2017 Yamaha YZF-R6 Gets ABS, Traction Control, & More

10/13/2016 @ 7:23 am, by Jensen Beeler55 COMMENTS

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The wait is finally over, as the 2017 Yamaha YZF-R6 debuted today at the AIMExpo in Orlando, Florida. As expected, the new Yamaha R6 visually borrows from the recently updated R1, with a similar headlight and intake setup featuring now on both machines.

On the technical side of things, the 2017 Yamaha R6 is more evolution than revolution, with the basic chassis and engine configuration staying the same.

However, updates for 2017 include a revised suspension package, ABS brakes, riding modes via ride-by-wire, traction control, and an optional quickshifter.

While more of a model refresh, than an all-new model, Yamaha has gone to great lengths to improve upon a machine that is already leading the supersport category.

The most noticeable changes come visually, with the R6 now sharing the same design language as the 2015 Yamaha YZF-R1.

This means an all new LED headlight arrangement, which also includes integrated turn signals. The intake design should look familiar to MotoGP fans, with the YZR-M1 now sharing its design with the new YZF-R6.

Yamaha says this new fairing design is the most aerodynamic ever for the R6 supersport, reducing its drag coefficient by 8% over the previous model.

The tail section should also look familiar to R1 fans, with Yamaha just copy-pasting the design onto the new 600cc sport bike, thus completing the link between the supersport and its larger racing brethren.

Improving upon the chassis, Yamaha has used the same fully adjustable KYB 43mm forks (previous generation had 41mm forks) that are found on the Yamaha YZF-R1, tuned of course to the unique characteristics of the R6. The rear shock is by KYB as well, and is also fully adjustable.

Other chassis changes include a new aluminum fuel tank, which saves 4 lbs, and a cast magnesium subframe (similar to what can be found on the R1).

What is really going to set the new R6 apart from its predecessors though is the addition of more than a few electronic systems, the highlight of which is the new traction control.

Yamaha says that the R6 traction control system can account for changing tire diameters, thus it is able to adapt to tire wear throughout a race or track session. The traction control also features six traction control levels; and for those that eschew modern electronics, the traction control system can be turned off.

The ride-by-wire system also allows for three riding modes, which change the throttle response and engine map for more or less throttle aggressiveness.

ABS brakes will also come on the 2017 Yamaha YZF-R6, helping the radially mounted Nission front calipers and radial Nissin master cylinder bring the supersport to a halt over questionable road conditions.

Lastly, the new Yamaha YZF-R6 can be fitted with quickshifter (upshift only), which will comes as a Yamaha accessory part, installed at the dealership. Available in March 2017, pricing is set at $12,199 MSRP.

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Source: Yamaha Motor USA

As always, Asphalt & Rubber will covering all the new bikes debuting at the INTERMOT, AIMExpo, and EICMA shows this year. Be sure to follow our coverage for the most recent news and photos.

  • Dan Weaver

    Nice. I dont mind the look of the R1 so the updated bodywork looks good IMO; especiall the tail section. I think all it needs it a form of Bosch cornering ABS and it would be a perfect bike for me. I know on track 600cc are more about corner speed and probably dont need it nearly as much as the 1000cc bikes but it’s such a nice back up to have on the street where the unpredictable happens with higher regularity.

  • Brandon

    Been very excited to see this. Looks great and will hopefully push the other brands into tech’ing out their smaller sportbikes. I ride a ZX6 and a big part of that decision was ABS and TC even though their TC on that bike (2014) is bizarre and intervenes at odd times even in the lowest setting. The ideal in my mind lately would be a GSX-R 750 with all the bells and whistles. Riders know that different engine sizes bring different characteristics and have unique use cases and unique experiences. Would be nice if more manufacturers embraced that and offered the technology down the range.

  • Bill W

    IMU?

  • Brandon

    exactly. let’s see this added in something other than the liter bikes!

    And what’s up with the same old exhaust. Surprised they didn’t revise that in some way.

  • No IMU. No cornering ABS.

  • coreyvwc

    Ditching the traction control for cornering ABS probably would have been more advantageous no?

  • vinko_s

    Jesnen: do you know if it’s Euro 4 compliant?

  • Nicko55

    Holy sh*t, they didn’t update the frame, swingarm OR engine?! The middle-weight class is truly on life-support. Don’t get me wrong, it looks just fine and some of the updates are good, but we’re talking about doing a refresh on a bike that’s already been refreshed since the original version released way back in 2006. I dare say this might be the last R6 we ever see…

  • Brandon

    Jensen, tell em we need the mega resolution photos to drool over

  • Yerp.

    There’s not much pushing Yamaha to update the R6 beyond what we see today though. They’re the top bike in the segment, so…

  • n/a

    “I think all it needs it a form of Bosch cornering ABS and it would be a perfect bike for me”

    Are you publicly admitting that you need assistance to ride a motorbike?

  • n/a

    World supersport results could suggest otherwise?

  • People aren’t buying 600’s like they used to. Unless you’re doing track days or racing…

    This is a (nice) makeover for street sales, though. Why mess with the frame, engine, or swingarm when it’s clear that all three make up the best Supersport platform currently available? The bodywork is all marketing (though it looks great) and the ABS/TC answer the street requirements/desirements. The 43 mm fork replaces a more expensive 41 mm fork that all racers gutted, anyway. The only interesting question in my mind is if Yamaha was more concerned with a stiffer fork assembly or cost sharing across the R1 and FZ-10 platform.

  • Oh, I will.

  • I haven’t seen anything that explicitly says Euro4 compliant, but it is listed on Yamaha Motor Europe’s website as a new model, so…

  • vinko_s

    thank U!

  • Mic Redford

    Lmao

  • Dan Weaver

    Sure. When theres gravel and sand in the road or some oversized truck/trailer is on my side of the blind corner, I wouldnt mind assistance in the process of me not crashing to avoid the unexpected obstacle. I dont expect it to make me a better rider, but there are plenty of situations where during spirited public road riding it is beneficial. You don’t even have to be going that fast, and I’m not that concerned about being king of the hill, but in less than controlled public riding situations I dont mind having back up.

  • Brandon

    True indeed. Although pretty wild to see Niki Tuuli seemingly come out of nowhere and push Kenan hard (on an R6). Great point though and also interesting to see the ZX10 seeming to win at will with both factory riders though the bike doesn’t get very good reviews across the board vs it’s counterparts.

  • vinko_s

    It seems to be the top bike for privateers in US supersport racing. A quick check of OMRRA’s results for 600 super bike for 2016 shows the top 5 of most races as the R6. Maybe Yamaha’s WSS team isn’t as good as the others?

  • Surya De

    Well done Yamaha! Looks fantastic! I would have preferred clutch less downshifts thrown in there though!

  • You mean the series where Yamaha doesn’t have a factory-supported team?

  • motoschmoto

    Doh! Didn’t even realize. Wonder why not.

  • I think that’s the first cornering ABS burn I’ve ever seen…

    I tip my hat to you, sir.

  • Ayabe

    They don’t have down on the R1 either so it seems Yamaha hasn’t quite perfected that yet.

  • Sam Miller

    Who’s ears at A&R kept claiming this thing sounds like it has a cross plane crank again?
    LOL

  • imprezive

    Any rumors of an R6M? This bike with cornering ABS, semi-active ohlins, and an up/down quickshift would be a sweet package for $15-16k.

  • Andre Capitao Melo

    MCN says it is.

  • Andre Capitao Melo

    This should be the standard reply to all the “I’m too good to need electronic assistance” racer boys out there.

  • Bill W

    Thanks for the answer, do you think any manufacturer is likely to field a fully spec’d middleweight? I had high hopes for the 959 and this bike. I think a 145hp 750/3 made from any of this round of Superbikes would be amazing and profitable by keeping the running gear and many of the engine components identical to the superbike.

  • Bill W

    IKR! If someone will make that bike, I’ll buy it*. I’ve loved my time on a ’15 S1000RR, but if I could get a skinnier/lighter one with 140ish hp and less rotating inertia….
    *too afraid of long term issues with an MV

  • Tadao Baba

    I was really annoyed seeing the leaked photos of the new CBR1000 RR.
    I was pointing fingers at Honda for not actually bringing something new.
    It turned out that the interpretation of those photos was not so accurate.
    Now, on the other hand, Yamaha is completely stoling the show. Wolf changing clothes.
    Yes, it has ABS but not only ABS is so last year it is in the end just an add on part.
    They basically tuned it but without asking Roland Sands to do it.
    New fairing looks good, but come on, almost 10 years just for a new set of clothes?
    It is a different way o saying that 600 cc are not selling anymore.
    I pitty the designer of that exhaust who is most likely crying even now for the “we do not have the budget” approach.

  • grb

    Isn’t that the instrument cluster from the previous r1?

  • Andre Capitao Melo

    The MV Agusta has the F3 800

  • LongTravel

    Yeah I don’t get it. Honda got hammered on here for not doing a 110% overhaul but Yamaha gets a pass on this phoned in R6 with aftermarket level ABS and TC systems and some cool new fairings.

  • MikeD

    PSA: Do NOT feed the dick waving, mine’s bigger than yours, my skills are better that yours Motorcycling TROLL.
    It’s like feeding a stray, it will never leave.

  • MikeD
  • ‘Mike Smith

    Because Yamaha is putting all its money into MotoGP.

  • Krusty29

    Yamaha will have two official teams in World Supersport for next year. Mirko Giasanti’s GRT team and Kallio Racing (run by Vesa Kallio, brother of Mika Kallio).

  • No rumors, but that would be an interesting move from a brand.

  • Bill W

    All of MV’s bankruptcies, near-bankruptcies, limited dealer network and beta fueling for the 675 leave me very gun shy. That said, the F3 800 is as close to a perfect bike as there is for me.
    I just keep waiting for BMW to go back to their old playbook and make a 750/3.

  • Antonio Jicquel

    With all this electronics they’re killing the magic of riding a bike ….

  • Alam R

    When I first saw this bike I was underwhelmed if
    I am absolutely honest. The current R6
    old as it is has been a bike of choice when doing track days and also for 20
    somethings in the street. I mean the
    bike looks seriously cool and in my opinion was one of the best looking 600’s
    out there this side of a 675 MV Agusta.

    On the street and on the track with mortal
    riders a lot of the fast guys were running an R6.

    Looking at this bike was slightly down heartened
    as although I am a fan of the new R1 I thought the R6 had lost some of its
    coolness. However having slept on it I
    think the bike is ok. For the track they
    haven’t had to really change much and the addition of traction control is
    welcome to me. Riders who don’t ride in
    inclement weather and haven’t experience diesel or other contaminates on the
    road or don’t come hard on the gas in corner exits may feel they don’t need
    this. I can understand. However I would always tick the traction
    control option… every single time (if there were an option).

    In terms of the mechanicals, I guess the simple
    issue is the bike is pretty good as it is and there wasn’t much wrong with this
    bike. It would have been nice for a
    little more power, a little more lightness, a touch more revs. If Honda can get
    away with cosmetic updates on the aging blade for so long I guess Yamaha can be
    forgiven for not going all out on a bike that was already pretty awesome. Would the sales justify it? Who buys R6’s?

    On the general looks I think the headlights are
    less gawky then the R1 and the fairing does have more of a MotoGp feel as a
    consequence, which is neat.

    Good work Yamaha… maybe we can have cross plan
    R6? Can we have a 750 in this chassis? Perfect
    track bike.

  • Alam R

    Who are you tipping your hat to? Mike D???
    If so I agree.
    These aids help us in when the situation gets stick and I would rather have it and never need it..

  • ColonelClaw

    It’s just a local observation, but biking to work and back here in London every day, I see far more bikes in the 700-850cc bracket. Those MT-07s/09s and similar are mighty popular

  • Same here.

  • Mrak IzPecine

    Turn electrics off if it bothers you, that’s why there is off option! Stop bitching about it

  • Mrak IzPecine

    Fuel of MV is solved. Bankruptcy, so what they need to make parts for next 10 years (but I doubt bankruptcy will happen). Let’s be honest you don’t get your bike to shop every day so dealers should represent no issue, you should be able to now and then have time for your bike. And you’ll have masterpiece, most beautiful bike on todays market

  • Antonio Jicquel

    If you need 7 levels of traction control to ride a 600cc, then better buy a 300cc :D

  • MikeD

    No no no, the “tipping” was for *n/a*………..the original Arsonist offender. LOL.

  • MikeD
  • MikeD

    “I just keep waiting for BMW to go back to their old playbook and make a 750/3.”

    Now that’s something never crossed my F’ed up mind. I LIKE IT.

  • MikeD

    ””I think a 145hp 750/3 made from any of this round of Superbikes would be amazing and profitable by keeping the running gear and many of the engine components identical to the superbike.””

    I like the way you think *thumbs up* if anything to shuffle the pieces of the game at least.

  • MikeD

    It wouldn’t hurt if they did a Kawasaki 636 move here: Keep the 600 capacity for racing at the established minimum production #’s and offer a “sleeved down and/or destroked” MT-09 Triple.

  • Antonio Jicquel