2003 WR450F E-start questions.

Hello all.

I'm looking at a 2003 WR450F. I've been in contact with the owner and he said that the electric start does not work, but that it kickstarts first time everytime. He says that when you hit the button that the starter spins but does not engage. I'm just wondering if this sounds right. From every situation I've researched(and yes I have searched) that once the woodruff key snaps that the bike will not start. Does this sound right? Maybe my searches only turned up situations where it won't start. I'm just trying to get an idea of what I'm getting myself into. Please let me know all thoughts and ideas but please remain constructive. Many thanks guys!

I doubt it's the key, if that breaks it falls in to the engine and u really screw stuff up. On mine it was kind of doing the same thing I just pulled the starter out pulled it apart re greased every thing put it back together and it has been working great for the last year!

I agree. I doubt the woodruff key broke. If that happens, at the very least, the timing will be off and the engine won't start no matter what, kick or e-start.


It can't be the woodruff key as the others have stated the timing would be off and it wouldn't kick start.

If the owner will allow you to remove the starter idle gear cover and take a look inside you may be able to diagnose the problem. As I'm sure you found the 03 had a poorly designed starter clutch mech that caused all the problems that year.

It only takes two 8mm bolts and a few minutes to remove the idle gear mech and determine if you have the 03 parts or if its been upgraded to the 04 and on clutch. Make sure you look at the case and make sure its not cracked as then you are looking at even more money...

Check out this thread, it has a good picture of what to look for on the case..


Let me know if you need any help or pictures of the parts.

Good luck,

my bro's bike did this, sometimes the starter would engage, sometimes not. under the little round cover on the left side of the bike is the starter cogs, the motor engages with a larger cog on a small shaft and that shaft is supported on the end you can see, by a small metal hoop that that part of the entire flywheel cover casting

my bro's hoop had brokenoff and disappeared into the engine to get mashed up :(, the cogs shaft had slipped sideways, bending the hole it sat in on the engine left hand crank case..

ive since fitted a new flywhee cover, rather than try to weld a new hoop in, and i now stop the bike by gently stalling it in first gear, as it doesnt produce the same horrendous clunk and sound of starter motor being spun backwards as the piston bounces off a compression stroke and turns everything backwards

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