Maybe a class action lawsuit would help??

Well 200 miles and once again I'm walking 4 miles out of the woods, you sure don't want to ride by yourself if you have a WR450F unless you like walking. red loctite and lapping apparently aren't the final fix..I'm semi serious about the lawsuit but will contact Yamaha directly instead of through the dealer and see if they respond to our problems with this flywheel..I'm usually pretty calm but by God I did not spend $6K so I could walk out of the woods every other time. Let me know if any of the rest of you are starting to get pissed about this starter / flywheel issue.. I'm going to spend the Winter in Baja and really can't afford to be breaking down all the time.. :D:):D :D Big Jim

Bummer. I know what you mean about resale. I also think the starter sucks. But I never had a key shear and I just finished my 7th enduro on my 450. It is a killer enduro machine. Maybe you should only ride enduros for awhile. They have sweepers. Hope you still have a sense of humor. I doubt I would in your position. Keep us posted. I too think we should take the manufacturers to task. If I were you and you get it runnin again,I would lose the idler gears between starter and flywheel and just kick it. Thats what I do.Plus I shed the battery and lost 5 lbs. Starts as easy as any two stroke to me. On another note I was talkin to some X Honda riders this weekend and they got rid of their 450s because of continued top end problems. I am sure that will rile up some Honda owners. Quality control in Japan is slippin me thinks. Hexk I had a Toyota that kept eating distributor gears because they didnt cut an oil groove deep enough. Never got any satisfaction out of Toyota. Drive a Chevy and LOVE my Harley. Startin to think orange might look OK too. Tim

I am, of course, aware of the woodruff key problem. I have not followed any of the threads, but this topic has caught my attention.

Is Yamaha stepping up and fixing this problem or leaving it up to the conusmer to pay for it themselves?

Just wondering??

My woodruff key broke at around 400 miles and they lapped it and locktited it. Then it broke at 404 miles and they fixed it with some kind of race and bearing setting stuff(made by locktite I think), I like to call glue. I now have over 3000 miles on the bike and it is doing great.Yamaha took care of all of the costs, even thought it was over 30 days. I finished 2nd in my class today at a harescramble, just because this bike kicks so much butt.

No doubt, the bike kicks ass and I'm totally happy with the power and handling, but it doesn't push that well and they could fix this if they tried..What's the proceedure for removing the gears, do you need any spacers to replace them?? I'm definately thinking of doing that before I go to Baja cause I just can't take it knowing it will fail.. Also could you get the name or number of the stuff they used on your crank.. Why doesn't Yamaha tell all their dealers about it and supply it?????????????????? :):D

It seems some bikes do this and some don't.

The glue and lapping fix is BS.

The taper is incorrect in either the flywheel or the crankshaft. I think once it does shear a key both need to be replaced. I would get a contact at Yamaha corporate from your dealer and make some noise.

Pushing sucks.

I had my local dealer do the lapping/loctite fix and my WR is fine.

I have 8 Supermoto race weekends, 3 roadrace weekends, a flat track race and 2 practice days on it.

It is absolutely necessary that the persons doing the fix realize that the Loctite on the crank shaft is Loctite 648 (cylindrical retaining compound), it is not a standard Loctite off the shelf.

The lapping compound that Yamaha recommends is 280 grit oil based but if the tapers still show inconsistencies after the lapping procedure then a lower grit could be used and then repeat the 280 grit lapping.

I have a suspicion that dealers aren’t being very careful and that perhaps they are using the wrong Loctite. They are only compensated .7 hours which means they probably won't take extra time to be really careful and thorough. I have checked the torque on my rotor nut at every oil change and it has never moved a bit.

I know for a fact some dealers have taken the procedure very lightly. I bought my WR450 at a North San Diego dealer and they did not follow the instructions. The service manager was even rude to me when I challenged him on it. Needless to say I won't use that service dept anymore and will never buy another bike/quad from the dealer. I've been lucky to not have any woodruff key issues - my bike has about 500 miles on it.

Poway Rider, You hit the nail on the head. Yamaha informed my dealer of what to use and shipped it to them overnite.

If your dealer in using red loctite then he's not following the TSB M2003-007 that Yamaha sent him (it calls for green loctite 648 more info Search for 648 I had a failure at 0 miles and Yamaha replaced the crank and rotor after a little prodding from the dealer so far if a dealer stands up for the customer then Yamaha has replaced both crank and rotor and if you have had a reoccurring problem I would talk to my dealer and Yamaha together and you'll get your bike fixed. If you like I will fax the 5 page service bulletin to anyone that PMs me with a fax number. Remember the only permanent fix is to replace the rotor and the crank (forget the loctite)This is my experience with the dealer: My dealer is a small shop they only got 1 wr last year and 1 for this year which I will buy. The service dept is smaller 1 guy who mostly assembles John Deere equipment, in the summer they add one more so you know they never have had a wr apart. We of course had to wait on the crankshaft and the rotor that took 2 months, as there were none in stock. Ray, the summer guy is about 45 and has worked on motorcycles for years, admitted that he was excited to get to tear the first one down however they had to order a manual. The first day I show up with lunch for the whole service and parts depts, 3 Wendy's combos, 14 bucks, (the parts guy is my contact he sold me the bike in the crate) Ray has the engine apart laying on the table we look over the parts and he says you know I've never got to tear a new one down (the bike had 0 miles as it failed in the drive way) Ray was looking over the instructions about checking the crank to rotor fit and said he didn't have the stuff to do it and he had never done that before, I volunteered to help and supply the stuff which I had. The second day along with my 3 wendy's combos we check the taper and it's good (we measured the tapers trust me if you had problems the crank and rotor need replaced) Ray thanked me for showing him the process, in 20 years he hadn't the opportunity to ever check the crank taper. The third day when I picked up the wr, at lunch of course with 3 wendy's combos in tow) we have had no trouble since. I did have them order the new "slip" gears at 36 bucks cheap insurance. Make friends with these guys it's better that they like you and are working on your bike than think you are an a**hole and working on your bike. For less than 50 bucks and not being an a**hole I am treated like one of the family at the dealership. It also was after that I started getting better discounts on parts.

Let 'em have it....

How many people are there out there that are still having problems??? Have I fallen into a black hole or are there others out there that can't get this fixed? 5 miles on the laped, green loctite fix, latest failure: 10/14/03. The guy riding with me on a WR450 had his fail on the SAME ride, we hauled both of them to the shop together.. :D :D :)

Most guys have had theirs fixed and been satisfied. Make sure they lap the fit well and put in a new key before they glue it with green loctite. I have had no issues with mine and am waiting to see what the 04 WR450 design and internal electric start parts look like. We will be able to see how Yamaha fixed this issue and determine what is the best way to permanently fix it. Hell of a bike when it does not have that problem.

I still completely agree with you. The lapping and loctite solution is absolute B.S. The should replace the crank and flywheel with new, correctly manufactured parts. These are brand new bikes that Yamaha made incorrectly.

I can't imagine what the resale on these things is going to be. :)

Of course I'm not really intereseted in a class action lawsuit I just want my bike to keep running. They have ordered us new cranks and flywheels and I confident when they are installed the bike will keep working.. I think a couple of guys were right on here when they said that once it happens you probably need these parts replaced if there has been any damage at all. I think Yamaha has increased the size of the crank shaft and flywheel for 04 but it's not a retrofit for 03.. The torque limiter from the Quad is real but also not a retrofit item for the 03 and not on the 04WR due to weight concerns. I kinda wonder how much it could weigh. After all this I would probably rather have the weight than the potential problems.I'm sure we'll get this fixed, mine was fine until they removed the flywheel to replace the starter clutch... Jim :)

A class action lawsuit will do nothing for you. If you get any money at all it will be a very small amount, and you will still have a broken bike. All you will do is put a lot of money in some lawyers pocket. You can bet that there will be a fix for the 04 bikes and I think Yamaha should take care of you guys.



May I suggest Motorcyclist Consumer News.They are very good about publishing problems with new model bikes.With your your frustrations and all the others that are well documented on this forum I am sure they would be interested.

They even go so far as to contact the Mfg. for a statement. They recently played a role in the recall of the GL1800 for all its troubles.

Besides MCN is also a good read. Send them an e-mail...I plan to. :)

Just an update that may help you guys out. The torque limiter is included in the '04 WR450. I just got my '04 and it shows it in the manual. It replaces idler gear #1. Just for grins I took it out and looked at it. Definitely not an idler gear like the '03. The engine cover is slightly different to accomodate the limiter but looks like the cover may fit an '03 and be a viable retrofit. I'm going to check out my friends '03 tomorrow.

PBDBLUE, thanks man!!!! from an 03 owner, let us know if it looks like we can retrofit it.

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