Updated Yamaha YZF-R6
While Yamaha's little screamer was new from the ground up in '06, that hasn't stopped the company from making a host of changes for the '08 model, focusing on better throttle response from the engine and improved balance and performance from the chassis. The biggest change to the motor is the addition of YCC-I (variable-length intake funnels) to the throttle bodies, along with revised fuel mapping to match. Inside the engine, domed piston crowns bump compression from 12.8:1 to 13.1:1, and wider crank bearings headline more than 50 changes to reduce friction.
Detail updates to the chassis include a new frame and swingarm with "optimized rigidity and strength balance." The frame is thicker in the headstock and swingarm-pivot areas, and the cross-member has been eliminated. Likewise, the swingarm has been stiffened with the addition of ribs inside the cast arms and the rear portions changed from extruded to forged. The subframe is now magnesium as opposed to aluminum, reducing weight and improving mass centralization. New outer fork tubes are gripped by a bottom triple clamp that is 5mm thicker, and front disc thickness is up from 4.5mm to 5.0mm. Ergonomics have been revised slightly, with the rider positioned farther forward and the clip-ons lower, forward and re-angled. Finally, the R6's tires are a newer version of the original's OEM-spec Dunlop Qualifiers.
The intake funnels vary in...
The intake funnels vary in lengths.
The '08 R6 should benefit...
The '08 R6 should benefit from the addition of Yamaha's Chip Controlled Intake, which changes the funnel lengths from 66mm to 26mm, depending on rpm and throttle position.
The frame has been revised...
The frame has been revised with stiffer steering-head and swingarm-pivot portions, and the cross-member behind the steering head has been removed.
The bodywork has been changed for both styling and aerodynamics, and four color schemes are available: blue/white, raven, liquid silver and cadmium yellow with flames. The bike's official introduction is slated for early November at Laguna Seca; Trevitt and Kunitsugu are already fighting over who gets to attend. Look for a First Ride piece in an upcoming issue and the new bike in dealerships as early as November.
The only other significantly updated Yamaha sportbike is the FJR1300. Changes to the super sport touring bike include a lighter ABS system with improved lever feel, a new windshield coating for better scratch-resistance and a revised shape for the AE model's handlebar shifter. The FZ1 has further-revised fuel injection settings, and the FZ6 has a new matte black headlight cover-the only changes for those two models. The YZF-R1 and YZF-R6S return unchanged for '08, while the YZF600R has been discontinued.