By Troy Siahaan
After 21 years, Yamaha has announced the venerable YZF-R6 will be discontinued after the 2020 model year. This coming on the news today of the V Star 250, Bolt R-Spec, XSR700 and XSR900, Super Ténéré ES, FJR1300ES, Star Venture, and XMAX all continuing on for 2021 with what basically amounts to, as we say in the moto-journo biz – Bold New Graphics (BNG).
However, the shock announcement of the R6 coming to an end may not be such a shock after all considering looming Euro5 regulations and the languishing state of sportbike sales, especially in the 600cc supersport category. It appears as though Yamaha brass didn’t see it worthwhile to update and/or upgrade the Euro4 R6 in order to meet the more stringent Euro5 requirements.
Such a move is not entirely new, as Honda went through a similar phase already, discontinuing the CBR600RR for much of the world circa 2017 (although remaining stock is still being sold in North America) primarily due to emissions regulations. And even though Honda has released an updated CBR600RR, it will only be sold in Japan and Australia and still doesn’t meet Euro5 regulations anyway.
Ever since its introduction in 1999, the YZF-R6 has been a formidable force in supersport racing, even winning for the first time in only the second race of the 1999 World Supersport season. Since then, the R6 has racked up more wins and championships around the globe than we can count – so should racers and race teams be worried about the R6’s discontinuation?
Yamaha’s now calling this the 2021 R6 Race. What’s the difference between this and the 2020 R6? Nothing as far as we can tell.
Not exactly. Nevermind the fact that used R6s are a dime a dozen, Yamaha is respecting the bike’s racing heritage and will still be …read more