YAMAHA'S R6 has been a success since the day it was launched, journalists rated them, racers won on them and they've been selling well every year.
However, in its fourth year, the mighty R6 needs to pull something special out for 2010 to keep one-step ahead of the game. Rumours have floated around that the 2010 Yamaha YZF-R6 will feature a cross-plane crank but this is unlikely. However we have heard that one of the main missions for the 2010 Yamaha YZF-R6 is to shed weight, we're expecting a sub-175kg wet weight.
Yamaha have not officially commented on the 2010 R6 but the R1 project leader, Toyoshi Nishida has all but quashed the cross-plane crank R6 rumours.
The cross-plane engine design was brought in for the litre-class to enable the rider to get the available power down with more feedback. With the 600 class, riders use full throttle more of the time and the counter-balancer necessary with the cross-plane arrangement would sap power, so it wouldn’t be the most efficient way to provide a better connection and rider feel for traction on a 600.
However, Nishida has said that Yamaha have worked on new engine technology that doesn't involve electronics but does aid rear traction under power and it's likely this will be introduced on the 2010 Yamaha YZF-R6.
So no cross-plane crank but it's likely the new R6 won't just be a standard inline-four, we think it'll be a flat-plane crank, similar to what was used in British Superbikes by Rob Mac's Virgin squad before it was outlawed. Exciting times for supersport fans.