All-new Yamaha YZF-R6 in 2016?

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An all-new, ferociously rapid R1, a heavily revised YZF-R125 and the introduction of the R3 to the learner market: Yamaha has been busy in 2015 bolstering its supersport sector. But what of the R6, as many of you have been enquiring about?

Aside from refinements over the years and subtle evolution, the racers’ favourite and most focused of the rev-hungry 600s has been largely unchanged since the techno-packed 2006 model turned up, claiming a barrage of global racing titles and filling grids worldwide.

44Teeth spoke with Leon Oosterhof, Product Manager of the Supersport range at Yamaha Motor Europe, at the launch of the R3 in Spain. Leon was understandably guarded when quizzed about the possibility of an impending new R6 but didn’t exactly rule one out either.

“Yamaha has chosen to give priority to the new R1 and that has several reasons. The first is that the proportion of 1000cc riders within the supersports segment is considerably larger than 600s, so it makes sense to cater for the 1000cc riders. It’s also down to our ambitions in the superbike class.

“The R6? We are constantly looking out at what to do next, so today I cannot tell you if something will happen, what and when, but you can be sure that we are constantly looking at the supersports segment.

“To be frank, of course we cannot do everything at the same time, right? We have to set priorities and in this case, the sequence was R1/R1M, the R3, and we will see what’s next!”

In theory, the unloved R6 should be next inline. When Yamaha teased the public with the three-cylinder concept a few years back, many assumed the CP3 motor would slot into the R6. Instead, Yamaha opted for a naked roadster in the bonkers MT-09. Given the success of Triumph and MV Agusta utilising the highly versatile three-pot powerplant in their ‘600s’, will Yamaha follow the trend?

“Possibly. CP3 is an engine that we really appreciate, and in general we are working more towards a platform strategy, looking at an engine that can be suitable for several segments. It is possible and could make sense.”

The triple layout not only makes for unrivalled engine dynamics and a saucy soundtrack, but also a narrow, compact chassis. Please Yamaha, please. Thanks. Bye…

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