Woodruff Keys Still Failing !!!



26 replies to this topic
  • CraigW

Posted June 10, 2003 - 03:14 AM

#1

Just spoken to the local Yamaha agent.
New WR450 (Engine no: 9004) had flywheel come loose.
This with 39km on the clock.
Bike was modded from the Yamaha factory. Mechanic still checked and reloctited the flywheel.

The scary part is that this bike arrived same time as mine. I chose mine on the basis the engine no. was higher, still joked with the guys that it was a fresher model.

I believe a Factory technician (ex Japan) will inspect the bike 2morrow. I'll get feedback on his diagnosis and recommendations.

I thought this problem was fixed!!
I'm getting an uncomfortable feeling that I'm in for [@#$%&*!] with this bike. I see my lemon's resale value plummeting as the market becomes more aware of this issue.

Why didnt I buy the KTM???????????? :D :D :D :)

  • Indy_WR450

Posted June 10, 2003 - 10:13 PM

#2

This is a dead issue. Many of us have never had the TSB band-aid service or a failure. I have one of the first WR450's that came into production. I have never had a problem. If your bike is fine leave it alone. :)

  • HaremScarem

Posted June 10, 2003 - 10:54 PM

#3

Oh No! Another Woodruff Key Post. Posted Image
It's Dead Posted Image

  • SBG

Posted June 11, 2003 - 03:01 AM

#4

I was told by a 450 owner that the manual states to kick the bike over, and after it is properly warmed up that the E-start can be used throughout the rest of the day. The E start is not the primary start on a cold engine. I'll bet all these failures occured with the e-start, and I'll also bet the engine was always started cold with the e-start.

  • adamwagar

Posted June 11, 2003 - 03:18 AM

#5

If Yamaha updated the bike before shipping maybe your dealer should have left it alone. I don't know the details, I'm just thinking aloud.
You'll love the bike when it's fixed right. Mine was updated and has been trouble free for 800 miles. Knock on wood.

  • Wrench

Posted June 11, 2003 - 03:26 AM

#6

The manual states, page 1-15:

Starting a cold engine
1. Inspect the coolant level.
2. Turn the fuel petcock to "ON"**
3. Push the main switch to "ON"
4. Shift the transmission into neutral
5. Fully open the cold starter knob.
6. Start the engine by pushing the start switch or by kicking the kickstarter

Our key sheared during riding < .5 mile while hitting the brakes hard for before a turn. Yamaha replaced the crank and rotor after inspecting the taper mismatch, the new parts when they came in were checked and it was decided not to "glue" the rotor on. 4 GNCC races and countless practice hours later I'm happy to report no problems.

** Apparently you can't say petcock minus the pet :) so I changed it to petcock.

Hmmm censorship let's see:
You can petyourcock, You can be a &%$#@!, a cockhound, a cockroach, be cocksure, have a cocktail, be cocky, have a cockapoo a cockatiel or cockatoo even tell a cockandbull story but you can't turn on your fuel [@#$%&*!]. (sorry flashbacks from George Carlin)All words from the tenth edition Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary copyright 1998

  • CraigW

Posted June 11, 2003 - 04:43 AM

#7

Thanks for the input guys.
Guess I am just looking for reassurance.
I too believe that ultimately Yamaha will standby and correct this fault.

I just dont fancy the thought of having to push my "brand new" bike 30 to 40 km in the mountains with the sun going down.

Besides the hassle of pushing back to civilisation and maybe spending a night out in the mountains (currently winter here), my biggest fear is facing all my riding buddies (KTMs and Hondas) who all said - I TOLD YOU SO!!!! when they hear I intended buying the WR.

A man's got pride you know. :)

  • adamwagar

Posted June 11, 2003 - 06:41 AM

#8

You know what the problem with the woodruff key is???



It's cockeyed. :)

  • WR450F_RDR

Posted June 11, 2003 - 07:30 AM

#9

over 1000 miles on my 03 450, No woodruff key failures, havent had the TSB done and dont plan to. I have never used that thing sticking out of the right side of the motor, what you call it, a kick-starter. As they say if it aint broke dont fix it.

  • Smite

Posted June 11, 2003 - 07:31 AM

#10

I just got my WR in May. It broke after 50mi. Took it back to the dealer and when they called me back with the problem they told me about the woodruff key. The tech said it was a RECALLED part. I was still in the 30 day window but he said they had to order and replace three or four different things.

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  • yamaharichey

Posted June 11, 2003 - 10:48 AM

#11

Hey GraigW, the reason you did't buy a KTM is that they are soooooo uggggley, and obviously you are a man of impeccible taste. Orange with a gold frame? whew give me a break.

  • WR450F

Posted June 11, 2003 - 03:39 PM

#12

Woodruff key failures are not all E start related. Back in Feb when I got my bike, I was aware of the problem, and was afraid to E start it. Anyway, 12 miles into my first ride, I bump started down a hill, and broke the key. 3 weeks later when I got the bike back got to ride it for two more rides, and decided to use electric starter (I was on the side of a hill) for maybe the fourth time ever! It just grinded . . . luckily the bike was able to kick start to get me back to the truck. I broke the starter, the case cover, and two other gears. Anyway . . . now 6 weeks later I just got my bike back from the shop, and hopefully all is well!

  • doc4523

Posted June 11, 2003 - 07:34 PM

#13

I was told by a 450 owner that the manual states to kick the bike over, and after it is properly warmed up that the E-start can be used throughout the rest of the day. The E start is not the primary start on a cold engine. I'll bet all these failures occured with the e-start, and I'll also bet the engine was always started cold with the e-start.


SBG learn to read! On the bottom of page 1-15 it states "Start the engine by pushing the start switch or by kicking the kickstarter."

DOC

  • Alabama_Rider

Posted June 11, 2003 - 07:42 PM

#14

Seems like either you got a bike with a mis-aligned taper or you didn't. I have ridden mine pretty hard and haven't had any problems but have been debating whether its time to do the service bulletin or open her up and check torque.... Nevermine, I'll just keep ridin.

  • CraigW

Posted June 11, 2003 - 08:09 PM

#15

Interestingly enough, when the shop mechanic pulled my flywheel off to check and lap the taper he said he couldnt get it off. He gave it a sharp rap with a mallet and when it eventually came loose, he said it was like a gunshot going off, it was so tight.

The other bike (the one I refer to as failing) came off very easily, in his words.

By the sounds of things, my taper is right, while the one that failed , clearly was not.

  • jchantzWR400F

Posted June 12, 2003 - 05:42 AM

#16

This is a dead issue. Many of us have never had the TSB band-aid service or a failure. I have one of the first WR450's that came into production. I have never had a problem. If your bike is fine leave it alone. :)



It's not a dead issue to my friend who bought a 450 2 months ago, and has had the woodruff key shear 2 times with less than 5 total miles of riding. The first time it happend with <2 miles, and after it was fixed at the dealer, it happened with <5 miles. All said and done, he's had it for 2 months, and is probably getting worried about taking it too far out. Oh, by the way, I know he paid around $6000 for it. How would you feel if it happened to you. Would it still be a dead issue? :D

  • endurodog

Posted June 12, 2003 - 09:46 AM

#17

Thats unfortunate for your friend and if it happens to me it won't be, but it hasnt so its a dead issue for me.

It sounds like your friends bike was either not repair correctly or the crank was faulty before he took delievery of it. Good luck to him with it

  • jchantzWR400F

Posted June 12, 2003 - 04:12 PM

#18

Thats unfortunate for your friend and if it happens to me it won't be, but it hasnt so its a dead issue for me.

It sounds like your friends bike was either not repair correctly or the crank was faulty before he took delievery of it. Good luck to him with it


Don't take me wrong. I'm sure the good bikes out number the bad ones 1000 to one. If you've got a good one, and have done the free mods, I know it probably runs like a raped ape, and probably will for some time. Currently though, it seems like how long it will go before you experience problems is a crap shoot. In this case we're not talking about a small problem. We're talking about a problem that can strand you miles from civilization. Granted, that's the risk you take any time you go riding. My problem is, if I just spent 6K on a new bike, I wouldn't want to worry about being stranded because of a manufacturing defect that has taken many victims and that has still not been publically addressed. When my friend purchased the 450, he nor the dealer had even heard of this problem. After reading about it on this website, he tried to return it for different bike. Of course the dealer refused. His question was, Indiana has a lemon law for automobiles, what about motorcycles. Are the defective 450's lemons?. Yamaha should have done something by now to make it right with those who purchased a bike with faulty parts, or with faulty assembly. At any rate, I know that the dealers are fixing the bike for free, but in 2 months, my friend has been able to ride the new 450 about 2 times. It's been in the shop the rest of the time. What is his personal riding time worth? I know what it's worth to me, and hands down, I would be pissed. Good luck to you guys that got'em, I can't wait to get a new one when they get everything lined out. I work to hard for my money to purchase a garage ornimant. :)

  • foursmoke

Posted June 12, 2003 - 04:34 PM

#19

Hey Doc(newbie),You don't have to insult SBG by telling him to "learn to read" :). It was me who told him about not useing the e-start to cold start the bike. I read that somewhere but at the moment I can not seem to locate the reference to it so if you want to insult someone, you can start with me and then crawl back under the rock you crawled out from under. :D

Smoke :D

  • endurodog

Posted June 12, 2003 - 05:46 PM

#20

Well this has been an emotional issue around here for months, and it seems it continues that way. But the facts remain that Yamaha has address the issue in their TSB (service announcement). Was there, and still is, some sort of flaw in the manufacturing of these bikes, yes. Did Yamaha do something to fix it and admit it, yes. Are some bikes still having problems yes, but we don't know if they were fixed correctly or not to start with.

Now on the other point it sounds like your friend got a bad dealer, the TSB was given to all Yamaha dealers, my dealer actually gave me a copy of it, it was faxed to him. It's to bad that the dealer wouldn't work with him on making him happy if he wasn't happy with the WR450, but I'm sure he has his points too. Lemon laws are a state by state thing. In your state they may cover motorcycles, there also has to be an attempt at fixing the problem and they have so many attempts at it. Your friend may want to check it out since his dealer doesn't sound like he has been to honest with him. Again I hope your friend gets it all sorted out.




 
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