19 years of the Yamaha R6

Published: 31 March 2017

Since its introduction in 1998, the Yamaha R6 has defined the supersport class, and that tradition continues in 2017, with the introduction of the new model. MCN rode the 2017 Yamaha R6 at the world launch, and our Senior Road Tester Adam Child was impressed.

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Below are the six major updates for the Yamaha R6 throughout its 19 year lifespan to date, and here's to another 19 years of supersport madness from the R6.

1998

The birth of the R6. It blew the market apart in 1998/9, selling over 4000 units in the UK, and bringing a far more race-ready attitude to the supersport class. 120bhp and169kg (dry).

 

2005

As a last hurrah for the model Yamaha throw on an inverted fork, radial calipers and give the engine another tickle.

 

2006

The R6’s most radical overhaul saw it get more track-focused. A completely new machine, it blazed a trail for new tech, too – with YCC-T (Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle). The engine developed a claimed 127bhp, while Yamaha said it revved to 16,500rpm (which wasn’t quite delivered on the dyno) but it was still a screamer and, of course, sublime on track.

 

2008

Subtle chassis mods address rigidity issues. YCC-I (Yamaha Chip Controlled Intake) joins the YCC-T, and increased compression ratio (13:1) takes power up to a claimed 129bhp.

 

2010

The last update for the model saw Yamaha shave a few bhp off the top end to give it back in the midrange. The end can, once a stubby little affair, gets a little longer and more ungainly.

2017

Heavily revised 2017 model revealed complete with M1 styling, traction control, quick-shifter, R1 suspension, Euro4 compliance and ABS.

 

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