The aluminium frame is lifted from the old bike – with the rake and trail remaining the same – but the fully adjustable forks have been stolen form the R1 and now have a 2mm wider 43mm diameter. The front wheel comes from the MT-10, which now accommodates a larger 320mm front disc (up from 310mm). The calipers and radial master cylinder are new, again borrowed from the R1, and ABS comes as standard.
The ABS brakes are a step forward over the old model’s, as is stability under hard stopping. The new forks deliver first class feel, and give you the confidence to brakes late and deep into corners. Once turned the R6 craves even more corner speed than before. Its agility and accuracy on track are stunning; it hits every apex with ease.
The new R6 has had to meet Euro4 emissions regs and its peak power and torque are down compared to the old model. Yamaha are quoting just 116bhp @ 14,500rpm and 45.5ftlb at 10,500rpm, which compares to 122bhp and 49.93ftlb of the old bike.
There’s crisp new fuelling but the engine remains virtually unchanged apart from the addition of a gear position sensor, which both informs the rider of the gear selected but also allows different maps for each gear.
The Euro4 engine feels strangled, it revs freely but couldn’t open its lungs to show what it could do – the famous R6 top-end rush is sadly lacking.
Despite the high revving nature of the R6 we don’t envisage any problems with the latest version as it’s primarily based on the reliable previous model.
At just under £11,000 the R6 is an expensive supersport bike, but is the only Japanese 600 machine which is Euro4 compliant.
Six-way traction control comes as standard, and works from wheel sensors instead of the more common internal measurement unit (IMU). The TC level can be changed on the move, but can only be deactivated at a standstill. There are three rider modes plus a conventional, upshift – only quickshifter. ABS now comes as standard and can’t be switched off.