How-To: V Star Starter Clutch Replacement

Share This Post



Year, Make, Model

The motorcycle featured in this video is a 2001 Yamaha V Star 1100. Similar years, 1999-2007, and maybe even up to 2009, should benefit from this how to video as well.


Service Manual

See this post for a FREE download link to the OEM service manual in pdf format.



This V Star would not start one day. When the starter button was pressed, all you heard was the starter motor running, and not the normal engine cranking sound like you would normally hear.



It turns out that this is a very common problem on the V Star model. The design of the starting system incorporates a starter gear that is always engaged with the engine. Yamaha uses a one way clutch to disengage the starter once the engine is running. This one way, or starter clutch, fails and no longer can couple or engage the starter and engine during start up. The new (in my left hand) and old (in my right hand) starter clutch is shown in the picture below.


Yamaha V Star stater clutch one way sprag updated



Go to your local Autozone and rent a harmonic balancer puller for FREE.


Parts List

Yamaha updated the design of several parts in the starting system, so it is best to replace the starter, one way starter clutch, bearing, and idler gear between starter and starter clutch.

Click on ad below to shop for parts. Since I am an affiliate for this vendor, I do earn a commission when you click on the ad, which costs you NOTHING. Rocky MTN’s site is one of my favorite since it shows if parts are in stock. - Dirt bike & ATV parts


Timing Procedure

I must say that even with the outlined procedure from service manual, it was really confusing on how they cover the timing procedure. In the video, I use my own method that seems much simpler to me. I read on some forums of owners not timing the engine correctly and it led to the piston crashing into the valves. Make sure your timing is dead on!



Now that you spent all this time and money fixing your starter clutch, let’s cover a few start up tips that can prolong component life expectancy. First off, don’t give any throttle when starting your V Star, whether hot or cold. Also, only use the choke on cold start ups. If you open the throttle during starting, you introduce a lean condition and the engine may “kickback”, ultimately reducing the life of the starting clutch.



Has this How-To video or FREE service manual helped you out? Please comment below.


Like my articles and How-To videos? Enter your name and email to get notified when new content becomes available.
No spam. No BS. No sharing email.
Liked it? Take a second to support Matthew on Patreon!

  • Edward

    How do I buy video

  • jeremy

    I paid for a video. Please tell me how to watch it. Wants me to download the app and I did. Can’t login because I can’t sign up

    • Jeremy, I just sent a reply to your email. What device are you trying to watch this on? You don’t need the app to view, just makes it more convenient. Hit the “watch” button in the email you received after purchase.

  • tim mcfadden

    i cant seem to see video i paid through paypal

  • Benjamin Lyle

    Matthew, is there a way I can speak with you for just a few minutes. I have a simple question, but cannot proceed with my fix until its answered. Thanks. Ben

    • Ben,

      Ask the question here, or reply to the email I sent you. Thanks for the purchase!

  • Benjamin Lyle

    Ran into the same problem you have on the repair video for the vstar starter clutch. My lower gear punch mark(s) do not line up when the other marks are in their place. Got your email. Will try to reach you as you suggested. I do wonder if this is happening to many others. Seems like it must me. The manual and others on the web must be looking at a different gear or setup. The old one in eight revolutions thing isn’t working. 8, 10 or 100 that mark by the number 2 rectangular indent does not line up with the crank when TDC is marked on the rotor and cam gear. So your improvisation seems my only hope. Need a bit of clarification though. Thanks again for the great video. It is sorely needed out here. – Ben

    • Ben,

      Think about the basic thing we are trying to achieve here: timing the crank/cam. So what that means is that the crank needs to be at TDC, and the cam gear dots need to line up with cylinder head, which puts the cam lobes at the base circle. The third gear in the middle is just an idler gear that connects the crank/cam and spins them both. The cam gear is twice the size of the crank, and runs at half the speed of the crank. The idler gear is no more than an alternative to a cam chain.

      Like I said in the video, the service manual is very confusing and feel the procedure they outlined is incorrect and way more complicated than it needs to be.

      Of course, double check evrything by manually rolling the motor over several revolutions to make sure crank and cam gear marks line up. Then your done and button it back up.