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MCN Fleet: What’s my R6 like in the wet?

Published: 26 September 2017

Updated: 26 September 2017

My R6 is the only 600cc Supersport machine on the market with traction control and ABS as standard. In theory it should be able to cut it in the wet, but can it?

I’d recently fitted brand new Metzeler Racetec rubber, which although are road legal, aren’t the perfect choice for standing water on a slippery race track. But thankfully my R6 has six-level traction control and when you take into consideration the ABS — it shouldn’t skate around like Bambi on ice.

In the wet I’m forced to completely change my lines, spending as little time as possible on the sidewall of the tyre. Braking and hard acceleration has to be done upright as neither the traction control or ABS is lean-sensitive.

Unlike Yamaha’s R1, the R6 doesn’t have the capability to measure lean angle. Therefore I’m forced to square corners off as much as possible, only relying on the rider aids once upright.

You have to brake while vertical, let the ABS do its job. Then turn in gently, get the bike upright again and crack the throttle, allowing the TC to find the available grip. The harder you ride the warmer the tyres get, resulting in more grip. You can feel the ABS working overtime, especially the rear.

In the rain, it’s unnatural to jump on the brakes without any finesse and grab a handful of brake. However, the rider aids are there to help not hinder, and without them I wouldn’t have felt as comfortable in the tricky conditions.

So, can the R6 cut it in the wet? It certainly can. Bring on Autumn, I can’t wait.

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