Yamaha YZF-R6 in the PS driving report

Yamaha YZF-R6 in the PS driving report
Yamaha

Yamaha YZF-R6 in the PS driving report

Yamaha YZF-R6 in the PS driving report

Yamaha YZF-R6 in the PS driving report

Yamaha YZF-R6 in the PS driving report

17th photos

Yamaha YZF-R6 in the PS driving report
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Yamaha YZF-R6 in the driving report.

Yamaha YZF-R6 in the PS driving report
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Visually, the new R6 is based heavily on the YZF-R1 superbike. The front section with a central air inlet and LED lights and the airy rear section, which should be particularly aerodynamic, are characteristic. The aerodynamics are eight percent cheaper than the previous model, which makes the new YZF-R6 RJ27 the most streamlined Yamaha ever.

Yamaha YZF-R6 in the PS driving report
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In keeping with the character of the barrel organ, the 600 was allowed to keep the analog round instrument, it was only slightly refreshed. The gear indicator in the lower right edge of the rev counter is new. The LCD display shows standard parameters plus information about traction control and riding mode. The adjustment screws for rebound, compression and spring preload of the new Kayaba fork are easy to see, all of which are easily accessible at the top.

Yamaha YZF-R6 in the PS driving report
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Yamaha YZF-R6 in the driving report.

Yamaha YZF-R6 in the PS driving report
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A gearshift is standard on board and it works first class. Unfortunately there is no blipper function.

Yamaha YZF-R6 in the PS driving report
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The new tank made of aluminum instead of steel as in the previous model is lighter and shaped differently. It offers a clean knee grip and a good grip.

Yamaha YZF-R6 in the PS driving report
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Yamaha YZF-R6 in the driving report.

Yamaha YZF-R6 in the PS driving report
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More than ever, the racetrack is recommended as the main terrain for the R6. Only when the Euro 4 shackles are removed does it reveal its true potential.

Yamaha YZF-R6 in the PS driving report
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Yamaha YZF-R6 in the driving report.

Yamaha YZF-R6 in the PS driving report
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Yamaha YZF-R6 in the driving report.

Yamaha YZF-R6 in the PS driving report
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Yamaha YZF-R6 in the driving report.

Yamaha YZF-R6 in the PS driving report
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Yamaha YZF-R6 in the driving report.

Yamaha YZF-R6 in the PS driving report
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Yamaha YZF-R6 in the driving report.

Yamaha YZF-R6 in the PS driving report
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Yamaha YZF-R6 in the driving report.

Yamaha YZF-R6 in the PS driving report
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Yamaha YZF-R6 in the driving report.

Yamaha YZF-R6 in the PS driving report
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Yamaha YZF-R6 in the driving report.

Yamaha YZF-R6 in the PS driving report
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Yamaha YZF-R6 in the driving report.

Yamaha YZF-R6 in the PS driving report

Last 600 athlete?

Content of

Revised and Euro 4 compliant, the Yamaha YZF-R6 bravely represents the dying super sports class. PS was allowed to test for the first time in Almeria.

How time flies: almost ten years ago my first real motorcycle was a Yamaha YZF-R6. I just had to have her. Because of its appearance alone, there was no way I could get around the sleek machine. It was love at first sight! Of course, there were bikes that were more suitable for the country road that were worlds more functional. Especially as the first motorcycle – and for learning anyway. But there weren’t any cooler ones, and rational reasons couldn’t change my mind. Many thought like me, although the one offered from 2006 onwards YZF-R6 with the type code RJ11 was not only a complete success because of its design. Because it can do a lot more than just look chic, the six hundred is so popular on the used market. Try to get past a sharpened R6 during race training. If the pilot knows how to use the sports equipment, it will be difficult.

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Yamaha YZF-R6 in the PS driving report

Yamaha YZF-R6 in the PS driving report
Last 600 athlete?

Less horsepower than the very first R6

In the Yamaha Cup last year, I had the pleasure of being able to work hard on lap times in the saddle of a Yamaha YZF-R6. I am convinced that there are many tracks on which I would not be at all or only a few blink of an eye faster with a thousand than with a significantly less powerful R6. A superbike first has to achieve the agility and accuracy of the light six hundred. And you get used to the top performance characteristics of the speed file. Nevertheless, the corners of my mouth hang lower than the performance data of the 2017 machine, internally it has the type code RJ27, become known: 118.4 HP is less power than the very first R6 from 1999. And despite the aluminum tank, lighter battery and shortened rear frame made of magnesium, the new model weighs just under a kilo more than its immediate predecessor at 190 kilograms.

More electronics, less bang

The Euro 4 approval standard is to blame. Apparently, the hurdles cannot be overcome without large-volume exhaust systems with appropriate catalytic converters. On top of that comes the mandatory ABS system plus other electronics, activated carbon filters, tank ventilation and so on. The subject of lightweight construction does not like these items. Yamaha took great care when it came to aerodynamics. The new super sports weapon is said to be eight percent more streamlined than its predecessor, which supposedly makes the 600 machine the Yamaha with the best aerodynamics of all. The new front section with a central air inlet and the aerodynamically styled rear in the style of its big sister YZF-R1 are partly responsible for this. However, an eight percent improvement in aerodynamics can hardly be felt – certainly not without a direct comparison. First of all, the first of four turns on the Almeria racetrack confirms what was already to be feared based on the performance data on paper: The new Yamaha YZF-R6 does not tear up trees in terms of power. Sure, even the previous models weren’t superheroes in the lower and middle speed range. To do this, they changed from 12,000 to around 14,500 rpm and burned down real fireworks there.

New Yamaha YZF-R6 works like lightning

According to the rev counter, the new Yamaha YZF-R6 turns up to over 16,000 rpm, but it looks downright tough. One of the Japanese technicians from the development team explains on site that getting more power out of the engine under Euro 4 would be extremely difficult. There are only positive things to say about the handling. The RJ27 can certainly not be blamed for inertia, because the 600 folds out like lightning. The Kayaba fork from the R1 also works great. It responds well and cushions very consistently. The machine can be boldly turned on the brakes, and the feeling for the front wheel is first class! When it comes to responsiveness, the stiff Kayaba shock cannot quite keep up with the fork. But overall, the machine always stays in good balance, and the feeling for the grip on the rear wheel when accelerating out is also good. The RJ27 shows a high level of directional stability even with hard braking attacks and is less likely to break away with the rear wheel than my cup machine from 2016.

ABS cannot be switched off

For the brake system, the parts donor is again called YZF-R1. The stoppers bite hard into the 320 millimeter brake discs and the pressure point remains stable over the entire turn. If the brake pressure is built up evenly, the Yamaha YZF-R6 sometimes even stands on the front wheel. However, the ABS system released the brake for an uncomfortably long time after I tried to pull the lever abruptly and with little sensitivity at the end of the back straight. In contrast to the newly implemented traction control TCS with six levels, the ABS cannot be switched off. The TCS as well as the riding modes A, B and Standard (differ in response behavior) can be changed or selected while riding. Owing to the idea of ​​racing, the traction control can be switched to another level even if the throttle grip is not fully closed as soon as fourth gear or a higher is engaged. This TCS is a comparatively simple system. It works without the inclined position sensors of an R1, an IMU sensor box is not available. The only basis for the intervention of the TCS is the comparison of the front and rear wheel speed, whereupon the ignition timing and injection quantity are regulated. From level three, the TCS regulates cautiously. However, not too much smack pulls the rear wheel.

The solution to the performance problem is called YEC

The solution to the performance problem is called YEC and refers to kit parts that are not street legal from the in-house tuning company. For one last turn there is an RJ27 built according to World Supersport regulations with these fine parts. Traction control and ABS have also been deactivated or removed. In addition, this Yamaha YZF-R6 has a tough and grippy racing seat and immediately reminds me of my cup machine from last year. With the Akrapovic complete system, kit ECU and racing wiring harness, the RJ27 works very differently than the production motorcycle – although nothing has been mechanically changed on the engine. But suddenly it is there, this formidable, aggressive revving joy. The super nimble handling is now finally joined by power. The 600 bangs like a prick from curve to curve. That’s how it has to be! I don’t miss ABS or TCS and at this point I am very far from wishing for a thousand. The RJ27 will also be successful again in professional racing, even on its own due to the lack of competition. Unfortunately for the hobby driver, with a purchase price of around 14,000 euros – with the Akrapovic exhaust system and some YEC parts, this quickly turns into 20,000 euros – the good reasons to continue forging the 600 iron.

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