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Old 12th June 2009, 11:41   #1
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Default My Yamaha R1 woes - Engine troubles EDIT - Now Resolved

Hi aadix,

Not sure if this is the right thread to post this up, but here goes.

While on a slightly longish South Indian tour on the R1 in December, somewhere near Salem TN, the intake valve guide in the 3rd cylinder gave out, and caused the valve to improperly function. The engine began spluttering and there was a major power loss, with a lot of ticking noise. I initially put it down to bad fuel, and delicately rode back to Bangalore.

Once in Bangalore, even after using 97 octane this problem did not go away. I brought it to the notice of the service centre, who were not completely sure what was happening. There were chances of an electrical problem, since my battery had died out on the same trip. So with the service centre not knowing what the issue is, and Yamaha's inputs, I went about diagnosing the issue on my own, and also with the help of a friend from another forum.

I spent almost a month and a half, chasing down a non-existent electrical issue, and finally I turned towards the mechanicals. We changed batteries, examined the harness, The service centre, who were also clueless, were assisting me in the diagnosis process decided that they will bring down the head of service for the CBUs. After a week or two, the person came, and verified that the 3rd cylinder was not functioning properly. I was told that a clogged injector was the issue, and that after cleaning it, I could ride the bike. The injectors were cleaned, and Bosch who does the ultrasonic cleaning, confirmed that the injectors were in good condition, with no traces of adulterated fuel found. This threw out bad fuel as being the cause of this problem.

This was informed to Yamaha, who then advised me to change the plugs. The order was placed for the plugs, and I was told that it would take about 2 weeks for the plugs to come through.

I wasn't convinced about this line of diagnosis, so I continued trying to find the problem on my own. I went about changing fuel lines, the fuel pump, etc. By now it was March, and I turned to the engine. Checked the condition of the plugs, which were in bad shape. This indicated an issue with the engine.

This was when I decided to do a compression test. I didn't have a compression gauge, and I sourced one from praJeep and tested it. As I expected, cylinder 3 had very low compression, 25 PSI as against the 160 PSI minimum. This confirmed a serious problem, and I decided to ground the bike, even if Yamaha did not ask me to do so immediately.

That happened on 22/3/09.

I reported the findings to Yamaha's top service brass in Delhi through the regional service personnel. The reaction was expected. They had not expected a mechanical issue in their flagship R1, so they went into a shell. They asked the service centre to order the valves, and told me they'll fly in and fix it up once the parts are here in Bangalore. Fair enough. After this, I wanted to do a leak down test to confirm whether it is an issue with the valves or the piston. But I could not acquire a leak down tester to confirm the same, but in my mind, I knew it was an intake valve issue. So I left the bike the service centre, and to Yamaha, thinking they will swing into action now.

But what happened later on added to my frustration. The parts took nearly a month and a half to arrive. The reason given to me was that the parts were out of stock in Singapore, which is where they usually depend for parts. They apparently checked in Japan as well, and they couldn't find the parts there. Finally, they sourced it from Yamaha Europe, and all except one from the 9 parts ordered arrived by the 24th of May. The last part was hand carried by Yamaha's service personnel from Delhi. On 25th, they opened the head up, and found that the damage was much more extensive than they expected. The valve had spun around out of spec and had made it's own seat, causing major leakage. As it continued to operate, the valve began shearing off, and in the end, all that was left was a tiny bit from where the stem was. The guide was almost worn beyond any hope.

So, they decided to replace the head as well. The head was ordered, and because I was complaining up and down the hierarchy, it was airlifted to Singapore. This was informed to me by the Yamaha personnel when they came here for an event they held for R15/FZ owners here in Bangalore on 31st of May,.

That's the last update I have till date. So the bike is off the road since the past 2.5 months, and it is causing a lot of heartburn because I'm paying EMIs for a vehicle I am not using. It is just sitting there in the service center.

Anyway, I have been talking to the service centre and Yamaha for the warranty, since this is clearly a component failure. They are non committal on this point, which takes the cake. I also looked up some R1 groups in Australia, who complained of the exact same issues, and they had their valves, guides, and in one case the head also replaced under warranty by Yamaha. So they are definitely aware of the problem, and this being a manufacturing issue. I have sent Yamaha India the links and pics of the affected bikes in Australia, and they have been quiet on the issue.

People tell me I've been very patient with how things have been going with my bike, and it's been a frustrating few months with regards to this issue. I am done pointing fingers at Yamaha as the timeline, and the circumstances speak for themselves. All I want is to have my bike back on the road, and without them penalising me for it.

All said and done, I still believe in Yamaha and their machines. So much so that I am working towards the purchase of the MT01 as well. But there is only so much I can love a company and their products, if they are not backing me up the way I want them to.

Again, sorry if this is the wrong thread. But I hope this serves as a preventive warning to all the R1 owners, who have to immediately stop the bike, if they find one or more of the following issues with their 07/08 R1s.

1) Ticking noise (not to be confused with knocking), from the right side of the engine, where the valve clearances are checked and adjusted (rotor cover).
2) Power loss, and misfiring under acceleration.
3) Spark plugs showing rich AFR.


Peace. Not sure if I want another thread for this, but interested people can PM me, I'll keep them updated on what happens.
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Old 12th June 2009, 14:43   #2
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Akhil.. I never knew that you are in TBhp. I had been following your threads in the other bhp forum for quite a long time.

Sad to hear about your bike. And being one of the first official R1's in India, they should not let you down.

Anyways, keep us updated about the progress.
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Old 12th June 2009, 15:04   #3
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I've probably shared most of the misery Akhil has had to endure over the last 3 months. I didn't expect such tawdry response from Yamaha with their flagship model. I am also going to be extremely upset if they dish out some nonsense about this being out of warranty because there are several other bikes with similar problems in Australia etc.

I've been yearning for the other big Yam...the MT01 and I've just booked my bike last week. I can assure you that I am going to be gauging Yamaha's response over the next couple of weeks to make sure they acknowledge the issue and deliver the service that we expect of them.

Otherwise we may just have yet another Skoda on our hands
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Old 12th June 2009, 15:13   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossiter View Post

1) Ticking noise (not to be confused with knocking), from the right side of the engine, where the valve clearances are checked and adjusted (rotor cover).

hmm. had the ticking sound for a few hours a month back, but by the time the yam guys came to check it out, it has stopped and never came back.

read up what ever there was about this on the r1-forums, and what i learnt from it was that the ticking problem was a normal issue. whats your take on this? what exactly is this ticking issue? i have heard it on other r1's also.

is your ticking sound constant, or comes and goes?

had misfiring and startup issues intially, but 97 octane solved that.


@gsferrari: what was the exact problem with yamaha?

Last edited by aadix : 12th June 2009 at 15:17.
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Old 12th June 2009, 15:38   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aadix View Post
hmm. had the ticking sound for a few hours a month back, but by the time the yam guys came to check it out, it has stopped and never came back.

read up what ever there was about this on the r1-forums, and what i learnt from it was that the ticking problem was a normal issue. whats your take on this? what exactly is this ticking issue? i have heard it on other r1's also.

is your ticking sound constant, or comes and goes?

had misfiring and startup issues intially, but 97 octane solved that.


@gsferrari: what was the exact problem with yamaha?
Hi Aadix - I don't have my bike yet...delivery in 10 days time...or thereabouts.

Right now Akhil's R1 makes no sound. Standing waiting for the parts to arrive. The problem is that the 3rd cylinder inlet valve wore through the valve guide and the action became more side-ways. this also wore out some of the squish-zone in the head. Messy...

I want them to fix Akhil's bike pronto...or I'll be riding the MT-01 around constantly dreading the consequences of something going wrong...

Note from the Team-BHP Support Team : Please take the time to use proper punctuation as per Team-BHP rules. Avoid...typing...like...this. Thanks.

Last edited by Technocrat : 12th June 2009 at 16:40. Reason: Please read the note in post
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Old 12th June 2009, 15:38   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsferrari View Post
I've been yearning for the other big Yam...the MT01 and I've just booked my bike last week.
Many congrats! Give a call when you're down at Chennai.
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Old 12th June 2009, 15:41   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossiter View Post
...So the bike is off the road since the past 2.5 months, and it is causing a lot of heartburn because I'm paying EMIs for a vehicle I am not using....
That is and has to be the worst thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gsferrari View Post
I've been yearning for the other big Yam...the MT01 and I've just booked my bike last week. I can assure you that I am going to be gauging Yamaha's response over the next couple of weeks to make sure they acknowledge the issue and deliver the service that we expect of them.

Otherwise we may just have yet another Skoda on our hands
Congratulations on booking what you have been after a long time, gs.

Yamaha has a reputation to maintain and I certainly hope they don't pull of a skodastrophe.
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Old 12th June 2009, 17:15   #8
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Good to see you here. I have been following your thread in other forums.

Sad to see what you are going through after spending SO much money. Yamaha might have got carried away with the success of R15 and FZ16.

Keep us updated with the progress.
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Old 13th June 2009, 20:58   #9
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Didn't know another thread had been opened about this. Thanks Techno

@aadix: Go here:

"#4 Intake Valve Guide Failure..." : Yamaha R1 Forum

Thanks for the kind words guys. I will have some info tomorrow, so will update here.
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Old 15th June 2009, 13:12   #10
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Any updates Akhil? I hope you got some good news.
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Old 15th June 2009, 13:49   #11
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Well that's sad , Yamaha taking such a long time and giving lame excuses doesn't look professional .Waiting for months together to first find the issue and then talking even more time to source the parts and then the fix part . Do no if they are even capable of putting things back together .

Now if they dont give warranty , that will be fantastic customer service for a person/ppl who have paid over >TWELEVE LAKH INDIAN RUPEES .Yamaha wake up , many ppl are seeing/watching this , your actions and response will be counted upon .

You pay premium money to get pathetic service . Why should we pay 3 times bike cost compared to somewhere else ?

Last edited by black12rr : 15th June 2009 at 13:53.
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Old 15th June 2009, 15:10   #12
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@Techno: Yes, I have some updates, but it's not very good.

Yamaha is now saying that the head will arrive on Friday. But I'm at the end of the line. Have decided to sell the R1 off. I'll be putting it up for sale at the end of the month, in whatever condition it is, running or not. I've got no faith in them if I face any other problem later on, that they will have my back and fix things quickly.

Frankly, though I love my bike, I have bigger things to worry about, and take care of than spending time everyday chasing the service centre, Yamaha, etc to fix my bike. And like black12rr says, it's definitely not the kind of support I was expecting for the money I paid. I have emailed them telling them to fix it up at their own convenience, and to their satisfaction.

It is very painful to come to this decision, because I am really sentimental about my R1. But peace of mind is more important in the long run.

GSferrari would always tell me that the scenario isn't ready for these bikes, and I'd always disagree. But going by my own experience, I have to say that he's right. I just hope Honda and Suzuki learn from how things are with Yamaha.
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Old 15th June 2009, 15:42   #13
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Thats Sad to know Akhil but I totally understand your decision & agree with it.
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Old 15th June 2009, 16:04   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossiter View Post
@Techno: Yes, I have some updates, but it's not very good.

Yamaha is now saying that the head will arrive on Friday. But I'm at the end of the line. Have decided to sell the R1 off. I'll be putting it up for sale at the end of the month, in whatever condition it is, running or not. I've got no faith in them if I face any other problem later on, that they will have my back and fix things quickly.

Frankly, though I love my bike, I have bigger things to worry about, and take care of than spending time everyday chasing the service centre, Yamaha, etc to fix my bike. And like black12rr says, it's definitely not the kind of support I was expecting for the money I paid. I have emailed them telling them to fix it up at their own convenience, and to their satisfaction.

It is very painful to come to this decision, because I am really sentimental about my R1. But peace of mind is more important in the long run.

GSferrari would always tell me that the scenario isn't ready for these bikes, and I'd always disagree. But going by my own experience, I have to say that he's right. I just hope Honda and Suzuki learn from how things are with Yamaha.
Akhil... really sorry to read what happened but then this isnt the best way forward, selling your bike. We are not superbike country so the competence of mechanics for such issues would be strictly below average. Yamaha on their part are doing whatever they can to bring your bike back to life, but its only circumstancial that its taking time. Have faith... your litre would be back soon.
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Old 15th June 2009, 16:45   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossiter View Post
The valve had spun around out of spec and had made it's own seat, causing major leakage. As it continued to operate, the valve began shearing off, and in the end, all that was left was a tiny bit from where the stem was. The guide was almost worn beyond any hope.
Does this mean that there are bits of valve in your crankcase? and your engine might have been running with metal in it?
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