This post is meant to share my experiences between the Yamaha R6, a supersport bike, and the Yamaha FZ6N, a naked bike. I have owned both bikes and want to share my experiences riding them. After I got my license, I bought a Yamaha R6, a “high powered” supersport bike, which is arguably a bad idea, but well, I did it anyway. After almost two years of driving it I ran into some long lingering issues which left me on the side of the road quite a bit. By the time it finally got fixed I didn’t really feel comfortable on the bike anymore, so I made the decision to find another one.
My first choice was to get another R6, because I still really like the bike, but while shopping the FZ6N caught my eye as a possible replacement. As you can guess, I ended up with the FZ6N.
So why the Yamaha FZ6N?
Well first of all, I like the 600cc engines which is in this motorcycle. I have riden Honda, Kawasaki, Triumph and Suzuki bikes, all ranging between 500 and a 1000 cc’s. I feel most comfortable with the power delivered by this engine, next to that, I just like the style of Yamaha motorcycles.
The R6: The R6 is a machine built for speed. It has low power in at low RPM’s, but once you rev it a bit, it really comes to live. Around 9000 RPM’s you really feel the engine starting to pull. As with all supersport bikes, the position you’re sitting in is facing forward a little bit. Most of the steering is done using your upper body, you really have to tilt the bike into the corner, which can be quite awkward when you’re not used to it. The bike is easy to ride at high speeds, since the fairings keep most of the wind away form your body. I have pushed it near it’s top speed once or twice, the bike really keeps on going and going, you’d be amazed at how fast it reaches it’s top speed.
The price you pay for performing great at high speed is that the bike doesn’t really perform that well on lower speed. Since most of the BHP and torque’s are in the high revs, it doesn’t really do all that well during slow city driving. The seating position isn’t bad at all, but when driving it for longer periods of time, especially in the city, it does take it’s toll on your body.
All and all I think the R6 was a great bike to have, definitely a lot of fun to ride. The seating position and maneuverability at low speed aren’t great, but hey, what do you expect, it’s a sports bike. The fun factor of this bike made a the disadvantages seem small to me. It may not be the most practical choice for day to day commuting, but it’s definitely an awesome bike to ride.
The FZ6N: To be honest, while browsing for a new bike, I was looking for another R6, until my eyes fell upon this type. After a small test-ride I was sold instantly. Next to the fact I think the bike looks awesome, it was really fun to ride too. In essence it has the same engine as an R6 six, but the set up is quite different. The engine is configured to give more torque and power at the lower revs. Coming from a supersports bike the seating position was quite awkward in the beginning. You sit up straight also the handle bars feel really wide compared to the other bike, while they are actually not that wide compared to other bikes.
The engine is in essence still a sports engine, but you really feel the pull at lower RPM’s too, it already starts to pick up at about 5000 RPM. The general power output feels a lot more distributed throughout it’s RPM range, whereas the R6 has most of it at high RPM’s. To me the seating position and the power output felt like riding a high powered dirtbike at first. The handling at low speeds is great, the bike is easy to flick from side to side due to the wide steer and upright seating position. Of course, you pay the price at the higher speeds. The bike doesn’t accelerate as fast at high speeds anymore. Plus driving fast with a head-on wind makes you miss the fairings of the R6.
What it lacks in excitement is made up in general comfort and handling. It’s a lot more comfortable to ride for longer periods of time, and driving it down some bendy roads is great fun.
Conclusion: I think both bikes are really great bikes to own. I am quite happy driving the FZ6N now, it’s an easy to ride motorcycle while still having plenty of power to go and have fun. This bike is great for daily commuting. The R6 however is a lot fun, it may not be as comfortable, but is just a really exiting bike to ride. Even after riding it for a year the raw power of it still got to me at times.
To me they are two totally different bikes, each with it’s own advantages and disadvantages, but they are both great fun in their own way.
An article I wrote in Dutch about the 2013 MotoGP season, free to download: