2003 WR450 owners....

16 replies to this topic
  • waterdog3

Posted April 01, 2005 - 11:23 AM


How Bad Is The Problem That I Have Heard About Involving The Woodruff Key In The Starters 03 Models....

  • ckulzer

Posted April 01, 2005 - 11:56 AM


No problems - no worries.

  • vmxr

Posted April 01, 2005 - 12:04 PM


In my extreme paranoia, I performed the dealer service bulletin myself just to be certain the flywheel was lapped to the crank correctly before i ever started it. I have over 7500 hard miles in all conditions on it and it runs perfectly. The only mechanical change to the bike was I needed to adjust the exhaust valves at about 4500 miles. That's it! I have no doubt it will continue to be as reliable as my 00 WR400 was. The 400 was bulletproof.

  • wr450oregon

Posted April 01, 2005 - 06:47 PM


Just a hair over $200 and it only took ten minutes to change out (you don't have to pull of the side cover). Now I don't have to worry about it. :naughty:

  • Lowedog

Posted April 01, 2005 - 08:59 PM


No problems here :naughty: . Close to 4000 miles here with no issues at all. :naughty: Best 4 stroke motor out there. Had to adjust one intake valve by .001 at 3000 miles and that's it. Try that on a CRF!!! :D


  • Desracer

Posted April 01, 2005 - 09:57 PM


I have 7000 plus miles on mine and never had a problem. I did wear out a starter clutch showing off with my E- button. Good bike almost trouble free.

  • 450high

Posted April 02, 2005 - 12:04 AM


It's only a problem when it happens.You just push the bike 7 k's out of the bush on a hot 35o day then do the upgrade.Really it's no problem.

  • wjc2003

Posted April 02, 2005 - 12:52 AM


Mine sheared and I had a long push.Never rode that bike again because I could not trust it. I ride a KTM now. I'll bet alot of the guys that had the problem are like me and are not riding Yamahas any more.

Visit the ThumperTalk Store for the lowest prices on motorcycle / ATV parts and accessories - Guaranteed
  • Stinson

Posted April 02, 2005 - 07:29 AM


Love my 03. Did the upgrade, easy as changing the oil. No probs.

  • temptation2003

Posted April 04, 2005 - 11:04 AM


Not a problem here. I've had the bike for quite a while with no problems and am going to get the valves checked this spring.

  • ddialogue

Posted April 04, 2005 - 12:35 PM


Mine sheared and I had a long push.Never rode that bike again because I could not trust it. I ride a KTM now.


With the exception of a first-year design flaw with the e-start system, the 03 WR450 has been very reliable.

  • beezer

Posted April 04, 2005 - 12:37 PM


Upgrade the starter and go riding.

  • lid

Posted April 04, 2005 - 12:59 PM


I took out the idler gears after a couple of breakdowns far from home and havent had any problems since I start it with the kickstart which starts easily,Will proberbly upgrade to the 04 bits some day.Other than that its the best bike on the market so far in my opinion

  • edwardsp

Posted April 04, 2005 - 02:05 PM


As you can tell, lots of riders have upgraded their starter system to '04 components. I never did, but I had my dealer perform the technical bulletin work 2 weeks after I bought it. Some people had problems even after doing the technical bulletin.(By the way if anyone wants the an electronic copy of the service bulletin, send me a personal message with your email address.)

After I let my battery run down, I realized how easy the bike is to kickstart, and just removed the battery and the starter gear so I could never have the problem happen to me, plus I dropped a few pounds.

All things considered, there can't be a better bike out there for me.


Posted April 05, 2005 - 10:51 AM



With the exception of a first-year design flaw with the e-start system, the 03 WR450 has been very reliable.

I'd have to agree with Dave, if that's all it takes to scare you away from one of the most reliable trail bikes made, maybe you should consider pedal power instead. TEAM HUFFY. (but then again you might break your chain, you better take up extreme walking, but then you might break a nail. :naughty:) The HoRROR!

  • Helithumper

Posted April 05, 2005 - 02:11 PM


Hey guys,

Can't remember where I read this but if there is a punch mark in front of the VIN on the frame the Woodruff key has already had the mod completed. Might save someone a couple bucks.


  • Dirtmizer

Posted April 05, 2005 - 03:28 PM


Yea my buddy had his done at the dealer a year ago and they put a punch mark on his frame, I did not have mine done, I am instead going to upgrade to 04 parts. Hopefully that will fix er up, other than that my 03 has been flawless!!


Join Our Community!

Even if you don't want to post, registered members get access to tools that make finding & following the good stuff easier.

If you enjoyed reading about "" here in the ThumperTalk archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join ThumperTalk today!

The views and opinions expressed on this page are strictly those of the author, and have not been reviewed or approved by ThumperTalk.