Partzilla Live Q&A with John Talley – January 15, 2021

Welcome to the another edition of Partzilla Live Q&A, with host John Talley answering your motorcycle and ATV repair questions. 

There was a “tug of war” of sorts this week between Honda ATV and Yamaha ATV questions dominating the conversation, particularly between the TRX 400 and YFZ450 models. Check out excerpts from Partzilla’s latest live Q&A session below, and tune into our YouTube and Facebook channels every Friday at 3pm Eastern for the next edition.

Partzilla Live Q&A with John Talley 01-15-21

Partzilla Live Q&A – Honda and Yamaha ATV Questions and Answers 

Honda TRX400 ATV

Hey John, I have a 2001 Honda TRX 400EX and it’s having problems turning on. I put in a new spark plug, oil and gas, so I’m not sure if it had something to do with the stator. What do you recommend I do?

John Talley: Well, I know that we did a no-start condition video on that particular make and model, but just start with the basics. Find out if it’s getting spark, if it’s getting fuel, and then last but not least, if there is enough compression to make that air-fuel ratio explode. So just go to the basics and start eliminating the possibilities. 

I’m going to buy a TRX 400. How do I know if a quad is good ?

John Talley: I believe we did a video on what to look for as far as buying a used unit … in that video I go through what you should be looking for when you’re considering buying one. But as far as the TRX 400 in general, it’s a good machine and those things are bulletproof. Personally, I would go for one that has not been modified, if you can find one, because a lot of people modify them almost immediately. But my rule of thumb is that the closer to stock you can find, that’s going to be the most stable format to start building off of. 

Yamaha YFZ450 ATV

I have a YFZ450 that only starts when it’s in neutral. I can’t start it in gear when the clutch is engaged. Is there any way I can change this?

John Talley: Well you should be able to start it up as long as you’re pulling in the clutch. I wonder if you’ve got it adjusted correctly. Maybe it’s putting too much drag on the starter itself, not letting it fire off. So I would say check your clutch adjustment.  

I have a 2004 YFZ450 and I had a new key/ignition put on it, and now my key is backwards. On is off and off is on, and when I take my key out it’s draining the battery. Any idea what to look for?

John Talley: Man, that is bizarre. I guess it could’ve been assembled incorrectly, where the contacts are 180 out. Was it an OEM key switch or an aftermarket? At any rate, I would go ahead and replace it. 

Want to see more live repair questions answered? See all of Partzilla's Live Q&A sessions here.  

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