CAN THE R6 BE TAMED?

Ded­i­cated track fo­cus made R6 un­for­giv­ing on the road, but not now...

Motorcycle News (UK) - - GARAGE - adam.child@mo­tor­cy­cle­news.com

My re­la­tion­ship with the new Yamaha YZF-R6 might best be de­scribed as ‘rocky’. It’s thrown me out of the seat on more than one oc­ca­sion and the bars have wag­gled as it shakes its dis­grun­tled head a few times. In short, the Yam is a lit­tle lively when I start to make full use of the 114bhp and edge to­wards 16,000rpm.

The stock, fully ad­justable sus­pen­sion just isn’t plush enough to cope with harsh sur­faces. When rid­den at speed the rear kicks like an an­gry mule and the front skips over bumps. The stan­dard set-up isn’t ter­ri­ble at lower speeds, but I’m just not click­ing with it – which is why I chose to visit the ex­perts at K-tech Sus­pen­sion. I’ve used K-tech be­fore for my TT bikes, and if they can make a bike work around the TT, then I’m sure they can wave their magic wand over the R6.

K-tech Sus­pen­sion tech­ni­cian, James Harpham, iden­ti­fied the prob­lem im­me­di­ately: The rear only had 5mm of sag, which isn’t enough. This was caus­ing me to be thrown out of the seat. We re­moved some preload and set the sag to 13mm. We also in­creased rebound and com­pres­sion damp­ing to give me more con­trol. The rebound is now set at three and com­pres­sion at four, in­stead of nine.

The fork, which is nearly iden­ti­cal to the new R1’s, wasn’t too bad by com­par­i­sion. The static sag was set at 30mm, which is about right for the road with the fuel tank three­quar­ters full. But again, there wasn’t much con­trol. We set the re-bound to three and com­pres­sion to four clicks – both were set at 13 orig­i­nally.

And what an amaz­ing trans­for­ma­tion it is. The R6 now feels pli­ant and con­trol­lable and there is far more feed­back through the bars. The rear no longer kicks over bumps and sta­bil­ity has been im­proved. It’s a to­tally dif­fer­ent bike.

I’m now able to at­tack un­fa­mil­iar sec­tions of road with con­fi­dence. Com­fort has also in­creased, with the rear now ab­sorb­ing more of the road’s im­per­fec­tions, rather than smash­ing them into my lower spine.

On track we may need to per­son­alise the sus­pen­sion fur­ther, es­pe­cially if we fit more track fo­cused rub­ber – but for fast road rid­ing we’re now click­ing. Our re­la­tion­ship is firmly back on track (and road).

K-tech of­fer a ‘ride-in/ride-out’ ser­vice at their HQ. Sim­ply call and book your bike in, and for just £54 they’ll set your bike up prop­erly in around an hour. Sim­ply tell them (hon­estly) how you ride, where you ride and what you want and they can per­son­alise the set-up to your taste. It’s a good idea to know your weight (and your pil­lion’s if you want the bike set for two-up tour­ing), too.

‘What an amaz­ing trans­for­ma­tion. I’m now able to at­tack un­fa­mil­iar roads with con­fi­dence’

With thanks to K-tech: www.ktech­sus­pen­sion.com/con­tact Ral­lye rolls bet­ter than the dis­mount – but New­land Not the most el­e­gant

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The K-tech guys work out how to ad­dress Chad’s prob­lem­atic rear end is­sues

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