Yamaha quality(?)

19 replies to this topic
  • wjc2003

Posted February 07, 2004 - 02:25 PM


I had my woodruff key shear at about 100 miles.I always worry it might do it again.So,I decided to sell it.
Now,when I start the bike cold,my water pump leaks out the weep hole. I don't even have 200 miles on it!!! It's brand new! I must to get rid of this bike.How can I sell this piece of crap if it leaks when it's started?
Dump more money into it?... Right. What's next? Yamaha sucks.
I know I'm not the only guy out there with this problem.
I will never buy another Yamaha.

  • ddialogue

Posted February 07, 2004 - 02:36 PM


You had an '03 and sold it. Is this one with the water pump leak an '04? :)

  • Indy_WR450

Posted February 07, 2004 - 02:48 PM


Hey it is common on the Yamaha's four strokes to need the oil seal, water seal and impellar shaft replaced once a season. I mentioned this on previous posts. The high rpm and lack of lubrication makes these seals wear out quickly. Yamaha designed it easy to replace by removing the right side case. TT members here all concur that the water side seal dries up and wears a groove in the impellar shaft. That is why Yamaha demands we use Lithium based lubrication all over the seals and shaft when reinstalling. Thus you have to replace all items once a year or polish the grooves out of the shaft. It is a simple 2 hour job. I just did mine a few weeks ago. Cost $60.00 for 2 seals, shaft and case gasket. :)

  • ddialogue

Posted February 07, 2004 - 03:02 PM


Good point, Indy. But, he's only got 200 miles on a brand new bike! Makes you wonder... :)

  • Indy_WR450

Posted February 07, 2004 - 03:58 PM


Even with only 200 miles the bike is a year old and the rubber seal has dryed up and can't seal anymore. I think that is why he is fed up and selling it. :)

  • ddialogue

Posted February 07, 2004 - 04:10 PM


I gotcha. They way he posted it made it sound like he already sold the first one and had a second one. :)

  • wjc2003

Posted February 07, 2004 - 05:23 PM


Sorry if my post wasn't clear.
I have an '03 wr450,bought new in August.After the key sheared at about 100 miles,I was very nervous to ride alone,so I didn't ride much,only with friends.
I decided to sell the bike because I didn't trust it.So today while cleaning it up and detailing it to sell it,I notice this coolant leak! Only 200 miles on it!
Also,I am very picky when it comes to maintenance.So that is not an issue.
Who is going to buy a bike that leaks when it is started?
It's a fast bike,powerful,handles,good brakes,etc.,etc.
Maybe I got a lemon. (one of many, I bet!)

  • ddialogue

Posted February 08, 2004 - 04:31 AM


Sorry to hear that! Well, at least it won't cost you a fortune to fix it before selling it. What are you going to replace it with?


Posted February 08, 2004 - 05:26 AM


It's unfortunate that Yamaha released the '03 with a major design flaw and continues to refuse to pony up to the table. Honda has their share of problems with airbox's, valves, water pump seals, etc. So does Yamaha. Fundamentaly just about all the bikes out there today are very good bikes but they all have their issues. Yamaha really screwed up on the '03 but IMO that hasn't been the norm for them. I think there's an insatiable demand for technology advances on these bikes. Couple that with ever tightening government restrictions and the result is that you have manufacturers that are scrambling to stay on top. The one thing that needs to change is the reluctance of the mfr's to stand behind their product when it's an obvious design failure. They don't seem to have a problem with street bikes but that's probably because the NTSB is involved. Just my .02.

  • ddialogue

Posted February 08, 2004 - 05:50 AM


Excellent point! :)

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  • Alabama_Rider

Posted February 11, 2004 - 06:44 PM


Now you know why they put "not designed for highway use" on the certificate of origin. The NTSB can't touch em. It will take a good group of lawyers....

  • Dez613

Posted February 12, 2004 - 08:29 PM


I just got my 3rd WR in three years and I couldn't be happier, 01WR426-02 WR250-04 WR450 and my 6th Yammy in a row, YZ250-200 Blaster-TTR125, sold the blaster cause the wife wanted a bike, sold the 426 cause I thought I wanted a 250, got the 450 cause I was wrong. But point of my story is I haven't had one single non rider induced problem. There was probally 10,000 Yamahas sold last year and yes there was a problem, but there are a lot more guys not complaining, cause theirs is great! :)

  • ddialogue

Posted February 13, 2004 - 05:23 AM


...But point of my story is I haven't had one single non rider induced problem.

That's because you skipped the '03. Had you purchased an '03 model, you'd probably be singing a different tune. :D

There was probally 10,000 Yamahas sold last year and yes there was a problem, but there are a lot more guys not complaining, cause theirs is great!

I personally know two guys with WR450's that have had woodruff key problems that aren't members of TT. I wonder if we haven't heard of more failures simply because guys like them aren't members of the TT family? :)

  • PowerFiend

Posted February 13, 2004 - 06:25 AM


Also,I am very picky when it comes to maintenance.So that is not an issue.

But did you do the water pump maintanence as outlined by Indy???

  • Alabama_Rider

Posted February 14, 2004 - 08:01 PM


I think what we have learned is that when you buy an introduction model from Yamaha you are expendable. I checked out the HONDA CRF250X today. It is one fine bike. I bet they won't have WOODRUFF KEY problems. :) :D :D

  • foursmoke

Posted February 15, 2004 - 04:00 AM


It is one fine bike. I bet they won't have WOODRUFF KEY problems.

It too is a 1st model year and it may not have a key issue but rest assure it will have some issue of sorts, just look at the 1st CRF450 ie. valves burning :).If you are that fed up w/your 03 you can always get an 04

Smoke :D

  • Indy_WR450

Posted February 15, 2004 - 06:11 AM


Good point Foursmoke! Yamaha has refined the WR/YZ 450 to the point that in 04 there is little to complain about. You are absolutely right the CRF450 had its problems with valves, airbox, clutch etc. the first few years. What we can learn from this is to buy a 2nd year model if you really want to be sure about how reliable and good it is going to be no matter if it is Honda or Yamaha or KTM etc. :) I have never had to push my bike out from the trails. I love my WR450! Best dirt bike I have ever owned. :D

  • foursmoke

Posted February 15, 2004 - 06:40 AM


Hey Indy! Not to get off track but how is the starter upgrade holding up. I ordered the parts 2 weeks ago but the only thing that came in was the Idler gear/slipper. I also have not had a key fail but had the TSB performed b-4 it's 1st ride. Although I only have roughly 700 miles on the bike I fear getting stuck deep in the woods w/my 9 yr old. Not only that but I would rather spend $300 on preventive than $1000 or more to fix a broken engine case.

Smoke :)

  • ill_caper

Posted February 15, 2004 - 08:54 AM


Hey Smoke How are you? I can taste spring coming soon. I definitely want to come down this season to check out the trails. Im moving to Marblehead in a couple weeks. Where did you order your parts from? I think Im gonna do the same. Will the '04 upgrade 100% alleviate the woodruff key problem. Is there no chance of it happening again after the conversion. Thanks and take care. -D :) :D

  • Indy_WR450

Posted February 15, 2004 - 10:07 AM


Hey Foursmoke,

The 04 upgrade is holding up so far. I have been out 5 times since I have done the conversion without issues. I am concerned about the gears holding up over the long haul beacause the engagement is marginal at best. The 04 upgrade looks to be a bandaid fit rather than starting with a whole redesign of the entire starter mechanism. Good news is that we can retro. Good news is that we dont have to carry spare woodruff keys and our tool box with us on rides. Overall I recommend every one upgrade. I was one of the original members with no issues and I was not going to upgrade until PDBlue and EugeneOR analized the upgrade and determined it to make sense. :)


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