Things Are Getting Serious with the Yamaha R1 and R1M Recall

Back in late November, we reported about what was believed to be an imminent recall for the 2015 model year Yamaha YZF-R1 and YZF-R1M motorcycles. Even though little official info surfaced since then, the first recall was announced in Canada.
Yamaha R1M and R1 1 photo
Photo: Yamaha
The R1/R1M Canadian recall campaign has number 2015559 and 240 motorcycles fall under it. Transport Canada mentions the same transmission issues as the cause for the recall, so now we have official confirmation that things are serious, indeed.

The biggest problem is that it looks like the entire R1 and R1M population may be affected by this problem, and this means that all the 2015 model year bikes will have to be brought in for inspection and repairs.

Yamaha has not disclosed any sales figures for the R1 and R1M, but these machines sold quite well, to the point where Iwata supplemented the production of R1Ms after the initial limited edition lot became sold out rapidly.

The transmission recall will be a costly operation for Yamaha

In case these fears turn out to be true and Yamaha has to replace the transmission of its entire 2015 R1 and R1M production, things don't look too pretty from a financial standpoint.

Several customers in the US have already received recall letters from Yamaha, A&R reports. The same source says that Yamaha dealers also received a technical briefing regarding this recall and the procedures to be followed.

Apparently, the dealers will have to replace the transmission with one manufactured with a different second gear, and not swap engines with new ones as speculated earlier.

Needless to say, unmounting the gearbox and replacing it with a new one is an operation that consumes way more time than changing entire engines. Think about gaskets, oil and filters, coolant and all the torque wrenching - there is a lot of work to do, and it is not going to be cheap at all.

As these motorcycles are expected to be returned in a "like-new" condition, it will be interesting to see if all the dealers will be up to the task. Luckily, no news on injury reports surfaced, at least not until the time of writing.

On the other hand, certain customers are already voicing their discontent with this recall, and if their ranks grow, they might put some pressure on Yamaha to offer compensations, buybacks and all. That is, the way BMW Motorrad reacted in the massive R1200RT recall back in 2014. Stay tuned, as this thing is about to go worldwide.
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