Pinch yourselves… It’s real! We’ve been waiting and waiting. But now the 2017 YZF-R6 has arrived.
With other companies pulling out of the Supersport category all together, many were starting to believe that a new Yamaha R6 would never arrive. But, today, after much teasing, Yamaha unveiled their brand new YZF-R6 at the AIM show in the US of A.
With over 160,000 units sold in Europe – and having won the World Supersport Championship 3 times in the last 7 years – the YZF-R6 is on the record as being one of the most popular and extreme supersport bikes that Yamaha have ever built. So designing a new machine to carry on the mantle of such a revered beast has been no small task.
To underline the company’s total commitment to the supersport segment Yamaha have created their new R6 using using some of the latest YZF-R1 derived chassis technology together with what they regard as cutting edge electronics. Newly developed low-drag bodywork and a new face derived from the flagship R1, the new R6 certainly looks the part.
But what is under the skin?
A new front cowl and windscreen bring with them what Yamaha are calling the most efficient aerodynamics ever featured on an R6 model.
The low drag front fairing has been developed using some of the key elements from the YZF-R1, and the latest design gives a significant improvement of 8% in aerodynamic efficiency. As well as the redesigned front cowl and screen, the bike’s new LED flashers are incorporated within the rear view mirrors to reduce turbulence and drag.
And don’t forget all of the latest technology. The YZF-R6 was one of the first motorcycles to adopt advanced electronics that ensure precision control, including the Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T) and Yamaha Chip Controlled Intake (YCC-I) and now, to give an even higher degree of controllability in a wide range of conditions, the YZF-R6 is equipped with an advanced, six level, Traction Control System (TCS) which can be instantly adjusted by a switch on the handlebars. It can also be turned off completely.
A quick shifter is present too. Similar to the design used on the YZF-R1, it instantly cancels drive torque when an upshift is detected – enabling full throttle clutchless upshifts for outstanding acceleration through the close ratio 6-speed transmission.
All new chassis and geometry.
The new YZF-R6 is also equipped with new KYB upside down forks direct from the YZF-R1, offering 43mm diameter tubes – compared to 41mm on the previous model – which are said to give a more planted feel, particularly during braking and cornering. The front wheel axle is also increased in diameter to 25mm for optimized handling.
The high specification forks offer a full range of adjustability that allows the rider to dial in their suspension – and together with the newly designed adjustable KYB rear shock, the YZF-R6 chassis can be set up to achieve precise and responsive handling performance to match different conditions.
The new YZF-R6 also benefits from the use of a YZF-R1 type radial front brake system that is one of the most advanced systems fitted to any production Yamaha. Dual 320mm discs are equipped with aluminium 4-pot opposed piston calipers to give outstanding feel together with remarkable stopping power.
There’s a newly designed seat and rear subframe too that should allow the rider to shift their body weight quickly and easily. Manufactured from strong and light CF die-cast magnesium, the subframe is 20mm narrower at the front, allowing the rider to tuck in more closely to the tank for improved aerodynamics.
The seat is the same height as the current model, but has a gentler upwards angle towards the rear to give increased freedom of movement.
Another significant change for 2017 is the fitment of an all freshly designed fuel tank that offers a number of important advantages over the previous model’s design. Manufactured from aluminium, this lightweight streamlined tank features deep knee recesses that enable the rider to grip the bike firmly and find an ideal position to match their physique and riding style.
Yamaha have used a special Cold Metal Transfer (CMT) welding technology in order to create the new tank’s sculpted shape, and the construction features a combination of tightly sealed robotic welds that are completed by skilled welders to give an exclusive handcrafted finish. Weighing 1.2 kg less that the steel equivalent – and giving an improved riding position that offers greater freedom of movement for quick weight transfer entering and leaving bends – this premium quality fuel tank underlines the YZF-R6’s class-leading specification.
The combination of the new fuel tank, together with a new slimmer subframe and the new seat design has created an improved riding position that is designed to give riders a greater feeling of control on the street and track.
The 20mm slimmer centre ‘waist’ section gives improved ergonomics and easier leg reach to the ground – while the seat and sculpted aluminium tank’s deep knee recesses permit the rider to mould their body shape more closely to the bike. The result is a harmonious riding position that gives more freedom of movement for efficient body weight shifting. This in turn allows the rider to fully exploit the higher levels of handling, braking and acceleration delivered by the new forks, front discs and electronic control technology.
New YZF-R6 Key Features
- Next generation R-series design
- Iconic YZF-R1 inspired face
- Pure race-bred DNA for class-leading style and performance
- Best ever YZF-R6 aerodynamics
- Sophisticated electronic control technology
- 6 level TCS to suit changing riding conditions
- QSS for faster full throttle clutchless upshifts
- 43mm YZF-R1 type front forks with YZF-R6 specific settings
- 320mm diameter YZF-R1 type front brakes with radial 4-pot calipers
- Slimline magnesium rear sub frame
- New angled seat
- Lightweight aluminium fuel tank
- Enhanced riding position
- EU4 compliant
YZF-R6 Technical Highlights
- 599cc, 67mm x 42.5mm, liquid-cooled, 4-valve, DOHC, 4-stroke, 4-cylinder
- Forged aluminum pistons, 13.1:1 compression ratio
- Titanium intake/exhaust valves
- Air Induction System and Yamaha Chip Controlled Intake (YCC-I)
- Twin-injector Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T)
- Slipper clutch
- Close-ratio 6-speed transmission
- Magnesium head and case covers
- EXUP valves contributing to excellent torque characteristics
- Titanium exhaust silencer
- Aluminum frame and swingarm