2013 Yamaha R6: no big changes planned

Californian emissions results for the 2013 R6 identical to the current model

YAMAHA'S R6 might be getting long in the tooth but it's looking increasingly likely that it's going to enter another year of production with minimal updates.

While there's no official word yet on the 2013 model (rumour round-up here), the bike has undergone its testing for the CARB emissions certification in California, and the results show that the engine at least is unaltered. All the details on the 2013 document, including the precise emissions levels of the engine, its emissions control features, the bike's weight and capacity, are identical to the 2012 model.

That alone doesn't preclude alterations. The styling, brakes, chassis and suspension could all be different. But it would be rare for a bike to get significant changes to those components without at least a slight tweak to the motor, almost inevitably leading to small changes in the emissions of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide or nitrous oxide. All those levels are listed on the newly-released CARB documents, and haven't shifted in the slightest when compared to the 2012 version.

The CARB documents don't list weight in familiar terms, instead opting to list an “Estimated Inertial Mass” that attempts to account for the increased inertia caused by spinning components like wheels and the crankshaft. Spinning objects have more inertia than those travelling in a straight line, so the effective 'weight' of a moving bike is higher than its actual mass. As such, CARB lists the 2013 R6 at 270kg. Again that's the same as last year.

So while many of Yamaha's rivals are set to be revamped for 2013 – the Honda CBR600RR, Kawasaki ZX-6R and Triumph Daytona 675 are all being upgraded – the R6 seems set to soldier on for at least another 12 months. But perhaps having Rossi back on a Yamaha will be enough to provide a sales boost regardless.