By Troy Siahaan
With news of the Yamaha R6 going the way of the dodo bird, we thought it fitting to take a look back through the Motorcycle.com archives to see all the things we’ve written about Yamaha’s mighty little sportbike. Like the R6, Motorcycle.com has gone through a few changes since its inception in 1994, but fortunately for us, we’ve (barely) been around just long enough to see the R6’s journey. What follows is a trip through time with all the R6 stories that haven’t been lost during various server changes in MO’s history.
Introduced in 1999, the YZF-R6 is now of legal drinking age, and in that time, it has established itself as the supersport bike to have if you’re serious about racetrack performance. It’s unapologetically track-focused, whether you like it or not, and if you’re one of the many folks who have wrung the neck of an R6, then you can appreciate the thrill that comes with spinning an engine to 16,000 rpm.
The first R6 also has the distinction of being the first Yamaha MO has ever crashed, too! Back when MO was young and irreverent, Aaron “Elmo” Hammel got the chance to give the new R6 a First Ride, and this is how it started:
Never mind the bollocks, we’ll get right to the point: The Yamaha YZF-R6 kicks ass. It is one of the most feral, thrilling, heart-pounding motorcycles we’ve ever ridden. Yeah, yeah, don’t many journalists use over-the-top superlatives in order to mollify manufacturers and help pay for the ad guy’s mortgage? Yes, it happens, but this time we really mean it. I remember coming out of the 165 mph front straight at Phillip Island as my heart pounded with a violent, lucid exhilaration bordering on an ecstatic clairvoyance that lasted until I low-sided into …read more