The crowd-pleasing Yamaha YZF-R6 has received a much-deserved update to add zest to a fading motorcycle category.
The brand new Yamaha YZF-R6 is finally upon us. It has been eight long years since Yamaha made a splash in the middleweight Super Sports category and we couldn’t be more thankful. Unveiled at the AIM Expo in Orlando, Florida, the new Yamaha YZF-R6 is ready to start a revolution in the 600cc category. With manufacturers focusing most of their energy on producing Race-Replica MotoGP works inspired litre-class motorcycles, the humble middleweights have been left behind. The folks at Yamaha have hopefully reignited the flame.
The new updated YZF-R6 is heavily influenced by its older sibling, the ground breaking YZF-R1. The new low-drag body work and the aggressive front fairings give the updated R6 a stunning new personality. Apart from the cosmetic improvements, Yamaha claims that the R1 inspired body work helps improve aerodynamic efficiency by 8%.
The new R6 gets a redesigned tail section built on a die-cast magnesium sub-frame, complete with the signature R1 Dragon tail LED tail lamp. Cheeky twin-DRL LEDs garnish the front end for a very sophisticated look. The new sleek LED headlamps are tucked underneath the central ram-air intake to complete the R-DNA inspired track-ready look.
The fresh new YZF-R6 gets an updated suspension package directly picked up from the litre-class R1. This is brilliant news considering that the new R1 boasts class leading front-end stability and overall handling. The 43mm KYB adjustable front forks replace the previously used 41mm kit along with a larger 25mm axle to help provide a more planted and stable feel to the front end under heavy braking and cornering. The new four-way adjustable KYB rear shock is also directly taken from the R1.
The chassis, however, is identical to the previous generation R6 with the same geometry setup. Brakes on the new R6 have been updated with new 320mm front discs. There’s also an aerodynamically designed slimmer fuel tank along with a thinner sub-frame and slimmer seats. The new fuel tank features deeper knee recesses for improved ergonomics and overall bike control. The new bike should have a very committed and aggressive riding position just like its predecessor. Overall though with all the changes, the new YZF-R6 is a few kilogrammes heavier than its predecessor weighing in at 190kg wet.
A six-level traction control would come as standard on the new YZF-R6 along with ABS to improve safety. The traction control works along with Yamaha’s D-mode system to provide multiple riding modes based on the environment. The new bike also features the ride-by-wire Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T) for accurate and precise throttle manipulation. All this tech ensures that the already refined R6 will be an absolute peach on the race-track.
The powertrain on the new R6 would be identical to its previous generation avatar and that is a bit of a disappointment. Yamaha has decided to stick to their guns and continue with the extremely successful high-revving 600cc formula. Power figures haven’t been officially mentioned, but we expect a healthy output of over 120 HP. This would also effectively mean that the new R6 won’t compete with its larger displacement middleweight counterparts such as the Ducati 959 Panigale and the MV Agusta F3.
Yamaha has finally completed the successful R-brand portfolio with the addition of the new 2017 YZF-R6. It may not be a completely new motorcycle, but the new R6 represents a major update in a motorcycle segment that has been stagnant for nearly a decade. What are your thoughts on the new Yamaha YZF-R6?