Shorts test: 2010 Yamaha YZF-R6

The new Yamaha YZF-R6 being tested

So far it was clear: no other 600 series was so radical, so loud, so clearly designed for racing. But now Yamaha is hitting a quieter note with the 2010 R6.

M.an could blaspheme now. About the most prominent feature of the redesigned R6, for example.

But that is not what the sports driver community is entitled to, given the undoubted merits of the R6. After all, it was she who started the trend away from the bulky, unfavorable underseat exhaust towards the central, compact silencer stub. Of course it is ironic that she is now walking around a less successful draft on this subject. But what should it do, the aftermarket will fix it.

Fortunately, the rest of the R6 has remained formally exactly as it was, namely razor-sharp. This does not apply so unreservedly to the key technical data. "The aim of the 2010 R6 was to improve the engine characteristics in the speed ranges in which one often moves in normal operation", says Yamaha press spokesman Karlheinz Vetter for the record. That is astonishing, especially with the 600cc performance so far all that counted. Nominally five HP less peak power, resulting from different exhaust, mapping and air filter, come as a surprise. And yet for most – namely civilian users – there is nothing more than an insignificant side note at the rarely visited end of the speed range.


2010 Yamaha YZF-R6: The new silence with a longer stub that obviously keeps a distance from the swing arm.

It is practically unnoticeable that the top of the R6 crankshaft is no longer rotating quite so rampantly. In terms of driving performance, it is also impossible to measure the lack of performance. A loss of a tenth of a second from zero to 200 km / h (9.8 to 9.7 seconds) is within the range of the usual tolerance. Unfortunately, this essentially also applies to the other end of the speed range. Anyone who, blindfolded, should distinguish between the old and the new R6 at five-digit speeds on this side will fail. An advantage is not noticeable – and also not measurable. Up to 11,000 rpm, the curves are practically congruent before the new one visibly drops.

So everything as usual for everyone who doesn’t come to the dynamometer three times a week. There the new R6 delivered two horsepower less at its peak. And something else: the new R6 has become noticeably quieter. Fortunately, not so much in the subjective perception of the driver, because the hoarse screeching from the airbox still drowns out everything. But for the neighbors and residents. What has remained, however, is the directness, the immediate, that unique racing feeling that the radical Yamaha has always conveyed. She is and remains a very hot topic.


Power on the crankshaft; Measurements on Dynojet roller dynamometer 250.

If you look at the performance curves of the old and new R6, will hardly see any differences. A practically identical course up to 11000 rpm (the two Newton meters more torque advised by Yamaha Germany are at best between 6000 and 8000 rpm and between 11000 and 13000 rpm understandable) before the curve of the 2010 R6 drops. The curve of the Honda CBR 600 RR used for comparison shows how things are much better in the middle speed range. At the top, however, the new R6, which is two hp weaker than the Honda, is still stronger and more revving than the Honda and impresses with explosive power delivery. Nevertheless: The model upgrade does not bring any real progress.

MOTORRAD would have two suggestions for the next facelift: Make the exhaust a little faster again. And finally, instead of the much-scolded Dunlop Qualifier first tires, put on a tire with which the R6 can also showcase its talents accordingly.

Technical specifications:
Four-cylinder in-line engine, 599 cm³, 91 kW (124 hp) at 14500 / min, 66 Nm at 10500 / min, light metal bridge frame, double disc brake at the front, 0 310 mm, seat height 850 mm, top speed 270 km / h, price 11,995 euros

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