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wabbit

Can I tell by looking if a 2003 WR450 has Starter Gear mod done?

7 posts in this topic

I'm buying a used 2003 WR450 and have read up on the issue with the starter gear and woodruff key shearing. I see a cheap fix is to disable the starter and remove the gear, or... upgrade to an '04 side case assembly. I prefer to keep the starter operative. Can I tell by looking (without disassembly), if a 2003 WR450 has Starter Gear mod done? And does Yamaha , through the dealer, address this issue, with a TSB and perhaps warranty/recall repairs?

Thanks in advance,

wabbit

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Your better off to not buy the 03 start with the 04.Even with the mods on the 03 all my riding buddys dumped there 03s.They ride every weekend no problems with the other years.

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I had no problems with my 2003, other than the sheared woodruff key issue. After upgrading to the 2004 Starter Idler Gear, the sheared woodruff key was never a problem again. PBD Blue and I were among the first on this forum to perform the starter upgrade on a 2003 model motorcycle. We also were among the first to perform the interim fix that Yamaha offered in the mid-2003 model year. This was a modified slip type idler gear with a lower breakaway torque specification.

The TSB calling for Loctite on the fly wheel that Yamaha issued early on was not the fix for the problem. In fact it caused more problems including cracked cases and broken starter idler gear assemblies that are located behind the fly wheel.

The 2003's came from the factory jetted much too lean for most areas of the country. The 2004 model came with probably the best all around jetting specs since the introduction of the 450cc motor in 2003. I suggest that, if you buy the 2003, you jet to the 2004 specifications. I used the 2004 specs on my 2003, 2006 and 2008 WR450's with great performance, excellent gas mileage and the ability to ride from sea level to at least 6,000 ft with good throttle response.

There is a 2004 WR450F in the TT for sale forum under Yamaha parts with a blown engine. This is an opportunity for someone who is mecanically inclined to pick up a year newer bike. You can buy the parts needed and invest your own labor for a one year newer bike at a greatly discounted price.

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I still have my 03 WR and have turned it to supermoto form. I never did any upgrade on the starter and never had any problem with it or with the woodruff key.

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The one I'm getting is flat with a chamfer around the edge. No dome as shown in pics. Oh well...

I appreciate the responses and will consider doing the upgrade.

I will post a new thread about what to reap from a 2004 "parts bike" to make mine mo' better.

Take a look at the idler gear cover. It's about 2" in diameter just in front of the starter. If the cover is flat the mod has not been done. Mod'd cover is domed. Yamaha will not pay for the upgrade. Look here for more info: http://wr450.com/photos_frame_full.htm

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