How to Install a Starter on a Kawasaki Bayou 300

by Chris GillilandUpdated July 05, 2023

The KLF300 Bayou was a single-cylinder four-stroke-engine all-terrain vehicle produced by Kawasaki since 1986. Although the Bayou 300 was phased out of Kawasaki's lineup in 2005, it remains a suitable choice as a workhorse ATV. Starter motor failures are a common problem, especially with older Bayous; however, a damaged starter is not a deal buster. Removing the starter is surprisingly simple, allowing a Bayou owner with limited technical know-how to remove and replace the starter, using only common mechanics tools.

Things You'll Need:

  • Oil drain pan
  • 10 and 17 mm sockets
  • Socket wrench
  • Torque wrench
  • 10 mm box-end wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Shop towels
  • Spray-on parts cleaner
  • Two quarts, SAE 10W-40 Type SE engine oil
  • Starter motor O-ring
  1. Place a oil drain pan directly below the engine. Unscrew the crankcase drain plug, located at the center of the engine crankcase, using a 17 mm socket and a socket wrench. Drain the engine oil, then screw the drain plug into place by hand. Tighten the crankcase drain plug to 22 foot-pounds, using a torque wrench.
  2. Follow the pair of wires at the top right corner of the left engine cover to the ATV's wiring harness. Pull the wires' electrical connectors apart to separate them from the wiring harness. Remove the left engine cover and gasket, using a 10 mm socket.
  3. Pull the rubber boot off the starter motor terminal, located on the top of the starter motor housing. Unscrew the terminal nut, using a 10 mm box-end wrench, then lift the starter cable off of the terminal post.
  4. Unscrew the starter motor mounting bolts located on the right side of the starter motor, using a 10 mm socket. Pull the starter motor out of the engine.
  5. Slip a screwdriver through the starter motor sprocket, accessible from the left side of the engine, to support the starter chain and sprocket while the starter motor is removed.

Starter Motor Installation

  1. Clean away any dirt or debris from the starter motor mounting surface on the engine crankcase, using a shop towel and a spray-on parts cleaning solvent. This will ensure good electrical conductivity between the engine and the starter motor.
  2. Pull the O-ring off the inner end of the starter motor, near the motor shaft, and replace it with a new O-ring. Coat the O-ring with SAE 10W-40 Type SE engine oil.
  3. Pull the screwdriver out from the starter motor sprocket. Hold the sprocket in place against the engine by hand, then push the starter motor into place. Push the sprocket onto the starter motor shaft.
  4. Screw the starter motor mounting bolts into place, then tighten the bolts to 18 foot-pounds, using a torque wrench.
  5. Slip the starter cable onto the starter motor terminal post, then tighten the terminal nut, using a 10 mm socket and a socket wrench. Push the rubber boot over the terminal.
  6. Reinstall the left engine cover and gasket, using a 10 mm socket. Tighten the engine cover bolts to 7.6 foot-pounds. Plug the engine cover wiring into the ATV's wiring harness.
  7. Unscrew the oil cap from the top of the right engine cover. Fill the engine with 1.5 quarts of engine oil, then screw the oil cap into place.


Don't tap of the starter motor during the removal or installation process. The shock of impact, even through light taps, can damage the starter motor's sensitive internal components.

Do not dump used engine oil into a trash can. Have the oil recycled at your nearest auto parts store or Kawasaki repair center.

Video showing how to remove a starter on a Kawasaki Bayou 300:

Comments in this video:

  • Thank you good sir! So glad you have this! I will comment on my success
  • good video man!

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