It's getting warm, oh yeah I'm feeling the burn..... on my knee that is. You see, I'm indicating 123MPH and my right knee has been skimming along the asphalt all the way from the pit exit through the apex of Turn One. I wouldn't have noticed this issue on last year's R6, because I would have been preoccupied with thoughts of tucking the front, thanks to the vaguely "funky" turn-in feeling last year's R6 produced. Demons Be Gone! Praise Jesus! Evidently, that issue is a thing of the past, because the 2005 R6 is perfectly comfortable everywhere on the racetrack.
Lest we get ahead of ourselves, you can go back to the R6's U.S. Press Intro, to review the new bike's updates and street manners. For those who won't bother to re-read that story, here is a recap of the technical changes, followed by more impressions from this R6 track test.
Yamaha seems to have solved the turn-in feel problem, by equipping the 2005 R6 with a 70 series Dunlop D218 front tire, instead of the 60 series D208 that was standard on the '03 and '04 bikes. This change in tire profile is probably the single greatest contribution to the improved front-end feel of the 2005 R6. However, numerous other changes were made to enhance the R6's racetrack potential. The most notable of these changes is the new Kayaba 41mm upside-down fork (last year's bike was equipped with a 43mm conventional fork), and the addition of new radial-mount 4-piston Sumitomo calipers. The calipers are controlled by a Brembo designed radial master cylinder and squeeze a set of new 310mm rotors that are 7% lighter than the 298mm rotors on last year's R6.
To maintain the bikes' overall handling balance, Yamaha was forced to make matching updates to the rear. Rear suspension updates include a more progressive linkage that raises the seat height by 10mm and modifications to the frame aimed at improving stiffness around the swingarm pivot. In addition, front and rear spring rates have been increased by 6.5% & 5% respectively, to compliment the increased progressiveness of the shock linkage. Because the taller rear ride height would result in a slightly steeper steering head angle, Yamaha chose to increase rake & trail by 0.5° and 9mm. Likewise, the R6's wheelbase increases by 5mm, to 1385mm. Revised damping rates and new brake pad materials round-out the suspension and chassis changes for 2005.
The rest of the R6 remains true to form, as this new version continues the old R6 legacy of class leading comfort, light weight, and an ease of use that gives this bike a surprising harmony with its rider.
Engine revisions include shorter and wider intake funnels feeding new 40mm Mikuni EIS/4 throttle bodies that are 2mm larger than last year's units. A new fuel pressure regulator increases pressure inside the injectors by nearly 20% (from 41 to 48psi), while a re-tuned ECU helps to maintain decent low-to-mid range response. Yamaha claims a 3HP increase, at speed, with ram-air. Our dyno results were hardly shocking, showing that our very low mileage R6 made 105.17Hp @ 12,800RPM and 43.77LbFt @ 10,200RPM. For comparison, our fully broken-in 2003 R6 made 104.2Hp and 44.3LbFt at slightly lower RPMs. I suspect that since our 2005 test unit only had 380 miles on it when we put it on the dyno, it will most likely meet or exceed Yamaha's claims, once it's fully broken-in.
The rest of the R6 remains true to form, as this new version continues the old R6 legacy of class leading comfort, light weight, and an ease of use that gives this bike a surprising harmony with its rider. At the racetrack, the new tires and updated chassis come together with these traits to produce a bike that thrives on tight twisty sections.
Choose Your Color!
|Team Yamaha Blue/White:|
In Part I of this test, I noticed a bit of instability on the freeway and recommended that potential R6 owners purchase a steering damper. However at the track, I never had any issues with head shake, even though I was aggressively counter-steering and transitioning over several different cambers and levels of surface smoothness. I suspect this has something to do with my keeping the front-end more (ahem!) "planted", while actually trying to go fast at the track, as opposed to playing around, pulling wheelies and other funky maneuvers on rough pavement, like I was doing in Part 1. I'd still recommend a steering damper for anybody who rides hard, but I will concede that the R6 is quite well behaved, for a 600 Supersport.
Even though I'm on stock D218 street tires, the new R6's chassis and brakes allow me to out-brake several expert racers. Those outbraking maneuvers sometimes end with the bike off-line, but the nimble chassis allows me to keep the racers behind me, while I regain the proper line and establish a cushion. I found that the best cushions were gained, when I'd pass just before a tight section, then quickly whip the bike right-left-right through the next several corners, so that the racebikes wouldn't be close enough to re-pass down the next straight. Considering that these shenanigans all took place on a stock suspension and street tires, it's hard to deny the overall racetrack potential of the R6.
PAGE 2 The last version of this bike won the street segment of the last Motorcycle.Com 600cc Shootout, and nearly won the racetrack/performance segment as well, only to be held-back by that funny feeling front-end. Since that problem has now been solved, will the R6 be able to take top-honors in the 2005 Shootout? That's a tough call, as the bar has been raised and the R6's overall goodness might not be enough to overcome the potent new ZX-6R, Rock Steady CBR-600RR, or the latest GSX-R 600. More than one of those bikes has received horsepower and comfort improvements, so it'll be a tough task. However, win, lose or draw, there is no denying that Yamaha and Dunlop's improvements have resulted in a significantly improved motorcycle.
** SPECS PROVIDED BY YAMAHA **
MSRP - $8,399 to $8,499
|Features & Benefits|
|NEW FEATURES & BENEFITS for 2005:|
- Engine upgrades in the form of 40mm throttle bodies, revised fuel injection and ignition mapping, new intake funnels, etc., all result in a 3-horsepower increase at the same rpm as before with more power across the board.
- New, fully adjustable inverted fork with 41mm tubes further reinforces R6's main strength: precise handling. New, cast top triple clamp and forged lower clamp also increase rigidity, and work with revised handlebar positioning.
- To complement the new fork, the rear section of the Deltabox III main frame was revised internally to work with revised swingarm linkage and mounts for improved handling.
- Lighter, 310mm front brake discs replace 298mm units. New radial-mount four-piston calipers and radial master cylinder provide greater braking power and feel.
- 120/70-ZR17 front tire replaces previous 120/60-ZR17 for improved handling.
- Twin, ring-type radiator fans are now used to ensure optimal engine cooling.
- Revised headlight lens and revised under-cowl for even better style.
- New Raven color.
- Ultra-compact, lightweight, 600cc DOHC 16-valve liquid-cooled inline four-cylinder puts out 123 horsepower.
- Competition-bred suction-piston-type fuel injection features short intake ports and a special vacuumcontrolled intake system to ensure instant throttle response all the way up to the 15,500-rpm redline.
- Compact slant-block engine design uses stacked gearbox shafts to create a low center of gravity and balanced weight distribution.
- Ram-Air Induction System delivers cool, high-pressure air for optimal combustion and greater horsepower at high speed.
- Lightweight forged pistons on carburized connecting rods for superb strength and reduced reciprocating mass.
- Linerless, ceramic-composite cylinder bores mean greater heat dissipation for consistent power delivery and reduced friction.
- Close-ratio 6-speed transmission delivers seamless power and maximum acceleration.
- Special three-axis gearbox design stacks input/output shafts to keep overall engine size to super-compact dimensions.
- Curved radiator follows the contour of the frame and bodywork for an ultra-sleek look and excellent cooling performance.
- Specially designed, one-piece cylinder and crankcase assembly provides superior engine rigidity and light weight.
- Engine is a fully stressed chassis member to allow for a super-light frame design.
- Compact, large-capacity clutch ensures consistent, fade-free performance.
- Rifle-bored camshafts with specially designed valve lifters and computer-perfected timing for reduced spinning mass and quicker acceleration.
- Large-capacity internal water pump and separate liquid-cooled oil cooler ensure optimal engine cooling efficiency.
- 4-into-2-into-1 aluminum exhaust optimizes engine performance, reduces overall weight and is tucked in high for maximum lean angle.
- Direct ignition coils, dual-electrode spark plugs and high-output magneto deliver extremely accurate, reliable firing.
- Radical Deltabox IlI aluminum chassis is light, stiff, and extremely compact for razor-sharp handling.
- Controlled Fill die casting produces an incredibly sleek swingarm that is remarkably strong and light by pinpointing exactly where material needs to be. Pivot position and swingarm length (576mm) are optimized for great traction feel.
- Fully adjustable (preload, compression and rebound damping) 41mm inverted telescopic front fork with 4.7" of travel offers race-bred suspension performance with ultra-precise rider feedback.
- Fully adjustable (preload, compression and rebound damping) piggyback rear shock with 4.7" of travel delivers exceptional rear wheel tracking and stability.
- Removable CF die cast rear subframe is light and strong.
- Super-light five-spoke 17" wheels reduce unsprung weight; the casting technique makes the rim section light, not to mention wickedly cool-looking.
- Durable, lightweight, aluminum clip-on bars provide optimal vibration damping
- Narrow 4.5-gallon fuel tank provides excellent rider ergonomics and aggressive seating position.
- Multi-function digital and analog instrumentation features: digital speedometer, analog tachometer, dual tripmeters with odometer, upward-counting fuel reserve meter, water temp gauge and lights for neutral, high beam, low fuel and turn signals.
- Dual Gatling beam 60/55-watt multi-reflector headlight features a sleek profile for superb aerodynamics and visibility.
- Dual LED taillight design reduces both weight and size while providing excellent visibility and a sleek profile.
- Standard toolkit located in convenient storage compartment under passenger seat.
||600cc,liquid-cooled, 16-valve, DOHC, in-line four-cylinder|
|Bore x Stroke
||Constant Mesh 6-speed|
||#525 O-ring chain|
41mm inverted telescopic fork w/adjustable preload, compression and rebound damping;4.7"travel
||Swingarm with fully adjustable single shock w/piggyback reservoir and adjustable preload, compression and rebound damping;4.7"travel|
||Dual 310mm floating discs, w/ radial-mount forged 4-piston calipers|
||220mm disc w/single-piston caliper|
|Claimed Dry Weight
||Team Yamaha Blue/White; Rapid Red; Raven Black|
||1 Year(Limited Factory Warranty)|
|Measured Engine Performance|
|MO Measured HP:
||105.17Hp @ 12,800RPM (at the tire, no ram-air)|
|MO Measured Torque:
||43.77FtLb @ 10,200RPM (at the tire, no ram-air)|
|Yamaha *Claimed HP:
||123Hp @ 13,000RPM (at the crank, with ram-air)|
|Yamaha *Claimed Torque:
||49LbFt @ 12,000RPM (at the crank, with ram-air)|