Those of you who know me know that I’m a huge Yamaha fanboy.

I’ve owned nearly every model in Yamaha’s MT naked bike lineup, and at present, my entire fleet of two-wheeled vehicles—as well as the piano I play when I’m not doing moto-related stuff—proudly wears the three tuning forks.

And so you could probably guess that I was pretty shocked to find out that Yamaha had been cheating on its vehicle testing. More specifically, the noise levels of certain models such as the TMAX, YZF-R3, and YZF-R1. Sure, falsifying noise data is by no means as serious as something like Volkswagen’s Dieselgate scandal, but hey, cheating’s cheating, right?

2022 Yamaha YZF-R1 World GP 60th Anniversary Edition - Straight

In true Japanese fashion, however, Yamaha was quick to own up to its wrongdoings, with company executives acknowledging the falsified noise level tests conducted on its bikes. It further promised to overhaul its testing process, and apologized to its “customers, suppliers, business partners, and all other stakeholders,” so yes, pretty much the entire world, for damaging their trust in the company.

To make matters worse, Yamaha HQ has gone as far as suspending the production of the affected models, thereby putting an indefinite stop to the shipments of the YZF-R1, YZF-R3, and TMAX until the issue has been resolved.

[Update] Yamaha reached out and stated that only Japan's domestic fleet has been put on a stop-sale, telling RideApart, "The issue recently announced in Japan does not affect overseas production units, Japanese domestic distribution only. The safety of the product has been confirmed, and YMC reports there are no concerns using the product with confidence. Yamaha takes incidents of inappropriate handling very seriously and offers our deepest apologies to our customers, suppliers, business partners, and all other stakeholders for damaging their trust in Yamaha Motor Co., LTD."

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With all that on the table, it’s clear as day that there’s a disconnect between what’s going on in the testing lab and in the real world. Nine times out of ten, a Yamaha YZF-R1 owner is going to swap out the stock breadbox for a lighter, flashier, and of course, louder exhaust system. I mean, I still have my Yamaha MT-10’s stock exhaust sitting in my shed from four years ago, despite having sold the bike last year. The new owner had no interest in taking its stock exhaust system, either.

And the same is probably true for YZF-R3 owners, and heck, maybe even TMAX owners.

So the fact of the matter is that a lot of us—myself included—wish that the bikes we rode came with louder exhausts right out of the factory, so we wouldn’t have to spend thousands of dollars on fancy exhaust systems just to get our bikes sounding the way we want them to sound.

Akrapovič Presents MotoGP-Inspired Slip-On Exhaust For Yamaha R3 And MT-03

What's the point of all the noise regulations if aftermarket exhausts like this exist and are also street-legal?

But hey, this isn’t the world we live in, and manufacturers need to follow these strict noise and emission rules if they want to stay in business. They basically wash their hands of any responsibility before turning the bikes over to us gearheads who will then undo years of R&D for the sake of a louder, more badass machine.

This begs the question: is there even any practicable sense in having these ultra-strict noise standards to begin with?

I guess the point I’m getting at here is that this whole issue of Yamaha falsifying its noise data doesn’t make me like the brand any less. Of course, what they did is by no means acceptable in terms of basic decency, but maybe there’s a bigger issue beneath the surface here.

But that’s a topic for another story.

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