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

47 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 4.7 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.7 out of 5
Engine 4.8 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.7 out of 5
Equipment 4.1 out of 5
4 out of 5

WHITE & RED 99 5EB R6

06 February 2016 by Justin

Nice wee bikes, I've owned most late 90's bikes and this is the fastest but personally I enjoyed my GSXR 600 SRAD more, I enjoyed both of them more. The R6 build quality is shabby, thin low quality fairing (yes as standard). My Verdict is the Honda... Read more CBR600 F3 98 model is comfier a tad slower but not much, makes every day riding easy, if your wanting this R6 as an everyday bike go for it, I'm only 5ft6 and I didn't find it cramped in any way. Infact this is more comfy to ride than a SRAD. Very quick for a pre-injection 600! below 6k there is nothing what so ever, but but twist the throttle, be committed to every corner and you'll be trying to have fun and not lose your license at the same time haha! Oh and lets face it the 5EB is the best looking pre 2000 600cc supersports.

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

The Emperor's Clothes

03 November 2015 by Loz

The voice of reason Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
The bike is probably best when it is stationery. My bike was horribly unstable at speed and refused to hold a line in corners. This was with new Pilot 2cts at the correct pressures. No doubt it would have benefitted from a suspension fettle but I was so underwhelmed by the engine I decided to just sell the bike.
Engine
3 out of 5
Definite powerband starting around 8.5k revs, which makes road riding a pain in the butt at times as the midrange is really poor. It's not just me that thinks this, check online reviews elsewhere.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
I was very impressed with the build quality of this bike I have to say, although the rectifier packed up. (but I only had the bike for four months)
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
It has everything a sportbike needs and nothing more. Digital dash is clear and well thought out.
Buying experience

Bought privately for 1900 in red. Average mileage but overall a very clean bike.

5 out of 5

07 August 2015 by Gazza

My first big bike. Excellent choice. Handles well, deliveres all the power when you need it. Pure fun. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 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
-
Read all 47 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 1998
Year discontinued 2003
Original price -
Used price £2,000 to £3,000
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 14 of 17
Annual road tax £60
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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