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If your Road Star is a 2003 or earlier model, you are a candidate for the dreaded starter spin problem. Starter spin happens when the generator rotor--which the starter is supposed to engage--comes loose from its shaft, and renders the starter useless. Yamaha changed the design of this part, to correct the problem, starting with the 2004 models. But, if you are blessed with one of those great, 98ci (1602cc) beasts, read on...
If--even once--your engine backfires through the carburetor when you are trying to start your bike, there is a chance that the torque of the engine--momentarily spinning backwards--can unscrew the bolt holding the generator rotor. When this bolt comes loose, there is nothing to keep the rotor bound to its shaft, because only friction holds it. That's right: no keyway, no flange, no spline--nothing but the friction of a tapered hub being pulled into a tapered shaft-end, by the compression of a single bolt.
It is recommended that you perform this fix in any of the following situations:
- If you're a victim of starter spin, of course. You will know this has happened when you press the starter button, and all you hear is the starter motor spinning at high speed, without turning the engine over.
- You have any other reason to open the generator cover--upgrading your stator, for example.
- You live in fear that it might happen at a bad time, like going on a road trip, or any inconvenient location, near or far.