Last year I got all excited because I thought Yamaha were releasing a race/trackday version of the R6. In actual fact, what it was, was a completely standard R6, but without a V5 (registration document). They’ve just released the news though, that in 2022, you will be able to buy an R6 as an actual race bike.
It’ll have the same 599cc engine with lightweight forged pistons, titanium valves, slipper clutch, electronic throttle, quick-shifter, Deltabox chassis and magnesium subframe as the R6 we already know and love. And it’ll come with R1-style 43mm KYB forks, and adjustable KYB shocker.
But for 2022, the R6 Race will come with plain black bodywork, with all the road guff binned. Lights, indicators, mirrors, horn, numberplate, pillion seat and pegs, all in the bin. It’ll definitely make the R6 lighter (although we don’t know by how much) and we’re hoping it’ll make it cheaper.
But if you’re after the ultimate Supersport machine, it’s got to be the R6 GYTR. Like the R6 Race, it’s designed for the track, so doesn’t come with all of the road kit. This one though, comes with plain white, fibreglass race bodywork (rather than the black, plastic stuff, sported by the Race).
It also comes with a healthy dose of GYTR (Genuine Yamaha Technology Racing) parts. You get a racing loom and ECU, with the cable interface, so you can faff with your engine’s electronics. Steel braided brake lines and an ABS eliminator mean you can remove the ABS pump for extra weight loss; although it seems a shame they didn’t remove it at the factory. It comes with a titanium Akrapovič exhaust, 520 race chain and sprockets, adjustable rearsets, a GYTR start/stop button and billet fuel cap.
If you want an R6 GYTR, you’ve got to order one from a genuine Yamaha Pro Shop, of which there are four in the UK. Crescent Motorcycles in Dorset; Padgett’s Motorcycles in West Yorkshire; Raceways Motorcycles in Lancashire; and Tamworth Yamaha in the West Midlands.
We’re still waiting for confirmation of the price, but rumour has it the R6 Race will be £12,099, and the R6 GYTR will be considerably more. But you can bet you’re bottom dollar that it’ll be one bad-ass track bike.
I think this has been coming for some time. The sales of sports bikes have been in decline year on year, to the point where its basically a niche market. If the powers that be can release a track ready bike for the same or less money than the road version then I think it would be successful. I’m not sure how true this is but if you sell a bike that is track only then you would have to worry more about noise limits than emissions? I’m sure people like Yamaha would live to sell their R1’s without the all the cats and other emissions gubbins. Their track ready bikes could potentially be the product that they really want to offer.