How Serious/Widespread are 2015+ R1 Engine Failures? - Yamaha R1 Forum: YZF-R1 Forums
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post #1 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 07:43 AM Thread Starter
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How Serious/Widespread are 2015+ R1 Engine Failures?

As the title states. Ive got an opportunity to purchase a 2016 R1 w/ less than 3K miles for a great price. Ive been reading on the forum and hearing a lot about pre 10K miles engine failure on these models. I know the 2015's had recall, and there were some adjustments on the 2016, but still some had problems. How widespread are these issues? I really want the bike, but can't afford to throw money into this thing immediately. Any help or information would be greatly appreciated.

Kawi 07' ZZR600 (Sold)
Yama 09' YZF-R6 (Sold)
Kawi 11’ ZX10R (Sold)
Yama 05’ R1 (Sold)
Yama 11’ FZ8 (Sold)
Kawi 11’ ZX10R (Sold)
Kawi 15’ ZX10R (Sold)

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post #2 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 08:22 AM
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I bought my 2015 used with around 3800 miles on it... Never tracked it mainly commuted and the occasional ride through the mountains... at around 9000 miles I spun a bearing and it cost me another $4500 for the repair (I posted about it here).

Buuuuut, I am just one dude of a few. To add to it, I now have around 12000 on the bike and she has been just fine.


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post #3 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
Considering Another R1
 
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Yea Stig, I read some of your posts. Yours was really the one I was referring to. Wonder how much a Yamaha 2-year warranty would cost on a used bike. Unless I can get one, I will probably pass. This scares the hell out of me. It doesn't seem like there are a ton of cases, but i'm not even sure how many people are riding around on 15+ R1's in the US.

Kawi 07' ZZR600 (Sold)
Yama 09' YZF-R6 (Sold)
Kawi 11’ ZX10R (Sold)
Yama 05’ R1 (Sold)
Yama 11’ FZ8 (Sold)
Kawi 11’ ZX10R (Sold)
Kawi 15’ ZX10R (Sold)

... Currently looking to purchase another bike
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post #4 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 02:37 PM
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I've always been curious about how many actually fail?? I've seen a couple of threads on here saying there is a design flaw in the crank. and keep seeing EDR's page full of blown r1 engines. and also seen an r1 catch fire at the track... kind of scares me now that I bought an 18 and flashed it... lets just buckle down and see how it goes... crazy to see how many r1's you see at the track nowadays just walk around the pits and ask what year and how long they have had the bikes I usually see about 8-10k on most of them and all owners say they have been great bikes so far.
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post #5 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 04:03 PM
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Not serious and not widespread.
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post #6 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 04:55 PM
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Not serious and not widespread.
Unless you go to EDR...


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post #7 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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What is EDR?? I checked the VIN with the Yamaha website and original owner purchased the 5-year warranty. Still good until 2021. This makes me feel MUCH better about the bike. Hopefully everything transfers ok.

Kawi 07' ZZR600 (Sold)
Yama 09' YZF-R6 (Sold)
Kawi 11’ ZX10R (Sold)
Yama 05’ R1 (Sold)
Yama 11’ FZ8 (Sold)
Kawi 11’ ZX10R (Sold)
Kawi 15’ ZX10R (Sold)

... Currently looking to purchase another bike
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post #8 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 05:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jstilly85 View Post
What is EDR?? I checked the VIN with the Yamaha website and original owner purchased the 5-year warranty. Still good until 2021. This makes me feel MUCH better about the bike. Hopefully everything transfers ok.


It is a shop that has apparently done a few rod bearing replacements on the 15+ R1s. If you search the forums you will see them referenced a couple of times.


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post #9 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 01:38 AM
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EDR is a shop in oregon that does great work on the rest of the bike but super questionable work on motors and they convince their clients to drink the koolaid and believe that its normal for your engine to blow up often and you NEED to rebuild it every year. they had a couple r1's in there with crank failures they blame on yamaha but when i saw another race team with a blown crank they admitted they used the wrong size bearing and it was the only one that blew so who knows. they also say the rods are garbage because they overlooked balancing an engine and blew the rod almost right after it was built. its easier to put it on Facebook that yamaha is defective and get people talking about believing it then it is to admit you messed up.

09 R1 black/gold SOLD

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post #10 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 02:30 AM
My R1 eats me.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jstilly85 View Post
Yea Stig, I read some of your posts. Yours was really the one I was referring to. Wonder how much a Yamaha 2-year warranty would cost on a used bike. Unless I can get one, I will probably pass. This scares the hell out of me. It doesn't seem like there are a ton of cases, but i'm not even sure how many people are riding around on 15+ R1's in the US.
I don't know if it's pertinent or not but I purchased a 4 year extended service contract on my 2018 R1M for $890. I think there was some shave room in there that my dealership got me with, but everyone needs to make their cut. Hopefully you can find a service plan at a rate cheaper than what I paid.
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post #11 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 09:19 PM
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I've got over 12k on my 15 r1 and it had the trans recall performed early on. no problems and no worries in my mind. I've tracked it, raced it and still street ride it. its still a monster.

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post #12 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 05:27 AM
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11K miles on my '15 with the recall done at 3K miles
never an issue
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post #13 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 05:29 AM Thread Starter
Considering Another R1
 
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Thanks for the input, Ive made the decision to move forward with the purchase. I can't wait to jump on and do some riding. Its been awhile.

Kawi 07' ZZR600 (Sold)
Yama 09' YZF-R6 (Sold)
Kawi 11’ ZX10R (Sold)
Yama 05’ R1 (Sold)
Yama 11’ FZ8 (Sold)
Kawi 11’ ZX10R (Sold)
Kawi 15’ ZX10R (Sold)

... Currently looking to purchase another bike
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post #14 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 04:23 PM
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I just picked up a new 2018 R1S and got the 5 year coverage for less than $700. Too cheap to pass up. Loving it so far.
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post #15 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 04:45 PM
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I bought a new 2015 from a dealership. Rode it for a few thousand miles, then raced it for two years in a local series in two classes. So a total of about 30 races.

So at the end of the last season, I had the engine taken apart to inspect it because it was down on power at the last race of 2018.

We found:
Wear on crank journals.
Wear on wrist pins.
Rods were out of spec with the large end of the rods slightly out of round. Very small measurements of thousands of an inch, but enough to hammer the wrist pins.
Bottom of pistons stretched where wrist pin goes through.

Bottom line, my 2015 engine was worn out. And I changed oil/filter every race, always on top of the maintenance.

Others have guessed that the crank problems reported may be a combination of over pressurizing cylinders, or timing that is too advanced, or local tracks that have a very long straight which is where some of the 2015 crank breakage issues seem to show up. But it is clear that the oil passage design is an issue, but here in colorado the elevation is so high we never saw one break.

Note that in 2016 they added a thrust bearing the the crank to eliminate side-to-side slop and that helped, but in 2017 they changed the cases, crank, and even the valve springs now have two springs per valve (2017 on).

When I learned that my 2015 engine was done I said "no more silver motors for me" - meaning, no more 2015-2016 engines for me and I sold my backup bike.

I then purchased a salvaged 2017 engine with 500 miles, and I sent it to Gary Dean (crew chief for Kyle Wyman, former crew chief for Josh Herrin when he was on an R1). He is an expert R1 engine builder. He inspected it, said the engine was basically new, and we built it. Head work, and lots of other work. That was going to be my main bike for this year until I had an opportunity to get Bobby Fong's R1 from the Hudson MotoAmerica team. I bought that bike, pictured below, and I rebuilt the entire bike with new electronics and many other upgrades.

Through this experience, I have spoken with motoamerica team managers, and I have heard the following quotes that are interesting.

"all we have ever run in motoamerica is silver motors, and we have never had one go" - Westby Team

"we have never seen a silver R1 engine blow up in MotoAmerica" - westby team.

"titanium con rods are only good for about 3000 racing miles and then they are done" - literally 3 teams and a tuner all told me the same thing, which I witnessed with my engine teardown. The rods are fine for street use, but 3000+ miles of racing and they are done.

The 2020-2021 R1 will be all new, and will be revealed in July at the Suzuka 8 hour. It has been seen in the wild. Hopefully some of the crank issues will be resolved in the new design, as the motor will be all new.

Hope that helps.


John McKown
Parker, Colorado
MRA Expert #15
2018 Amateur Open Champion - 1st Place
2018 Formula 40 Champion - 2nd Place

Last edited by johnnymac511; 04-24-2019 at 04:52 PM.
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post #16 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 06:42 PM
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Titanium parts all have a fatigue life. They will go so long then failure will strike so they best in motors that see refreshes at regular intervals if you are continuously racing. These rods are plenty overbuilt for hard street riding. The life is extended by cryo-treating them and there is several race teams that will refresh the motor while the rods are still dimensionally in spec and will send them in for cryo-treatmeant again, it's kinda like a reset button on the fatigue cycle and they will throw them back in season after season.
17 went to the dual spring but the YEC springs are still single springs and Even for the 17 they replace the dual setup with the single spring YEC set. The crankcase also is an updated part number but it's just because of the black almost all the parts swap between 15 and 16 and 17. Cylinder head was updated for 17 but it's because they changed the shape of the valve cover. The 15 and 16 you can't get the valve cover out without taking off the radiator and pushing the cover through the front. 17 the fixed this but all the valves, ports, Chambers, all the same.

09 R1 black/gold SOLD

2015 R1M 007
2016 R1 Track
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post #17 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
Considering Another R1
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnymac511 View Post
I bought a new 2015 from a dealership. Rode it for a few thousand miles, then raced it for two years in a local series in two classes. So a total of about 30 races.

So at the end of the last season, I had the engine taken apart to inspect it because it was down on power at the last race of 2018.

We found:
Wear on crank journals.
Wear on wrist pins.
Rods were out of spec with the large end of the rods slightly out of round. Very small measurements of thousands of an inch, but enough to hammer the wrist pins.
Bottom of pistons stretched where wrist pin goes through.

Bottom line, my 2015 engine was worn out. And I changed oil/filter every race, always on top of the maintenance.

Others have guessed that the crank problems reported may be a combination of over pressurizing cylinders, or timing that is too advanced, or local tracks that have a very long straight which is where some of the 2015 crank breakage issues seem to show up. But it is clear that the oil passage design is an issue, but here in colorado the elevation is so high we never saw one break.

Note that in 2016 they added a thrust bearing the the crank to eliminate side-to-side slop and that helped, but in 2017 they changed the cases, crank, and even the valve springs now have two springs per valve (2017 on).

When I learned that my 2015 engine was done I said "no more silver motors for me" - meaning, no more 2015-2016 engines for me and I sold my backup bike.

I then purchased a salvaged 2017 engine with 500 miles, and I sent it to Gary Dean (crew chief for Kyle Wyman, former crew chief for Josh Herrin when he was on an R1). He is an expert R1 engine builder. He inspected it, said the engine was basically new, and we built it. Head work, and lots of other work. That was going to be my main bike for this year until I had an opportunity to get Bobby Fong's R1 from the Hudson MotoAmerica team. I bought that bike, pictured below, and I rebuilt the entire bike with new electronics and many other upgrades.

Through this experience, I have spoken with motoamerica team managers, and I have heard the following quotes that are interesting.

"all we have ever run in motoamerica is silver motors, and we have never had one go" - Westby Team

"we have never seen a silver R1 engine blow up in MotoAmerica" - westby team.

"titanium con rods are only good for about 3000 racing miles and then they are done" - literally 3 teams and a tuner all told me the same thing, which I witnessed with my engine teardown. The rods are fine for street use, but 3000+ miles of racing and they are done.

The 2020-2021 R1 will be all new, and will be revealed in July at the Suzuka 8 hour. It has been seen in the wild. Hopefully some of the crank issues will be resolved in the new design, as the motor will be all new.

Hope that helps.


This is great information. Honestly not sure how to interpret that though. I intend on using the bike for street only, as their are no tracks in my area. I’m 33 with 2 young kids, so trying to keep it as safe as possible.
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Kawi 07' ZZR600 (Sold)
Yama 09' YZF-R6 (Sold)
Kawi 11’ ZX10R (Sold)
Yama 05’ R1 (Sold)
Yama 11’ FZ8 (Sold)
Kawi 11’ ZX10R (Sold)
Kawi 15’ ZX10R (Sold)

... Currently looking to purchase another bike
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post #18 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jstilly85 View Post
This is great information. Honestly not sure how to interpret that though. I intend on using the bike for street only, as their are no tracks in my area. I’m 33 with 2 young kids, so trying to keep it as safe as possible.


For the street you will be fine.


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Parker, Colorado
MRA Expert #15
2018 Amateur Open Champion - 1st Place
2018 Formula 40 Champion - 2nd Place
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post #19 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jstilly85 View Post
This is great information. Honestly not sure how to interpret that though. I intend on using the bike for street only, as their are no tracks in my area. I’m 33 with 2 young kids, so trying to keep it as safe as possible.
Not trying to start a debate here but you may want to consider the idea that the Track (with exceptions) is prob much safer than riding on the street even if you never go over the speed limit.....

Good luck with your purchase though, if you get it.
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post #20 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
Considering Another R1
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banky View Post
Not trying to start a debate here but you may want to consider the idea that the Track (with exceptions) is prob much safer than riding on the street even if you never go over the speed limit.....

Good luck with your purchase though, if you get it.

Agreed. Unfortunately, Tracks aren't something you come by often in the south. I'm in Western Kentucky. From what I can gather, Bowling Green, Ky has a track that is only open to members, not sure how that works? Other than that, nothing within 300 miles. Unless there is another database/track finder that i'm not seeing. How much does a typical track day cost anyway?

Kawi 07' ZZR600 (Sold)
Yama 09' YZF-R6 (Sold)
Kawi 11’ ZX10R (Sold)
Yama 05’ R1 (Sold)
Yama 11’ FZ8 (Sold)
Kawi 11’ ZX10R (Sold)
Kawi 15’ ZX10R (Sold)

... Currently looking to purchase another bike
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