All the Duels – YZF-R6 Vs GSX-R 600: the two extremes of Supersport – On the track: settling of scores with OK Gaucher!

YZF-R6 Vs GSX-R 600: the two extremes of Supersport

All the Duels - YZF-R6 Vs GSX-R 600: the two extremes of Supersport - On the track: settling of scores with OK Gaucher!

If we only base ourselves on the specs and race results, the Yamaha YZF-R6 eclipses the Suzuki GSX-R 600. But for standard use (a lot of road and little track), the Yamaha justifies- does her extra € 1400 ? Duel !

On the circuit: settling accounts at OK Gaucher !


MNC would like to thank the director of and Francis Quinet, founder of the LFG circuit driving school, for their always friendly welcome and the provision of this brand new route located one hour from Paris. Hyper wide (from 12 to 24 m!) And benefiting from an exceptional grip, the Aerosphalte offers three different combinations: a technical track of 1.5 km, a fast circuit of 2.1 km and the full course of 3, 6 km. An educational tool of choice for Francis Quinet and his team of instructors (Christophe Cogan and Laurent Brian) during piloting courses or driving days organized by this serious and competent school (read), which also grants a 17% reduction to holders of

Coming back at a more reasonable pace to join the Ferte Gaucher circuit (see box opposite), the Site testers are tackling the final stretch of this shock comparison: the ultimate confrontation on the track! And for the sake of representativeness for the many bikers who occasionally experience the circuit with their motorcycles in road configuration, our two Supersports of the day are transported by the road, handlebars in hand. !

The opportunity to see that at 90 and 130 km / h in sixth, the GSX-R turns 500 revs slower than the R6 (4500 and 7000 rev / min), which – added to less frequent downshifts due to its more straightforward times – allows it to claim lower average consumption: 6.6 l / 100 km against 7.1 l / 100 km for the Yam over more than 1000 km of test.

At these legal paces, other details suddenly jump to the eyes: the absence of this adjustment of the distance between the clutch lever on the two motorcycles penalizes small hands, while pernicious vibrations disturb the tranquility of a cushy journey. : substantial on the Suzuki, they become unbearable in the long run on the Yamaha which vibrates from mid-revs up to 10,000 rpm.

Finally, if the R6 relies on its look and its manufacturing quality to justify its beefy price tag (some 1000 cc Hypersport are less expensive in promotions!), Some faults of taste are still to be deplored: the coarse side of the plastics placed behind the front optics and the breathtaking view of the Rilsan collars and the electrical network within the cockpit are not very glamorous…

Less flashy, the GSX-R 600 does not however have to be ashamed of the comparison: despite a few imprecise welds, the bluish frame produces its small effect, just like the glitter paint of the 17-liter tank. The cables and other sheaths are better camouflaged around the on-board console and the adjustment of the fairings does not suffer from any criticism: contrary to some popular belief, the Gex do not sacrifice quality on the altar of savings !

As soon as it entered the track, the Yamaha quickly rallied all the votes: the other riders only have eyes for its little ass as tapered as a dart, its tough swinging arm and its large forced air intake! Despite its pretty white dress and its nicely designed optical sorting, the GSX-R 600 does not elicit the same outburst of admiration, mixed with a hint of lust: not that it lacks charm, but the Yam ‘undoubtedly benefits of a steep climb with the trackers encountered during this test on the circuit !

Intuitive and childish to place on the angle, the Yamaha YZF-R6 2010 does not take long to confirm its fine reputation: after just a few laps, its pilot feels a real osmosis being born with this flower of the track which allows to draw extremely tight trajectories thanks to its incisive and safe front axle. Stable up to the chord point, even with the brakes on until the last second, Iwata’s war ball also benefits from an anti-dribble device as effective as that of the GSX-R.

On the asphalt on most of the fast portion of the LFG circuit thanks to its superior revivals at the exit of curves and its good traction, the latter inexorably loses contact in the second section of the Aerosphalte. Beginning with a quick pif-paf in fourth, in which the Gex settles on its too flexible shock absorber during the go-around in the middle of the sequence, this one consists of pins and tight sequences tackled in second.

Less comfortable in small corners, the Suz ‘pays for its more pronounced overweight which affects both its handling and the mobility of its driver in curves: wider at the crotch, its tank does not facilitate lightning trips while that its driving position much more to the rear does not allow to establish this instantaneous connection felt with the front axle of the R6.

Money for nothing ?

The Suzuki may well offer an injection much better calibrated than that of the Yamaha – victim of disturbing jolts on the go-around – and much more consistent and frank braking when taking the lever (thanks to the calipers and the master cylinder radial fixing!), the gap widens turn after turn behind this she-devil of R6 !

Goguenard, the pilot Yam ‘finally taunts his rival by clearly showing himself less experienced after a day of teasing the vibrators under more than 30 ° C, then by playing with the settings of a better placed shift-light and the integrated stopwatch of the YZF-R6 !

To this, the owner of the GSX-R can always reply that his mount offers a gear indicator engaged and a choice of three injection maps to the right commodo. But if the first quoted is really very practical, the second is of no interest in the French version….

There remains the question of price: at 12,399 €, the Yamaha is aimed at bikers a minimum of silver, sensitive to the latest technologies derived from racing and to the retinal fracture that the R6 will not fail to provoke among friends. !

Unless you show a little more pragmatism and opt for the 2009 vintage R6s still available in the Yamaha network: hardly less successful, they are exchanged against 10,599 € currently and for 1 € more, Yamaha France even offers a Yamaha Pro Dainese suit worth 1225 euros !

Much more affordable whatever the comparison conditions (€ 10,999 for the 2010 vintages and up to € 9,999 for the few 2009 models – exactly the same! – which are still lying around in the Suzuki network), the GSX-R 600 offers a road approval superior to its rival and a level of performance on track already largely sufficient to satisfy most trackers.

Admittedly, the Suz ‘slowed down when it was abused, the victim of its laudable search for a "road-track" compromise. In addition, a small diet coupled with a vitamin cure to boost his high speeds could not harm him: here are undoubtedly the main points on which the Suzuki engineers worked to develop the next model, to be discovered logically this year..

But with such a price difference, the rider interested in the GSX-R 600 can invest in accessories or equipment, good insurance or polys fairings to preserve its original elements during a circuit outing. !

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