While Yamaha's biggest sportbike release for the year is undoubtedly the 2009 R1, the tuning fork crew didn't leave out the smaller-bore machines either. For the last few years, Yamaha's race-ready 600cc efforts have sent the powerband further and further into the stratosphere, optimizing it for the racetrack. Don't expect that to change much for '09. In fact, don't expect much at all in the way of changes to the range-topping R6, as Yamaha cites only a revised ECU that has remapped YCC-T settings. Plus, Honda's not the only Japanese manufacturer with some crazy colors for '09, as the new Yamaha is available in a Halloween-esque orange and black scheme.
Considering that the R6 is such a narrow-minded machine, though, Yamaha has two other fully-faired middleweights to consider for a more streetable package, including the all-new FZ6R. Featuring an engine yanked from the past-generation R6, but revised for more lower-end performance, the FZ6R is not actually based on the naked FZ6 that's been around for the last few years and from which it inherits its nomenclature. One unique bit that is sure to win over some buyers is the low seat height and adjustable riding position, which allows the rider to move the controls both side-to-side and up-and-down. While the '09 R6 retails for around $10,000, the lower-level FZ6R goes for just under $7K, making it much more manageable for entry-level riders. As before, the R6S is still available and bridges the gap between the FZ6R and the high-end R6 coming in at a buck under $8,500.
Yamaha Introduces 2009 FZ6R
Cypress, Calif. – With the 2009 FZ6R Yamaha is redefining what to expect from an entry level sport bike. That's why the FZ6R is packed with features that belie its price point; like a torquey 600cc four cylinder engine, fuel injection and a sleek full fairing. New comers to the sport will especially appreciate the low seat height and handlebars that put the rider comfortably in control and anyone can appreciate build quality usually reserved for models costing thousands of dollars more.
Starting with the proven power plant from our championship winning supersport bikes the engine in the FZ6R has been optimized for smooth, usable power. The cylinder head, crankcase, intake and exhaust system and clutch and shifter have been designed to create an entirely new engine character. The end result is a fun to ride motorcycle that will appeal to entry-level riders that they won't soon outgrow.
An all new diamond-shaped steel frame keeps the seat height low enough to comfortably reach the ground while allowing responsive handling. A solidly mounted engine allows for the optimum balance of high vertical rigidity and comparatively low lateral rigidity for stability at speed and sharp cornering performance.
Stylish bodywork lends the FZ6R a sporty aggressive look, borrowing aggressive lines from the YZF-R series with more extensive wind protection to match the more upright seating position. A low mount exhaust keeps the mass centralized while adding to the aggressive modern look of the bike.
Now what's your excuse for not getting the cool sportbike you always wanted?
The new FZ6R will be available in dealerships nationwide beginning in January 2009 with a starting MSRP of $6,990. The 2009 FZ6R will be available in Team Yamaha Blue/White, Pearl White, Cadmium Yellow and Raven.
Full information on all Yamaha models can be found at http://www.yamaha-motor.com.