The news came first from Europe, that the Japanese brand would no longer make the Yamaha YZF-R6 for the European market because of the costs associated with Euro5 homologation, and because of the dwindling number of supersport models sold in the region each year.
Then, the news came as a final thought in a much larger press release from Yamaha Motor USA. It said that 2020 would be the last model year of the Yamaha YZF-R6 in the United States.
There is a silver lining for our European readers though, as Yamaha Motor Europe will offer a track-only version of the YZF-R6.
The model will be available in January 2021, and consist of the current generation YZF-R6, stripped for track duty, and with a GYTR kit for track use.
It is not clear at this time whether a similar offering will be made for the American market.
Coming during a time when typically new models are announced, not old ones retired, today’s news about the Yamaha YZF-R6 comes partially as a surprise.
We have known that European sales for the Yamaha YZF-R6 have been triple digits for some time now, so there is little surprise that the Japanese brand saw little interest in playing the Euro5 game for its next generation of supersport.
Sales in the United States are a different kettle of fish, however. The Yamaha YZF-R6 routinely tops the supersport sales list here, to the tune of roughly 3:1 against the competition.
While Yamaha Motor USA may not be selling 10,000+ units like it did at the height of the sport bike market, the Yamaha YZF-R6 can continuously be counted-on to account for several thousand units of volume sold.
From that perspective, it is hard to believe that Yamaha would let the R6 go to the wayside in the USA, but the fate of the bike on American soil has always been tied to its success abroad as well.
Yamaha simply cannot build the YZF-R6 for a reasonable price if the bikes are only coming to the United States.
So, like dominoes, the future of the Yamaha YZF-R6 fell by a succession of closing doors in the world markets, and that leads us to today where this venerable machine will be no more. So, we say farewell to the Yamaha YZF-R6. We will miss you.
Source: Yamaha Motor Europe & Yamaha Motor Europe