Carole Nash
Content Writer
Published: 27th March 2017

With dwindling sales and the introduction of new emissions regulations rendering previous models obsolete, many motorcycle experts had predicted that 2017 would mark the end of the once all-important 600cc supersport class.

 

Two decades ago the class was hugely popular, with likely lads around the world queuing up to put down a deposit on the latest GSX, CBR or, arguably the daddy of them all, the Yamaha YZF-R6.

Yamaha YZF-R6 cornering

 

Honda have already officially left the class, discontinuing the CBR600RR in Europe, while Suzuki and Triumph are shuffling quietly towards the exit door as they sell through remaining stocks of GSX-R600s and Daytona 675s – which is why it was quite a surprise when Yamaha announced that it was to develop a new version of its venerable R6 for 2017.

 

While the latest YZF-R6 isn’t an all-new model per se, it’s certainly more than a mild update to get it though the latest round of Euro 4 emissions regulations.

 

The main frame and basic engine architecture have been carried over from the decade-old previous model but it’s been wrapped up in slippery new bodywork that looks the spit of Valentino Rossi’s YZR-M1 MotoGP bike from more than a few angles. Suspension and brakes have been updated with new four-piston radial caliper stoppers and 43mm front forks taken straight from the R1 superbike.

 

Yamaha has given its middleweight a crash diet too. A magnesium subframe and aluminium fuel tank help keep weight down, although the large silencer does put some mass back into the bike but is necessary to get the bike through the stricter emissions rules.

 

Yamaha YZF-R6 race track

 

The engine has had a significant overhaul, both to increase power and to reduce emissions. The new bike features most of the technology we’ve come to expect from the latest 1000cc superbikes and has rider modes, six-level traction control system, a quickshifter and the now mandatory ABS brakes as standard.

 

Peak power of almost 117bhp arrives at an eye watering 14,500rpm, with peak torque of 61.7Nm arrives at an equally lofty 10,500rpm.

 

One spec that isn’t so appealing, however, is the price. At £10,999 on the road, the YZF-R6 is no longer the bargain entry into sportsbike ownership, although there’s no doubting the spec and quality of Yamaha’s latest middleweight masterpiece.

 

Specifications

 

 

ENGINE TYPE

Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, forward-inclined parallel four-cylinder, DOHC, 16-valves

DISPLACEMENT

599cc

BORE X STROKE

67.0 mm x 42.5 mm

MAXIMUM POWER

87.1 kW (118.4PS) @ 14,500 rpm

MAXIMUM TORQUE

61.7 Nm (6.3 kg-m) @ 10,500 rpm

FRONT SUSPENSION

43mm inverted telescopic forks

SEAT HEIGHT

850mm

WET WEIGHT

190kg

FUEL TANK

17 litres

INSURANCE £595.77*

*Based on our average customer 52 year old, 9 years NCB, garaged, WA14 postcode, no claims/convictions, 4000 miles Comp cover is £595.77 with a £550 excess.

 

Insure your Yamaha motorbike through Carole Nash.