Yamaha has been making headlines left and right over the past few days, but this latest one is probably the one news item it didn’t want to happen. Unfortunately, any motorcycle company that needs to recall one of its bikes is put in this position, whether it likes it or not. Such is the case with Yamaha now that word has come out that a handful of its YZF-R3 sports bikes are being recalled due to defective upper triple clamps that have the possibility of cracking while the bike is moving.

The good news is that only 16 units of the R3 are affected by this recall, all of which were built between January 1, 2015 and August 31, 2015. The bad news is that the 16 owners who caught this run of luck are being advised not to ride their bikes until the issue has been addressed. A fractured upper triple clamp is serious business, especially if it’s not replaced properly. Riders won’t notice it when the bike is idle, but once it gets going, the defective clamps could crack at any moment’s notice, leading to a complete loss of steering and worse, a crash.

The company has already taken the measure of filing this recall with the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration so affected customers should expect notifications to come from Yamaha in the coming days. The company has said that these defective clamps will be replaced with new versions at no cost to the R3 owner. For more information, owners of the R3 shouldn’t hesitate on calling the NHTSA for more information regarding this particular recall.

Continue reading to learn more about the Yamaha YZF-R3 recall.

Why it matters

One one end, the defect was identified pretty quickly so at least Yamaha will be able to nip the problem in the bud before it gets worse. On the other hand, the issue is serious enough that I can’t help but wonder why it wasn’t spotted in any of the quality control tests done by Yamaha during the R3’s testing stage. It figures that a red flag should have been raised, especially when you consider that affected models were built only in 2015 and as recent as August 31, 2015. That was six weeks ago.

Right now, Yamaha’s saying that only 16 units are affected, but there’s also that possibility that there are more models that have not yet been identified as having the same problem. See, that’s eight months worth of manufacturing we’re talking about here. That’s a huge date range for only 16 models to be affected.

If I owned an R3, I’m not taking any chances at all, even if I bought my bike in 2014. I’m going to my local Yamaha dealership to have the bike’s upper triple clamp checked to determine if it’s defective or not. I don’t want any surprises to come to me when I’m riding my bike so if there’s a chance to take a pre-emptive action to ensure my own safety, I’m taking it. I suggest that actual owners of the R3 do the same thing. It’s bad enough that some of these models were built with a defective part; can you imagine how worse it’s going to get if a rider has a crash because of this?

Like I said, don’t take any chances. Have your R3 bikes checked as soon as possible. Sure, it’s a momentary inconvenience, but at the risk of what might happen if you don’t, take the time to get it looked at.

Source: NHTSA

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