Oil pump driven gear is totally stripped

DR350 Kick Shaft Spring & Oil Pump Gear Fail

Well it figures, I have the bike almost ready to go and mud season is over and the weekend off… and I break something. After a few “final” tuneups the kickstart begins to seize and the bike spews smoke everywhere. Cracked it open to find a chewed up oil pump driven gear & broken kickstart shaft spring.

I had just finished replacing liquid gasket on the tappet covers, re-checking valve adjustment, tensioning the drive chain, replacing the drive chain guide & misc other bits.

Pulled it out to start after letting the liquid gasket sit for ~12 hours. Kickstart was pushing real hard – got it started after a few good hauls and the kickstart doesn’t return. Just dangles there. Turn off the bike, pull the kick manually and it stays. Started it again (still kicking hard) and the bike starts & spews smoke everywhere.

First thought was that I didn’t let the gasket cure long enough and it was burning off. But that still didn’t explain the kickstart, which was probably a broken kick shaft spring.

Reluctantly cracked the clutch cover and found metal bits & broken teeth from the oil pump gear all inside the case, and a broken kickstart shaft spring. Not pretty.

Looks like I’ll be cracking the case sooner than planned. Luckily I’ve got a spare motor to cannibalize but the damage could be extensive if that broken gear made its way into the engine.

Next step is a full inspection. Keeping fingers crossed.