Are you sad to see the Yamaha R6 come to an end? There’s good news and bad news. This generation’s most successful supersport racebike isn’t exactly going out of production—that’s the good news. Unfortunately, Yamaha’s only making a race-only R6 for 2021, and it’s only available in Europe at this point.
If survival through COVID-19 was the theme of the moto industry for the summer of 2020, then Euro5 is the theme of the fall. The OEMs are all scrambling to update their bikes to meet the new emissions standards. With some bikes, it’s not practical to move them forward into Euro5, for technical or financial reasons. Because of that, the SMax scooter, the V-Max muscle bike, and the WR250R dual sport are discontinued—and so is the YZF-R6 supersport, as we told you yesterday.
In a way, it’s not surprising, as the 600cc supersport class has been in massive decline ever since the 2008 financial meltdown undermined the motorcycle industry. However, Yamaha’s R6 has had an incredibly successful run for the past decade, most likely the most popular supersport race bike in the world.
That explains why the R6 isn’t actually dead yet. Yamaha is going to continue selling it in Europe, as a track-only machine, the R6 Race. It comes with no street-legal lighting, but buyers can opt for the factory GYTR kit instead. With this, you’ll get a stripped-down wiring harness, Akrapovic exhaust, race bodywork, rear sprocket guard, front brake lever guard, a paddock stand, stainless brake lines, rearset pegs with optional shift reverse kit, and a whole lot of other bits.
Obviously, those are all expensive parts; what the GYTR package will do to pricing remains to be seen, though. MSRP and many other details are still up in the air. Remember that Yamaha will save some money by avoiding street homologation, at least, but that might not mean much saving for buyers.
At this point, Yamaha hasn’t indicated it’s bringing the R6 Race to North America, but it has confirmed the machine for some Euro markets.