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Thread: Yamaha R6 to be discontinued: To be made only for tracks from 2021

  1. #1
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    Default Yamaha R6 to be discontinued: To be made only for tracks from 2021

    The supersport class of road bikes has been limping on for a while but it has just suffered another major setback. The legendary Yamaha R6 will be discontinued from 2021 and despite Yamaha stating that the model will be available as a non-homologated track-only machine, this is a major blow to the already dying supersport segment.

    If one really thinks about it, one of the major reasons for the inevitable demise of supersport machines is how close they creep towards the litre-class machines when it comes pricing. More is more any day and everyone wants more. So quite a few suitors for these machines go for more powerful machines for a marginally higher price.

    Another reason that we can think of is a few models from manufacturers that, in order to make do with fewer cylinders and similar power, increase the displacement. This blurs the line between supersport and litre-class machines further. A stellar example is the Suzuki GSX-R750 from the olden days. It did not fit the supersport competition class as for that Suzuki had a GSX-R600 too. But the 750 simply made for a machine which made more power.

    The same can be said about the supersport machines from Bologna. At present, Ducati's 'supersport' offering is called Panigale V2 and it displaces 955cc. That's 43 cubic centimetres away from the magic '998 mark' (44 from 999). So we believe that this was another reason why people simply went for machines that offer more power. After all, these motorcycles are meant for the road and not everyone is going racing in FIM-sanctioned classes.

    The memory of the day when the discontinuation of the Daytona 675 was announced is still fresh. And now, we are all set to lose another legend. Yamaha R6 has almost always has been the best supersport machine. It's sky-high rev limit game it a screaming inline-4 soundtrack. The Deltabox frame and race-derived geometry and ergonomics meant that it was a thoroughbred for the road.

    But for the reasons we mentioned above and more, this move from Yamaha was not an unexpected or surprising one. The sales of supersport machines have continued to dwindle for a while and the R6, no matter how good a motorcycle it is, is a tough sell for the price. People have moved on to litre-class machines and also, adventure-touring motorcycles.

    All that meant that despite wiping the floor with the competition in the supersport class, the R6 is no longer able to achieve the real-world sales numbers that are needed to keep a motorcycle like that alive. Thankfully for some people though, Yamaha is not completely pulling the plug on the R6.

    What Yamaha plans to do is to make the 2021 Yamaha R6 available as a stock track-only bike. Now, the riders, or teams or privateers willing to use it, can upgrade it according to their needs. Those who are looking for purpose-built machines won't be disappointed either. Yamaha is offering GYTR Stage 1 Kit that turns the stock bike into a race-ready machine.

    While we never really got the R6 here in India officially, we were lucky enough to get to ride it once and that is why it is incredibly sad to see such a fine piece of motorcycling marvel ride into the sunset. It's been a long day...


  2. #2
    Moderator Samarth 619's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: Yamaha R6 to be discontinued: To be made only for tracks from 2021

    You can say its a sad news, but not an unexpected one.

    Many a time, manufacturers like KTM and Ducati went overboard and (somewhat?)proved that less cylinders are actually better overall which made bikers shift to bikes like Superduke 1290, Ducati V2s, Triumphs, MT09, etc.
    In addition, few Japs even made liter class so better with continuous development, that there simply wasn't much need to downgrade to 600 segment even for size, weight saving or smaller tracks (to some extent).
    Imagine, the (YZF R1 derived) FZ1 was notably cheaper than a YZF R6 too... (of course, not that Fz1 was the racer's choice, but again, not every customer is a racer either)

    All these reasons simply killed whatever was left of the i4 600 segment, on the road at least.

    I still fondly remember the 2006 YZF R6, which went upto 17500~ rpm on the console, but was found to be displaying wrong figures, doing 16200 rpm only at redline which was still a spellbound figure for its time.

    As for segment, Racing and selling motorcycles go hand in hand. Eventually, we've seen and we will continue to see more and more race classes based on road segments and vice versa.

    Let's see...

    Here's a great article on the YZF R6:-
    Last edited by Samarth 619; 1 Week Ago at 03:57 PM.

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