MCN Fleet: How costly is the R6?

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The term ‘Man maths’ refers to using semi-rational reasons, rather than the actual figures, to justify  your purchase. It’s an expression I use at home all-to-often. For example, last year I bought a non-running classic VW camper van, and justified this to the wife by explaining I’d actually saved the family money. “From now on we don’t have to pay for expensive family holidays, instead we can use the VW camper for short family trips, which is cheaper, therefore using man-maths I’ve actually saved money.” It works for bikes, bits and racing, too.

I took delivery of my long-term test R6 in late May, just before the TT, and we immediately clicked, but over the past the past ten months I’ve modified my Yamaha a bit. As standard, the bike is heavily restricted to meet cloying Euro4 regulations, but the true power with a free breathing Akrapovic exhaust system. Previously, kicking out 114bhp, my R6 is now producing a healthy 121bhp and there’s still more to come. More importantly, midrange power is now increased too. The cost? £323 for the titanium silencer, £685 for the stainless downpipes. The gain is impressive, but man maths would be the reason to justify the purchase.  

The suspension is just where I want it, thanks to a visit to K-Tech. As standard it was far too stuff, pogoing me out of the seat on my local roads. All the Northern suspension heroes did was come up with a great set-up using the standard, but it made the bike feel so much plusher and easy to ride. At £54 it brilliant value, but I’d still have to use man maths to justify it to the wife. The same goes for the £67 Gear Gremlin heated grips. They’re a bargain, though.

We’ve gelled and clicked together, we now complement each other like Burt and Ernie, and I’m sad that I never got to road race the R6 – though that requires a whole new level on man maths to justify. With just some race bodywork and a little weight saving she’d be perfect for the North West or even the TT. The standard suspension is so good I doubt we’ve even purchase specialist race items either. I can’t think of many bikes which are this rideable and fun, yet not intimidating out-of-the box. It’s a testament to the screaming, wailing yet friendly character of Yamaha’s YZF-R6.