Yamaha Stops Shipment Of YZF-R1 After Finding Issues With Sound Testing

2023 Yamaha R1. Photo: Yamaha

Yamaha’s Japanese factory has stopped shipping R1 superbikes after authorities investigated the company’s sound testing procedures.

The news came out earlier this week when Yamaha issued a press release announcing the issue with its sound testing protocol. The PR started with an apology to its customers, an announcement of the suspension on R1 shipments, and then an explanation of what was going on. The TL/DR summary is this: Japanese authorities started digging into Yamaha’s testing protocols, directing Yamaha to “investigate whether or not there was any misconduct by the Company when submitting applications for model designations.” Yamaha did this, and they say they found two incidents of “inappropriate handling during certification tests.

According to Yamaha, previous R3 and TMAX models had improper noise emissions testing.

There is nothing mechanically wrong with the bikes, and no functional issues—if you have one of these bikes, you should be good to keep riding it. In fact, since these appear to be regulatory issues with Japanese domestic market bikes, the noise emissions testing hiccups are probably not applicable to Canadian customers.

However, the Japanese government is taking this very seriously, and Yamaha says that even though they’ve re-tested the R1 and it still meets the emissions standards, they’ve stopped shipments. Says the PR:

The model currently offered for sale that was tested under inappropriate conditions was retested under the correct conditions and found to still be in compliance with standards.

Shipments of the product concerned have been suspended at this time. We will take the necessary corrective steps following the resubmission of retest reports and other consultations with the relevant authorities. No issue has been found that will affect continued use of the vehicle, i.e., units we have currently suspended shipment of as well as those that have already been shipped.

So after all that, what’s the result? Yamaha posted some details on new testing protocols, and we expect to hear no more about this in the future… unless other OEMs are also put under the microscope by the Japanese authorities. A temporary halt to R1 sales isn’t a huge dent in the global moto market, but if other, more popular bikes from Japan see regulatory issues, that might be a much bigger deal.

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