YZF-R6 R (2008 - 2012) review

Long-running model is evolutionary, rather than revolutionary like the 2006 update

Details
Manufacturer:
Yamaha
Category:
Sportsbikes
Price:
£ 7499
Overall
4

The last time I rode at Sugo was in 2002 aboard the Belgarda World Supersport R6, and I’d forgotton how much fun the place is. It’s like Oulton Park on steroids! Back then my racebike was pretty much as near to a factory job as was possible, full of trick bits it was. Six years later, I was about to find out whether the stock, out-the-box 2008 R6 was as good or perhaps better than the one it took me and a group of dedicated Italian engineers months to develop.

At first glance the Yamaha’s YZF-R6 doesn’t seem to have changed much for ’08. Same basic shape and styling, same chassis geometry, even similar colours available. But when you look more closely at the changes that have been incorporated into the new bike, it becomes clear that Yamaha is very serious about keeping its mega-selling screamer right at the front of the pack. Indeed, most of the updates are a direct result of feedback gained from the teams running the R6 in race trim in the World Supersport Championship. Even though only fairly limited engine tuning is allowed in WSS, back in 2002 when I was racing the R6 for Belgarda the engine chaps in Milan managed to squeeze 25% more power out of the motor on my racebikes, and even then they had it revving to 16,500rpm! Seeing figures of 130bhp on the in-house dyno was common, so Yamaha’s claims of 133bhp for this new ’08 bike should therefore put it on a par with my racer from back then.

But d’ya know what? I’m convinced my old bike would still have the legs on it in terms of top-end and grunt. The only downside would be the 1,000 mile re-build intervals on my tuned motors! But it’s a fact that the new R6 gives almost as much power as my old racebike and will probably do 10,000 miles before you have to so much as dip the oil.

I’ll go through the technical stuff first. What was it the man with the Yamaha suit said just before I headed for the bar? “Careful adjustments to a successful design identity.” Summit like that.

Many of the tweaks are quite subtle and some are even invisible. All these engine updates are designed to give the bike a bit more midrange torque while retaining its utterly screaming top-end. The biggest of these are a raised compression ratio (at 13.1:1 this is the highest squeeze on any production Japanese superbike) and, as with the 2007 R1, the adoption of the YCC-I, Yamaha Chip Controlled Intake system. Like the R1 a solenoid lifts the longer throttle-body trumpets that suit the lower revs off the top of the shorter ones that help the motor breath as it steams towards the red-line. All very clever. The YCC-T (Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle) has also been tweaked to give more control over how fast the actual butterflies close when the rider shuts the gas, the plan being to improve braking stability and corner entry. Super-complicated stuff and an impressive application of technology on a production bike.

All the chassis changes are as detailed as they are invisible to the naked eye. The basic frame is exactly the same shape externally but the wall thickness of the main beams has been reduced, while conversely the strength of the cast headstock and swing-arm pivot points have been beefed up. The thinking is that increased longitudinal and decreased lateral stiffness will induce a small amount of flex in the right areas and give more feedback to the rider. Blimey. The triple-clamps are stiffer, the front brake discs are thicker and the rear ride height adjuster has a removable washer that will drop the back-end by 3mm (6mm at the wheel) in one go. But all this makes the new bike 4kg heavier despite the rear sub-frame being cast in magnesium instead of ally. I reckon a few kilos of that is due to the chunkier exhaust system, what happened to that lovely stumpy one?

Read more: http://www.visordown.com/road-tests-first-rides/first-ride-2008-yamaha-yzf-r6/4394.html#ixzz0xdKtgyUE

The last time I rode at Sugo was in 2002 aboard the Belgarda World Supersport R6, and I’d forgotton how much fun the place is. It’s like Oulton Park on steroids! Back then my racebike was pretty much as near to a factory job as was possible, full of trick bits it was. Six years later, I was about to find out whether the stock, out-the-box 2008 R6 was as good or perhaps better than the one it took me and a group of dedicated Italian engineers months to develop.

At first glance the Yamaha’s YZF-R6 doesn’t seem to have changed much for ’08. Same basic shape and styling, same chassis geometry, even similar colours available. But when you look more closely at the changes that have been incorporated into the new bike, it becomes clear that Yamaha is very serious about keeping its mega-selling screamer right at the front of the pack. Indeed, most of the updates are a direct result of feedback gained from the teams running the R6 in race trim in the World Supersport Championship. Even though only fairly limited engine tuning is allowed in WSS, back in 2002 when I was racing the R6 for Belgarda the engine chaps in Milan managed to squeeze 25% more power out of the motor on my racebikes, and even then they had it revving to 16,500rpm! Seeing figures of 130bhp on the in-house dyno was common, so Yamaha’s claims of 133bhp for this new ’08 bike should therefore put it on a par with my racer from back then.

But d’ya know what? I’m convinced my old bike would still have the legs on it in terms of top-end and grunt. The only downside would be the 1,000 mile re-build intervals on my tuned motors! But it’s a fact that the new R6 gives almost as much power as my old racebike and will probably do 10,000 miles before you have to so much as dip the oil.

I’ll go through the technical stuff first. What was it the man with the Yamaha suit said just before I headed for the bar? “Careful adjustments to a successful design identity.” Summit like that.

Many of the tweaks are quite subtle and some are even invisible. All these engine updates are designed to give the bike a bit more midrange torque while retaining its utterly screaming top-end. The biggest of these are a raised compression ratio (at 13.1:1 this is the highest squeeze on any production Japanese superbike) and, as with the 2007 R1, the adoption of the YCC-I, Yamaha Chip Controlled Intake system. Like the R1 a solenoid lifts the longer throttle-body trumpets that suit the lower revs off the top of the shorter ones that help the motor breath as it steams towards the red-line. All very clever. The YCC-T (Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle) has also been tweaked to give more control over how fast the actual butterflies close when the rider shuts the gas, the plan being to improve braking stability and corner entry. Super-complicated stuff and an impressive application of technology on a production bike.

All the chassis changes are as detailed as they are invisible to the naked eye. The basic frame is exactly the same shape externally but the wall thickness of the main beams has been reduced, while conversely the strength of the cast headstock and swing-arm pivot points have been beefed up. The thinking is that increased longitudinal and decreased lateral stiffness will induce a small amount of flex in the right areas and give more feedback to the rider. Blimey. The triple-clamps are stiffer, the front brake discs are thicker and the rear ride height adjuster has a removable washer that will drop the back-end by 3mm (6mm at the wheel) in one go. But all this makes the new bike 4kg heavier despite the rear sub-frame being cast in magnesium instead of ally. I reckon a few kilos of that is due to the chunkier exhaust system, what happened to that lovely stumpy one?

Read more: http://www.visordown.com/road-tests-first-rides/first-ride-2008-yamaha-yzf-r6/4394.html#ixzz0xdKtgyUE

The last time I rode at Sugo was in 2002 aboard the Belgarda World Supersport R6, and I’d forgotton how much fun the place is. It’s like Oulton Park on steroids! Back then my racebike was pretty much as near to a factory job as was possible, full of trick bits it was. Six years later, I was about to find out whether the stock, out-the-box 2008 R6 was as good or perhaps better than the one it took me and a group of dedicated Italian engineers months to develop.

At first glance the Yamaha’s YZF-R6 doesn’t seem to have changed much for ’08. Same basic shape and styling, same chassis geometry, even similar colours available. But when you look more closely at the changes that have been incorporated into the new bike, it becomes clear that Yamaha is very serious about keeping its mega-selling screamer right at the front of the pack. Indeed, most of the updates are a direct result of feedback gained from the teams running the R6 in race trim in the World Supersport Championship. Even though only fairly limited engine tuning is allowed in WSS, back in 2002 when I was racing the R6 for Belgarda the engine chaps in Milan managed to squeeze 25% more power out of the motor on my racebikes, and even then they had it revving to 16,500rpm! Seeing figures of 130bhp on the in-house dyno was common, so Yamaha’s claims of 133bhp for this new ’08 bike should therefore put it on a par with my racer from back then.

But d’ya know what? I’m convinced my old bike would still have the legs on it in terms of top-end and grunt. The only downside would be the 1,000 mile re-build intervals on my tuned motors! But it’s a fact that the new R6 gives almost as much power as my old racebike and will probably do 10,000 miles before you have to so much as dip the oil.

I’ll go through the technical stuff first. What was it the man with the Yamaha suit said just before I headed for the bar? “Careful adjustments to a successful design identity.” Summit like that.

Many of the tweaks are quite subtle and some are even invisible. All these engine updates are designed to give the bike a bit more midrange torque while retaining its utterly screaming top-end. The biggest of these are a raised compression ratio (at 13.1:1 this is the highest squeeze on any production Japanese superbike) and, as with the 2007 R1, the adoption of the YCC-I, Yamaha Chip Controlled Intake system. Like the R1 a solenoid lifts the longer throttle-body trumpets that suit the lower revs off the top of the shorter ones that help the motor breath as it steams towards the red-line. All very clever. The YCC-T (Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle) has also been tweaked to give more control over how fast the actual butterflies close when the rider shuts the gas, the plan being to improve braking stability and corner entry. Super-complicated stuff and an impressive application of technology on a production bike.

All the chassis changes are as detailed as they are invisible to the naked eye. The basic frame is exactly the same shape externally but the wall thickness of the main beams has been reduced, while conversely the strength of the cast headstock and swing-arm pivot points have been beefed up. The thinking is that increased longitudinal and decreased lateral stiffness will induce a small amount of flex in the right areas and give more feedback to the rider. Blimey. The triple-clamps are stiffer, the front brake discs are thicker and the rear ride height adjuster has a removable washer that will drop the back-end by 3mm (6mm at the wheel) in one go. But all this makes the new bike 4kg heavier despite the rear sub-frame being cast in magnesium instead of ally. I reckon a few kilos of that is due to the chunkier exhaust system, what happened to that lovely stumpy one?

Read more: http://www.visordown.com/road-tests-first-rides/first-ride-2008-yamaha-yzf-r6/4394.html#ixzz0xdKtgyUE

Score Breakdown
Overall
4
Engine
4
Brakes
4
Handling
4
Comfort
3
Build Quality
4

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