I’m still looking for the next great biking love of my life, specifically a bike I can use mainly if not completely on track. After chatting to people I know, and quite a lot I don’t via the flavour of disconnected awesomeness that is the internets I’ve decided to keep with a 600. But which one? We’ll I’ve owned a CBR600RR so would like to try some something else. The something else that is generally favoured by those who run a 600 on track is the ’06 onwards R6. Known for it’s lack of rice pudding skin bothering midrange, the top end is really great. Allegedly.
I have ridden one of these on track with the California SuperBike School, but the only thing I can only remember about that was the seat was really high (850mm) and the leathers they gave me were way too big. So that’s not a lot of help really – I was just way to inexperienced to judge the bike properly on the day.
So it was time to take one for a ride at my local neighbour Yamaha dealer. They had a nice looking MY09 model for sale. Three years old at time of writing but still not cheap – it seems R6s really hold there money. Yamaha have raised the price of these a lot recently (like all the other Japanese manufacturers) so no doubt supply of used bikes is limited even before we factor in ejits like me throwing them down the track and writing them off. Anyway it looked nice in red and white but boy did it have a high mileage which I only discovered when it was fired up. Most late model R6’s only have a few thousand miles but this one had 13 thousand. Good on the last owner for actually using it.
So the ride: It was only a short one – after discovering the mileage I was never going to buy the bike (given it’s price – much better value ones are available else where). Plus after leaving the dealers I managed to find every 30 and 40 mph limited road in Suffolk. Grrr. Nevertheless, this ‘gutless’ bike had a reasonable midrange which turned into proper acceleration at about 8K on the rev counter – this is the point she lifted here skirts and became much more fun. It sounds lovely – I’ve never been on bike that pops and burbles on the overrun as much as this one, and it howls on the upper reaches of the rpm band. My CBR600RR always droned and after fitting a race can it still droned only a lot louder.
The fit of the bike is fine for me – it’s certainly a lot more roomy than the CBR, and it feels like a more substantial bike. The clip-ons are somewhere between the CBR600 and a Daytona 675. Steering and control were also good, but it could hardly be bad on slow potter on the roads.
In conclusion it could certainly fit the bill.