep us informed. Maniac

Got into it and found the problem. Yamaha part number 2S218140-00-00 went bang. It's the little roller bearing on a plate that detents into the shift drum when you change gears. All that's left is the outer race, still on the shaft. Where all the teeny tiny little ball bearings went is anybody's guess. My guess is into the sump.

I'll try to post some pictures later after I get the side case off.

I've beaten the crap out of this bike since new (Jan 06) and other than valve adjustments, fork seals, rear linkage bearings and lots of oil changes I've never had to work on it. Basically wear items only, and I'm pretty sure the only reason this failed was abuse. Love this bike.

Hey! That's better than a shift shaft!! Good find! Maniac





You can see the crack in the outer race, which let all the balls into the sump and caused the failure.

BTW, the 2007 one does not fit, even though it is a suggested replacement.

Also, this is a very common problem on pre-07 WRs and YZs. It can be removed without taking off the side case, just the clutch cover, clutch and oil pump gear.

Getting the new one back on may be a different story, though. It's tight in there.

Edited by beernutt

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