Partzilla Live Q&A with John Talley – August 14, 2020

Partzilla live Q&A is back again with John Talley answering more of your motorcycle and ATV repair questions. 

John answered quite a bit of ATV repair questions in this live session, including a few Yamaha ATV questions highlighted here. 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

Partzilla Live Q&A Highlights – Yamaha ATV Repair Questions

Yamaha ATV Drive Chain/Drive Belt

What is the best chain for a 2007 Yamaha YFZ450?

John Talley: Well, that’s a decision you have to make. My favorite is an O-ring linkable chain. That way it’s easier to actually get it on there. I have gone through the process of putting a linkless O-ring chain on an 09 YFZ450 and it’s a little bit more complicated because you actually have to disconnect the swingarm from the pivot point to get the chain up and around that front sprocket. But, my favorite manufacturer is going to be D.I.D. of course, I mean there are other chains out there. … I believe D.I.D. makes one called an X-ring chain, and that one has worked out really well for me in the past, so that’s what I would recommend. 

How often should the drive belt be replaced on my Yamaha Grizzly 700?

John Talley: Well, that’s kind of a loaded question. They don’t have a real guideline for that, because it’s so dependent on how you use the machine. If you’re just using it for light trail riding, and you’re not overly taxing it as far as the weight, some of these belts can actually go the entire length of the life of the machine just about. The only thing that’ll get them is the rubber breaking down because it’s dry-rotted. On the other hand, if you’re really working the machine or using it in a really hilly environment or a muddy environment, or you’re really putting a strain on it, then of course it’s going to wear quicker. A couple of the telltale signs are, your engagement when it’s sitting at idle and you go hit the throttle and it kinda jerks into position, that’s telling you that the belt is starting to get some wear on it, and not only the belt but also wearing the sheaves, causing it to kind of jump when it actually engages and it goes through the stroke as far as the sheaves opening and closing. That’s the long way of saying there isn’t really a scheduled time to replace it, it’s just when it starts to feel funny, you may need to pull out that outer cover and inspect it.

Yamaha ATV Starting Problem

I have a 2000 Yamaha Big Bear 4x4 and it won’t turn over. I’ve changed the spark plug and wire and replaced [several other parts], including the starter relay. What else could be the problem?

John Talley: Good grief! … Well, let’s get back to basics, because you replaced the spark plug and the neutral switch and the CDI box and you said it wouldn’t turn over, so that tells me it’s going to be on the starter side, not so much on the ignition side. What I would ask that you go back and do is, one, check your battery voltage first and foremost, and then go to your starter relay and hit the start button to see if you hear it click. And if you hear it, get a voltmeter or a test light and see if it’s actually transmitting the battery voltage from one pole to another pole, which is actually going to send it down to the starter. Now if that’s happening, then you’re going to have to check out your starter and potentially do a jump to see if the starter is flipping over or not. Because it really sounds to me like it’s going to be your starter relay or solenoid or it’s going to be your starter. 

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