Bad News Regarding my 2008 R1...engine failure
Hey all...I need some help/advice.
I brought my '08 R1 (only ~3,000 miles on bike) to the dealer about 4 weeks ago so they could check a knocking sound that I thought might be the stuck valve/valve guide problem that others have experienced with the R1. I started hearing what I assumed was louder than normal valve ticking the last 200 miles before the knocking started. I also called Yamaha Customer Service to register this issue before seeing the dealer. The dealer got back to me about 2 weeks ago and said they think the problem is the cam chain tensioner which they ordered and replaced and told me it would cost me ~$4-500 out of pocket. Yesterday, they called to say they re-assembled the bike and started it up but the knocking is still there. They spoke on the phone with a Yamaha tech rep and now they suspect I spun a main bearing on the crankshaft.
I changed oil and filter myself at 400, 800, 1,300, 2,000 and again recently at 2,9xx miles when I first noticed the knock. I have 3 bikes and only ride on weekends so I made it a point to change oil before recommended maintenance intervals and at least annually. The bike is garage kept in a dry environment and stable temperatures. I used Rotella Triple Protection 15W40 dino (API CJ-4/SM, JASO MA) and a Purolator 'Pure One' PL14612 filter at each change. This oil meets the standard specified in the owner's manual and scores highly in all used oil lab test results that I've researched.
The Yamaha rep told the dealer that the PL14612 oil filter is a "car" filter and probably caused oil-starvation leading to the engine failure and thus Yamaha won't pay for the repair. I got oil/oil filter recommendations on this forum and other sources like calci.com...others seem to be using this oil and filter for many miles without engine failures. Calci.com gave good feedback on both the Rotella and PL14612 for motorcyles.
The dealer says they have to pull/breakdown the engine for the repair and the cost can be high. I've asked the dealer to give me a best and worst case scenario for cost of parts and labor. I also asked the dealer to wait a week while I check-in with Forum members. It's hard to believe this engine should have failed at just under 3K miles with the oil changes that I did. The bike was undergoing a progressive break-in and never was over 8-9K RPMs to date. I've since read that the by-pass pressure on the PL14612 is ~14-18 PSI, and that motorcycles typically are designed for an oil filter with 8-11 PSI bypass pressure. Would that small difference in by-pass pressure have caused this type of failure? I can't imagine that the by-pass would have even come into play on a relatively clean filter with such low mileage.
So what advice can you offer me? Is Yamaha giving me the corporate run-around? Should I defend the use of the PL14612 and push harder for Yamaha Corp to pay for repairs? Also, if indeed oil starvation caused a main bearing failure, what other potential damage could have been done to the engine/tranny? The dealer drove the bike and said the tranny seems fine. Is it worth fixing if I have to pay for repairs out-of-pocket, or should I eat the loss and sell the bike for parts?
I really like the bike. I was hoping to ride it more, especially for work commutes and pleasure. I got that sick feeling in my gut...