my 2000 just snapped the end off also
it did this because i took the auto decompressor of off the stock cam
i believe this is an issue when an aftermarket cam is used also
the kicker kicks back and throws the kick starter into the stop which can snap the shaft or blow out the case
this is just my thoughts on the subject
if someone has any more info it would be greatly app.
how did you change you starting cycle
i was thinking that the kickback is what breaks the shaft
so if i pull my dec. lever and cycle through once it should never kick back??????