Yamaha YZF-R3 Yamaha YZF-R6 Yamaha YZF-R3
to the big bike in every respect. It’s a blood-curdling tool dedicated to extracting as much performance from its motor as possible. And that means revs; once the basic architecture of the 600cc sports middleweight was established back in the late 80s – inline four, 16 valves, water-cooling – the amount of torque that could be usefully generated was around 50ftlb. And it still is, plus a bit more from refinements in reducing friction since then. The thing that’s changed is how hard engines can rev – making the torque ‘faster’ means more power. An early 1990s FZR600 makes peak torque at 8000rpm and peak power at 9000rpm. An R6 makes peak torque at nearly 12,000rpm, and peak power just past it.
The result is the R6 spends a lot of time winding up towards the redline. But, once you are there, there’s nothing else like it. We can only imagine what a crossplane R6 would feel like. We can but dream...