The new 2017 Yamaha R6 was released today at Orlando’s AIME show.
The new bike brings the supersport class a step forward, adding six-mode traction control, new suspension, ABS, riding modes, and optional quickshifter. Previously, Kawasaki was the only Japanese manufacturer with a 600-class sportbike featuring the latest generation of electronics; this summer, the hot gossip was that the supersport class was dead in the water, with no updates coming to current models. This release proves the naysayers wrong.
As Yamaha’s press release says, the R6 is “Filled with R-DNA.” Look at the bodywork and that LED lighting for more evidence — designers drew heavily from the R1. Even the updated KYB suspension is derived from the company’s superbike.
We understand the engine is basically unchanged; the chassis has a slimmer magnesium rear subframe, and there’s a new aluminum fuel tank, but otherwise, things haven’t changed much here. Yamaha hasn’t re-invented its sportbike here, but heavily refined it, and the results will be interesting on-track, now that another member of the Big Four can finally challenge Team Green in the supersport class.