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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.
 

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R6 Tranny issues

Hi Motofabio -

Sorry for resurrecting such an old post but this is exactly what I was looking for.

I'm looking to race an R6 and being aware they had/have tranny issues I've shyed away from them. Has the problem been resolved after a particular model year? I'd still love to race an R6 (I'm partial to Yamaha having owned FZR600's and R-1's) but I won't unless the tranny is good.

Thanks!
 

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The problem is in fact due to rider error, however due to the design of the gears(there are only three dog teeth) it is easy to mess it up. The shift into 2nd usually occurs at high RPM and a sloppy/hard shift can cause the dog ears to start wearing, which in turn start bending the fork when the gear pops out and wearing away at the shift drum. Both gears need replacing along with the fork and shift drum, and wouldnt hurt for new springs either. While Yamaha has since placed more dog ears on the gears to help prevent this, it can still happen, just less often. The way to prevent this is to be extra carefull to get a good shift to second gear. Its a long throw because of nutral, so make sure you dont let the clutch out to soon. If your a do it yourselfer you can drop the engine, crack the case open and replace those parts with brand new ones for right around 200 dollars.
 

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So you're saying the "notch" on the shift drum is the "effect" and not the "cause"? I'm not convinced of that since I've read many posts from people who insist they shift into 2nd positively and without undue harshness.

If I was using the R6 for the street I'd be less concerned but under the harsh extremes of racing a tranny that pops out of gear is a huge annoyance.

I would like to know what model year Yamaha added the extra dog gears.
 

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It isn't just Yamaha's, my F3 has the exact same problem as described in second gear, very frusrating going WOT in second and it pops out of gear half the time.
 

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k i still don't get it so what is the main problem? rider error or the tranny? I find that my bike is hard to shift from 1st -2nd hard to do at high rpms deos this mean i need to fix mine and what parts do i need?
 

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How much is this fix at a shop? I want to buy an R6 for my first bike but I plan to do a lot of track days. Every article I've read with the 99-02 R6 has said how notchy the gear box is. A pro level rider even said it was "hard to shift" and that was being nice. I don't need to be leaning the bike over in a corner concentrating on making a clean shift because the tranny sucks rather than focusing on my lines.

FTR, my YZ125 did the same sh*t. It was VERY ANNOYING and I know that I wouldn't want to ride a bike that did that.
 

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1st to 2nd

Hi guys,

I have this problem, but I'm not sure if it's related to what you guys are talking about. When I shift from 1st to 2nd at around 3k to 4k rpm, it makes this clunck noise. Anyone know what that is? It's an 03

Also, sometimes when I have to stop fast, i pull the clutch, and then I break (so the bike is still in gear), then when I come to a stop or almost to a stop, I downshift and nothing happens, the bike makes no noise to indicate that it shifted down. so I have to slowly engage the bike to the friction zone, and then i down shift then i hear it downshifting, is that normal?
 
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