Liter-class sportbikes may be where all the manufacturers have dumped their resources during the past decade, but we’re glad Yamaha hasn’t forgotten about the venerable YZF-R6 with this long awaited update. Boasting killer looks, more aerodynamic bodywork, R1 suspension, and a full kit of electronics, the new R6 promises to be a light, nimble, and rewarding package we can’t wait to rip around a racetrack.

In contrast to liter-sized sportbikes, the new R6 will be able to be shifted past third gear at most tracks. All while retraining our brains to carry more momentum and corner speed, two skills that will only serve to benefit you on something like an R1. Sometimes (okay, most the time) 200 hp is just a handful to manage, and as literbikes have become more powerful, they’ve become more difficult to exploit around the tight confines of our local tracks. Don’t get us wrong, we like giving it the berries on the big bikes, but flogging a 600 like the R6 for all it’s worth is arguably more rewarding.