FYI for WR electric start and water crossings

10 replies to this topic
  • montanaWR250F

Posted June 10, 2004 - 01:05 PM


Three weeks ago went to cross what we call a "creek" here in Montana and I dumped my 20 hours new WR450F in the water which I has de-octupussed and is water ready.

I pulled it out quick and without thinking---hit the starter (When you get the magic button-one forgets that there is a kickstarter) Long Story Short: Water logged and the motor did not turn over using every water trick from 20 years of riding. Took it to the dealer and ends up that the crank/rod/piston etc... ruined/twisted/tornadoed by "hydrolock".

I have great relationship with my dealer and worked it out for parts and payment. Try that with your Canadian/Internet purchases... but I digress.

Moral of the story. DO NOT use the electric start if you are close to water or will be crossing water. Other than that the WR is bullet proof because I got the bike back day before two-day ISDE qualifier in Idaho City and rode 125 miles/6 hour days each day and the bike was awesome.


Posted June 10, 2004 - 01:29 PM


For that matter kick starting it is not a good idea either.

  • Indy_WR450

Posted June 10, 2004 - 02:20 PM


Sounds like you sucked in quite a bit of water in through the breather hose. Well known issue for deep crossings. You can have the hose re-routed to the air box.:thumbsup:

  • endurodog

Posted June 10, 2004 - 02:42 PM


I would guess it went through the airbox-filter-engine. Was riding with a buddy last year that this happened too. Luckly we pushed it out of the stream, took the tank off, then the spark plug out, turned it upside down worked the kick start a few times, then the estart lots of water came out. Put sparkplug back in and it ran great.

  • sabin

Posted June 10, 2004 - 06:26 PM



Thanks for the warning. I'm serprised however that the starter has such big power. Are you sure that the hidro shock did not happend before you shut down the engine???

Sometimes my autodeco did not engage and the starter has no power to even fight the compresion and cannot make single revolution. I think water entered the engine as it was still running and boom!

Breated hoose is not the isue here as the water is in the cylinder, not in the oil/engine_cases/head cover e.g. However you are right that we must not start our engines in deep water without rerouting breather hoose. I did mine :awww: when I noticed that I have dirth all the way to the/in engine :thumbsup:

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Posted June 10, 2004 - 07:24 PM


Sounds like you sucked in quite a bit of water in through the breather hose. Well known issue for deep crossings. You can have the hose re-routed to the air box.:thumbsup:

Actually to hydrolock the engine you have to get water in the cylinder so it would have to come in through the air box or the exhaust. The breather hose would just get water in the crankcase.

  • SteadyEddy

Posted June 10, 2004 - 07:44 PM


Yer I have had this problem with my Car, I just started my new job and recieved the company car. 2 weeks later me and the wife thought it would be fun to drive through some puddles when it was raining :awww:, after about the 6th time through this one puddle the motor made a terriable bang and just stopped :lol:....
Water had made its way through the filter and into the cylinder and bent the rod :thumbsup:
lets just say work wasn't that impressed with me :lol: :lol:

  • Jim_Patterson

Posted June 11, 2004 - 07:59 AM


Off topic In 2 weeks I'll be riding at the Bull Run/Ride Montana ranch in Cascade. I have talked with a fellow from Michigan who rode there and was quite pleased. Just wondered if you knew anything about the area. The pics of the terrain look pretty impressive especially when compared to the bulk of our Michigan trails. I'm not knocking our trails but we all know the west has some spectacular stuff. Thanks Jim

  • gloft

Posted June 11, 2004 - 10:02 AM


I do a lot of deep water crossings here in North Georgia and have swamped mine three times and Hydrolocked once. Best to route crank and carb vent hoses into the airbox, but that doesn't guarantee anything. Whenever I suspect water may have entered the air box I carefully turn the engine over with the kick starter. If you feel any unusual resistance, push it out of the water and check the air filter. If wet pull it off and wring it out. Take the plug out before attempting to turn the engine over. If water comes out stand the bike up against a tree and turn engine over to allow water to escape the exhaust as it will pool in the header area. Make sure to check engine oil as mine has had water in it twice before :thumbsup:

  • JVP

Posted June 11, 2004 - 01:26 PM


I recently dumped my bike in a creek and knew instantly that I had Hydro-lock. :awww: After getting out of the water I positioned my bike in an upright position on the rear tire and dumped the water out of the air box and muffler. I also removed the plug and then hit the magic button to get the water out. I put everything back together and rode for another 100 miles without a problem. :thumbsup: I was lucky because there was no water in the oil, but I did change it after the ride. If you think you have Hydro-lock never push the button or try kick start the bike before taking out the plug. You are only asking for trouble. :lol: Water does not have expanding properties!

  • zz3gmc

Posted June 11, 2004 - 06:15 PM


I got the bike back day before two-day ISDE qualifier in
Idaho City and rode 125 miles/6 hour days each day and the bike was awesome
How did you do? Are you planning on qualifying for 6 days? Im hoping to go in 06 (New Zealand) That is if I can Qualify! I went to Brazil last year with my girlfriend who qualified and it was awesome!


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