5 Most Common Yamaha FZ6R Problems (Explained)

The Yamaha FZ6R is the race-styled edition of the FZ6 street bike.

Lightweight and easy to handle, the FZ6R offers plenty of throttle for easy balancing without being overtly powerful and uncontrollable.

A state-of-the-art ECU governs its liquid-cooled cooling and fuel injection, and its 600cc inline four-cylinder engine delivers smooth power.

It’s one of the best sports bikes to learn on in the game, but what are its common problems?

We’ve listed them in detail below!

1. Faulty Throttle Position Sensor

One of the most common issues with early versions of the Yamaha FZ6R was its faulty Throttle Position Sensors or TPS. The TPS communicates with the motorcycle’s Electronic Computer Unit (ECU); when the TPS fails, its signal to the ECU is interrupted, forcing the FZ6 into limp mode.   

The throttle position sensor is an intricate part of the fuel injection system.

The system also includes a part Yamaha calls the Intake Air Pressure Sensor, which reads the intake air pressure to the ECU, then compares the reading to that of the atmospheric pressure.

The ECU then cross-references all this data with data from the upcoming air and fuel injection densities and RPMs to regulate air-to-fuel distribution, ignition, etc., at thousands of times per second.

  • Like the other sensors in its system, the TPS gives the ECU data, specifically how opened or closed the throttle is.
  • The accuracy of the TPS is essential on an ECU-regulated moto like the FZ6R, as the ECU adjusts several other systems based on how rapidly you’re throttling up and down.
  • It’s also cross-referencing this information against the sensor data mentioned earlier, adjusting these processes accordingly, in real-time, while you ride.

To prevent the failure of critical and ECU-regulated systems, the ECU will enter a “limp mode” if the TPS fails to relay its data or relays inaccurate information.  The “Limp Mode” keeps the engine power at a significantly lower performance until the TPS can be read, as accelerating your throttle and boosting air: fuel flow at the wrong time can cause engine damage and risks an accident.

What are the Symptoms of a Faulty Throttle Position Sensor on a Yamaha FZ6R?

  • Frequent Stall Outs
  • Uneven Idle
  • RPMs Dip when Throttling Up or attempting to maintain Consistent Speed.
  • Noticeable Dip in Fuel Mileage
  • Weak Throttle Response

2. Shifting Problems; Faulty Shift Cam Segment Stopper

In early 2015, Yamaha issued a large-scale recall on 4,900 units of multiple motorcycle models, including any FZ6R manufactured between September 1, 2014, and November 17, 2014. The affected models were fitted with a poorly manufactured shift cam segment stopper, causing shifting problems.

  • The shift cam segment stopper is Yamaha’s fancy phrasing to describe the piece that prevents your bike from hitting neutral when shifting between 1st and 2nd gear.
  • The inside of the shift cam segment stopper on the FZ6R was initially engineered to be round and smooth inside the stopper’s bend for seamless functioning.
  • The inside bend on the improperly manufactured stoppers had sharp edges instead of smooth ones.
  • These sharp edges tended to crack at the sharp edges, fracturing and causing rough and missed shifting problems.

Here’s a description of what happened when a TPS failed on a 2004 Yamaha FZ6 straight from the mouth of the bike owner:

“For two seasons, this FZ6 has acted up on our tours. After 45 min to several hours, there is a power loss and no idle. You have to rev like a maniac to keep it from stalling. The exhaust turns blackish and smelly. [The motorcycle issued] no error codes except one (33) but changing coil for 1&4 did nothing.
After 10 minutes rest, it goes away but may reappear (or not) at any time during a day’s ride.”

If you’re experiencing shifting problems on a 2014 Yamaha FZ6R used, run your VIN at the NHTSA website to see if your model was affected and qualified for an upgraded shift cam segment stopper for free, including installation.

Your local Yamaha dealership was made aware of this situation in 2015, but not all affected models were taken in for repairs.

Related: 11 Common Problems With the Yamaha R6 (Solution Guide)

3. Worn Valves Seals; Oil in the Air: Fuel Mix

If your Yamaha FZ6R blows thick, blue-black smoke, it may be due to oil burning up in the combustion chamber. Oil leaking into the combustion chamber on a Yamaha FZ6R is widespread on models that don’t have their valves inspected or adjusted per Yamaha’s specified service intervals.  

Valve stem seals govern the flow of oil into the engine for cooling and lubrication by regulating the amount of oil the valve allows into its stem.

The valve then transfers the oil where it needs to go for proper engine lubrication.

While too little oil can cause overheating and engine damage, a worn valve seal allows too much extra oil into the motor.

In some cases, Yamaha FZ6R riders who haven’t had their valves inspected in a while catch the valve seal problem by recognizing the following early signs of excessive oil in their engine:

  • Increase in Engin Oil Consumption
  • Lower fuel efficiency
  • Dip in the FZ6R’s engine power.
  • Increased exhaust emissions:
  • Worn Valve Seats

The valve stem seal stops excess oil from entering your combustion chamber; if it goes unaddressed, it can cause irreversible engine damage, resulting in total failure.

If you fail to catch the excess oil the worn valve seals allow into your engine before the oil enters your combustion chamber, your Yamaha FZ6R will exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Engine oil collects at the heads during cold starts
  • Excessive exhaust; Yamaha FZ6R blows thick blueish and dark black exhaust smoke.
  • Oil levels keep dropping due to the worn seal’s inability to regulate the oil delivery and the constant combustion of oil in the cylinder chamber during the ignition cycle.
  • Oil builds around FZ6R’s engine head while idling.
  • Increase Engine Compression
  • Yamaha FZ6R keeps misfiring.

 While the owner’s manual doesn’t require valve inspections and adjustments on a Yamaha FZ6R as frequently as oil and air filter services, they are equally crucial to the bike’s performance, longevity, and reliability.

4. Steering Head Bearing Failure

Premature wear on the steering head bearings is possibly the most commonly reported problem with the Yamaha FZ6R. In some reports, riders claim their FZ6R’s steering head bearings were seized in less than 7,500 miles.

Steering head bearings are located inside the triple trees (where the frame, fork, and handlebars all meet) visible from the top when you turn your Yamaha handlebars from left to right.

Not only are the steering head bearings responsible for steering your sports bike from left to ride, but they also hold up and support your FZ6R’s entire front end.

Riders report that the steering head bearings on the Yamaha FZ6R wear much faster than is typical on most motorcycles, with multiple reports of a total steering bearing seizure with under 10k on the odometer.

  • Riders and mechanics often theorize that the issue is with the stock steering head bearing’s seal.
  • Consumer reports claim that the steering head bearing seal allows water into the bearings, causing corrosion and rapid wear and tear and eventually leading to total failure.
  • Therefore, replacing the failed bearings with new Yamaha steering head bearings isn’t always viable since the seal is just as ineffective.

Some riders make a point to protest Yamaha to cover the bearing replacement cost even though, as far as our research shows, the bike brand never acknowledged the issues, never mind recalled the part.  

Other riders see replacing weak bearings with more weak bearings as an illogical replacement, even if it is free, and pay out of pocket to have more reliable aftermarket steering head bearings installed.

If you go the latter route, ensure the bearings fit your year FZ6R.

5. Fork Oil Leaks

One of the most common complaints Yamaha FZ6R owners report is early or frequent fork seal leaks, which affect the motorcycle’s handling, steering, and front-end suspension.

The forks on a sport bike as capable as the Yamaha FZ6R are complex, filled with hydraulic fork oil, and sealed with seals to provide smooth front-end suspension and counterweight the front end for balanced handling.

  • While we could not verify a faulty manufacturing issue with the FZ6R’s fork seals, we know it’s often purchased as a starter sport bike.
  • New sports riders tend to ride hard and fast and lean the front end back and forth aggressively as they master their new riding style.
  • The forks on hard-ridden sport bikes take much abuse; pros change their fork oil and seals after every race.
  • Another possible reason for the frequent fork seal leaks on the Yamaha FZ6R is negligence.
  • And finally, using the wrong type or grade of fork oil in your Yamaha can cause friction, rough suspension, and wobbles, leading to blown fork seals.

Riding on worn seals can cause front-end wobbling, rough steering and handling, and irreparable damage to your motorcycle’s wheel and suspension.

Unlike brake, oil, and air filter services, many riders neglect the more complex and expensive fork oil and fork seal changes.

Pros and Cons

Pros 

  • High-Speed Beginner Sport Tourer with a 0-60 time of just 3,7 seconds.
  • A fully integrated center stand makes maintenance and proper storage a breeze.
  • Upright Position is less aggressive than other bikes in the sport tourer class, pulling you forward more.
  • Powerful and fully capable inline, four-cylinder, four-stroke liquid-cooled 600CC motor.
  • Actual Fuel economy tests produce results of up to 50 Miles Per Gallon on Average.
  • Fuel Tank aha, a 5,1 Gallon capacity, much more than other bikes in its class.
  • Industry-leading handling and ride quality.
  • Soft Suspension and high-revving engine create a fun and feisty ride dynamic.
  • Dependable brake performance.
  • Looks Tough and Stylish.
  • Fun to Ride 

Cons

  • Faulty Throttle Position Sensor
  • Shifting Problems; Faulty Shift Cam Segment Stopper
  • Worn Valves Seals; Oil in the Air: Fuel Mix
  • Steering Head Bearing Failure
  • Fork Oil Leaks

What Do the Reviews Say?

“After riding only Cruisers for seven years, I decided I needed a change. I spoke to the folks at a couple of local dealers and narrowed my search down to either the Suzuki Gladius or the Yamaha FZ6R.

I got a much better trade-in value for my V-Star 1300 Tourer from the folks at Yamaha, and they also were asking $1,500 less than the Suzuki dealer was asking for the Gladius.

I went with the FZ6R. It was quite a change in riding style and position from my previous bike. After a couple of hours of riding, I got more comfortable with the FZ6R’s higher seating and more nimble handling.

The dash display was well positioned for easy viewing, and it’s nice having a fuel gauge for a change.

The FZ6R handles the wind and open roads quite well, considering how much lighter the bike is compared to the Star 1300. Shifting is not as smooth but getting used to it quickly.

The fun factor is very high (I can’t wait to hop on it again). Engine power is not intimidating but by no means weak either; this bike has more than enough power to entertain most, if not all, riders. I will update my review after the 600-mile service, but the bike is great, and I highly recommend it.”

I purchased this bike with 0 miles for commuting and occasional weekend rides. I love the bike…but on second thought, I will sell it. Pros: power,77 or so…perfect for commuting Nimble handling Reliability, never had a problem. Cons: super uncomfortable over 1 hr ride, I’m 6 foot/200lbs Transmission clunks, I hate it, my old Honda was smoother At age 42 I have to change for more comfortable bike.”

SOURCE: Yamaha FZ6R Reviews Reviews on Cycle Insider

What’s the Resale Value of a Yamaha FZ6R?

YearMileagePrice
201123,010$4,999
201231,480$4,450
201412,709$6,195
20157,420$6,495
20176,441$7,999

What are Some Alternatives to the Yamaha FZ6R? 

Make/ModelMSRPAverage MPG
Yamaha FZ6R$7,79946
Suzuki SV650$7,39953
Kawasaki Versys$8,89946.1
Honda CBR 650F$8,74949

Sources:

Check for Recalls: Vehicle, Car Seat, Tire, Equipment | NHTSA

Yamaha FZ6R Reviews Reviews on Cycle Insider

Yamaha FZ6 Specs and Review • Road Sumo

How to Check Valve Stem Seals & 6 Signs They’re Leaking (globaleee.com)

Author:

  • Michael Ta Nous

    I've been weaving words into stories since my early scribbling days, and my journey in the world of motorcycles and their communities spans almost two decades. Living with a talented motorcycle mechanic as a roommate, our garage transformed into a vibrant workshop where I absorbed the intricacies of...

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