YAMAHA R6 (2008-on) Review

Published: 19 November 2007

"The definitive supersport package; on the track, that is"

Yamaha R6 review action

"The definitive supersport package; on the track, that is"

  • At a glance
  • 599cc  -  133 bhp
  • 45 mpg  -  160 miles range
  • Medium seat height (850mm)
  • £9,299

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

Yamaha’s designers had one problem with superceding its 2006-07 R6, and that was how to improve a motorcycle that was very good in the first place. But improve it they have with clever attention to details borne from its World Supersport racing program. A designer’s touch here and the same effort there, has led to the Yamaha R6 being the definitive supersport package – on the track, that is. How its screaming performance will fare on UK roads against the mid-range king Honda CBR600RR remains to be seen.

 

Watch the Yamaha R6 take on Honda's CBR600RR, Triumph's Daytona 675, Suzuki's new GSX-R600 K8 and Kawasaki's ZX-6R.

Watch the Yamaha R6 take on the Suzuki GSX650F

Watch the track launch of the Yamaha R6 at the Sugo circuit, Japan

 

Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5

Biggest area of improvement with the Yamaha R6 happens here. The frame has been stiffened around the headstock to reduce braking effect through the frame and then reduced the frame’s overall stiffness for more agility. This is topped off with a heavier braced swingarm. The motorcycle is more stable but retains its quick steering ability. The suspension has been revised internally and is arguably the best mass-produced stuff on any current production bike. The bars are 5mm lower and angled slightly different, but it’s still the same motorcycle to ride; only better when riding faster.

Engine 4 out of 5

Top end performance was the Yamaha R6’s strong point and still is. But with updated ECU and fuel injection, the highest ever compression seen on a Yamaha and variable height inlet trumpets (as used on this year’s R1), the R6’s midrange drive has been propped up. Not that there was a reliability issue with the R6, but Yamaha has revised various internals (camchain tensioner, oil-ways on the rods etc) to deal with the high rpm live it leads.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

No qualms with the previous Yamaha R6 – apart from the lying tachometer (18,000rpm was the claimed figure, only 15,800rpm in reality) – so MCN doesn’t envisage any problems with this latest version. What is slightly annoying is the original 18lt tank size has dropped 0.7lt to 17.3lts.

Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5

If your view of a race-replica supersports 600 is a motorcycle that delivers high rpm performance, razor sharp handling and is finished off with looks straight from the race track, then the Yamaha R6 is yours. In answer to the question why not change this models looks from last year’s, Yamaha’s answer was that it means owners of the older bike won’t have bikes that look outdated and therefore the resale value won’t plummet. Find a Yamaha R6 for sale

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

Equipment 4 out of 5

As a pared to the bone supersports the Yamaha R6 is not loaded with niceties such as heated grips and panniers. The only equipment to shout about here is the fly-by-wire-throttle and variable inlet tracts. Yamaha crowed about the new magnesium alloy subframe (lighter by 450g) but the motorcycle’s overall weight hasn’t dropped due to the mechanicals operating the inlet tracts. But we love the new slimline tailpiece, reshaped fairing and colour schemes.

Owners' Reviews

10 owners have reviewed their YAMAHA R6 (2008-on) 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 4.8 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.6 out of 5
Engine 4.9 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.7 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.8 out of 5
Equipment 4.2 out of 5
5 out of 5

Always a YZF rider

04 August 2013 by YZF750RR

I am miffed that this review is based on a 2008 R6 when the bike had changes to tech in the engine, suspension and ergonomics (a little) in 2010. Just colour changes since, so come on guys (MCN or Yamaha) update the page. Ta. I will be picking up my... Read more 2010 R6 this coming weekend and riding 240 miles home. so, I will get to know this bike by the time I get home.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
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 5 out of 5
4 out of 5

R-sex

26 April 2011 by tamlin23

If you want to know how good these bikes are, select 'bikes for sale' and compare these with the equivalent value of GSXR's and ZX6R's. These really hold their value well, partly because Yamaha have not devloped them away too quickly, so not... Read more lowering the value through the ageing affect, and because they don't do silly discounts like Kawasaki do, which kills the residual value of ZX6R's. You may have spotted I didn't include the CBR in that analysis, and thats because they are in a very similar position to the Yamaha of course. Top quality, parts and paint, built to un-questionable standards, and the R6 brings with it that amazing rev ceiling! I really enjoy the sound of a GSXR under load and revving high, but this R6 seems be just that bit better, I can't really explain how (great for a review I know), but again, it just has that edge of quality to it. When sittig on an R6 straight after a GSXR or ZX6R, I notice it feels more like you are on the bike than in it, a bit like Triumph's 675, but for me this just makes it feel more edgy and sportier. I wasn't sure about them before, I'm not the kind of chap that tries to make friends with the popular guy, but instead likes to see if I can support a worthy underdog. So though I hate to say it, I really do like this bike... So on that note it may surprise you to learn I would actually buy the ZX6R instead! Why? well it's just as quick on the road as the R6, but most of the time in the used market, for the equivalent year/miles the ZX6R is a grand cheaper! I know, I'm tight ;-)

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 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

R6

10 April 2010 by jocasaja

I traded in my 08R6 for a zx10 to keep up with my nephew who has an 09 blade - several bikes down the line and I am back on the best bike ever - had a gsxr750 for 5 months - nice bike but couldnt get the R6 out of my head - rode 180 down to crescent... Read more yamaha and traded in for a 200 mile 59 reg demo - I honestly think that the look, sound and feel of this bike beats all for pleasure/excitement - I know it is a little flat in the middle, but the way it spins up and that howling sound - magic. I also think that it has the finest build quality and beats my nephews blade with its rusty flaky exhaust and rusty nuts!

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 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great

07 September 2009 by dev_d7

I own an R6 race bike... and I love it. Sure it's been tweaked and gets ridden hard - but I thought that was the point?! I would not buy one for the road though, as being lucky enough to have ridden a number of other bikes, I'd go for something... Read more like a GSXR 750 or a CBR 600 for the road. Can someone please explain to me how MCN rates the 2006/7 bike as being a better bike overall (5/5) and has more equipment (5/5) when this bike is improved and the equipment stays pretty much the same???

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 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
5 out of 5

Speed

12 March 2009 by FMF1983

If, like me, you get on one of these with no previous experience of sportsbikes you'll wonder what the hell all of those bike journalists are on about when they moan about this bike having no mid-range - it's all relative. The rush this bike(or... Read more any sportsbike Im sure)can give is a fantastic feeling. The only negative for me is the wrist pain that can set in during stop-start city centre traffic. Get it out on the open road and hold on tight!

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
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
4 out of 5

Only 1 Year

18 September 2008 by JesteR6

Alway loved the R6 as I had a couple of early models. This model is far more focused, keep the revs up and the grin factor just doesn't go away. I commuted on mine and had a bad accident, although the bike was riden off the motorway, shows the... Read more quality of the chasis and engine. Only had her for a year as she was written off but would get another in a heart beat.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
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 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

08 R6

28 June 2008 by jocasaja

talk of it being too focussed is rubbish. Yes it is at its best when being thrashed, but it can also be enjoyed at a more relaxed pace. I owned an 06 R6, and this is that bit better. The extra midrange shove is noticeable. I get fed up of tyres that... Read more burn out in 2000miles so I have just put on a pair of diablo stradas! Apart from feeling 'stiffer' and looking like tractor tyres they seem fine. I have slackened off all the suspension settings a litle to help them work better, and give a slightly plusher ride. Fantastic bike, best looking 600 by far, and I reckon I could do several hours on it wihout any comfort issues.

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 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

2008 R6

04 May 2008 by Chri5

Two words.Love it! Gotta agree with Rsix, gotta be in the mood which i always am when out on it, and if im not, i soon get into it :) Love the engine, keep it up over 10k and its just mental. Quite stiff as standard but find a smooth road or track... Read more and its a blast!!

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
5 out of 5

2008 R6

04 May 2008 by Chri5

Two words.Love it! Gotta agree with Rsix, gotta be in the mood which i always am when out on it, and if im not, i soon get into it :) Love the engine, keep it up over 10k and its just mental. Quite stiff as standard but find a smooth road or track... Read more and its a blast!!

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 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 08 R6

27 April 2008 by Rsix

Two words.Love it. Definately have to be in the mood when riding it.Not a great bike at slow speeds, but then who buys a supersport 600 to go to the shops on?? Begs to be ridden hard and fast, with a fantastic screaming motor.Very solid handling and... Read more very flickable.In my opion, the sexiest bike/600 out there. Bring on track day season.

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
Read all 10 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2008
Year discontinued -
New price £9,299
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 15 of 17
Annual road tax £58
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 133 bhp
Max torque 51 ft-lb
Top speed 165 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 10.75 secs
Average fuel consumption 45 mpg
Tank range 160 miles
Specification
Engine size 599cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled,16v dohc, in-line four, four-stroke, 6 gears, fuel injection
Frame type Dual beam aluminium
Fuel capacity 17 litres
Seat height 850mm
Bike weight 166kg
Front suspension Rebound and high & low speed compression damping with pre-load adjustment
Rear suspension Rebound and high & low speed compression damping with pre-load adjustment
Front brake 2 x 310mm front discs with 4-piston calipers
Rear brake 265mm rear disc with 1-piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

2007: New model launched.

Other versions

None.

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