YAMAHA R6 (1998-2003) Review

Published: 24 November 2006

"Sexy, uber-capable track bike that works on the road, too"

Yamaha YZF-R6 motorcycle review - Riding

"Sexy, uber-capable track bike that works on the road, too"

Overall Rating 5 out of 5

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.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

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.

Engine 4 out of 5

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.

 

Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5

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.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

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.

Equipment 4 out of 5

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.

Owners' Reviews

44 owners have reviewed their YAMAHA R6 (1998-2003) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your YAMAHA R6 (1998-2003)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.8 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.8 out of 5
Engine 4.8 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.0 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.8 out of 5
Equipment 4.0 out of 5
5 out of 5

33bhp->108bhp

07 March 2014 by chazmeercat

I was still on my restricted (33bhp) licence when I purchased this, and the acceleration was good, and overtaking was easy. However, once the restrictor was off this thing turned into a missile! The acceleration is fantastic, and just keeps going and... Read more sounds amazing. The seat and bars are comfortable enough for a few hours riding. I keep looking at other bikes, but everytime I look at my R6 I can't think of anything better looking (in my price range) that I'd rather have.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Amaaazing!

29 May 2012 by Harvey11

First sports 600, definitely made the right choice! Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

1999 Yamaha YZF R6

31 August 2011 by DuNkZz1993

Beautiful Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Quality

17 July 2011 by kaneh

Hey, I bought my 99 R6 in july 2010 and since then i cant get enough, it was my first 600 and the bike is bullet proof, all i can say is amazing! Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

2002 R6

13 May 2011 by Kando

Shocked at the speed this bike accelerates it’s a brilliant bike and well worth the money. Picked mine up for £2500 with only 7500 miles on the clock. Complete bargain. If you want a fast bike with excellent handling you can’t go wrong with an R6. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Awesome Bike

11 May 2011 by Anonymous

I Love this bike! I can’t imagine ever wanting to sell it, a definite future classic. The exhaust sound is amazing and it accelerates so hard it can easily keep up with bigger more modern sports bikes so long as you keep up the revs. The R6... Read more handles like a dream and the brakes are good too. The riding position is good for its class defiantly more comfortable than the latest 600’s. If you’re thinking of buying a 600 super sport you can’t go wrong with this bike.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

My '03 R6

12 December 2008 by gdembs

I bought my '03 R6 a year ago in 2007 with only 5,000 miles on it for $5200 - what a great value! I simply cannot believe how much power is available above 10,000 rpms for a 600cc bike. I did level 3 and 4 with Keith Code at Mid-Ohio with my R6,... Read more and can't be happier with the performance, especially for what I paid for it. It feels very light and steers quickly and precisely. I can't imagine a better track day bike for $5,000!

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

My R6

26 August 2008 by Vin Petrol

I passed my test 6weeks back,first bike is an R6 and i have to say i love it with a passion, i was looking in the Honda direction as i was always a massive Honda car nut but something about the R6 appealed and god am i glad i got it.Mine however has... Read more been modified and i do have to be aware that im not on my moto-cross bike at times...but overall id say this bike is perfect for a first bike if given the respect it deserves.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

1999 Yamaha R6

21 May 2008 by Jitzu

My first bike was an 1999 R6, I fell in love when I got it and loved it for a number of years b4 selling her and buying an '02 Honda f4i. Im not sure why I find the f4i has better handling but it just seems to be a smoother ride. I wouldnt give the... Read more yami a bad review cause it was a great bike for the 3 years that I had it! www.UsedMotorcycleDealers.info

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
-
Engine
3 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
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4 out of 5

R6

05 March 2008 by FERGY.1

i'M 5'8'' SHORT ARSE AND THE 1998 BIKE HAD ME ON ONE FOOT. GREAT ON THE ROAD SOME UN RELIABILITY ISSUES LIKE THE GEAR BOX REMINES ME OF THE FZR600. YAMS SEEM TO HAVE A CLUNKY BOX AWKWARD CHANGE AND NOT BULLET PROOF GEAR BOX. PUTS A SMILE ON YOUR FACE... Read more THOUGH BUT THEN I'VE ALWAYS LIKED THE YAM'S.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
Read all 44 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 1998
Year discontinued 2003
Original price -
Used price £2,000 to £3,800
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 14 of 17
Annual road tax £58
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 108 bhp
Max torque 55 ft-lb
Top speed 160 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.2 secs
Average fuel consumption 43 mpg
Tank range 160 miles
Specification
Engine size 599cc
Engine type 16v in-line four, 6 gears
Frame type Aluminium twin spar
Fuel capacity 17 litres
Seat height 820mm
Bike weight 169kg
Front suspension Preload, rebound, compression
Rear suspension Preload, rebound, compression
Front brake Twin 298mm discs
Rear brake 220mm disc
Front tyre size 120/60 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

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.

Other versions

None.

Photo Gallery

  • Yamaha YZF-R6 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha YZF-R6 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha YZF-R6 motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Yamaha YZF-R6 motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Yamaha YZF-R6 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha YZF-R6 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha YZF-R6 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha YZF-R6 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha YZF-R6 motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Yamaha YZF-R6 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha YZF-R6 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha YZF-R6 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha YZF-R6 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha YZF-R6 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha YZF-R6 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha YZF-R6 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha YZF-R6 motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Yamaha YZF-R6 motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Yamaha YZF-R6 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha YZF-R6 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha YZF-R6 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha YZF-R6 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha YZF-R6 motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Yamaha YZF-R6 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha YZF-R6 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha YZF-R6 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha YZF-R6 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha YZF-R6 motorcycle review - Riding
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