2019 Yamaha YZF-R6 Review MC Commute

Yamaha’s high-revving 2019 YZF-R6 goes for an MC Commute review.

When it comes to raw handling prowess, and going fast around paved bends, few motorcycles perform better than Yamaha's razor-sharp YZF-R6. For 20 years, the Tuning Fork brand has been stamping its middleweight 600cc supersport for riders who want to experience the thrill of sport riding.

Last updated for the 2017 model year, the more slippery YZF-R6 is powered by a high-revving inline-four engine that loves to scream—to the tune of nearly 16,000 rpm. Although the powertrain is 11 years old, the R6's I4 remains modern in terms of feel and performance courtesy its variable intake system (YCC-I) and adjustable D-Mode throttle mapping. It also benefits from Yamaha's 2012-gen YZF-R1 traction control system, a big plus for those who ride on the street, especially in inclement weather.

We take Yamaha’s racy YZF-R6 supersport on a ride to work during this week’s episode of MC Commute.
We take Yamaha's racy YZF-R6 supersport on a ride to work during this week's episode of MC Commute.Adam Waheed

However its svelte, 420-pound curb weight and ability to eat up corners is where the R6 shines. More modern 2015-generation YZF-R1 suspension and more sturdy brake hardware make it a hoot to barrel into corners on. Factor in the MotoGP-derived body panels and full LED lighting, and it’s a motorcycle that looks as tasty as it performs.

Yes, its racy, yes, it's not as forgiving nor as cozy to ride on the street as an MT-09, but if you desire a thrilling sportbike with a passable level of everyday street capability, you won't be disappointed with the YZF-R6.

Yamaha’s YZF-R6 received more slippery bodywork for the 2017 model year to make it look more in line with its YZF-R1 brother.
Yamaha’s YZF-R6 received more slippery bodywork for the 2017 model year to make it look more in line with its YZF-R1 brother.Yamaha Motor USA
Low slung and quiet. The R6’s titanium muffler does a great job of keeping noise down outside of the cockpit.
Low slung and quiet. The R6’s titanium muffler does a great job of keeping noise down outside of the cockpit.Yamaha Motor USA
The 2019 YZF-R6 wears modern suspension based on the components used on the YZF-R1. On the street the R6 offers a taut ride, which can be made more forgiving via the spring preload and damping adjustment circuits.
The 2019 YZF-R6 wears modern suspension based on the components used on the YZF-R1. On the street the R6 offers a taut ride, which can be made more forgiving via the spring preload and damping adjustment circuits.Yamaha Motor USA
Front suspension adjustment is housed atop each fork leg, rather than at the bottom, making it easier to modify spring preload or damping.
Front suspension adjustment is housed atop each fork leg, rather than at the bottom, making it easier to modify spring preload or damping.Yamaha Motor USA
The R6 benefits from a powerful set of front brakes that are not only sharp feeling, but easy to master with well-metered bite and always-on ABS.
The R6 benefits from a powerful set of front brakes that are not only sharp feeling, but easy to master with well-metered bite and always-on ABS.Yamaha Motor USA
Designed for sport riders seeking the ultimate in handling performance, the 2019 YZF-R6 delivers an acceptable level of comfort and engine power for everyday street use.
Designed for sport riders seeking the ultimate in handling performance, the 2019 YZF-R6 delivers an acceptable level of comfort and engine power for everyday street use.Yamaha Motor USA
Full LED lighting graces the YZF-R6. Not only do the styling of the headlamps look appealing, the function is improved versus the halogen bulb setup.
Full LED lighting graces the YZF-R6. Not only do the styling of the headlamps look appealing, the function is improved versus the halogen bulb setup.Yamaha Motor USA
Although it’s not a fancy color TFT display, like the YZF-R1, the R6 dash is easy to read and has all the pertinent information a street rider needs. We appreciate the large swept face tachometer and huge shift light.
Although it’s not a fancy color TFT display, like the YZF-R1, the R6 dash is easy to read and has all the pertinent information a street rider needs. We appreciate the large swept face tachometer and huge shift light.Yamaha Motor USA