Skip to content
An MCN ad reaches more motorcyclists than any other biking website or publication
Sell your motorcycle
Visit our forums to ask current owners about their bikes - or to put a question to our expert panel
Hardcore, know the score. The Yamaha YZF-R6 is a sexy uber-capable track bike that works on the road too. It caught the 600 race rep class napping and nothing came close until Suzuki launched its 2001 GSX-R600 – that’s a long time to rule the 600 roost and shows just how good the original Yamaha YZF-R6 was.
The Yamaha YZF-R6 loves to rev – a 15,500 rpm redline was high for the time. And it’s powerful. 160mph fast doesn’t sound amazing in these days of 180+mph bikes but unleashing the Yamaha YZF-R6's 108bhp certainly feels pretty special. The midrange is surprisingly meaty too although the top end rush hides it. The gearbox isn’t the smoothest but it’s at least a match for most Hondas.
Light, rapid steering and hard to fault on the track – ultimately the Yamaha YZF-R6's pegs will touch down but that takes some doing. The bars will waggle under power but the Yamaha YZF-R6 is a fast steering track bike so that’s to be expected. It can’t quite match the composition and easy turn in of the latest supersport 600s but it’s a small difference – chassis wear will be more significant on most machines.
Sports bikes don’t have to be crippling and impractical. And the Yamaha YZF-R6 is neither. The riding position’s pretty reasonable – touring’s possible although the seat could benefit from a gel insert. The Yamaha YZF-R6's instruments are comprehensive for the era and include an extra trip meter triggered by the fuel reserve. Above average underseat storgage, good headlights, passable mirrors.
The Yamaha YZF-R6's finish is a mixed bag. Plenty of major parts resist the rigors of rain and salt well. But a few smaller parts let the Yamaha YZF-R6 down. Bolts, brackets and fasteners plus a handful of bigger components fur or rust up far too easily. Major Yamaha YZF-R6 reliability problems are extremely rare. Check for heavy oil consumption and any form of gearbox fault.
This is a popular, but value for money, class and it’s hard fought on price. The Yamaha YZF-R6 is not only the best bike from late 1998 to the end of 2000 it’s the best looking too so prices hold up quite well. Suzuki’s GSX-R is track capable but poor on the road, Honda’s CBR is a sound machine but revvy and the Kawaski’s more road focused. Find a Yamaha R6 for sale
Insurance group: 14 of 17
Compare motorcycle insurance quotes now
1998: Original Yamaha YZF-R6 launched.2001: Updated Yamaha YZF-R6 includes quick release number plate hanger and most obviously LED tail lights.2003: Yamaha YZF-R6 gets new swingarm, fuel injection replaces carbs, revised frame, five-spoke wheels.
The bike is great, really fun above 10k rpm. Did trip to france 1700 miles in 5 days, not that uncomfortable and had loads of fun. Don't like the head shakes.
23 August 2002
I have had bike since new and had micron fitted and the sound is awesome, the metzler tyre has added a new demension to the bike bike soften the dampening at the front one can corner with greater confidence and speed. Check out these tyres you wont be disapointed. Looking forward to sept 2003 new f/inj model.
31 July 2002
This is my first sports bike after riding a GPX 250 for a few years and all I can say is wow. The bike handles,moves and stops incredibly. Maybe I will think differently after a couple of years but I really dont think I will feel the need for a litre sports bike. But as they say NEVER SAY NEVER. If you are in the market for a 600 an R6 will not disappoint. I am anxiously waiting for the arrival of the all new 2003 model, because if it is as good as reports suggest then I will be at the front of the queue.
28 July 2002
Quicker than zx6r cramped twitchy front end when accelerating hard. Drops into bends easily. Lovely engine. Looks the bollocks. Wrists getting used to weight on them. Couldnt be arsed to run it in any more than 200 miles. Takes getting used to after zx6r.
02 July 2002
Love it to bits. Thought about moving to an R1, test rode one for a day, but was glad to get on my R6.
30 June 2002
Love the bike so quick and responsive.
11 June 2002
Great bike, I sold my '00 GSXR750 for it. Bike is near as fast and handles much better for me. Best bike I have ridden, better than an R1.
22 April 2002
This is my second R6. The first was a 99 model which I had in the UK. The first time I rode it quick was to mallory and found the light front and slight head shake a bit unsettling from my previuos 98 ZX6RG1. I also found it difficult to steer slowly (u turns etc) particularly right compared to the Kwak however I've never tired of it's looks. The light front and head shake is now an attraction and after a couple of track days I now feel very confident with the whole set up. My new R6 has endured the crap bumpy roads of Sydney commuting to work and will see it's first visit to Eastern Creek race track in May. Bring it on.
18 April 2002
Not as mad as last bike an R1 but just as much fun as slightly lower speeds.
17 April 2002
Love this bike, best sports bike I have owned. It is very easy to ride and lovely to look at.
05 April 2002
Add your comment –
Sign in You must be signed in to submit a comment.
30 March 2011 03:02
21 May 2008 18:56
Honda Shine bike is very good for riding and it gives good mileage and best pickup.
Show us what you've got. Share photos of your bike.
Upload your bike
Yamaha’s 2008 YZF-R6 has just become the first 600cc supersport...
MCN Chief Road Tester Trevor Franklin has just ridden the...
We've already published the first official pictures of the 2008...
Yamaha has given the new 2008 Yamaha YZF-R6 a complete...
This is the latest computer image from Swedish engineer Mikael...
Motorcycle Cover | Cheap Motorcycle Insurance | Moped Insurance | Scooter Insurance | 125 Insurance | Work Experience