Starter Clutch

The Starter Clutch

The best way to avoid issues with the starter clutch on a V Star 1100 is to learn the proper starting procedure. That in itself will prevent most of the issues surrounding the starter clutch. Just like any mechanical device that has more than one moving part they can fail even if every precaution is taken. 

Yamaha Starter Clutch Tech Bulletin

Starting and Choke Use


The New Starter Clutch Repair Kit

           The NEW Repair Kit - Yamaha Part Number for the Kit is 99999-03908 



  Note:  Here is an updated parts list - use instead of the one in the Joe Conway Starter Clutch Repair article below:

The new 99999-03908 Kit includes:


GASKET, CRANKCASE (5EL-15451-00-00)

GEAR, IDLER 2 (5EL-15517-11-00)


DAMPER ASSY (3B8-15560-09-00)

2 ea INSERT, BEARING (3B8-15115-09-00)

OIL SEAL,SD-TYPE (93102-12321-00)


lNote: BEARING (93310-5720G-00) can be ordered along with the kit to replace all the components involved in the starter clutch system. Many prefer to replace this as well as the other components that come in the

Forum threads on the new kit:

From howsonIII on the forum: differences between the old and new replacement parts and repair notes

1)      The parts that come from TimB in the "kit" are different from what is posted in the KB or in Joe's instructions. (new parts list                            below).

The last item, the oil seal, goes in the crankcase cover where the shifter comes through. In the 2006 Classic parts list, it is part # 6 under "Crankcase Cover 1".

The bearings go on the ends of the idler gear. They seat into the engine frame and into the crankcase cover. I tapped them into place with a rubber mallet.

2)      When re installing the crankcase cover, pay close attention to the clutch actuator assy. For some reason mine kept binding. I eventually had to put the cover on with the screws just barely started, then hooked up the clutch cable, and then seated the cover screws.

3)      The flywheel is a PITA to get off. No kidding--it took a sledgehammer (not too hard) on the flywheel puller to get that dang flywheel to finally popped off.

4)      As I wrote in another post...keeping the timing mark exactly at the "T" during disassembly is not overly critical. The critical piece is not changing the timing between the crankcase (where the flywheel comes off of) and the cam gear assy. Locking down the cam gears somehow would have made this job much easier. Even if you do mess it up, it is not overly difficult to get it back to where it needs to be (as long as you didn't move it too far off).

Repair Procedures

Yamaha Factory Tech Bulletin  - Generator Rotor Removal and Rear Cylinder Cam Timing 

Instructions from Aussie Cobb  -  (from the V Star 1100 riders Forum - Thanks Cobb!

Revised Joe Conway Instructions    

Note from Joe on the above: Make sure you read those directions carefully (I wrote them). Forget the sheave holder you wont find one. You will have to use an impact gun on the nut. If you don't have a compressor and gun you will need to rent or borrow one.
You can also try to put the bike in 5th gear, lower rear tire to ground, loosen the nut or carefully use a soft copper washer / soft brass washer on the clutch side - inserted between the cranks and front Cylinder timing gears - to hold it all in place. Obviously the first method is preferred.

Make sure to leave the nut on the end of the shaft for the puller to prevent splitting the crankshaft! 

Notes on the Starter Clutch Repair   - from Cobb 


Well folks, didn't I have a fun day doing my starter clutch.  Not having done this before I got stuck into reading the Clymer Manual, the KB and the Joe Conway instructions over and over until I think the entire procedure was permanently etched into my gray matter. The little trick in the Joe Conway write-up about using a small piece of wire bolted to the Crankcase and bent just so to mark where TDC is was brilliant and I recommend this tip to anyone doing this job.

Within 20 mins I had the side stripped down and the Alternator cover off the bike looking at my Flywheel thinking: NOW is the time I need a puller so off to the local Auto shop I go.


But, before I can pull the flywheel off I need to loosen that rather large NUT holding it to the crankshaft. Now, Yamaha has a special tool called a Sheave Holder which locks into the indented lugs on the flywheel so it doesn't turn when you turn the nut. I don't have one of those so what do you do instead..?? Simple, you can either lower the bike to ground level if your lucky enough to have a hydraulic hoist and if the bike is in 5th Gear then you should be able to undo the nut. As I have only my trusty Timber Lift it wasn't going anywhere so I had no option but to remove the Clutch Side Cover and use a soft Brass Washer inserted between the Crank and Front Cylinder timing gears to jam up the gears - worked a treat, I could apply all the pressure I needed to both Undo and Retighten the crankshaft nut.

So, the crankshaft nut is all loosened off so it is now level with the end of the shaft and its time to apply the Puller. Remember, you MUST leave the nut sitting level at the end of the Shaft folks or you could SPLIT the crankshaft just like those poor blokes did a while back. Now the Joe Conway write-up said to "Apply a Fair Amount of pressure then hit the end of the centre bolt sharply to loosen...". GOD, I couldn't tighten the centre bolt any further and was hitting that frigging bolt for all I was worth and do you think it wanted to give up easily. Well, eventually my frustrations were rewarded and she came away nicely without damaging anything.

Then came the job of disassembling the Flywheel and Starter Clutch which was really simple. After wiping the oil off, use a Permanent Black Marker Pen to mark the position of all the cogs by drawing a solid line (inline with the Timing Dot on the back Cog to the front of the flywheel - after that its then a piece of cake. So, after stripping it down and removing the bolts that hold the starter assembly in place do you think it wanted to just lift out of its place..??? NO WAY, couldn't make my life easy now could it. So, I just got a big plank of wood and up ended the flywheel onto it, giving it a few good hard TAPS downwards onto the timber and TADA - off she came. That was when I saw how bent out of shape my One Way Starter Gear actually was.
Well, replacement was really simple - off with the old and on with the new...As always, I have a 2 ltr ice cream tub half filled with clean synthetic oil to dip all internal parts in before assembly...helps eliminate dry starts for new parts.

Then came the reassembly, which in all reality was a breeze...just follow the Clymer manual. Make sure the starter engagement cogs are in place first, then turn the rear timing cogs so they align and insert a temporary locking pin, place the locking pin on the crankshaft and carefully slide the Flywheel back onto the crankshaft making sure the timing marks line up. Once its slipped into place then add NUT and commence tightening to torque.

If you have done this right your timing should not have moved at all and you only need to install the covers and starter and OIL of course and your done.

Well, replacement was really simple - off with the old and on with the new...As always, I have a 2 ltr ice cream tub half filled with clean synthetic oil to dip all internal parts in before assembly...helps eliminate dry starts for new parts.


A pic and idea from vstar105

Here is a trick I use to keep everything lined up and avoid a headache. Check the allen wrench, inserted before removal of flywheel, only slight pressure needed to align:

A Flywheel puller that works:

From EDS07 on the forum: I bought a Harmonic Balancer puller from Sears that had several sets of bolts to attach to the flywheel. You need the metric screws to bolt into the flywheel for removal. It was Sears Item # 00901540000 and Model # KTI70344. It cost me $28 which was a reasonable investment to make sure that I didn't screw things up.

Using The Puller... 

The puller I have is a 3/8" thick plate, it doesn't flex. You don't really 'pull' the rotor/flywheel off, you POP it off & it's very simple to do. I don't recall the brand, simple to have one made & be sure it has a crank nose guard, don't use the crank nut as a substitute. Anyway, get the puller tight & even on the flywheel, use a caliper for this if you have a pair, if not use a measuring tape. Smack the center puller bolt with a 4# hammer & it should POP, if not recheck the puller bolts for TQ & smack it again. I've only done 10 of these & only twice have I needed the 2nd smack, normally works the first time. The forum really needs a couple of loaner tools & this is one of them. Let me know when you're ready for parts, I just might be willing to order it for you.

Engine Timing - Information can be found HERE in Repairs - Engine Timing