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Discussion Starter #1
Boy, I have a good one for your guys.

As some of you may know, I have the FZ from the first batch from November 2013. I have nearly 22,000 miles of easy riding- no wheelies, no drag racing- just a lot of commuting in NYC and some highway jaunts- and the occasional twisty roads.

Generally the bike has performed well- I didnt even have issues with the fueling really and have made it a nice-ish sports-touring machine. The only problem I have had is seized bolts- corrosion from salt on the roads and in the air I guess (esp since I ride in all seasons, including cold winters with salt on the roads)...I have had to take many out and treat them with anti-seize or use new bolts. Once, I had to take it to the shop to take out this long bolt that goes through the engine so that I could take it out and install a centerstand.

So, happy with what they had done earlier and even though they are about 40 minutes away, I went back to the same shop a few weeks later, to get new sprockets and chain installed. After I left it with them, I get a call a little while later saying that there is a hole in the crankcase! So, I get back and they finally let me into the shop (normally they wont let customers come in) and showed me the problem.

The hole happened where a bolt holds the front sprocket cover on the bottom of the sprocket. The bolt (still on the cover) was still inside the broken piece of the crankcase. The shop guys said it could be due to the chain and because it was too loose. It really wasn't. They seemed to have backed up the adjusting screw too (which I had very recently un-seized using heat) further than I had left it and kept insisting it must be it- though they themselves had never seen anything like this happen. They said it must have happened a long time ago and that oil had been dripping. If that were the case, it should have spilled on my tires and made me fall but nothing of that sort happened. Tires are clean and I still have my bones intact

Since I have the extended warranty/YES, I decided to file for claim through these guys who submitted pictures and paperwork. It was rejected in 3 days by the Yamaha tech, wherever he is, citing the same things the shop guy told me. In fact, he went one step further. To paraphrase, he said the break "must have been due to chain that seems to be beyond its serviceable life..has multiple seized links...plus see off road tires which means owner must have gone off-roading which the bike is not meant to do and it can stress the chain..etc etc"

I find this assessment problematic specially because he is assuming I went off-road, which I did not. Regardless, it is also problematic because, he is failing to show how even a severely loose chain will hit the lower part of the front sprocket cover hard enough to break the crankcase- without the chain breaking. Even a simple look shows a lot of clearance between the bolt piece and where the chain sits. In the picture you will see that even when it is completely off the wheel, the chain barely reaches that point. The chain may have been in its last legs but it wasn't broken (obviously) and it wasn't so loose that it would be slapping around so much to cause the breakage- the centerstand would cause some serious noise if it did.

My theory is that, as with the history of this bike, it must have been a seized bolt (considering that part has never been opened- not by me at least), that when the shop guys tried to remove, snapped off that piece off the crankcase and now they are trying to cover up and are distracting the Yamaha tech with their theory. This is annoying because it will be a tedious and expensive job for me if Yamaha does not pay up.

What are your thoughts? How loose does a chain have to be to be able to break that part? Theories? Suggestions?
Your insights would be appreciated.


On the lift:
20160514_111419.jpg


Closer look:
20160514_111406.jpg



Broken part of crankcase still attached to the bolt, still inside the sprocket cover.
IMG_1169.jpg

20160514_111410.jpg
 

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No doubt in my mind they broke it when trying to remove the bolt. If they won't make it right I'd talk to a attorney. A firmly written letter from a lawyer might open some eyes. Also the charge for the letter will most likely be cheaper that the repair bill.
 

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This answer is actually quite easy. If the broken boss doesn't have any indications of chain slap, it was the failed attempt to remove that bolt. That said, loose chains can, and do, cause damage. However, there will be evidence of chain contact. Personally, I'd have a hard time believing the excessive chain slap theory for this failure.
 

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I suspect you are right about how the case was broken. Any marks on the bolt head indicating they tried to remove it with force ala impact wrench? Any marks on the inside of the cover where the chain touched it?
 

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This answer is actually quite easy. If the broken boss doesn't have any indications of chain slap, it was the failed attempt to remove that bolt. That said, loose chains can, and do, cause damage. However, there will be evidence of chain contact. Personally, I'd have a hard time believing the excessive chain slap theory for this failure.
Great minds think alike.
 

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Without doubt, broken off when twisting off the bolt. I bet if you look close, you could see evidence of "twisting" and zero evidence of chain impact. And when I say twisting, i'm talking about the engine block/case, and the part that broke off.
 

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IMO: Most definitely a break when trying to remove. Given the location and the length of that casting; the torque/moment applied with a corroded fastener is a recipe for disaster. Shame on Yamaha for a Poor design, it should have been a small embedment with that distance made up with a spacer or extra length in the sprocket cover.

Luckily is a relatively open area and can likely be 'welded' back into place without too much trouble. Still a PIA and a shame that they are not owning up to it; we have all had our share of F-Ups.
 

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If you have been riding with the broken case like they said, then why is the aluminum so clean where it is broken off at? Why are there no marks on the case where the chain would have hit? looks like it hasn't been ridden with the case broken or cracked. They broke it. Make them fix it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
When I looked at the cover that day..it was dark and there was grime but I did not see any chain slapping marks...the area around it looked "clean" (i.e. there was grease but no scuffs).
I asked the shop to send me more pictures of the sprocket cover and the bolt earlier this morning. When I called to send the initial pics, they did it instantly. This, they haven't sent yet...so waiting...
 

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I can actually see a seized link on that chain.and a completely trashed front sprocket. Don't know about the broken bolt....but there is a lot of evidence of poor bike maintenance.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I can actually see a seized link on that chain.and a completely trashed front sprocket. Don't know about the broken bolt....but there is a lot of evidence of poor bike maintenance.
Well, in my defense, I have never changed the chain myself and relied on shops to do it for me. If I had taken off the front cover, I may have seen the front sprocket and changed it earlier... But the chain has always been lubed on schedule or immediately after rains. Ditto for bike cleaning. A poorly maintained bike would not survive a 21K+ life through all conditions without any real issues. Guess, now I will start doing chain changes myself as well.
 

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If you look at the broken off part it shows no sign of oil leakage on any of its surface and neither does the hole it left, clean as a whistle. Ditto on lack of any signs of chain slap as noted previously by others on here. Too much leverage and torque can be a bad thing when removing a seized bolt, looks like the casting gave way under the forces the shop applied to the bolt in their removal attempt. I know I have snapped heads off of bolts and conversely had failures such as this happen when working on seized bolts (luckily not on anything as expensive as a motor vehicle).
 

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Well, in my defense, I have never changed the chain myself and relied on shops to do it for me. If I had taken off the front cover, I may have seen the front sprocket and changed it earlier... But the chain has always been lubed on schedule or immediately after rains. Ditto for bike cleaning. A poorly maintained bike would not survive a 21K+ life through all conditions without any real issues. Guess, now I will start doing chain changes myself as well.
I'm not trying to be a dick...but you have knobby tires on that FZ 09 and you ride through the snow and the salt in New York City. Plus the bike is covered in salt stains and is filthy. How long do you think a STREET motorcycle will last in those conditions? You need a big dual purpose bike that is made and designed to endure the sand and snow and salt.
 

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that bike has been abused
the owner failed to coat high-use fasteners such as axle nuts and the like with anti-seize
, so when he went to remove the bolt with his impact, he twisted the bolt boss off the crankcase
 

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I will say... that area of the bike is caked with oil and dirt. Which doesn't help your argument. It's not like it's clean, and they claim it's been leaking. It's filthy, and gives the impression that it has been at least cracked, and leaking slowly, collecting dirt, for a long time.

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Discussion Starter #19
I'm not trying to be a dick...but you have knobby tires on that FZ 09 and you ride through the snow and the salt in New York City. Plus the bike is covered in salt stains and is filthy. How long do you think a STREET motorcycle will last in those conditions? You need a big dual purpose bike that is made and designed to endure the sand and snow and salt.
Actually, pretty long. Not my first bike to go through all this. A lot of places have these conditions and companies like Yamaha should make bikes with simple things like anti-seize, corrosion resistant bolts etc to fight these conditions- its not news to them.
I am sorry I like riding so much that I don't mind a bit of rain- its a bike, not a show piece. Anyway, the question of the bolt is not related to that- what are your thoughts on the chain slap breaking that part since that is the thesis given to me. Have you seen it happen? What other conditions could make that part break?
 

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I'm not trying to be a dick...but you have knobby tires on that FZ 09 and you ride through the snow and the salt in New York City. Plus the bike is covered in salt stains and is filthy. How long do you think a STREET motorcycle will last in those conditions? You need a big dual purpose bike that is made and designed to endure the sand and snow and salt.
is a bike sold for street use not supposed to hold up to typical street conditions? tires are tires....radials go mud-bogging and knobbys on drag strips, saying that because there are knobbies, you offroaded the bike is a big effin fallacy along with a bold-ass assumption. now if the argument was: oh, well of course your motorcycle broke when you drove into a lake...it's not a jet-ski!!!, i understand this. but to say that a bike meant to be ridden on the street will OBVIOUSLY fail when ridden in typical street conditions is pretty stupid if ya ask me. here's a hint: MANY hundreds of thousands of miles in the U.S. are gravel/dirt. yes there are better bikes for these roads, but the FZ does amazingly.
 
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