Yamaha R1 VS Yamaha R6 Review

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This Yamaha r1 vs. r6 review explores two superbikes that have changed how we perceive bike speeds. We will examine the bikes on a variety of factors and tell you which is the best.

Nothing beats the thrill of pushing a super bike to the limits. With the wind brushing though your hair, having a superbike is an ideal way to push your adrenaline to the next levels. Yamaha has been leading this space with a variety of superbikes that are packed with powerful engines. Choosing the right one isn’t an easy choice –especially when you have similar looking superbikes.

Yamaha have been constantly reinventing their bikes with each year. You will find changes to how the bike looks, handles and engine capacity. In this Yamaha r1 vs. r6 review, we examine two Yamaha bikes that have defined the motor world.

How Yamaha R1 vs. R6 Compare

Model Yamaha R1 Yamaha R6
Displacement 998 cc 599 cc
Compression Ratio 13.0:1 13.1:1
Bore X Stroke 79 mm X 50.9 mm 67 mm X 42.5 mm
Maximum Power 197.2 122
Top Speed 285 Km/h 257 km/h
Rpm at maximum torque 11500 10500
Rpm at maximum power 13500 14500
Oil tank capacity 3.9 L 3.4 L
Category Super Sport Sport

Yamaha R1 vs. R6 – Key Differences

Yamaha Bike Parts

A few yamaha R1 and Yamaha R6 bike parts to wet your appetite before you start reading…

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Engine Capacity

What is clear is both bikes are built for speed. But, there is modifications in engine size that change how both bikes handle. The Yamaha R6 makes a statement whenever you check in with the bike, but it is the R1 that features a more powerful engine. Both bikes feature a chain drive, liquid cooled, 4-stroke DOHC engine. The R1 leads the pack with its 998cc engine that produces a maximum power of 197.2. This pushes its top speed to 285 km/h. Compare this with the R6 599 cc engine that produces a maximum power of 122 and a top speed of 257 km/h.

Power also differs when it comes to maximum rpm. The R6 has a higher rpm at maximum torque at power at 14,500 compared to the R1 13,500. For the rpm at maximum torque the R1 has an edge at 11,500 compared to the R6 10,500. Both bikes operate on a 6-speed transmission with electronic starter system. If you are looking for more power and torque then go with the R1.

The R1 shares a similar configuration with the RIM that enables them to be compliant with Euro5 regulations. The engineers at Yamaha worked on the bikes to improve combustion efficiency. This was first done by shifting the injectors so that they are positioned directly down the intake. The throttle valves where also moved so that they are nearer the combustion chambers. This resulted in a reduction of intake volume to the combustion chambers by up to 12%. The R1 and RIM also benefitted from four catalytic converters that led to less carbon emissions. You will find two in the rear and two in the front. However, do not mistaken that the catalytic converters do much to mute the MotoGP exhaust note. You still get that distinctive sound standard in superbikes.

R1 and R6 Design

The R1 features a larger fuel tank at 3.9L compared to the R6 3.4L. It is also longer at 2055 to the R6 2040mm. The ground clearance is the same at 130mm with the R1 having a slightly larger seat at 860mm to the R6 850mm. With time, Yamaha has fitted both bikes with some of the latest technologies. The new R1 comes as standard with slide control, traction control, advanced electronics suite, ABS/unified braking system, wheel lift control, launch control and quick shifter. This features come into being in 2018.

When it comes to pricing, Yamaha decided to offer the R1 in two categories. The normal bike available in at a MSRP of $16,699 and a cheaper version retailing for $14,999. Most of the new fans cannot tell the difference between the two bikes. But, if you take a closer observation of the more affordable bike you will notice that it is made from cheaper parts. This also adds some 7 pounds to the bikes wet weight. If you are looking for something with more electronics then Yamaha produced another version of the bike going by the name of YZF RIM. This one comes with more carbon fiber and full electronic racing suspension. The RIM is pricier and only available in Icon performance color while the R1 is available in Icon Blue and midnight black.

R1 and R6 Suspension

The R6 is a few inches shorter than the R1 at a seat height of 33.5 inches. It comes mono-shock adjustable KYB at the rear with an inverted KYB fork 43mm in the front. You can purchase the R6 in either team Yamaha blue, matte gray or intensity white/matte silver. The R1 spots the same type of suspension as the R6 but the seat is higher at 33.7 inches.

Yamaha R1 vs. R6 – Overview

Yamaha R1 – Overview

The Yamaha has been around since 1998 with improvements running to 2020. When the Bike was launched it was a modification to the Genesis engine. Yamaha lifted the gearbox input shaft allowing the gearbox output shaft to be strategically placed underneath it. What this did was shorten the overall engine length and the wheelbase. The innovative change also had a positive effect on center of gravity hence offering riders stability even when cruising at high speeds.

When the R1 was introduced it become very popular boosting Yamaha’s sales in the superbike section. New models come equipped with some of the latest electronics. The Yamaha R1 engine is one of a kind and is one of the first to meet the latest Euro5 regulations. In an effort to boost combustion efficiency, Yamaha engineers moved the injectors so that they squirt directly from the intake. This has the effect of moving the throttle valves closer to the combustion chambers. The R1 comes with four catalytic converters and this helps in curbing carbon emissions.

The R1 runs on a 998cc liquid cooled, DOHC inline four engine. The six speed transmission is connected to durable titanium intake valves that enable the R1 to emit 200 HP at rpm 13,500. The body frame is made from aluminum deltabox which makes it quite durable and stable. For the suspension you get fully adjustable front inverted 43mm KYB fork and for the rear you get a adjustable four way mono-shock.

The seat for the R1 is a bit taller than that of the R6. But, it is with the electronics that we were really impressed. The R1 comes with slide control, traction control, launch control, ABS/unified braking system, quick shifter and wheel lift control.

The R1 is offered in three varying models. You have the standard version and the S version. The later is almost similar to the original but it has had some of its components replaced with cheaper ones. This results to the bike adding some 7 pounds but at the same time retaining some of Yamaha R1 iconic characteristics. Most faithful bikers however, can easily spot the difference. The other version is the super talented R1M. This one comes with all the cool gadgets of the standard R1 plus Ohlins racing suspension and a shelf of upgraded electronics. The downside you pay extra for all these comforts. The bike is available for raven and cerulean silver colors. The bike also comes with a generous amount of carbon fiber.

When it comes to superbikes there is no category that is as competitive as the 1,000cc one. Here you have top brands competing for the title of fastest production motorcycle. Before the ECU curbed the maximum speed, manufacturers would design superbikes that would hit unimaginable speeds. In 1999, Suzuki come up with the Hayabusa, which at this time become the fastest production bike ever built. The title was short lived as Kawasaki unveiled the menacing and gorgeous looking Ninja H2R. The title for fastest production bike is currently been held by the Kawasaki H2R. This bike is only track only and can hit speeds of up to 400 km/h courtesy of a 998cc supercharged. It is this world, that the Yamaha R1 competes in.

What we liked:

  • Improved electronics
  • Durable aluminum deltabox frame
  • Great suspension

What we did not like

  • Limited color options

Yamaha R6 – Overview

The Yamaha r6 was first introduced to the super biking world in 1999. From there Yamaha has been making updates in almost each year. What makes the stunning is that it was one of the first super bikes to spot a 600cc engine that is capable of producing over 100hp while in stock form. Upgrades have being done on the engine, including introducing a fuel injection system in 2003 and introducing a YCC-T ride by wire throttle in 2006 that also features a multi-plate slipper clutch. To optimize power the R6 featured a YCC-I variable length intake system in 2008. In 2006, a redline of 17,500 rpm was introduced on the bikes dashboard.

The Yamaha R6 features a liquid cooled, 4 stroke DOHC engine that delivers a displacement of 599 cc. it is single exhaust operating on a chain drive. The injection type is direct injection and with a wet sump lubrication system. Maximum power is limited at 122 and this produces a top speed of 257 km/h. Maximum rpm torque is 10,500 while for rpm for maximum power is 14,500.

The best upgrades for the Yamaha R6 come in 2017 when the bike received a full computerized electronics package. An aluminum deltabox twin spar chassis wraps the inline four. The R6 features a 6-speed transmission that is capable of some high revving that gives you over 160 miles per hour at 419 pound (wet). For the suspenders the R6 features adjustable KYB mono-shock for the rear and a front inverted 43mm KYB fork.

Choosing a superbike is often not an easy decision especially when you are a beginner. This behemoth pieces of art can raise astonishing horsepower that will simply leave you grasping on the racing track. If you are still having difficulty handling a superbike the best option would be to start out with an entry level bike like the R3 before moving on to the R6. Yamaha has been a global leader in the superbike category and there three main bikes are R1, R3, and R6. The R3 is the small baby when it comes to performance while the R1 is the big brother.

The R3 is a good beginner bike as it comes with a modest DOHC liquid cooled inline twin cylinder 321cc engine. This allows the bike to raise a whopping 42 worth of horsepower @rpm of 10,750 and torque of 21.8 foot pounds at rpm of 9,000. All these power is brought to the rear through a six speed transmission. The seat of the R3 is lower than the R1 and R6, measuring 30.7 inches. With a top speed of 111 mph you can enjoy the R3 on the city roads. Besides, unlike the R6 and R1 that consume lots of fuel the R3 gives you a decent 56 miles per gallon. You also get some nice shocks common in the R6 like front KYB 41mm telescopic forks and rear KYB mono-shocks. The R3 is the most affordable of the three, and offers a great ride while still maintaining its looks.

What we liked:

  • Great performance superbike
  • High revving bike to a high of 160 miles per hour
  • Great suspension

What we did not like:

  • Limited electronics when compared to the R1


If you are in search for super bike power than the R1 has an edge over the R6. It boasts of producing over 200 HP from its 998cc engine compared to the R6 599cc. The R1 comes with more advanced electronics than the R6 and you will find stuff like ABS/unified braking system and traction control as standard. The suspension on both bikes are simply amazing with the R1 having a longer seat than the R6. All this does not mean that the R6 does not offer serious competition in the 600cc category; it delivers quite a punch.