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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
UPDATE8: We have 2 more reports (on social media). Both US customers. One happened at 2 hours / 18 miles and the other at 2-3 hours and 33 miles. Both were taking it very easy when it happened. Yamaha has taken care of ALL customers affected and I haven't heard of a negative response from affected customers from Yamaha corporate or from dealerships until now. One customer is what seems to me to be getting the run around from his dealership and we can only wait to see what happens after the dealership finalizes its inspection.

I'm hearing more reports of transmission fluid that was filled from the factory being too light and not being gear oil. Those of you doing your 1st service, please take note of what color and viscosity the transmission oil is when you drain it. Despite these reports of non gear oil being used, the bearing should still have adequate lubrication vs gear oil.

If it turns out to be a bad batch of bearings, then doing my 'jack the passenger side up' trick isn't going to really make a difference, but until we have more data to confirm or deny one or the other (bad bearing vs installed dry), I'm suggesting to give it a try.


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UPDATE7: This latest update is from information and reports (some first hand, most 2nd hand that I trust) that support the following theory where I feel comfortable enough to make a statement. I want to remind everyone that the only thing I can safely say from Yamaha is that it's a small number of vehicles affected. All other information is NOT official Yamaha. From what I've gathered, this is not a bad bearing from a manufacturing defect, but a bearing that wasn't properly packed with grease or pre-lubed prior to install. The bearing is #3 in this diagram:

2021 Yamaha WOLVERINE RMAX 4 LE (YXF10WPLML) Transmission | Flemington Yamaha

and is splash lubricated by transmission oil. So what can you do? Something you can do and not compromise your warranty is double-check your transmission oil level as shown in page 9-21 of your owner's manual. Something else you could do that wouldn't void your warranty is before you take her out for her first spin is jack the passenger side up high enough to change a tire which will help get oil into the bearing (if it's dry) and leave it that way for some time. Make sure you follow common sense precautions such as using wheel chucks and jack stands for proper safety.

Now, for those of you who are anal-retentive like me I'll give you fair warning: The following could very well void your warranty, so if you do so you take full responsibility in doing so. ALL customers that have had problems have been taken care of by Yamaha so I suggest you just take your chances, but some of you want more direct control of fate like me. If it were me, I would over fill the transmission, jack up the passenger side and leave it that way for a day and then do a VERY SLOW SHORT ride down my road, I'm talking less than 1/4 mile and less than 5 MPH, pull her in the driveway and drain the transmission to the full mark. Suction pumps are great for this vs pulling the drain plug but do what you're comfortable with.

Those of you who subscribe to the 'break her in SendItStyle', I guarantee you if you have a dry bearing, yours will have a greater chance of failing than someone who follows Yamaha's break-in guidelines and maybe that bearing will get some splash lubrication before you hammer on it.

UPDATE6: Concerning the 4WD vibration issue: A low number of units are affected and owners are being notified who are affected, which fall within a specific VIN range. I have no reason to doubt the report given to KingKongQuisha but we've had the bearing issue on both RMAX2 and RMAX4 models, not just RMAX4. The length of the drive shaft causing vibration\isolation has merit, but the front drive shaft going to the front diff is the same on the RMAX2 and RMAX4, which is #B4J-G6109-00-00

Guess what? The RMAX2 and RMAX4 also share the same rear driveshaft #B4J-G6172-00-00

I've had that 4WD vibration on my X4 and it's still going strong at 11K miles and that vibration only happens at higher speeds on surfaces with no slippage (pavement). It's normal, but apparently KingKingQuisha's is higher than normal.

I don't recommend 4WD at high speeds, especially on pavement. That's just me. There's no advanced mechanism to compensate for different front/rear wheel speeds like in a AWD car other than your rubber tires and accelerated gear wear. Those of you who've driven old school 4WD vehicles(cars) have already chimed in. This goes for any SxS that doesn't have some sort of mechanical or hydraulic compensation for front/rear wheel speed mismatch.

Until I hear further, I'm treating the vibration issue separate from the bearing issue and I want to emphasize that some vibration in 4WD, especially at higher speeds and\or hard pack is normal.

UPDATE5:
Two more US customers at 30 and 88 miles.

UPDATE4: Two more in Canada. 15 and 105 miles (Being Canadian, they were given in km initially)

UPDATE3: Two more units, both in Canada suffered failures at 14 and 70 miles. No statistics update and Yamaha Canada is an entirely different beast so their numbers probably won't be tracked with US.

UPDATE2: 14-15 units out of about 1300, so that's 1.1% I am not being fed numbers from Corporate. I'm simply gathering info, some directly from affected customers, some from dealers, and what others report that I feel is credible. I AM NOT speaking officially for Yamaha. I'll let you know any data I present can be officially backed up by corporate.

UPDATE: Third-hand info; says so far 14-15 units affected, based on previous sales total that would put us up to 2.5%, but I also don't have updated total sales specs. It is a bad bearing at the input shaft of of the secondary sheave into the transmission. I have spoken to one dealer and based on the conversation it looked to be an incorrectly installed component that led to the bearing failure, so we can't say for sure if it's a bad part, or incorrectly-installed part.It's not the wet clutch, it's not the sheaves.......any sheave damage is a by-product of the bearing failing. The secondary sheave is what's attached to the shaft that rides in that bearing so naturally that's what can get damaged as a result.

My opinion, based on what I've gathered, is that if you own an RMAX and have put a decent number of miles on it it, let's say break-in period, you can probably rest assured you're not affected.

Original post:

There have been 4 units affected so far. That's .67% (note the decimal) of total units sold. So far, they have all happened very quickly and the issues haven't occurred after hundreds of miles. If it's going to happen, it's going to happen fairly quickly. It is not bad clutches/sheaves but something in the transmission. This is fairly reliable information but I'll update for accuracy if need be. It is most likely not bad parts or bad engineering but improper installation. The transmission on the RMAX/X2/X4 is now divorced from the engine, which is a good thing for many reasons including this latest issue. if a dealer is replacing both the engine and transmission, my only guess is it's out of convenience and not because one damaged the other.

As always, I like to maintain as much transparency as possible.
 

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Is there any indication that it is going? Like a sound or loss of power or something?
 

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There have been 4 units affected so far. That's .67% (note the decimal) of total units sold. So far, they have all happened very quickly and the issues haven't occurred after hundreds of miles. If it's going to happen, it's going to happen fairly quickly. It is not bad clutches/sheaves but something in the transmission. This is fairly reliable information but I'll update for accuracy if need be. It is most likely not bad parts or bad engineering but improper installation. The transmission on the RMAX/X2/X4 is now divorced from the engine, which is a good thing for many reasons including this latest issue. if a dealer is replacing both the engine and transmission, my only guess is it's out of convenience and not because one damaged the other.

As always, I like to maintain as much transparency as possible.
Interesting. Hopefully it stays a rare thing. As JEL asked. Please keep us posted on any possible symptoms.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Is there any indication that it is going? Like a sound or loss of power or something?
When it happens, it seems to be all-of-a-sudden and something gradual.
 

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Yikes! Reading this after someone posted about their order being canceled. I'm wondering if they discovered something during the assembly process that would allow a part to be installed two different ways, and it's a luck of the draw if you got it installed correctly or not.

If this is the case, i could see them halting production to figure out a fool proof assembly process or to push through an engineering design change to keep it from happening.
 

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Yeah, thats what I was alluding to in the thread where his was cancelled. There is certainly more to it than meets the eye. One with a machine would be out of warranty before fully exposed. Best check with you respective dealers for your warranty and or getting the extended just in case
 
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Holy Polaris Batman!!!!!!
Sold the rzr 900s.. got a 3 month wait still for my rmax.. Holy Polaris indeed! (deep down hopfully not dear god)
I had 5 years of being scared every time I got too far away from home in hopes I will make it back.. if I have to think of that one more time ..:sick:.. I will hold onto faith for now
 

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Corporate sabotage. Polaris knew they needed more than color changes for the General so they infiltrated Yamaha and tried to show them how to build a machine. That was just a joke folks. Hopefully this will be figured out quickly and all affected machines will be fixed properly.
 

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For me, this is why you should always get the extended warranty on a newly released machine when major changes are involved.
 

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Has anyone found any sort of "deal" on the YES for the RMAX??
 

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Has anyone got some level of confirmation of an issue from their dealer. They do get notices. Question is if the admit a problem exists. Prompt for better deal as you feel forced/compelled to invest being an early adopter of the machine.
 

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If this is fact and the dealer aware. He should understand your need for considering spending money you did not feel was needed. If any issue related to this will be covered by an extended warranty. There should be a discount for those opting to fork out $$$ because of a manufacturing fault.

As time goes on. I'd would be contacting my dealer while in warranty before the opportunity passes. If it was me and my machine.
 
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