Triple Threat: Next R6 To Shed A Cylinder? | UP TO SPEED

Will Yamaha’s R6 Replacement Be a 675 Triple?

Information about the replacement for the Yamaha R6 has been hard to come by. Ever since the firm showed its "CP3" engine concept in 2012 there have been rumors that the next R6 will be a 675cc triple, and that configuration is still looking like a likely choice to replace the existing four-cylinder design. Not only would a triple give the bike a selling point—and a torque advantage—over its Japanese rivals, but if the new engine is related to the FZ-09's triple it could help reduce R&D and production costs.

Reducing the existing FZ-09's engine capacity to 675cc, where it would be eligible for racing, would be relatively simple. The engine's 78mm bore is already perfect for a 675cc triple (the MV F3 uses a 79mm bore), and the stroke would only need to come down from 59mm to 47mm to reach the right capacity. Shortening the stroke would also allow more revs to make up for the lost displacement, potentially allowing a 675cc R6 triple to make more power than the 115 bhp FZ-09, just as Triumph's Daytona 675 out-punches the bigger, lower-revving version of the same engine that's used in the Tiger 800. It's worth mentioning that the original CP3 engine concept was noticeably different in appearance to the one that eventually appeared in the FZ-09. The concept shared many design elements with the R1's crossplane four-cylinder, hinting that it could be intended for a supersport bike.

Using a three-cylinder engine also raises the prospect that Yamaha could follow MV Agusta's lead and offer an intermediate bike between its 600-class and 1000-class models, just like the MV F3 800 sits between the F3 675 and the F4 1000. If it retained the FZ-09's capacity, it could make a lightweight, torquey sportbike, with plenty of power, at no extra cost over the 675cc version, which would become little more than a homologation special for race purposes.