Last year, Yamaha introduced their all-new FZ6R supersport-inspired motorcycle and this is now one of their most representative middleweight 2010 models. Built with comfort and rider excitement in mind, this is still one of Yamaha’s latest addition to the supersport lineup, an all-new every day motorcycle that gives the impression of being designed for the track. But those are purely design aspects. The fact is that the FZ6R is an unbeatable package of performance, comfort and style at a very affordable price.
Because it is still a fairly new addition to the market and packed with awesome features, you really don’t know where to look first when checking out the Yamaha FZ6R, but I had a hunch that the latest middleweight engine destined to power a Yamaha sports motorcycle would be a good start. Inspired from an earlier generation R6, the 600cc liquid-cooled, four-stroke, DOHC 16 valves motor features redesigned cylinder head, crankcase, intake and exhaust system, improving all engine processes from air admission to exhaust.
As on all its supersport bikes, Yamaha designed the engine for linear power while still retaining their sporty and competitive character. Still, you shouldn’t expect it to rev as high as an R6. Designed to be user-friendly, but still able to teach its riders a thing or two about performance after months of riding, the FZ6R engine reaches maximum output at 10,000 rpm, while maximum torque is obtained at 9,000 rpm. That is due to the engine being tuned for low-to-mid rpm sweetness, the key that makes it very versatile.
Also from the R6 engine, the newly designed bike “borrows” the forged aluminum pistons, which are light and reduce vibrations, and the 32-bit ECU and four-hole injectors.
2010 Yamaha FZ6R
After being injected into the engine and blown up, the burned gas finds its way out of the engine through the modern 4-into-2-into-1 midship exhaust. This makes the inline-four sound like a purring kitty, but also reduces emissions with its 3-way catalytic converter.
The engine is used as a stressed member of the chassis, making the last rigid, just the way you would want you’re bike’s chassis when planning to ride it every day of the week. On top of this, Yamaha engineers added a 26° caster angle and 103.5 mm of trail in order for the bike to handle as good as its engine performs.
Further enhancing the handling characteristics of this bike is the suspensions equipment. With a pair of 41 mm inner tubes, matched to a die-cast aluminum upper triple clamp and forged-steel under bracket front suspension and 5.1 inches mono-cross rear suspension, the bike remains steady and safe around the corners, inspiring confidence to beginning riders.
Life on board implies easy to read digital display speedometer, analog tachometer, odometer/tripmeter, fuel gauge as well as water cooling gauge.
It hasn’t come such a long way, but it seems like it was here all along as the naked FZ6.
The Yamaha FZ6 is a sport bike first produced and marketed in 2004 after Yamaha people had the awesome idea of using the previous generation R6 engine on a commuter bike with lots of features worthy of a high-end bike. Immediate attractions on the new bike were the half-fairing and the underseat exhaust.
An easy to live with motorcycle thanks to the upright riding position and easy maintaining, the FZ6 was the perfect alternative for those who call themselves commuters during the week and adventurous riders during weekends.
The first revision came in 2006 and brought with it an improved engine, frame, subframe, rear swingarm and black painted rims. Most importantly, the fuel injection system was retuned for more torque from the bottom of the rev range and implicit a more appropriate behavior for a bike in this category. Blue and Shift Red were the only colors available.
As a 2007 model year, the FZ6 featured yet again optimized fuel injection system mapping and a new swingarm, but now the front suspension had revised damping and the front brakes, four-piston calipers. There have also been made modifications for more comfortable rides both for biker and passenger. The seat was redesigned and the bike was fitted with new passenger footpegs, while the fairing and screen did a better job in offering wind protection due to their new design. This is also the year when the 4-way catalytic converter was added. Also back in 2007, you could choose your Yamaha FZ6 painted either Team Yamaha Blue or Candy Red.
Nothing changed for 2008 except the Raven and Deep Blue coloring.
Note that these are changes that have been made to the FZ6 model, as the FZ6R was first introduced in 2009.
2010 Kawasaki Ninja 650R
It might have come a little bit later, but that is no reason for it not to make a better impression in comparison to the Kawasaki Ninja 650R. This middleweight Kawi remains true to the Ninja name, but doesn’t manage to amaze from any point of view. It features a simple design and, like the Yamaha, it is built for commuting purposes so it is very comfortable. Both bikes feature narrow, low seats (30.9-inch on the Yamaha and 31.1-inch on the Kawasaki), but that’s about where the similarities end. The fairly bigger, 649cc four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four-valve per cylinder parallel twin motor of the Kawasaki seems a bit anemic in comparison with Yamaha’s inline-four, but it too mates to a six-speed gearbox, so it should do the trick for riders in search of a rather docile middleweight to start on. MSRP for the Kawasaki starts at $7,099.
2010 Suzuki GSX650F
This brings us to the closest thing you’ll find to the Yamaha FZ6R, the 2010 Suzuki GSX650F. The bike is similar in appearance and also backed up by a middleweight four-cylinder, four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC engine that, like on the Yamaha and Kawasaki is fuel-injected and valued through a six-speed tranny.
A crisp handler and very comfortable, the GSX650F doesn’t miss a chance to show off both its commuter and sport bike abilities, leaving us thinking that Yamaha had where to inspire when creating the fully-faired FZ6R. The MSRP for the new Suzuki hasn’t yet been announced.
2010 Yamaha FZ6R
But as much as we’d try to find a decent competitor, a single look at the Yamaha FZ6R is enough for a rider to make its choice and a good one, by the way.
The first FZ6 with a full fairing, the “R” model is designed as a speed machine. It shows an aerodynamic body, packed with angular lines and yet it manages to have the adjustable seat positioned very low for an upright riding position.
For a bike in this category it is damn attractive and it hides its price beautifully. Just take a look at those air intakes on the sides of the Suzuki-like headlight. Yamaha inspired on the FZ1 to design this late addition and no mistakes were made there. The bulky gas tank is perfectly integrated and leaves enough room for the rider to tuck into the fairing. This reminds me of the highly efficient windscreen on the FZ6R.
Like on most modern sports bikes, the engine, transmission and chassis parts are painted black, while the color options are: Raven (w/gold wheels), Team Yamaha Blue/White, Pearl White/Rapid Red (w/gold wheels) and Pearl White/Vivd Magenta. The gold rims are supposed to further enhance the bike’s aggressive looks.
"Unlike all-out sportbikes, the Yamaha FZ6R is designed more for comfort than it is for super high performance. The reach to the handlebars isn’t very far, the saddle is well-padded, and though your knees bend a bit for foot peg placement, there’s nothing extreme about this bike’s ergonomics." – motorcycles.about
"The fuel injected, 600cc liquid-cooled 4-stroke engine engine seems to have quite a mild state of tune. The fuel injection is crisp and the FZ6R picks up the revs cleanly and quickly from the bottom, but there is a noticeable lack of kick from the Yamaha power plant." – webbikeworld
"Comparing the FZ6R to the FZ6 (last ridden in 2006), one will notice the lack of punch at the whack of the throttle. The 6R has a milder state of tune, and this pays off with power being available at revs that are more easily accessible – no need to zing it to redline. The engine gains speed slowly but deliberately, accompanied by a slight buzz after 7000 rpm." – motorcycle
“On the plus side, it does have enough mid-range snap to keep those wheeliers happy, as a quick twist of the right wrist in first gear lofts the front end to the sky without problem. The high bars and ample feel of the rear brake allow for easy continuation of said wheelies” – motorcycle-usa
"Side-to-side transitions were totally stable and ridiculously easy to induce — possibly due to the narrow footprint of the stock tires — and there’s plenty of cornering clearance to incite the expected grins. The brakes worked just fine at the relatively brisk pace we were going and the wide spread of power meant that we didn’t need to jab constantly at the clutch and shift lever.” – autoblog
"It’s a sweet little bike for every circumstance you might ride in, with a pretty decent turn of speed, stable chassis characteristics, and quite reasonable fuel consumption (Yamaha says 43 mpg, average). The sliding pin front brake calipers might not provide the instant bite you find on the R6, but there’s ample braking power when you squeeze the lever hard, with reasonably linear response to increasing pressure." – motorcycledaily
Like in the case of all of Yamaha’s 2010 sports models, the FZ6R’s MSRP depends on color. So it starts at $7,390 if Raven is your color of choice and at $7,490 for the other three color schemes available.
With the FZ6R, Yamaha requires its share of the middleweight sports bike pie, which was previously shared by the Suzuki and Kawasaki motorcycles. But a manufacturer such as Yamaha doesn’t just make an entry; it sets new standards for the class as it implements one-off features such as the sleek fairing covering the more than potent 600cc engine mounted on a versatile and easy to work with chassis. Want more? How does adjustable seat and handlebars sound for you?
A rider in the market for an entry level or commuter 600cc bike doesn’t have to compromise performance or style to get value. The FZ6R is a great combination of performance, handling, and exciting sport bike style, but also with a low seat height that’s both adjustable to fit a wider variety of riders and also narrower where it counts to make it even easier to put both feet on the ground.
The engine delivers smooth power just the way today’s rider needs it, brisk acceleration with plenty of torque that makes it a pleasure to get around town, with lots in reserve for when you want more. This is certainly not a “no frills” motor. It’s derived from the FZ6 motor, fuel injected and tuned for outstanding low to mid engine performance.
Even if your primary goal is commuting to school or work, you want to be able to get out and have fun riding some twisty back roads. The FZ6R is ready to put a grin on your face! The diamond-shaped frame, made of high-tensile steel pipes using the engine as a structural member of the chassis, becomes the foundation for handling performance. It’s designed to provide the right rigidity balance to contribute to smooth cornering performance.
When it comes to putting power to the pavement, the new FZ6R uses nothing less than quality radial tires, 120/70R 17-inch front and 160/60R 17-inch rear. And this bike’s excellent stopping performance is due to dual 298mm front discs and a 245mm rear disc, both with comfortable to use controls.
The fuel-injected engine in the FZ6R has been designed to meet the demands of today’s motorcyclist. This engine optimizes the entire flow from the intake of the fuel-air mixture to combustion and exhaust. Even though it shares both bore and stroke dimensions with the FZ6, the cylinder head, crankcase, intake and exhaust system, as well as the clutch and shifter, were completely redesigned for the FZ6R, creating a power unit with an entirely different character.
The 600cc liquid-cooled 4-stroke in-line 4-cylinder engine is ready to respond with smooth, linear performance when the rider twists the throttle. Maximum output is achieved at a spirited 10,000 rpm and maximum torque is obtained at 9000 rpm. Bottom line: Its outstanding “torquey” low to mid rpm engine performance is just right for someone who enjoys commuting to work or school or riding the canyons on the weekends.
Lightweight forged aluminum pistons are used. Because the aluminum alloy is heated and formed under pressure without having to melt it completely as in conventional casting techniques, the strength of the original metallurgic matrix of the aluminum is maintained. As a result, a forged piston is stronger than a cast one and can thus be designed for lighter weight, which contributes to a reduction in vibration. In fact, many riders will be surprised at how smooth this motor is.
The 32-bit ECU controls the four-hole, two-direction, high-dynamic-range type fuel injectors for superior injection control. By delivering the precise fuel-air mixture needed for conditions, the engine can deliver great power and fuel economy.
Much like many of today’s high end sport bikes, the FZ6R has a 4-into-2-into-1 midship exhaust. Not only does it provide a throaty, yet comfortably quiet exhaust note, the system also includes 3-way catalytic converter technology to reduce exhaust emissions.
With its exciting sport bike looks, onlookers will know this isn’t just another middleweight bike. There’s no mistaking Yamaha’s high-performance heritage in the FZ6R.
The seat has separate front and rear sections, and the rider’s seat features an innovative height adjustment mechanism. The seat can be set 20mm – just over 3/4 of an inch – higher for taller riders, a change that can make a big difference on an all-day ride.
The handlebar position can be adjusted 20mm forward by rotating the handlebar clamps to fine-tune rider comfort.
The overall chassis rigidity has been designed to provide both excellent handling and all-day comfort. In order to further enhance the smoothness and comfort of the ride, the front-end dimensions a have been optimized, including a caster angle of 26° and trail of 103.5mm, contributing a bike that has great steering feeling, making the bike even more of a pleasure to ride.
The front suspension has sturdy 41mm inner tubes, matched to a die-cast aluminum upper triple clamp and forged-steel under bracket, providing superior cushioning performance and good front-end feel. Wheel travel is a generous 5.1 inches to help soak up those bumps in the road.
The rear suspension is lightweight and contributes to the mass centralization, and the mono-cross suspension provides excellent wheel travel, a full 5.1 inches. Superior road hugging performance has been achieved with optimally designed damping-force valves and oil channels.
This bike boasts hydraulic disc brakes front and rear. The 298mm diameter front discs are lightweight for reduced unsprung weight, while the single rear disc is 245mm, and the brakes feature semi-metallic pads. The brakes have been designed to offer great feel and superb braking ability.
FZ6R mounts tubeless radial tires on cast aluminum wheels. While their lightweight construction helps centralize mass, they also help contribute to agile handling.
The meter panel gives the rider plenty of feedback, including a digital display speedometer, analog tachometer, odometer/ tripmeter, fuel gauge, and water coolant gauge.