The Yamaha FZ6R - First Impressions When picking up a motorcycle made by the Yamaha Motor Corp. you can always be sure of one thing -- you will not be forced to cruise the streets on an ugly duckling for the next two weeks.
The styling will always be appealing and you will not be left saying . . "Oh I can't believe they sent me off with a bike in this color!".
Once again, Yamaha did not disappoint and the Team Yamaha Blue/White FZ6R I was taking command of had sharp lines and aggressive curves to match the racy paint work -- a quite stylish package for a bike at this price point.
But would the all-new FZ6R with it full fairing be all show and no go? Well not exactly -- but I did feel the styling somewhat outweighed the performance in the engine department at least.
The FZ6R motor gets its DNA from an earlier generation R6. It shares bore and stroke dimensions and compression ratio with the standard FZ6 but the cylinder head, crankcase, intake and exhaust system, clutch and shifter have been completely redesigned.
Lightweight forged aluminum pistons are used in the FZ6R, creating a very smooth motor. And a 32-bit ECU controls the four-hole, two-direction, high-dynamic-range type fuel injectors.
The fuel injected, 600cc liquid-cooled 4-stroke engine engine seems to have quite a mild state of tune. The fuel injection is crisp and the FZ6R picks up the revs cleanly and quickly from the bottom, but there is a noticeable lack of kick from the Yamaha power plant.
It will make a fine motor for commuting and zinging through town but it is not the most inspiring 600cc motor on the market, even when compared to its bargain priced competition. However, I had been riding a nearly 200HP V-Max for the previous two weeks, I might need to cut the FZ6R motor some slack.
What the FZ6R motor lacks in beastly character it more than makes up for in the handling department.
The Yamaha frame is made from high-tensile steel-tube and uses the engine as a stressed member for increased rigidity. The forks are non-adjustable 41mm Soqi units and the rear features a Soqi monoshock unit with preload adjustment.
While these previous specs might not make your hair stand up, the simple combination of parts actually works well. The Yamaha feels thin, has a low seat height and its 470 pound wet weight is extremely nimble.
While having sharp steering and easy-to-maneuver in town around tight corners, the FZ6R was also at home holding its line in faster sweepers and had no problem while adjusting that line at speed. There was a slightly springy feel in town but as speeds increased the suspension seemed to be well suited and overall I felt very confident in the way the FZ6R handled.