The last time we saw a major update to any Japanese supersport was 2013. That year, Kawasaki launched its Ninja ZX-6R, which returned to the 636cc engine and arrived with selectable power modes.
Since then, as naked- and liter-bikes garnered more and more popularity, the supersport market remained hush. This changed Thursday at American International Motorcycle Expo with the release of the 2017 Yamaha YZF-R6.[More New 2017 Motorcycles]Taking cues from its older brother, the popular YZF-R1, the R6, which is the winningest supersport in AMA/MotoAmerica history, arrives with a host of updates, including the latest in electronics and suspension.Yamaha just released all the details. Stay tuned for an in-depth preview, but for now here are the 2017 Yamaha YZF-R6 Fast Facts.1. Traction Control: Thanks to the updated ride-by-wire Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T), the 2017 R6 receives a host of electronic updates, including traction control—a first for a Japanese supersport. The YZF-R6’s TTC (Traction Control System) features six modes, and can be turned off.2. Selectable Drive Mode (D-Mode): The 2017 YZF-R6 arrives with a three-channel rider mode system, called D-Mode. This system features standard, A and B modes.3. Upgraded KYB Suspension: Derived from the new YZF-R1, the YZF-R6 is upgraded with new suspension. The R6 features the same KYB 43mm inverted forks as the R1, and a new adjustable KYB rear shock.4. Upgraded Brakes with ABS: The 2017 Yamaha YZF-R6 arrives with larger, 320mm front-disc brakes vs. the 310mm discs found on the previous generation. Just like the KYB front fork, this is the same front-brake system used on the R1. Also, ABS is standard. It’s likely switchable, though we’re awaiting confirmation.5. New Gauge Layout: The 2017 YZF-R6 arrives with new instrumentation. The gauge features a combo of analog and digital LCD data, including a programmable shift light, fuel economy, dual trip meters with miles-on-reserve function, and indicators for the new electronic rider aids, including TCS and D-Mode.6. New R1-based Styling: For additional aerodynamics and styling, the 2017 R6 arrives with restyled bodywork that’s similar to the YZF-R1. LED lighting is standard, along with mirror-integrated front turn signals and an R1-style tail.7. Aluminum Fuel Tank: Helping to save 2.5 pounds off the wet weight for a total of 419 pounds, the 2017 Yamaha YZF-R6 arrives with an aluminum tank over the previous generation’s steel one.8. New Seat and Magnesium Rear Subframe: Also helping to shave weight and increase mass centralization is an all-new magnesium subframe and redesigned seat—20mm narrower at the front.9. Quickshifter Available: Yamaha’s Quick Shift System is available as an accessory for clutchless upshifts.10. Price Increase/ New colors: Compared to 2016, the 2017 Yamaha YZF-R6’s price has increased $1200 and now has an MSRP of $12,199. The R6 will be available in three colors: Matte Black, Team Yamaha Blue, and Intensity White/Matte Silver. Expect delivery in March 2017.
This week, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the all new Ducati Monster. Big changes have been made by Ducati–has the company ruined the considerable heritage of the iconic Monster–or are the changes worth it? In the second part of the show, we chat with Nick Ienatsch, Founder and Head Instructor at the Yamaha Champions Riding School. He says: “We aim to change your riding life by introducing you to Champions Habits: The techniques, approaches, skills, and the mindsets of the best riders in the world. These Champions Habits are the foundation of safety and consistency to whatever speed you ride, in any venue on any bike. Street riders, this is just as much for you as track riders. The best way to make safe riders is to make good riders.“ We hope you enjoy this episode!