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2017 Yamaha YZF-R6 Debuts in Florida

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Rather than Intermot a week ago, Yamaha chose the U.S. industry show in Florida, AIMExpo, as the venue for the unveiling of the redesigned 2017 YZF-R6. Although much is new, much stays the same.

The engine is essentially a carryover from the prior model, but there is a big boost in electronic rider aids. Suspension and brakes also change with a new KYB fork (the same fork used on the standard R1) and KYB shock (again identical to the unit found on the R1). Also from the R1 are new four-piston brake calipers squeezing 320 mm front discs with standard ABS.

Other detail changes include an aluminum fuel tank and entirely new instrument cluster.

Cosmetically, the new R6 looks much like its bigger brother, the R1. Yamaha says the 2017 R6 is extremely aerodynamic with a new fairing and turn signals incorporated into the rear view mirrors.

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Here is how Yamaha describes the changes for 2017:

  • Thrilling New R-Series Styling
    Sleek new fairings immediately signal the serious intent of the 2017 YZF-R6 while boosting aerodynamic efficiency. All-LED lighting creates a sinister new front face, while integrated front turn signals, a new aluminum fuel tank, and R1-style tail section with stepped seat finish off the profile perfectly.
  • All-New Suite of Electronic Rider Aids
    Thanks to the ride-by-wire Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T®), the 2017 YZF-R6 integrates a range of electronic rider aids to give the rider even more control, including selectable D-Mode engine response, a multi-mode traction control system and an accessory quick shifter.
  • R1-Derived Suspension
    To ensure absolute confidence in the front tire with ideal feedback, the new R6 features the same KYB® 43mm inverted front fork as the YZF-R1®, tuned to suit the unique characteristics of the R6. A new KYB® rear shock provides a massive range of adjustment as well.
  • Upgraded Brakes with ABS
    For 2017, the YZF-R6 now features larger 320mm front disc brakes, matched to radial-mount four-piston calipers and a Nissin® radial-mount master cylinder, all right off the R1, for exceptional braking power. ABS is also new for 2017, to ensure braking control across less than ideal road conditions.

The 2017 YZF-R6 will have an U.S. MSRP of $12,199.00, and will be available in U.S. dealerships beginning in March of next year. Take a look at Yamaha’s web site for additional details and specifications.

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60 Comments

  1. VEGA says:

    The front reminds me of a snail… You know, twin “headlights”…

    And the exhaust seems to be “erect” for some reasons…!

  2. Tim C says:

    This is not an attractive motorycle. In black it looks like Giger’s alien.

  3. Spiderwatts says:

    Oh my! So many new and fantastic bikes! Hide my wallet!

  4. mkv says:

    Ooooooh

    It’s so Hi Tech, that they still use a barrel iginition key. Which can be easily defeated and cut.

  5. Vrooom says:

    From the side it’s a stunning bike, I less like the front. But I’m not there customer, 6’1″ on a 600cc sportbike is a tight fit, never mind my aging back! It will sell.

  6. Kagato says:

    That is one beautiful scoot : – )

  7. WJF says:

    the guys delivering the speeches at the AIM expo need a little tony robbins enthusiasm…

  8. Jeremy in TX says:

    I think it is a stunning bike, every bit as lustful as the Italian designs to me – maybe even more so. Good job Yamaha.

    • Agreed. Although I usually prefer motor configurations other than inline four, I admiti it is hard to beat the visceral effect of a motor at 16K. Good on Yamaha for making this bike. They have a great lineup these days.

  9. xLaYN says:

    What a beautiful bike.
    R1 looks, brakes, suspension and traction control are a helluva of upgrades.

    The R6 in my opinion has always been a reference for the segment and that 600 mill is probably at the limits of what you can get with reliability.

  10. Tommy D says:

    I have the R1 and can honestly say that it’s not about the motor or the look. It’s the incredible electronics at the race track. I can’t describe how amazing it is. It blows my mind on corner exits sliding just so. Terrible to my tire budget but WOW! Could I do that before this bike? NOPE! I didn’t dare. Now that electrowiz trickles down to the R6. On the street you can talk about looks and motors but when you are racing its about how early you can get on the throttle. If its close to what the R1 delivers then I predict there will be a lot of club racers winning championships on the new R6. It just makes it easier to put more focus on lines and markers while the electronics monitor the peaky power delivery.

    • Back in the day, so many of us rode 600cc sportbikes on the road. But these days, with a proliferation of slightly larger mid-sized (read: more torquey) machines, I can’t help but think this new R6 should be judged more by what happens at the track. Just as you say.
      Maybe they’ll even start winning some races. Oh, wait… 😉

  11. VROD says:

    Since Yamaha has been making 3 cylinder motorcycles I really believed they were refining the 3 cylinder engine for the new R6; I read some thought the new R1 would be a 3 cylinder. We were wrong… beautiful motorcycle the R6, but that peaky inline 4 engine carried over is the reason I will pass. Daytona 675R here I come. I and many others thought/hoped the Yamaha R6 would be a 3 cylinder 🙁 Damn!!!!!!!

    • xLaYN says:

      I did search for some data on 3’s vs 4’s and it seems like they do actually have an edge on power and torque across the rev range.
      (At least according to Sport Rider review 3 years ago).

      More torque means moving more easier (vs bumping revs to sky and play with the clutch)…. so maybe 3’s are the way to go…

      • mickey says:

        Torque is good for the street, but horsepower is good for the track where most of the time is spent at high revs. I think in small displacements a triple is probably better for a street bike (less so in large displacements since most 4 cyl liter bikes and above can be ridden down to 1500-2000 rpms and pull away cleanly) but as the R6 emulates a racer, a 4 is probably appropriate. Notice Yamaha does not race any triples, nor do they make a race bike inspired triple for the street. R3’s are twins, R6’s and R-1’s are 4’s.

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “I think in small displacements a triple is probably better for a street bike”

          I can not tell a lie, after my first test ride of the original D675, i had James Brown’s “Sex Machine” playing in my head the rest of that day (yes it’s that good). I can only imagine what the MKII with it’s revised bore and stroke is like…?

    • Norm G. says:

      POINT: “I read some thought the new R1 would be a 3 cylinder.”

      COUNTERPOINT: no worries, no one watching Ross and Jay in MotoGP or knows the name Masao Furusawa or the term “Crossplane” thought this.

      re: “We were wrong”

      lil’ bit. (Deniro voice)

      re: “I and many others thought/hoped the Yamaha R6 would be a 3 cylinder”

      alright stop messing with us, you’re so silly. though don’t give up hope, they could certainly offer a 2nd model ala Zed 636, but the R6 and R1 ladies and gentlemen are for the “H” word. see entry for “homologation”.

  12. Rocky V says:

    I could never get use to my Ninja 600 on the street–i too think they should move to a 3 cylinder

  13. Ben says:

    Pretty soon the 600cc I4 screamer is gonna be a thing of the past and folks are going to be begging and moaning to bring them back. They’re going to claim their 650cc I2s just don’t have enough character.

    • azi says:

      Agreed. I think we’re at a tipping point where inline 4 cylinder machines are starting to be in the minority. The circle of life.

      • stratkat says:

        and yet Yamaha released another inline 4.
        how many triples are there in the racing world? people will always want them, its an iconic format. and incidentally im a high performance twin guy.

  14. Don says:

    Great looking bike and wonderful analog tach. I would buy this just to have the instruments.
    Digital tachs really suck.. I have one on my fz09 and its a joke. looks like sht too.
    I would buy one but need more geetas in the bank

    • Fivespeed302 says:

      I have a 2009 R1, and that whole dash looks ripped straight off my bike. It works great but I’m surprised they recycled the part.

  15. PN says:

    Well, the old engine is just too peaky. A 650 triple would’ve been the ticket. And the ergos are still too extreme for a street bike even if Yamaha wants you to buy it as a track bike. But only 1% of riders do that. Plus, a 600 costs as much to make as a litre bike so why should the manufacturers bother? Honda saw the handwriting on the wall. No more CBR600RRs. I’m more interested in the new 650 Ninja.

    • todd says:

      Because it’s always more satisfying to blow your buddies on liter-bikes away while riding a 600.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I had read a while back that the R6 was Yamaha’s best selling model prior to 2015. I don’t know if that still holds true for 2015 and beyond, but I imagine Yamaha didn’t want to risk messing with a good thing too much.

      • Selecter says:

        You saw the same article I did. That article referenced the 2015 model year – the R6 was their best-selling bike.

        Makes you wonder if Honda just dropped the ball, market-wise, with their last iteration of the CBR600RR…

        • PN says:

          It’s hard to believe the R6 was Yamaha’s best-selling model when it changed the market with the FZ-09. Anyway, if the R6 is Yamaha’s best-seller Yamaha is none too happy about that, I’m sure. The 600 sport bike market dropped off a cliff in 2009 and just hasn’t come back. I like sport bikes but most young men can’t afford them or their insurance, and that’s the market they’re made for. I think a 600 sport bike makes much more sense than a litre bike–who can ride this stuff?–but it looks like their day has come and gone.

    • Dave says:

      Re: ” Honda saw the handwriting on the wall. No more CBR600RRs”

      Interesting. If true, I wonder what that means to the Moto2 series? Will Honda still supply the engines?

      • Norm G. says:

        Q: If true, I wonder what that means to the Moto2 series?

        A: guaranteed sales at a profit.

        Q: Will Honda still supply the engines?

        BETTER Q: does the rich man “drunk” off his power, control, and undue influence ever consciously make a decision of his own free will to “sober up”…?

        A: no.

        • Dave says:

          Do you think supplying engines from motorcycles you don’t sell an equivalent to really helps sales?

          I think KTM gets more brand cred for a KTM Moto2 bike that uses a Honda engine (that nobody talks about), then Honda gets from a field full of Kalex & Suter racing chassis with Honda engines (that nobody talks about). From the racing side of it, Honda doesn’t get to “win” since there isn’t another engine brand to “lose” to them.

          I’m probably overthinking this ..

    • Joe Bogusheimer says:

      Do most 600 class racing series permit 650 (or 675?) cc triples? And if so, are they competitive on the HP tracks?

      You guys are probably right that a larger displacement triple (why stop at 650 or 675 cc, though?) is probably for the street. But this bike is essentially built for racing.

  16. azi says:

    Good stuff – refinement of the package rather than a whole new redesign. I like how the chassis got more attention than the powerplant.

    I’m glad that they have kept this update lithe and trim – unlike the euro supersports which are bloating into virtual litrebikes (looking at you Ducati, MV, and Triumph).

  17. beasty says:

    Meh. Looks like every other squidmobile produced in the last ten years. Very creative, a blue Yamaha. Oh, and a black one too!

  18. Norm G. says:

    wow, it actually DOES look better than the R1. they especially improved appearance of the upper around those “Speedy Snail” head lights.

  19. Fivespeed302 says:

    Looks like they are using the instrument panel from the ’09-’14 R1.

  20. TF says:

    The blue/grey version with gold forks is especially nice looking. There’s a nice big spot on the front for your yellow number 46 sticker.

  21. -D says:

    I think this is the best looking R6 yet, and that’s not an easy thing to say since the original R1 (1998) is the sexiest looking Japanese sportbike ever created since the debut of Italy’s now iconic Ducati 916.
    It doesn’t hurt to know that this new sexy looking 600 carries over with it class leading performance to back up its good looks. I love both color schemes too.
    A true racetrack screamer for the street that has style too. Job well done Yamaha!

  22. Rake it says:

    I really wanted the new R6 to have the triple cylinder engine like the Daytona 675. I’m disappointed it has the same boring inline four engine… yaaawwwnnn…

  23. Morgan says:

    OK, there’s one bike we thought might have been at Intermot. Come on now Yamaha, give us the XT-07, and make it light with a 21 front wheel!.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      They’ve got spy photos out there of it with Tenere styling and a 21-inch spoke front wheel. It is coming, if not this year then next I would wager.

  24. ben says:

    Gorgeous!

    A bit disappointed they didn’t change the frame or motor.

    However, the new electronics and fairings are a welcome refresh. If I could afford it, I’d be in line.

    I especially love the new headlight setup, there’s no need to have big huge headlight housings with today’s headlight tech. My MTB’s light puts off more light than many motorcycles and it sits in nice neat package on top my handlebars.

  25. CrazyJoe says:

    This bike is ugly. If it were a women it would be called a butter face. Nice body but her face. I can say this because I’m not running for anything. But the fourth picture looking at the front. It reminds me of some undiscovered fish that washes up on a beach from -20,000 ft
    So ugly seagulls refuse to eat it. Just joking.

    But seriously do those lights work after dark?

    • Chip Hoopong says:

      Looks pretty good to me. I hate the giant headlights on recent R6s. Just talking cosmetically, the new lights are my favorite part of the current R1. To my taste this is the first good-looking R6 in years. Again, just talking about looks.

      YMMV, clearly!

    • Fred says:

      Picture 2, looks such a sad face.
      Just like a once proud racehorse, that has been onsold down the line and has just had an elephant sit on it’s broken back.

  26. Dave says:

    Looks great. Like Florida, I couldn’t live there, but would love to visit.

  27. Neal says:

    It’s undeniably an improvement over the previous R6 but I can’t help but feel disappointed that the motor carried over. A triple or a displacement change would have been something to get excited about but I guess Yamaha doesn’t want to lose its share of the starting grid, where the engine and chassis have been very successful.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Yamaha doesn’t want to lose its share of the starting grid, where the engine and chassis have been very successful”

      if it isn’t broke, don’t “fix it”. this is part of what we saw in the chassis of the new Blade.