Yamaha’s latest quasi-sportbike, the FZ6R, looks intended for riders who want to make the jump from cruisers to sport, or new riders who like the sporting look but don’t want to scare the bejeesus out of themselves (or maybe their parents).
The Yamaha Canada website even makes the refreshingly modest point that it "does not make any earth shattering claims," and that it lies "somewhere between cruisers and supersport bikes" — though it looks a lot more sporting than cruising.
The new FZ6R is powered by a new 600 cc DOHC, 4-valve four with FI that is "tuned for fun and ease of use." Read that as "tuned for midrange punch, but lacking in any serious 600 hit up high."
With a steel frame, budget suspension, and a 212 kg (466 lb) wet weight, Yamaha’s new semi-sport won’t make waves on the track, though it’s got some reasonable numbers: 17-inch wheels, a 1,440 mm (56.7 in) wheelbase, 6-speed gearbox, and 44 lb-ft of torque at 8,500 rpm.
The bore-stroke ratio of 65.5 x 44.5 mm, borrowed from the FZ6, is a bit old-school (less max horses, but more midrange oomph) compared to the wider-shorter R6 bore and stroke, but it’s not intended to win races, just hearts and minds.
Aside from its greater abundance of plastic, what separates it from the FZ6? A thousand dollars, for one thing. And that’s one specification that should give the FZ6R an edge. At $8,299 Cdn, it’s a cheap ticket into the sportbike world, but with a friendlier engine and ergonomics to boot. Nice.