First test: 2005 R6

Published: 20 October 2004

The new R6 gets upside-down forks for the first time and radial front brake calipers. There's a revised engine (aimed at improved response rather than raising peak power)

The R6 also gets: Moto-GP-style radial brake master cylinder, revised chassis geometry, New rear suspension linkage, bigger throttle bodies, new engine internals, higher profile front tyre, new bellypan to increase front tyre clearance... and a longer sidestand.

MCN’s Michael Neeves has just stepped off the new 2005 Yamaha R6 in Valencia, Spain, where he has been riding it alongside Yamaha-riding MotoGP world champ Valentino Rossi.

On Friday at 4pm (Oct 22, 2004) Neeves said: “Rossi has been showing us around the track, showing us a few lines, and then gone out on his Rossi rep R46. He’s been a right laugh – wheelieing everywhere and backing it in for the corners.”

The new bike has proved as enjoyable for Neeves on the track. “In isolation it’s absolutely brilliant. The track is warm and dry here and it’s been top fun.”

But it’s too early to say if it can top the new crop of 600s from Kawasaki and Honda for 2005.

“Only a stopwatch will reveal that on the track,” said Neeves.

He is, however, certain that the new radially-mounted front brake calipers make for a significant improvement to stopping power.

The handling is changed with new geometry and suspension changes and new 40mm throttle bodies and minor engine mods boosting power by around 3bhp. But the bike is also 1kg heavier.

Read Neeves’ full first test report ONLY in MCN out on Wednesday, October 27, 2004

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