'03 Wr450

4 replies to this topic
  • KMG365

Posted April 06, 2006 - 04:19 PM


I've seen some threads regarding the "woodruff key" issue with the 03 WR450's, and was wondering if the repair is covered by Yamaha under a recall? I was also wondering if anyone knows whether or not the 2003 WR450's are a green sticker here in Cali.


Posted April 06, 2006 - 04:30 PM


The only recall Yamaha did was to loctite the flywheel onto the crank on bikes which had sheared the woodruff key. Unfortunately it turned out to cause more problems than it fixed. So in 2004 the WR came with redesigned starter drive components. The '03 is retrofittable with the '04 parts and many owners have done that (myself included) on their nickel. To my knowledge Yamaha has never offered to cover the upgrade as a warranty or recall item so you're pretty much left to your own. IMO opinion it is worth doing (~$170 parts). There's more info here:


The '03 & '04 WR's are not green sticker. '05 and newer are.

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  • jman71

Posted April 09, 2006 - 06:41 PM


i have a 03 wr450 i bought in aug. 05' i took it to what i thought was a competant mechanic anyway it had already had the woodkey done by yamaha by the 1st owner and the mech. i took it to destoyed it pulling it off. the new flywheel is not installed with locktite, so will i now have the original problem of shearing the woodkey? i can't imagine the proper mods wre made as they weren't discussed(lack of knowledge on both our parts, but i can admit it) any advice is appriciated


Posted April 09, 2006 - 07:13 PM


Maybe. The main culprit on the 03's was very lean jetting combined with a very unforgiving starter drive. If you have richened up the jetting you are less likely to have a backfire that could damage the starter drive/woodruff key but it still may happen. Put in the '04 parts and you won't have to worry.

  • WR450F_RDR

Posted April 09, 2006 - 09:20 PM


I for one think the whole woodruff key has been blown way out of proportion. I would be interested in know the exact figures if available of how many of the 03's actually had a problem because I have put over 7000 miles on mine since new and have never had a problem with it. I also never took it in and had any loctite it or anything else done to it when people started having problems with them. The way I figure it if I haven't had a problem with it, why possibly cause one by letting someone mess with it. Of course your situation is different since you say you already removed it.


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