Listen up, Yamaha YZF-R3 owners: the tuning-fork badged manufacturer issued two recalls for its smallest sportbike earlier this week. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the recall includes 11,280 2015-2016 model year vehicles manufactured January 1, 2015 to April 15, 2016.
The first issue affects the transmission. As the NHTSA describes it: “The clutch pressure plate bearing may break due to an insufficient load rating, causing the clutch to not disengage and preventing the transmission from shifting properly.” You could get stuck in a gear or between gears, which would make the bike difficult to control or slow down, increasing the risk of a crash. R3 owners have been notified by now, and should head straight to the dealer, where the clutch pressure plate bearing will be replaced free of charge.
The other recall addresses the R3’s oil pump. The NHTSA states that “Due to an oil pump problem, the oil pressure in these motorcycles may not be properly regulated.” This could cause the oil pump drive gear to fail, which in turn would cause the engine to seize from a lack of oil supply. Then the rear wheel could lock up, increasing the likelihood of a crash. As with the transmission issue, Yamaha has notified owners, who can get their bikes fixed for free at the dealership.
Though the bike was introduced just last year, this is not the first time its seen problems. Late last year, certain 2015 R3s manufactured from January 1 to August 31, 2015 were recalled due to “an incorrectly manufactured upper triple clamp (handle crown) that may crack while riding,” as reported by Motorcyclist.
The Yamaha R3 has received positive reviews since its release, lending competition to the growing entry-level 300cc class of streetbikes that includes the Kawasaki Ninja 300, Honda CBR300R, and KTM RC390.