Yamaha has finally unveiled the all-new YZF-R6 for 2017 and it looks amazing.
It has been over 10 years since the current 3rd generation R6 was released; the bike has been absolutely dominating the supersport racing class. The YZF-R6 has been able to make more power than the 600cc competition and the chassis has provoked razor sharp handling that nearly any rider can feel more comfortable on and elicit quicker lap times.
However, a brand new generation has arrived for 2017 and it looks to set the bar even higher.
A new video released by Yamaha Motor Corp. in connection with the launch offers plenty of visual and audio bliss. As noted from previous videos, it looks like we're dealing with a standard-layout inline 4 cylinder, which judging by the quick glance at the instrument display, redlines at nearly 17,000 RPM. The instrument display also indicated a quick shifter, traction control, and drive modes.
Yamaha says its ride-by-wire Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T) system will be one of the electronic aids helping riders. The system "senses the slightest throttle input by the rider and instantaneously calculates the ideal throttle valve opening, and then actuates the throttle valves to actively control intake volume."
The traction control system, meanwhile assists the rider in managing traction on various road conditions by quickly modulating throttle opening, ignition timing and fuel volume. Yamaha says the system is "designed to operate and intervene extremely smoothly, for minimal disruption to forward drive, and unlike many TC systems, is capable of adapting to changing tire diameter and grip caused by tire wear."
The YZF-R6 TCS includes six modes (plus off).
Lastly, Yamaha’s D-Mode system will allow the rider to choose the optimum engine character for his or her riding situation and preferences, according to Yamaha.
Yamaha says the quickshifter system is not a standard feature but can be purchased as an option from Yamaha. However, the first 500 customers who put a $500 deposit on the new 2017 YZF-R6 will get the quickshifter system added at no charge, but installation is not covered.
The front forks, swing arm, brakes, wheels and exhaust layout look very similar to the current gen R6. However, the front fairing has an intake port reminiscent of the M1 MotoGP bike with headlight very similar to the YZF-R1. The all new running lights look very sleek. The tail fairing, taillight and mirrors also look as if parts were borrowed from the older brother R1.
The forks are in fact larger than the current gen R6 and apparently have the same components as on the current YZF-R1. The 43mm KYB forks are up from the previous 41mm set. ABS comes standard on the new YZF-R6 with 320mm front discs. Finally, the subframe is constructed from magnesium on the new model and the fuel tank from aluminum both to save mass.
The retail price for the 2017 Yamaha YZF-R6 will be $12,199 and it will be available in team Yamaha blue, matte raven black and white/matte silver colorways. Bikes will begin to deliver in March of next year.
Gallery: Yamaha YZF-R6
Refined. Redesigned. Remarkable.
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. Light, agile and fast, this iconic 600cc model is the number one choice with today's go-getting thrill seekers who are looking to progress quickly through the supersport ranks.
To underline the company's total commitment to the supersport segment - which remains a key ingredient in Yamaha's sporty, race bred DNA - the leading Japanese manufacturer will introduce a radically styled new YZF-R6 for 2017, that has been created using some of the latest YZF-R1 derived chassis technology together with cutting edge electronics.
With newly developed low-drag bodywork and an aggressive look that bears all the characteristics of Yamaha's thoroughbred R-series DNA, the new YZF-R6 has arrived.
Racing is ouR World. Welcome to R WORLD.
With every YZF-R series model there comes an open invitation to enter ouR World, and the chance to become an integral part of one of the most exclusive clubs in the supersport category.
In ouR World, racing and winning is a way of life that is deeply embedded within our DNA. In ouR World, every YZF supersport model can trace its lineage straight back to our MotoGP-winning YZR-M1 race bike. And in ouR World we believe in giving everybody the opportunity to experience the real meaning of supersport performance.
No other manufacturer is able to offer such a broad choice of high-tech supersport models from 125cc through to 1,000cc. From the YZF-R1M through to the YZF-R1, YZF-R6, YZF-R3 and YZF-R125, each R-series model is designed and manufactured using the most sophisticated race-bred technology.
R WORLD is open to every rider who appreciates the value of Yamaha's race winning heritage and renowned technical expertise. And R WORLD enables YZF-R series owners the chance to unlock their true riding potential on the street and track.
OuR World is here. R WORLD is now.
Iconic M1-inspired design with next generation control
The YZF-R6 has always been at the very forefront of extreme supersport design. Over a decade on from its debut, the current model is still one of the most dynamic looking bikes in its class, and has attracted an intensely loyal and dedicated following.
For 2017 Yamaha have completely restyled this iconic middleweight supersport bike, and the YZF-R6 adopts a radical new look that is clearly inspired by the latest generation YZF-R1. With its M1-type central forced air intake and recessed LED twin headlights, the bike's aggressive face and glaring looks make sure that it's instantly recognizable as being a member of the R-series family.
To accentuate its intimidating presence, the new YZF-R6 is equipped with slim position lights that give a real lifelike quality and almost animalistic persona to the dynamic face. The style and location of these position lights project a thrilling appearance that, while clearly R-family, conveys a clearly defined YZF-R6 image.
The next generation R-series DNA is evident in the sharp bodywork, whose array of side ducts and flowing horizontal lines gives a cross-layered design that emphasize the bike's aerodynamic excellence. A new YZF-R1 style tail reinforces the race-bred styling, and although the forceful supersport looks have been clearly inspired by the flagship YZF-R1, the YZF-R6 has its own unique character and profile.
Most efficient YZF-R6 aerodynamics
Yamaha's supersport design team are constantly working to achieve higher levels of performance in every area, and the 2017 YZF-R6 is equipped with a new front cowl and windscreen with the most efficient aerodynamics ever featured on this 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.
Sophisticated electronic control 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). To give an even higher degree of controllability in a wide range of conditions, the YZF-R6 is equipped with an advanced Traction Control System (TCS) that is adjusted by a switch on the handlebars.
Recognizing that the YZF-R6 appeals to a wide range of performance-minded riders with different skill and experience levels, the new TCS features 6 levels of selectable intervention, as well as an OFF function. The TCS's intelligent software is designed to ensure that there is no unnatural feeling when it intervenes, and the system also compensates for rear tyre wear to give consistent performance.
The YZF-R6 also comes equipped with a new Quick Shift System (QSS) that gives faster gear changing. This system is similar to the design used on the YZF-R1, and instantly cancels drive torque when an upshift is detected - enabling full throttle clutchless upshifts for outstanding acceleration through the close ratio 6-speed transmission.
YZF-R1 type 43mm front forks
It's not just the aggressive YZF-R1 inspired face that reinforces the bike's close links with the flagship supersport model, because the 2017 YZF-R6 is also equipped with new KYB upside down forks from the YZF-R1. This high specification front suspension features large diameter 43mm tubes - compared to 41mm on the previous model - 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.
320mm diameter YZF-R1 type front brakes
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.
Slimline magnesium rear subframe
Rider mobility is a key factor in achieving a high level of handling agility and precision, and the YZF-R6 is fitted with a newly designed seat and rear subframe that 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.
Lightweight aluminium fuel tank
Another significant change for 2017 is the fitment of a beautifully 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.
Enhanced riding position
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.
Developed from the design featured on the YZF-R1, the new instrument display features an analogue style tachometer and digital speedometer with a multi function display includes TCS and ABS status.
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
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)
Close-ratio 6-speed transmission
Magnesium head and case covers
EXUP valves contributing to excellent torque characteristics
Titanium exhaust silencer
Aluminum frame and swingarm
Genuine Accessories line up
Yamaha offer a range of new and existing performance and styling Genuine Accessories for the 2017 YZF-R6, enabling owners to make it their own. The full accessory line up will be available when the YZF-R6 arrives in Yamaha dealer showrooms. Following the new model's launch, customers will be able to use the My Garage app to build and view their ultimate virtual YZF-R6 using a tablet or smartphone.