Top end performance was the Yamaha R6’s strong point and still is. But with updated ECU and fuel injection, the highest ever compression seen on a Yamaha and variable height inlet trumpets (as used on this year’s R1), the R6’s midrange drive has been propped up. Not that there was a reliability issue with the R6, but Yamaha has revised various internals (camchain tensioner, oil-ways on the rods etc) to deal with the high rpm live it leads.
Ride and HandlingMCN rating
Biggest area of improvement with the Yamaha R6 happens here. The frame has been stiffened around the headstock to reduce braking effect through the frame and then reduced the frame’s overall stiffness for more agility. This is topped off with a heavier braced swingarm. The motorcycle is more stable but retains its quick steering ability. The suspension has been revised internally and is arguably the best mass-produced stuff on any current production bike. The bars are 5mm lower and angled slightly different, but it’s still the same motorcycle to ride; only better when riding faster.
As a pared to the bone supersports the Yamaha R6 is not loaded with niceties such as heated grips and panniers. The only equipment to shout about here is the fly-by-wire-throttle and variable inlet tracts. Yamaha crowed about the new magnesium alloy subframe (lighter by 450g) but the motorcycle’s overall weight hasn’t dropped due to the mechanicals operating the inlet tracts. But we love the new slimline tailpiece, reshaped fairing and colour schemes.
Quality and ReliabilityMCN rating
No qualms with the previous Yamaha R6 – apart from the lying tachometer (18,000rpm was the claimed figure, only 15,800rpm in reality) – so MCN doesn’t envisage any problems with this latest version. What is slightly annoying is the original 18lt tank size has dropped 0.7lt to 17.3lts.
If your view of a race-replica supersports 600 is a motorcycle that delivers high rpm performance, razor sharp handling and is finished off with looks straight from the race track, then the Yamaha R6 is yours. In answer to the question why not change this models looks from last year’s, Yamaha’s answer was that it means owners of the older bike won’t have bikes that look outdated and therefore the resale value won’t plummet. Find a Yamaha R6 for sale
Insurance group: 15
Compare motorcycle insurance quotes now
2007: New model launched.