This bike was part of the sport bike revolution delivered in the late 90's, the R1 and the R6, and it's no accident that it flagshipped the revolution because it was and still is a damned fine bike, especially for the track.
I had a 99 model in 2001, and on the road I hated, too light, too sensitive to bumps, too necessary to find the right gear, though Id been used to larger twins mind you. At the track though, complete opposite story, brilliant, light and stuck like glue.
Ten years later I needed a track bike. I sat on a later model R6, not sure what year it was, and I quickly noticed that at 6 foot tall, I felt like I was a monkey riding a miniature circus bike, wearing a nappy and smoking a cigar. The best thing about these ones are you actually sit in the bike more, it fits people who arent Danny Pedrosa size. I tried one, 99 model, same as I had before, and felt at home instantly, and bought it.
With 50,000km on, the motor is still solid, independent mechanics told me they're a solid thing, and I'm only doing short kms at a track with it so why not.
In the looks department it still looks smokin hot, and thats not just an opinion. Sometimes designers just capture real style, and I think this is one example, still looks good, always will. Not sure you can say that about its opposition as much.
Performance wise, the only thing you have to worry about is it loses a bit to younger models down the straight these days, but unless youre racing that shouldnt be too concerning for you. Go underneath those who passed you at the next corner and give them the bird.
They were criticised for having a bit of a soft front, and thats right, but unless you're a smoking hot rider, you won't even get into that territory, and it really doesnt matter in the real world. Otherwise when they came out they were applauded as the closest you could get to a 250 2 stroke racer, and they were right.
Still holds itself up without any shame whatsoever. A really great track bike that doesnt feel like you're on 12 plus years old technology at all. Still feels like today. I'd say its definitely a classic in the making.
Posted: 04/10/2011 at 07:41
Become a fan of Visordown
Follow us on twitter
Other Immediate Media Sites
Our eCommerce Platform
© Immediate Media Company Ltd 2012. This website is owned and published by Immediate Media Company Limited. www.immediatemedia.co.uk