Yamaha is recalling all 2015 YZF-R1 and YZF-R1M motorcycles to address a problem with their transmissions. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has yet to formally announce the recall but Yamaha has proceeded to notify customers.
According to a letter Yamaha sent to customers and dealers, the second gear wheel and pinion gears may break as a result of extremely high stress or improper braking. Yamaha attributes the problem to inadequate component strength and stress concentration at the gear teeth bottom land. The third and fourth wheel gears may also get deformed or break under excessive stress. Should any of these gears fail, the transmission can completely lock up, potentially causing a loss of control.
Yamaha dealers will replace the entire transmission assembly with a new one with differently-designed gears. The work is fairly substantial, with Yamaha estimating about 16 hours of work. We hope to provide more details about the problem once a full recall announcement is posted by NHTSA.