'03 wr450f letter to yamaha

we have debated the problems and cures related to the '03 wr450's for sometime now. some have sheared keys over and over. some have had their cranks replaced. we've replaced idler gears. a couple of us have broken side covers when nothing else would give. some of us have removed our e-start stuff all together. nobody had the all the answers. it would seem that yamaha has found something. the 450 atv came out last year with a torque limiter in the starter system. no failures. the '04 wr has come out with a similar set up and it appears that it may fit the '03 with minimal work ( it may need a bushing installed ). it might be the right time to start sending letters to yamaha. if we can get this going in the next week or so we may make some sort of impression on them. now is not the time to tell them the bars suck or you want better tires. we should stay on the starter system. they may throw them all in the trash. who knows, we might even get a straight answer out of them. there is an address in the front of the owners maual for the customer relations department. unless someone else has another address, that is probably where they should go.

yamaha motor corportion usa

customer relations department

po box 6555

cypress, california


if i'm a bit off base here or this is the wrong way to do this, let me know.

mtrablue, I think that you are right on base. I have been preparing a letter to email to the V.P. and Pres. of Yamaha Motor USA (I have both of their names if anyone is interested). I thought that maybe we should wait until the part numbers become available for the '04. Mine has sheared twice and the crank replaced once. I am running as a kick start bike for now. I believe that we need to be short, concise, and professional. Going right to the top will get action faster than going to the "Customer No Service Department".



Come on boys. Maybe you just got a lemon. Anyone know if the lemon law applies to motorcycles? I will shut-up and set down now. I just might be one of the few who has had only a few problems, so I might be way out line. Sorry if so. :)

mtrablue, I think that you are right on base. I have been preparing a letter to email to the V.P. and Pres. of Yamaha Motor USA (I have both of their names if anyone is interested).

Post the names and addresses, I want them and I'll bet others do too......if we all stick together, we might get noticed! :)

r.m., no problem. it's been hard to get any real numbers on how many bikes have had problems. a good freind of mine got one of the first wr's in st.louis and has never even sheared a key. alot of owners will never have a problem and some will wonder if there going to have to walk back each time they ride.

truth be told, i think alot of us would be happy if yamaha just told us if the '04 parts would fit, the correct part numbers, and when we can get'em. it's kind of a drag having the battery and starter in a box on the shelf.


yeah... BUMP! BUMP!

Anyone want to take the lead to at least come up with some main points to discuss in the letter?

okay, i'm going to show my stupidity here. what does the "bump" mean? i hope it means we need to push this back to the front.

as far as the letter goes, we need to stay on the flywheel/idler gear issue. owners of '03's are still having failures that are related to the idler gear's inability to "slip" and absorb the periodic backward rotation of a big bore four stroke engine. yamaha has shown that they were aware of this weakness in the design of the '03 starter system. they have proven that by putting a torque limiter in both the 450 atv and the '04 wr450. they nedd to be more proactive in helping the owners of their product and the dealers that sell them. we need to ask them if they intend to help us or at the very least offer some sort of solution other than pulling the gears and kick starting. my letter goes in the box tomorrow.

some might want to go to the top. you may want to pm jeff in eugene for the president's address.

I am going to be quick to the point, professional, and ask for help. Also, I'll mention that I have bought several new Yamahas and intend to keep doing so if I can rely on the quality. Lastly, I'll mention that I have been towed out of the woods twice by a Suzuki DRZ.


P.S. I don't know what BUMP means either.

BUMP just moves the post up front....

Maybe we could add this little problem to our list for yamaha..... :D :D :D




What kind of "a few problems" ?

I am glad that mine has lasted until the new models came out because if it goes I plan to trade on first failure. Where I ride I cannot ride an unreliable bike. :)

What and sell the War Eagle?

:).....somethings never change.

okay, i'm going to reply to my own post and bump it. it's goig to come off as a bit of a rant but here goes. it seems every day someone else finds that they have a broken side case on their '03 wr. i think there will be more in the up comming months. there is no warning. it doesn't go "bang". if you ride with it long enough, it could mess up the engine center case. pretty expensive. so far i have not gotten any responce from yamaha to the letter i wrote a month ago. i'm not holding my breath. member drzphatkid called them and they blew him off because he bought a "race" bike. thats b.s. it's time for another round of letters. it probably wont help but we have to let 'em know we're still here. you'd think they had stock in ktm.

Keep at it, and good luck!!!!My parts still are not in yet .Maybe tuesday,now i'm conserned that maybe they are not available yet.But the dealer said that they have already done one,i also think that they said some of the parts are on back order..... :)

not been on line for a week so missed all this action, im preparing a letter and im going to print off all the posts i can find about this problem but im not sure whether to send to uk headquarters, germany (where it came from) or to go straight to japan (does anyone know how to write with drawings). maybe if there getting it from across the globe they might think theyve got a problem. as for all those who think were mad and they wont have a problem take my advice, dont remove your kickstart for less weight!!!!!!

Yamaha Canada has treated me very well. I now have a new crank & rotor along with the complete 04 idler gear upgrade at no cost to me. From the posts I have read other owners have also been treated well in other countries except for some areas of the USA.

I don't know for sure but I believe some USA owners have been treated well by their local dealer but there seems to be pockets of dealers that don't want to treat their customers properly. I had the fortune to know the Canadian Technical Rep at the National Office personally (he is in my club) and I had the opportunity to speak to him directly when these issues became apparent. Yamaha knew they had a problem early on (at least last March) which was when the service bulletins started arriving in the shops up here in the Great White North.

My dealer always kept me informed of any new issues that came forward and worked with me when I finally sheared the key in late September (I got my bike in April). All I can say is if you talk to the right people and keep your temper in check you should be able to get the bike fixed.

Any dealer that wants to hide behind the old adage of Buyer Beware is in my view going to be out of business in short order. It's about PROPER customer service, not the silly call centers where no one has ever seen a motorcycle either.

Oops, I'm ranting. I'll stop now. :)

Willy Fitz

Would you be able say who you were talking to or who I should talk to or my dealer should. They are a really good shop and will help me out all they can but they dont know much about the problems. I got the only wr450 that they brought in last year. When my woodruff key sheared they fixed it no questions but I had to inform them on the woodruff problem and the bulletin. I am going in this weekend to see what they can do about getting me the 04 idler gear parts. I know that there rep is useless so they say. So if you could direct me to the right person to talk to that might help things a bit. :)

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