Digital Edition Subscribers: Read Roadracing World Magazine Now >
Roadracing - An Online Service of Roadracing World Magazine
Feb 14, 2006

Yamaha Offers To Buy Back YZF-R6 Streetbikes Over Redline Claims

Yamaha Motor Corp. U.S.A. has offered to buy back YZF-R6 models purchased by customers who are unhappy that the motorcycle does not actually reach the advertised redline of 17,500 rpm. Dyno runs have shown that the bike actually turns about 16,000 rpm despite an optimistic tach reading. Peak power is produced below 16,000 rpm.

According to Yamaha Corporate Communications Manager Bob Starr, marketing and advertising plans for the new machine were formulated in the middle of last year based on technical specs sent to Yamaha Motor Corp. by factory product planners, before any 2006 YZF-R6 models had reached the U.S. The 17,500 rpm redline was featured in advertising and marketing materials, and riders at the worldwide press launch reported that the tach did reach an indicated 17,500 rpm.

But once bikes reached dealers and were run on the dyno, it became obvious that the engine actually hit the rev limiter at around 16,000 rpm, and would not rev to 17,500 rpm as advertised, despite what the tach read.

"We had no idea when we prepared the advertising and marketing materials that the bike would not rev to 17,500 rpm," said Starr in a conference call with this morning. "We used that in the materials because no other middleweight (street) motorcycle had ever revved that high and when people saw the tach, they said 'Wow!'

"As more of this came out, we let the factory know, we let our attorneys know," continued Starr, "and the attorneys said that this is an advertising and marketing issue, and we need to do something. So we sent a letter out to customers who had purchased R6s telling them that there is a tach error of about 9%. We're hopeful that they're satisfied with the bike, but if they're not, we'll buy it back. This applies to customers who took early delivery. When anybody buys an R6 from this point on, the dealer will explain that the tach is optimistic and that the bike will only rev to 16,000 rpm."

Yamaha Motorcycle Marketing Manager Mark Dipko, who also participated in the conference call, said "We had one dealer who called and said, 'If anybody gives them up, I'll buy them all.'"

The text of the letter sent by Yamaha to YZF-R6 purchasers follows:

Re: 2006 Yamaha YZF-R6 Motorcycle RPM Limit

Dear Customer:

Yamaha introduced and marketed the new 2006 YZF-R6 motorcycle with a red line limit of 17,500 RPM, as indicated on the tachometer. After testing production units, we have determined that the actual red line limit is approximately 16,000 RPM resulting in a tachometer error of roughly 9%. This has no affect whatsoever on the performance of the motorcycle.

We are extremely confident that, despite this error, the R6 will more than satisfy you in every way. However, if you are not satisfied with your motorcycle because of this discrepancy, we will repurchase it and will reimburse you the entire purchase price, including any setup fees, taxes or interest that you have paid in connection with your purchase of this motorcycle.

If you choose to have your 2006 YZF-R6 repurchased, please check where indicated below, sign this letter and return it to Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A., Attn.: 2006 YZF-R6 Buyback, 6555 Katella Ave., Cypress, CA 90630 in the stamped envelope provided. Yamaha must receive this letter indicating this choice by March 15, 2006, or we will assume that you have decided to keep and enjoy your motorcycle.

Our goal is to ensure your satisfaction, both now and in the future. We would like to sincerely apologize for this error and any inconvenience it may have caused you, and also to thank you for your continued support of Yamaha.

Best Regards.

Dennis McNeal
Vice President
Motorcycle Operations
Yamaha Motor Corp

I would like Yamaha Motor U.S. to repurchase the 2006 YZF-R6 that I recently purchased.

Acknowledged and agreed:
Printed Name:
Contact Telephone Number: ___________________
Vin Number
Top 5 This Week