If you have some time, check out this brilliant breakdown by youtuber “The Workshop” regarding the
There was some chatter on the internet a few months after the first 2015 R1 models were released regarding spun bearings and crankshaft failures, but nothing came of it. The only issues Yamaha acknowledged were regarding the gearboxes and a recall was done.
2015 R1 crankshaft failure
2015 R1 Crankshaft failure
Finally after a long time, a detailed analysis was done by this youtuber and he’s identified what may have most likely caused these failures. Essentially, the crankshaft is able to move side to side (from left to right side of the bike) and as it wears away into the bearing mounts, the balancer shaft weight hits the crank, breaking the shaft in the same spot on many, many bikes.
crankshaft plastic model 2015 r1
Plastic model showing how the crankshaft play causes the crankshaft weights to meet and strike each other.


FEA analysis of 2015 R1 crankshaft
FEA Analysis of crankshaft being struck by balancer shaft
This theory is further backed up by marks on the crankshaft as the balancer shaft has made brief contact on a few occasions prior to the ultimate failure.
The 2015 R1 crankshaft with damage due to brief strikes by the balancer shaft.
The 2015 R1 crankshaft with damage due to brief strikes by the balancer shaft.
R1 crankshaft showing damage from balancer shaft interference
The 2015 R1 crankshaft with damage due to brief strikes by the balancer shaft.
The smoking gun is also the fact that Yamaha has quietly added thrust washers to the crankshaft in 2016 onwards to stop/reduce the crank end play. Hate to say it but even with the washers, it’s only a matter of time…
2016 R1 parts manual
Crankshaft thrust washer 2CR-11426-00 which has been quietly added to the 2016+ R1 model parts manual
thrust washer
Crankshaft thrust washer 2CR-11426-00
This isn’t the first time Yamaha has done stuff like this! Check out this article about the 2005 onwards R1 models with the charging system failures!

6 thoughts on “2015 Yamaha R1 Crankshaft Failures”

  1. I think mines just about to snap.. it took me a long time to find out why my clutch boss was also wearing and you could hear a distinct knock while just idling. I’m going to try to inquire for a new motor replaced by Yamaha at their expenses and hopefully no more problems come up after that.

    1. No good mate! Hope you get it sorted. It’s a very expensive fix getting yamaha to do it.

    2. How did things go with Yamaha? I’m in the same situation and was thinking about a class action lawsuit. There are far too many of these engines that are breaking crankshafts. I just drained my oil and found metal in it ‍♂️

      1. Hi mate, refer to the video in my post and see how far the guy has got. I think he was filing a lawsuit?

  2. Something interesting to consider about the thrust washers Yamaha implemented. I’m in the US so the parts numbers I looked up may not be applicable to NZ. According to the parts supplier ronayers.com, the thrust washer used in the 2016 model are different from the thrust washers used in the 2017-2020 models.

    2016 – (part# 2CR-11426-00-00)
    2017+ – (part# BW8-11426-00-00).

    Makes me wonder if they still had issues and used thicker washers from 2017 onward.

    1. Thanks for sharing that Trevor.
      One thing that makes me hate Yamaha is how they do that, quietly change out parts for extremely critical components. I’m sure other manufacturers do the same but Yamaha seems to do it for important things rather than issue a recall!

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