Hello everyone. This is my first post in this forum, but I'm certainly no stranger to on-line forums and such. Those that know me, well, you know. So I just wanted to start out with a hello
Anyway, I'm sure this issue has already been discussed at length on this site, but I just wanted to add some important and possibly new information I've learned through my experience. I hope I don't get responses like "Welcome to last week, buddy." or "Gee that's just too long to read.".
I took delivery of the very first 2001 R6 to come to Los Angeles. Picked it up the day it arrived at the dealership. I had never ridden a street bike aside from in the CC Rider class, but logged many hours in the dirt years earlier.
I immediately noticed that shifting was rough, but was assured by the service techs at the dealership that ALL motorcycle shift a little rough and are a little jumpy going from neutral into 1st, etc.
A few months down the line I experienced my first false neutral. 6th gear on the freeway at like 80mph! I thought the chain broke! Everything looked cool, so I kept on truckin'.
So it never shifted nicely into second, but I had nothing to compare it to. It was difficult to shift and it would chatter and shake the bike. And it sounded terrible! CRRRRRRAAARRARACK!! I had had it serviced many times and the mechanics never brought it to my attention that it shifted particularly rough, so I figured that was normal... until it started to slip out of second.
Every once in a while, while hard on the gas, it would come out of second and into neutral. This became progressively worse until it wouldn't stay in 2nd at all.
I took it to the dealer, hoping that my 5-year YES warranty would cover it. I learned there that YES means NO. Yamaha maintained that the transmission is designed to spec and that it must be rider error. So I searched on line for anyone having similar issues and of course, I found TONS of R6 owners with the same exact problem. Rider error my ass.
So the dealer wanted me to sign a $1500 work order to check it out and possibly drop in a new tranny. Wow. No. I took it to a local shop and they started in on it.
HERE'S THE TECHNICAL PART...
The shift fork was bent from 2nd gear coming off 6th and flying back onto it. The 2nd and 6th gears' dogs were all worn. They replaced my bent 2nd gear shift fork and not just 2nd and 6th gears, but the entire transmission, just to be safe.
I got it back and it still shifted rough. They asked that I just ride it for a while and see what happens. Sure enough, the tranny shifted rough. Putting it into second had the identical symptoms as before. Same chatter, same terrible noise. It started to slip again. Oh nooooo!!
Back into the shop it went. Upon super close inspection by an AMA Yamaha Factory Team Mechanic they found that the TRANSMISSION DRUM, not the transmission, was the source of the problem!
HERE'S THE SUPER TECHNICAL PART...
For those that don't know, the transmission drum is the controller for the position of the shift forks. At the bottom of the shift fork there is a little button that fits into the grooves of the transmission drum. As you shift, you roll that drum. The shift fork rides through the galleys of the drum and in turn moves horizontally, in turn repositioning the gears.
On that drum, in the groove where the 2nd gear fork rides, there was a little notch. Very, very hard to see but gliding the fork through the drum by hand you can feel where the fork gets stuck or has difficulty getting past a certain point. This is the point just before 2nd gear is mated up with 6th gear!
Since there is NO POSSIBLE WAY for a rider to damage the transmission drum, I have come to the conclusion that YAMAHA had manufactured a batch of transmission drums with this mistake in the milling. That is why no one can find anything wrong with the transmission, linkage, etc.! It's a defect in the drum that is being overlooked.
And since not ALL R6 transmissions suffer from this dilemma, it's also reasonable to state that it was only some of the drums that were sent off in this condition. Damn I wish I had photos!
This is something that YAMAHA needs to recall!!! But the expense would be tremendous so they probably will not.
I now have a new transmission drum, new gears and a new shift fork. It glides in like butter! It's an unbelievable difference. And now that I have had the bike in both conditions, I can tell right off the bat who needs a new drum and who doesn't.
If you think that your R6 shifts rough and you are in the Los Angeles area, stop by SFV Bikenight
. I'll be happy to tell you in a few shifts if your tranny is going to take a dump or not. Just ask for fabio. Just about everyone there knows me.
I sincerely hope this helps the many, many R6 riders out there wondering what the F is wrong with their transmission. And hopefully this will arm you with some good information when you go to have it fixed... as most places won't get it right.