Faced with the task of calling the YZF-R6 a 2010 model year, Yamaha proceeded to find ways of setting the bike apart from the current selling one both visually and technically, but we have to say that you shouldn’t expect major changes from any point of view. The truth is that Yamaha already had a 2009 Daytona 200 winner on their hands, so they focused on little tweaks to make it even more special.
From a machine claimed to be “the most advanced production 600cc motorcycle Yamaha—or anybody else—has ever built,” riders are right to expect unmatched performance achieved with innovative features. And the fact is that the 599cc DOHC 16-valve, liquid-cooled titanium-valved four-cylinder engine is both compact and high-revving mainly thanks to the 67.0 x 42.5mm bore and stroke, which translates into a 13.1:1 compression ratio and implicit satisfying throttle response. But is that enough to turn this engine into the blast provider that riders brag so much about? Certainly not! The interesting part consists in the presence of systems such as the Yamaha Chip Controlled Intake (YCC-I) and Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T), which turn throttle response into excellent across the very wide powerband. Yamaha’s fly-by-wire throttle system also has everything to do with the fact that riders will barely twist the throttle and the exhaust gasses will already go out the now 100mm longer muffler, which is claimed not to affect engine performance, while significantly reducing exhaust noise and making the new R6 more acoustic relaxing during long rides. How’s that for enjoying the benefits of 131 hp at 14,500 rpm and 68 Nm at 6,930 rpm in a more civilized manner?
Yamaha does claim increased performance as a result of revised ECU settings, but they don’t talk about figures, so we reckon it all resumes to an even more linear power delivery.
The chassis remains the same proven track performer composed from an aluminum Deltabox frame, four-way adjustable suspension and five-spoke 17-inch aluminum wheels. Everything on this bike is designed, built and fitted with mass centralization in mind, including the new titanium muffler.
In 2010, the color schemes of the Yamaha YZF-R6 are different, but you’ll need a trained eye to set it apart from the 2009 bike. We’ll get to that in a minute.
Japanese motorcycle manufacturers have all announced their 2010 lineups and there isn’t any surprise in the supersport middleweight segment as the year that follows is characterized by caution regardless of maker. So the 2010 Honda CBR600RR gets strange color schemes and graphics, while performance and weight figures remain the same. Still, the C-ABS model should turn into a great challenger for the R6, at least on the track, because Honda’s innovative system allows riders to approach corners significantly faster than any of its contenders. The Suzuki GSX-R600 and Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R get new, much more attractive colors, but remain technically unchanged, which lets us think that next year we will be talking about entirely new Japanese 600s, especially if the economy starts spinning its wheels more rapidly.
Meanwhile, we’ll just have to comply with talking about some new color schemes instead of completely redesigned fairings, which reduce the drag coefficient and offer riders greater wind protection.
The thing is that with the 2010 Yamaha R6 we can’t even do this (at least not totally) because we are familiar with the Team Yamaha Blue/White, Raven and Pearl White paintjobs as these are also found on the 2009 model year, but have been rethought and we guess they look slightly different after all.
The Pearl White and Raven ones look much simpler, pretty much like a racing bike which didn’t yet got its sponsorship livery and number, while the Team Yamaha Blue/White gets, obviously, white where you would have found black on the previous model – on the lower half of the fairing. The graphics are also new and simpler, but we kind of miss the Vivid Orange/Raven color combination. We believe that Yamaha got rid of it in an attempt to set the R6 further apart from the Red/Black 2010 Honda CBR600RR C-ABS, which we also like very much.
One thing that Yamaha could improve both on the R1 and the R6 is the riding position with an almost horizontal seat, just like on the competition models. That would offer bikers the possibility to enjoy more time on this impressive middleweight with a small sacrifice on the bike’s aggressive design, not to mention how passengers will be infinitely grateful with the change.
"The aspect of the bike’s performance most appreciated is the revised engine’s flawless throttle response. I experienced none of the digital-feeling abruptness common among many fuel-injection systems, either while coming back on the throttle or while closing it when slowing for corners." – motorcycle
“Once you get rolling, however, it becomes readily apparent that the YCC-I (Yamaha Chip-Controlled Intake) system definitely has improved midrange power, with a much stronger pull from 5500 rpm that permits you to often forego the previous shift-lever tap-dancing the older model required to pass slower cars.” – sportrider
"...on the track, about as low as anyone ever goes at speed is roughly 11,000 rpm for the most part, so when our faster testers refer to “mid-range,” it’s more akin to top-end on the streets. Either way, once you get the R6 revving she screams to life nearly effortlessly. The throttle twists with complete ease, response is excellent and power builds extremely fast." – motorcycle-usa
"Handling is markedly improved. We found the last-gen R6 to be somewhat nervous,turning in too quickly for our tastes and sometimes requiring mid-corner corrections to stay on line. This year’s version, with stiffer, better balanced suspension and slightly increased fork offset, transfers weight more progressively under braking and acceleration, making it easier to control." – motorcyclistonline
"The motorcycle is more stable but retains its quick steering ability. The suspension has been revised internally and is arguably the best mass-produced stuff on any current production bike. The bars are 5mm lower and angled slightly different, but it’s still the same motorcycle to ride; only better when riding faster." – MCN
"Both Caballé and I were impressed by the brakes, and Caballé noted no reduction in power or feel despite flogging the bike at Sugo for several laps (attributing the lack of fade, at least in part, to the increased thickness of the front rotors this year). Yamaha’s supersport brakes have typically been good, and the new R6 is no exception." – motorcycledaily
Regardless of color, the 2010 Yamaha YZF-R6 has a $10,490 starting MSRP.
In the end, we can say that Yamaha has turned their middleweight supersport motorcycle into a slightly more refined way of going around the track faster than anyone else does (in the right hands, of course), but we cannot be impressed with the small number of changes on this model year that says “let’s lay low and see what happens”.
Engine and Transmission
- Type: 599cc liquid-cooled inline 4-cylinder; DOHC, 16 titanium valves
- Bore x Stroke: 67.0 x 42.5mm
- Compression Ratio: 13.1:1
- Fuel Delivery: Fuel Injection with YCC-T and YCC-I
- Ignition: TCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition
- Transmission: 6-speed w/multiplate slipper clutch
- Primary Reduction Ratio: 85/41 (2.073)
- Secondary Reduction Ratio: 45/16 (2.813)
- Gear Ratio - 1st Gear 31/12 (2.583)
- Gear Ratio - 2nd Gear 32/16 (2.000)
- Gear Ratio - 3rd Gear 30/18 (1.667)
- Gear Ratio - 4th Gear 26/18 (1.444)
- Gear Ratio - 5th Gear 27/21 (1.286)
- Gear Ratio - 6th Gear 23/20 (1.150)
- Final Drive: Chain
Chassis and Dimensions
- Suspension/Front: 41mm inverted fork; 4-way adjustable, 4.7-in travel
- Suspension/Rear: Single shock; 4-way adjustable, 4.7-in travel
- Brakes/Front: Dual 310mm floating disc; radial-mount 4-piston calipers
- Brakes/Rear: 220mm disc; single-piston caliper
- Tires/Front: 120/70-ZR17
- Tires/Rear: 180/55-ZR17
- Length: 80.3 in
- Width: 27.6 in
- Height: 43.3 in
- Seat Height: 33.5 in
- Wheelbase: 54.3 in
- Rake (Caster Angle): 24°
- Trail: 3.8 in
- Oil Capacity (with oil filter change): 3.6 qt
- Fuel Capacity: 4.5 gal
- Fuel Economy: 40 mpg
- Wet Weight: 417 lb
- Warranty: 1 Year (Limited Factory Warranty)
Features & Benefits
New for 2010:
- The new, 100mm-longer muffler is designed for excellent power characteristics and reduced noise.
- The ECU settings have been revised for increased performance.
- The 2009 Daytona 200 winner is back and ready for the street or track.
- Light, powerful, and bristling with knowledge gained from years of racing, the YZF-R6 is the most advanced production 600cc motorcycle Yamaha—or anybody else—has ever built.
- The YZF-R6 was the first production motorcycle with a fly-by-wire throttle system—for flawless response under all conditions.
- YCC-I®, Yamaha Chip Controlled Intake, is used on the R6 to vary intake tract length for excellent cylinder filling and a broader powerband. On the higher-revving R6, its benefits are even more pronounced.
- Back torque-limiting slipper-type clutch greatly facilitates braking/downshifting from high speed. Close-ratio 6-speed transmission delivers seamless power and maximum acceleration.
- Compact, lightweight 67mm x 42.5mm, 599cc DOHC 16-valve, liquid-cooled titanium-valved four-cylinder has a compression ratio of 13.1:1, for great response. Domed pistons with valve cutouts produce a compact combustion chamber.
- Fuel injection mapping for the YCC-T—Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle dual-injector system complements the high compression ratio for great throttle response and reduced engine braking.
- YCC-I—Yamaha Chip Controlled Intake electronically varies intake tract length for a broader powerband.
- A magnesium subframe removes weight from the rear of the motorcycle for increased mass centralization.
- Fork height adjustability and rear ride-height adjustment accommodate a great range of riders and tires.
- YCC-T uses a powerful ECU and multiple sensors to provide perfect, smooth engine response and optimal power whenever the throttle is twisted under all conditions.
- Twin-injector fuel injection: shower-type injectors above each intake funnel help achieve optimum fuel atomization at high rpm.
- Slipper-type back torque-limiting clutch greatly facilitates braking and downshifting from high speed. Close-ratio six-speed transmission delivers seamless power and maximum acceleration.
- GP-style titanium muffler contributes to mass centralization and contains EXUP® for a broad powerband, and 02 sensor for spot-on injection and emissions compliance.
- Linerless, direct-plated ceramic-composite cylinder bores mean greater heat dissipation for consistent power delivery and reduced friction.
- Cool magnesium valve and engine covers are light and stylish.
- Direct-ignition coils, dual-electrode spark plugs and high-output magneto deliver extremely accurate, reliable firing.
- Deltabox® aluminum frame incorporates GP thinking in terms of engine positioning and rigidity for the ultimate in 600-class handling.
- The lightweight swingarm pivots high in the frame, for increased anti-squat effect and mid-corner stability. TZ-type chain adjusters ease rear tire changes.
- Four-way adjustable (preload, high-speed compression, low-speed compression and rebound damping) inverted fork with 41mm tubes increases freedom in setting up for street or track use; soak up the bumps and resist bottoming when braking.
- Four-way adjustable (preload, high-speed compression, low speed compression and rebound damping) piggyback rear shock delivers exceptional rear wheel tracking and stability.
- Dual 310mm front disc brakes use forged one-piece radial-mount calipers and radial-pump front master cylinder with adjustable lever for astounding braking power and feel.
- The casting technique for the five-spoke 17-inch wheels makes the rims light and strong, not to mention wickedly cool-looking.
- Removable rear shock spacer and adjustable fork ride height allows the rider to tailor the ride position for the best fit and comfort.
- Built-in lap timer is controlled by a right handlebar switch.
- Multifunction digital and analog instrumentation features: programmable shift light, digital speedometer, analog tachometer, dual tripmeters with miles-on-reserve function, odometer, water temp gauge and lights for neutral, high beam, low fuel and turn signals.