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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
My local BMW dealer stands behind Bren tunes. Has not voided my warranties on any of my bikes
That's good to know. If it turns out the failure was not caused by something I did, I will probably get rid of the R1 and stay away from Yamaha for good. Switching to BMW from a Japanese brand for reliability reasons sounds backwards.
 

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Venom X/O
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That's good to know. If it turns out the failure was not caused by something I did, I will probably get rid of the R1 and stay away from Yamaha for good. Switching to BMW from a Japanese brand for reliability reasons sounds backwards.
Except BMW’s are having engine failures too.
 

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That's good to know. If it turns out the failure was not caused by something I did, I will probably get rid of the R1 and stay away from Yamaha for good. Switching to BMW from a Japanese brand for reliability reasons sounds backwards.
If you think Japanese is bad because of this, wait until you meet bmw motorad...

Yamaha makes a great product and the r1 is a choice piece of equipment.

If you want bulletproof tough, you want something from Suzuki or honda. If you want performance, Yamaha is the way to go. Kawasaki is a good middle ground.

This is just my opinion of course, and it's free, so take it for what it's worth.
 

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Caveat: This post is still early in the diagnosis process, but I wanted to hear from others on this forum.
About a week ago I discovered my 2020 R1M with ~24000 miles wouldn't start. Battery problems were ruled out because I couldn't jump or bump start it. I had it towed to an authorized Yamaha dealer. They drained the oil and found parts; ball bearings, pieces of [connecting?] rod, etc. That obviously means an engine rebuild. The dealer thinks the cause is probably the oil I've been using, specifically its viscosity.

Here is what I've been told so far:
"15w50 is the proper oil [for my motorcycle]"
"These engines are very sensitive to oil weight/viscosity"
(From a non-Yamaha dealer, but very highly rated and services Japanese sport bikes): "The R1M calls for 15w50 however oil viscosity is a range depending temperature and usage. Generally they don't build engines from the factory where if you deviate from the exact oil all of a sudden it blows up. There are tolerances built in."

My first question is WHERE are they getting this because it's not in the user or service manual that I can see. Can anyone cite the page in the manual that says "15w50 is preferred over 10w40"?
Is it common knowledge that only technicians know about?
Should I have been changing to 15w50 in the spring when it gets warmer and back to 10w40 in the fall?

I think I've read all relevant posts in r1-forum, including:
PurpleLion: "YamahaLube synthetic, or Motul 300V (some Ester base but short drain intervals) or Motul 7100 (PAO base with some Ester in additive package), or Red Line (ester base)."
"I believe that 7100 is a PAO (group IV) based real synthetic with some ester (group V in the additive package). Probably very similar to YamahaLube 15W50. It is designed for extended drain intervals. "
ravenracr: "I am also using motul 7100." (Doesn't say if it's a 2015+)
RavenNOR: "Im probly going with Motul 7100."
lionshark: "I use amsoil 10w40...extended drain. Great protection. Love it. Little pricey tho...would consider mutol "

Here's some history:
At the risk of sounding pathetic, I've not used this bike anywhere near as hard as I think some owners have. Always less than 20 mi/h over the speed limit (because the speeding laws in my area are some of the harshest). The bike has never seen red line, and rarely gets near 10,000. It's never been to the track (was preparing to go this year). No stunting and the front tire rarely leaves the ground. I replace the rear tire (michelin power rs) about every 8000 miles (when it still has about 10-15% life left). I just found the first minor problem in the original chain that came with the bike, a stuck link. The sprockets have no visible wear that I can see. I had to replace the original factory-installed rear brake pads at about 22,000 mi, and got both front and rear brake fluid changed (the front brake pad had about 50% of its life left at that time).

I've always used MOTUL 7100 10W40 and K&N KN-204 purchased from amazon, done oil/filter changes myself every 4000 mi.
I forget the exact reason, but I'm certain these played some part in that choice:
Page 8-15 of owners manual: "Recommended engine oil: Full synthetic 10W-40, 15W-50"
Page 2-2 of service manual: "Recommended Type: 10W-40, 15W-50; Recommended engine oil grade: API service SG type or higher, JASO standard MA"

The 600 mi service was done at the dealer I bought it from brand NEW and the 4000 mi service was done at the same dealer it's at now.
Every 4000 mi since then I've called a nearby Yamaha dealer and prepared to have it serviced, but it usually goes something like this:
Dealer: What's the problem with the bike, have you done basic maintenance; lube chain, oil changes (not mentioning type of oil except "full synthetic"), etc?
Me: No problems. Yes, I've done the basics very diligently.
Them: Bring it in at 26,000 mi for valves because it's just going to be a waste of time and money for us to tear it apart to find nothing wrong with it.

I believe this was true up until two weeks ago. The bike felt/sounded/ran perfectly until I hit the start button and quickly degraded in the next several hours, sounding more and more like the starter was struggling. Of course, I waited several hours between start attempts after connecting a battery tender. I never heard any odd noises or felt anything wrong while riding it. There were ZERO signs up until the starter problem. There were no noticeable rough sounds when I tried to bump start it, but by then I think the damage was already complete.

I've done most of the periodic maintenance myself at the correct intervals (so I'm basically screwed because Yamaha is probably not going to recognize that in their warranty decision). I delayed changing spark plugs because when the dealer did them at 4000 mi they said they didn't need changing. I changed them at about 16000 mi and they were in good condition.

Mods: (Will post complete details after I hear Yamaha's decision whether or not to honor the extended warranty.) No mechanical alterations to the engine. Basically nothing that many others haven't done and aren't well tested by companies like brentuning, for example. Nothing like replacing core engine parts or raising rpm limits.
Use Yama lube for life of the engine and Yamaha will warranty the engine for life
 

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Bits of rod???, ball bearings?? It isn't the starter that shit itself and dumped trash into the sump?
If the dealer's telling you it's the oil i'd be getting it out of there asap. He's lining you up for a nice big bill. you could put damn near any multigrade in it without problems if you weren't thrashing it on the redline or lugging thing around at 2000 revs. Do some research, look up some of Kevin Cameron's stuff from Cycle World would be a good start instead of asking people who generally have nothing factual to offer. IOW take some initiative and try and learn something rather than hoping for big daddy to tell you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
It isn't the starter that shit itself and dumped trash into the sump?"
This is possible? I can't tell from the diagram in the service manual (page 5-50)?
Given that I saw no signs before the starter problems, that sounds like the most reasonable explanation so far, and I hope it's right, but I'm not a mechanic. You could also be right about a major dealer chain in a large city with a 4.5 out of 5 rating trying to get some extra cash from Yamaha, because the bike is in warranty.

As for doing research, I've done my share; 5+ hours when I replaced the clutch on another bike, 4+ hours when I did the spark plugs on the R1, and probably 20+ more for various other tasks on the same bike. Keep in mind this is all somewhat new, I just started riding 3 years ago and had no previous mechanical experience.

I believe people here that say using 10w40 probably isn't the main cause, but I also trust the Yamaha dealer and the other places I've received advise from (see quote above starting with "the R1M calls for 15w50"). All mention "sensitivity" to oil. This does not sync with what Yamaha's own engineers (or translators) wrote in the manual: "10w40 OR 15w50" with no preference for either mentioned.
 

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This is possible? I can't tell from the diagram in the service manual (page 5-50)?
Given that I saw no signs before the starter problems, that sounds like the most reasonable explanation so far, and I hope it's right, but I'm not a mechanic. You could also be right about a major dealer chain in a large city with a 4.5 out of 5 rating trying to get some extra cash from Yamaha, because the bike is in warranty.

As for doing research, I've done my share; 5+ hours when I replaced the clutch on another bike, 4+ hours when I did the spark plugs on the R1, and probably 20+ more for various other tasks on the same bike. Keep in mind this is all somewhat new, I just started riding 3 years ago and had no previous mechanical experience.

I believe people here that say using 10w40 probably isn't the main cause, but I also trust the Yamaha dealer and the other places I've received advise from (see quote above starting with "the R1M calls for 15w50"). All mention "sensitivity" to oil. This does not sync with what Yamaha's own engineers (or translators) wrote in the manual: "10w40 OR 15w50" with no preference for either mentioned.
15/50 is preferred in warmer climates. I'll dig in the manual. It's in there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
You really wont know what came apart until the motor is disassembled. Once you find out what failed, then you can figure out why.
Update: The dealer is still tearing down the engine but gave me more specifics about what they found; "bits of brass and bearings, probably one or all connecting rods have failed". After speaking with other shops in the area, they all think my bike is in good hands (in one of the largest dealers in the DC area), referring to the manager by name.
When I spoke with the manager today, he also told me they have a 2nd R1 that recently came in with a major engine issue, and said the situation is "extremely bizarre".
 

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Damn man that sucks! I hope you get it resolved. I was talking to my mechanic and he told me to go with the motul 300V 5w30 every 3000 miles. He builds alot of R1 engines for different race teams for motoamerica. He said the heavier oils keep from lubricating alot of things and getting into small crevices and things that need lubrication. He knows more than I do and I trust him. If you need it rebuilt and want someone with over 20yrs of experience he is not the cheapest but it will be done right. Just let me know. I know him personally he is a great guy honest as anyone I have ever seen. This is a Article in Road Racing Magazine they did on his shop.
Tire Wheel Helmet Motorcycle Automotive tire
Tire Wheel Land vehicle Vehicle Motorcycle
Newspaper Publication Wall Adaptation Font
Tire Automotive tire Wheel Motor vehicle Art
 

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I agree with running 5w-30 300v in the R1. A motul rep gave me this same advice.
This oil travels better throughout the motor.

You just need to be really good about changing it at 2-3k miles for normal riding or change it after a few trackdays/races to be safe.

I run it with an oem filter. Yes....it is pricey but I just try to invest in keeping the bike tip top.

Other oils n weight/grade work great too. To each their own

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
 

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Flash definitely voids warranty.
Use Yama lube for life of the engine and Yamaha will warranty the engine for life

Will they try to deny a warranty claim. Sure but legally they can't and you'd have standing to sue.

We're (US buyers) protected under the Magnuson-Moss warranty act.



Warrantors cannot require that only branded parts be used with the product in order to retain the warranty.[7] This is commonly referred to as the "tie-in sales" provisions[8] and is frequently mentioned in the context of third-party computer parts, such as memory and hard drives...

The federal minimum standards for full warranties are waived if the warrantor can show that the problem associated with a warranted consumer product was caused by damage while in the possession of the consumer, or by unreasonable use, including a failure to provide reasonable and necessary maintenance...
In a civil case it's their responsibility to prove with a preponderance of evidence.

  • The aftermarket parts used are responsible for the damage or
  • You failed to perform maintenance or
  • You were negligent in your use of the product

Have you been following the maintenance schedule outlined in the owners manual?

Did the oil you use meet the specifications listed in the owners manual? Including the ambient temperature range listed? If it says 10w-40 is only good up to 95f and you admit you were doing track days in 115f they could win.

Even with the tune it's on them to prove its the culprit and "because it's a tune" isn't a preponderance of evidence.

Don't be surprised if you go waiving a print out of this bill that they still deny your coverage. You may end up having to sue them to get them to cover the repairs. Though sometimes a demand letter citing this bill on a law firm letter head is all it takes which is much cheaper than a new engine.

Depending on the cost of the repair you may be able to do it all in small claims court if it comes to that.
 

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Venom X/O
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Will they try to deny a warranty claim. Sure but legally they can't and you'd have standing to sue.

We're (US buyers) protected under the Magnuson-Moss warranty act.





In a civil case it's their responsibility to prove with a preponderance of evidence.

  • The aftermarket parts used are responsible for the damage or
  • You failed to perform maintenance or
  • You were negligent in your use of the product

Have you been following the maintenance schedule outlined in the owners manual?

Did the oil you use meet the specifications listed in the owners manual? Including the ambient temperature range listed? If it says 10w-40 is only good up to 95f and you admit you were doing track days in 115f they could win.

Even with the tune it's on them to prove its the culprit and "because it's a tune" isn't a preponderance of evidence.

Don't be surprised if you go waiving a print out of this bill that they still deny your coverage. You may end up having to sue them to get them to cover the repairs. Though sometimes a demand letter citing this bill on a law firm letter head is all it takes which is much cheaper than a new engine.

Depending on the cost of the repair you may be able to do it all in small claims court if it comes to that.
You try and prove that altering fuel and engine mapping didn’t lead to an engine failure. You’ll lose in court for sure. Altering factory software isn’t the same as adding a hard drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Thanks for the detailed advice.
Did the oil you use meet the specifications listed in the owners manual?
From Yamaha 2020 R1/R1M service manual Page 2-2:
SAE viscosity grades 10W-40, 15W-50
Recommended engine oil grade API service SG type or higher, JASO standard MA
MOTUL 7100 10W-40 specs:
API SL/SH/SG and JASO MA
So, the answer is yes.

Including the ambient temperature range listed? If it says 10w-40 is only good up to 95f and you admit you were doing track days in 115f they could win.
No track days and no pushing it anywhere near red line. I don't think I ever rode it once when it was above 95F. If I did it was last summer and made it another 4000 miles afterward. The warmest it's been this year when I rode it was around 70, maybe 75.
There are 173 mentions of the word "temperature" in the service manual and none of them are about oil. There are only two mentions of "15w-50", and there is no mention of a preference for use in higher temperatures or otherwise. This is assuming acrobat reader's search function is reliable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
If you think Japanese is bad because of this, wait until you meet bmw motorad...
No, I think the particular bike that I happened to get is a G.D.F. piece of garbage.
I'm waiting to see the result of the warranty decision, and then I will decide if Yamaha, the company, is bad or not.
I've worked as an engineer (both software and mechanical), and if any company is telling you their QC is infallible or NONE of the 20,000 parts that each of the 1000's of products sell doesn't have any flaws, they are lying.

We will see about BMW. I've put a deposit on a 2022 s1000rr, and will probably sell the R1M after it gets fixed, along with the $4000 carbon wheels I bought 2 weeks before this nonsense began. Talk about bad luck.
Depending on the source you have, Triumph gets worse marks than BMW and my $12,000 2015 675 has outlasted that P.O.S. $26,000 R1M by 6000 miles and 2 years.

Yamaha makes a great product and the r1 is a choice piece of equipment.
No company has 100% perfect quality control. Obviously the particular bike I bought wasn't "choice".

If you want bulletproof tough...
I want a product that won't fail massively if you do what the manual says, within some small margin of error. IF the problem turns out to be oil, there is a massive failure here.
And I really don't care what kind it is. There are many types of failures; design, manufacturing, communication, among others. Yamaha seems to have failed at communication, which is just as bad as anything else.

I still don't have an update on the status because the Yamaha dealer is taking their time diagnosing the problem. When I called a week or two ago, they said they had three 2015+ R1s with starting issues.
 

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Look, plenty of guys here love their r1's and absolutely send them every chance they get.

I'll quote bob the oil guy, the type of oil really doesn't matter that much so long as you have oil in there.

Do bikes have mechanical failures? Sure. BMW is in no way immune.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Sorry for your bad luck. Hopefully Yammie does the right thing and warrants your bike.
if you’re selling carbon wheels I might be Interested.
Here they are:
All packaging and materials are still available, including the box it was shipped to me in, the sturdiest cardboard I've ever seen. Since I bought them they've been stored safely at the same motorcycle dealer I was going to have them installed. I'm willing to let them go for less than I paid obviously, but I'm still a little bit hopeful about my R1 so don't make an offer that's too low.
 
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