More about the 2003 R6: Voices from the development team
Hiroshi Takimoto - Project Leader
“The basic concept hasn’t changed from that of the existing YZF-R6. Our goal was to create a machine that was the fastest and most exciting 600cc supersport model.
The new YZF-R6 is not just a brighter specification version of the old. It is a machine offering new technology, a new riding experience and new design that people will recognise as being from the R-series family as soon as they see it and ride it.”
Yamaha introduces a revolutionary new, second generation R6 that is designed to remain true to the original machine’s character, whilst at the same time offering increased engine performance, class-leading handling, reduced emissions and extreme new bodywork.
Out on the racetrack this high-performance middleweight has demonstrated its superiority by winning the rider’s World Supersport Championship in 2000, as well as the Manufacturers’ World title 3 years in a row (1999-2001).
Amongst the most significant stylistic features on the R6 are the dual gatling beam headlights. These aggressively-styled lights are the focal point of the new cowl, and have given this class-leading machine a distinctive ‘face’ that is set to become the definitive look in the supersport class in 2003.
Another important influence on the machine’s front end appearance are the air intakes. One of the important features that distinguishes the R6 from the R1 is the fact that the 600 R series machine is equipped with a direct air intake system. Our designers have integrated this intake system so that it now forms an important part of the overall look of the R6. This gives the new R6 a bold new image that, while retaining a strong R-series character, is nevertheless totally unique.
Akihiko Yasuhira - Product Planning
“People will feel definite differences and a clear “evolution” of the YZF-R6 when they actually ride the new model. We chose to stick with the 60 flat ratio tyres and give this machine the more exacting suspension settings the 60 flat ratio tyres demand, because we believe that is where the real “supersport” riding performance is.”
When Yamaha launched the first R6 it added a whole new dimension to the supersport market. Its ultra-responsive high-revving engine, agile handling performance, and aggressive Rseries styling were exactly what many thousands of riders were looking for.
The fact that the original R6 is still one of the most popular machines in the category on both the road and on race tracks makes it a very hard act to follow, and in order to create an even better product, the Development Team clearly identified four main aims:
• Increase cornering performance on secondary roads and on the racetrack
• Offer higher levels of exciting engine performance
• Create radical new bodywork that is instantly recognisable as the second generation R6
• Enhance overall quality and reduce exhaust emissions to EU2 standards
Yasunobu Kanou - Chassis Design Project Chief
“When you actually ride this machine there is a feeling of direct connection between the rider and the engine. But then there is also a sense of lightness within the realm of stability. One of the important factors that made this possible is the new frame. The main frame, the rear frame and the rear arm are all made of cast aluminium. The merits of these cast parts is that they enable both a frame shape that enables outstanding rigidity per unit of weight and very smooth curves in their exterior appearance.”
The second generation R6 runs with a totally new Deltabox III aluminium frame that offers extremely high rigidity combined with low weight, making it one of the most advanced and sophisticated designs ever seen on a supersport motorcycle.
What makes this new Deltabox III frame so special is the fact that it is a completely cast aluminium design – the first time this technology has been used on a production motorcycle.
The new cast main frame consists of two aluminium die-cast structures that are welded together, and whereas the original R6 mainframe featured sixteen welds, this new cast aluminium Deltabox III design requires just two! Torsion rigidity is increased by around 50%, making this production frame almost as stiff as the limited edition R7 superbike racer’s frame. Yet, unbelievably, the new Deltabox III frame weighs about 500 grams less than the ’02 R6 design!