YAMAHA R6 (2004-2005) Review

Published: 23 November 2006

"Still comes with toys like radial brakes and is seriously underrated"

Yamaha YZF-R6 motorcycle review - Riding

"Still comes with toys like radial brakes and is seriously underrated"

  • At a glance
  • 599cc  -  108 bhp
  • 42 mpg  -  160 miles range
  • Medium seat height (808mm)

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

For a supersports machine that’s as easy to ride to the shops as it is round Donington Park the 2005 Yamaha YZF-R6 comes close to spot-on. Launched as a rearguard action while the factory prepared their dinky, ride-by-wire ’06 hottie, this older version of the Yamaha YZF-R6 still comes with toys like radial brakes and is seriously underrated.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

Thanks to the upside-down forks, stiffer chassis and radial brakes the Yamaha YZF-R6's handling is better than ever. The Yamaha YZF-R6's suspension works very well, with plenty of adjustment available to help you dial in your riding style. It’s not too cramped, but anyone over six foot tall is going to struggle to stay comfortable for long on the Yamaha YZF-R6 and the low screen is rubbish at distance work.

Engine 4 out of 5

The ’05 Yamaha YZF-R6 comes with better mid-range than previous models and it spins up more quickly, too, thanks to bigger throttle bodies and an improved engine map. The Yamaha YZF-R6's 16v, DOHC motor is just as frenetic as ever, but around town there’s loads more flexibility than before. The Yamaha YZF-R6 gearbox is as stiff as ever, though.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

Yamaha’s build quality is very good, and with a massive 6000 miles between services you’ll spend more time (and less money) riding the Yamaha YZF-R6 than servicing it.

Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5

The 2005-2006 Yamaha YZF-R6 represents very good value for money, especially as secondhand values are dropping off after the importer slashed new prices to make way for the brand new for 2006, ride-by-wire Yamaha YZF-R6. The older bike suffered, but it’s still a superb machine for the money. The only problem being when you come to sell your Yamaha YZF-R6 on as it’s not particularly desirable in a market where new technology rules. Find a Yamaha R6 for sale

Insurance group: 15 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

There’s an ignition-based immobiliser, programmable shift light and radial brakes and master cylinder as standard. A steering damper would make a better first buy for your Yamaha YZF-R6 than any race pipe.

Owners' Reviews

4 owners have reviewed their YAMAHA R6 (2004-2005) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 3.5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.5 out of 5
Engine 4.5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3.5 out of 5
Equipment 3.5 out of 5
4 out of 5

'05 Raven 6

19 December 2009 by Pharaoh41282

My Raven was a beautiful bike. Engine could have been stronger, but was still on par with the rest of the 600 competition. No steering damper or slipper clutch equipped means more money on aftermarket stuff. Never bought the slipper, but after... Read more fitting a damper, handling improved ten-fold. Price was a bit steep, but only because the dealer wouldn't let me budge on the Raven when it first came out. Very reliable. After a collision at around 55 mph, she got up and got me home.

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

Paid £3850 in 2008! Awesome Bike for money

03 May 2008 by cbsracing

After selling by 00' blade to fund a RTW trip, I returned and wanted another sportsbike. I was looking at Daytonas and R6's from 2006 onwards and stumbled on this bargain of a century. The 2005 R6 has all the trick suspension and brakes it's just the... Read more old R6 uprated a bit... But nothing was massively wrong with the old one, I think you can't go wrong when a 3800 mile R6 goes for 3850... thats like a £1 for every mile it's done. Stonking motor, just feels like it needs an extra gear or the gearing slightly adjusted, because it still has loads of power when it hits the redline in top and the clock shows 165. Handling wise, the standard suspension is a little unforgiving on british roads, which when pushed hard can lead to tank slappers and the back end jumping around. The build quality seems good but this bike has been pampered, and until its abused and used all year round I won't know how good it can be. Gorgeous Dash, looks great in the black colour scheme, and with an akrapovic sounds awesome, what's bad about it? The paint on the rear swing arm is crap and has rubbed off from boots, and the toolkit jangles around in the back as the rubber straps dont fit on properly, but this maybe because the accumen alarm system blocks it... There is not a lot to fault, but I was shocked by the insurance, £400 tpft, when my blade was £300 tpft... You can't go far wrong if you want to buy a 3 year old bike, because the model change, they are seen as less desirable and as such Cheep Cheep like the budgie!!!

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

Traded in T595 and was not disappointed!!!

12 February 2006 by cyrilozzy

Had my R6 for 8 months and have done 6500 miles. Only very cold January mornings have not brought a smile to my face. Have changed tyres to Avon Viper Sports with a 70 profile on the front and dropped yokes down forks by 5mm. Akrapovic end can on her... Read more sounds beautifull! Scotoiler and double screen finish her off. I just love this bike, I'm going to get a test ride on the new R6 because it must be good to make me part with mine. Even takes the wife on the back with 2 clicks extra on pre-load no fuss. Forget all the rubbish about having to thrash R6's all the time to get anywhere, there is more than enough power. In a nut-shell, totaly seductive.  Strengths: Great to just get on and ride. No fuss, forgiving and most of all alot of fun. Weaknesses: Snappy power delivery in low gears and around town. Standard tyres on cold winter mornings. Standard exhaust.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
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
1 out of 5

Excellent bike, but be sure this is what you want!

04 August 2005 by ukuleleking

I bought my R6 new and now, a month later, am selling it. There's absolutely nothing wrong with the bike: it's extremely fast even though not yet fully run in, corners where you look and the engine is super-smooth. But it's very uncomfortable... Read more compared to other bikes I've owned, so much so that I'm a worse rider on it because I'm worried about feeling uncomfortable rather than worrying about where I'm going/what's going on around me. I'm 6' tall, in my mid-30s and practise yoga every day, so it's not that I'm giant-sized, old, pot-bellied or rigid. Other bikes I've owned include a Thundercat, Hornets and CBR600s (Fs, not RRs!): in retrospect these were better bikes for me because, although they don't ultimately have the same potential top speed, in real life they're quicker. I'm sure the R6 is a great bike for many people, and if you want a race rep for track use or quick half-hour to hour-long blasts it's ideal. But I've found it too focused on a kind of riding I don't do.  Strengths: Power, maneuverability, fantastic looking. Weaknesses: Ergonomics: the riding position is very cramped. When reviews say 'comfortable', sometimes adding 'for a modern sports 600', I think what they really mean is 'less uncomfortable than the others'.

Overall Rating 1 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 1 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
Read all 4 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2004
Year discontinued 2005
Original price £6,599
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 15 of 17
Annual road tax £58
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 108 bhp
Max torque 50 ft-lb
Top speed 160 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.5 secs
Average fuel consumption 42 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 808mm
Bike weight 163kg
Front suspension Preload, rebound, compression
Rear suspension Preload, rebound, compression
Front brake Twin 310mm discs
Rear brake 220mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

1999: At its launch the Yamaha YZF-R6 revolutionised the 600 market. With a stacked gearbox, ram-air, monoblock brakes and light weight it ruled the streets.
2003: Yamaha YZF-R6 gains fuel-injection.
2005: Radial brakes, upside-down forks and more power is added to Yamaha YZF-R6.
2006: New Yamaha YZF-R6 with ride-by-wire, stubby underslung exhaust, more power and a slipper clutch, but old model continues.

Other versions

Yamaha YZF-R46: Limited edition Valentino Rossi tribute Yamaha YZF-R6 with double-sided paintscheme, and Termignoni race can.

Photo Gallery

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