CAN THE R6 BE TAMED?
Dedicated track focus made R6 unforgiving on the road, but not now...
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’
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