Yamaha RD 500 Bj. 1984, Yamaha YZF-R6 (VT: old against new)
Progress is a different world
Admittedly, this pairing is mean. What is the 20 year old doing
Align the two-stroke RD against a current four-stroke 600 series car? After all, especially in the supersport segment, every two to three years there is no stone left on it
other. Super athletes are the figureheads of the Japanese manufacturers, there is a fierce battle for every gram and every horsepower. And so after the first few meters on the racetrack it becomes clear what seven to nine generations of super athletes mean: the Yamaha RD 500 does not brake really well, its fork hits immediately, it doesn’t really lie-
Lich stable, and the engine has a very narrow power band.
The YZF-R6 can do everything better. With her
the fork still bounces away bumps even with heavy braking maneuvers, the chassis is stable under all circumstances, the four-cylinder cheers from 9000 to over 15000 revolutions in the highest tones of over 100 hp. Have the tires
good grip ?? Pure fun on the slopes. And actually the end of the story.
But ?? and now it’s getting philosophical ?? do you need that? Does a super sports car have to function like a Golf, start at the push of a button, be properly tuned via injection and an unregulated catalytic converter and be environmentally friendly? And what good is the whole racetrack performance-
mance at all, when real life takes place on public roads?
So off the piste, up on the country road. Engine of R.Start D 500 YPVS. That means: unfold the choke in the fairing on the left, fold up the right footrest, unfold the kickstarter and bring the V4 to life with a powerful kick and a well-dosed throttle. A lovable, demanding ceremony. R6: press button ?? running. And drives away immediately, while the RD, smoking, bumpy and rattling, brings the first few meters behind it with a lot of coupling loops. Sounds difficult, but it makes you feel like Kenny Roberts at the pre-start. After a few hundred meters, the RD choke can be folded up again, then the clattering engine noise gives way to a soft, throaty two-stroke singsong. Not everyone likes it, but it euphorizes some. Where’s the R6? Has long been waiting at the next traffic light, greedy, ready to take off.
Green! The R6 shoots away, the RD howls behind, no chance in the acceleration duel. Why? It weighs almost 30 kilograms more, still 216 with a full tank. In addition, you have to hold the clutch exactly at the grinding point at full speed in order to get away somewhat. The R6 masters this with ease and reaches 100 km / h in 3.2 instead of 5.0 seconds. Clutch and engine power can be dosed great, that’s how it works.
Advantage RD, on the other hand: Despite the sporty seating position, the pilot has a comfortable spot, although the legs are quite angled, the handlebars are a bit forward, but not too low. Amazingly good: the wind protection behind the high cladding dome, hardly any wind noise. Turning in goes by itself, the narrow rear tire and the 16-inch front let the two-stroke rocket glide lightly from one curve to the next. That is fun. And the engine is even more fun. It doesn’t really go below 6000 rpm, but above it it burns off a bombastic two-stroke fireworks display. Really snappy, the V4. After all, the RD presses 84 hp on the test bench. That’s enough for the worst. Especially since the final translation is short and the gears are neatly stepped.
There is less fascination on the R6. The sitting position is really high and leaned forward so much that
the wind pressure only from 120 km / h the arms
relieved. The R6 is handy, but you notice the ultra-wide rear tire. Changing lean angles mean extra work. And the engine? Although it has an increase of 26 hp on the test bench, it only comes into play in the five-digit speed range. And thanks to the very long gear ratio, this can only be achieved at very high speeds. So you have to work hard to keep up with a cleanly driven RD. And needs a road with fast curves in order to be able to utilize the additional power.
Or a stretch with an undulating surface. Because then the RD pilot is sold and the R6 driver is king. Despite the anti-dive system, the fork of the two-stroke oldies has no progression and hits mercilessly, now the four-stroke R6 can easily push past. Which is also necessary, because the RD gives rear travelers a headache. Not because it is so fast, but because of its dramatic emissions. Without a catalytic converter and with loss lubrication, plus the high proportion of unburned hydrocarbons typical of two-stroke cycles, the V4 that follows smells a lot. That is no longer appropriate.
On the other hand, the consumption is surprisingly still okay. On the MOTORRAD test lap, the RD needed 6.5 liters per 100 kilometers, the R6 5.1. The RD 8.0 liters drove fast. A good 250 kilometers are possible with the 22 liter tank. Of which you can enjoy each one with the RD. And dreams of a powerful R1 on the R6.
Technical data: Yamaha RD 500
M engine: water-cooled four-cylinder two-stroke 50-degree V-engine, balance shaft, membrane inlet, outlet control via power valve, separate lubrication, slide carburetor, Ø 26 mm, multi-disc oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, chain. Bore x stroke 56.4 x 50 mm, displacement 499 cm3, compression ratio 6.6: 1, rated power 65 kW (88 PS) at 9500 rpm, max. Torque 67 Nm at 5400 rpm. M chassis: double loop frame made of steel, telescopic fork, Ø 37 mm, internally ventilated double disc brake at the front, Ø 267 mm, internally ventilated disc at the rear, Ø 245 mm. Tires 120 / 80-16; 130 / 80-18. M Dimensions and weights: wheelbase 1375 mm, weight with a full tank * 216 kg, tank capacity / reserve 22/3 liters. Price: (1984) 11,188 marks
Technical data: Yamaha YZF-R6
M engine: water-cooled four-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, four valves per
Cylinder, bucket tappet, wet sump lubrication, injection, Ø 38 mm, multi-plate oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, cardan. Bore x stroke 65.5 x 44.5 mm, displacement 600 cm3, compression ratio 12.4: 1, rated power 86 kW (117 PS) at 13,000 rpm, max. Torque 66 Nm at 12000 rpm. M chassis:
Bridge frame made of aluminum, telescopic fork, Ø 43 mm, double disc brake at the front, Ø 298 mm, discs-
rear brake, Ø 220 mm. Tire 120/60 ZR-17; 180/55 ZR-17. M Dimensions and weights: wheelbase
1380 mm, weight with full tank * 189 kg, tank capacity /
Reserve 17 / 3.5 liters. Price: 9995 euros
What is progress? Both
Both Yamahas have the much more stable chassis of the R6, the much better brakes, the more environmentally friendly four-stroke engine and the significantly better performance with significantly lower consumption. But if you need something for your heart or the Sunday morning tour, the brilliant and
strong character two-stroke V4
much. Amazing: in the past, super athletes had much better wind protection and a more comfortable seating position. Which is why an RD 500 would belong to the sports touring category today.
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