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2008 Yamaha R6 Review

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating
User Rating 5 Star Rating (1 Review)


2008 Yamaha R6 Review
Photo © Yamaha

The Bottom Line

A nimble, high-revving ride for the truly committed-- just don't expect a cushy commute experience.


  • Addictively raucous exhaust note
  • Crisp handling, even crisper throttle response
  • Track-ready focus in a sub-$10,000 package


  • Fierce ergonomics can get tiresome on the wrists and neck
  • Maximizing performance requires lots of revs, and more low-end grunt would be handy around town
  • Tall-ish seat for some riders


  • MSRP: $9,599 ($9,799 for flame graphics)
  • 599cc, DOHC 16-valve, liquid-cooled titanium-valved inline-4
  • Transmission: 6-speed with multiplate slipper clutch
  • Front suspension: 41mm inverted fork; 4-way adjustable, 4.7 inch travel
  • Rear suspension: Single shock; 4-way adjustable, 4.7 inch travel
  • Brakes: Dual 310mm floating disc radial-mount 4-piston front calipers, 220mm disc, single-piston rear caliper
  • Fuel capacity: 4.6 gallons
  • Dry weight: 366 lbs
  • Seat height: 33.5 inches

Guide Review - 2008 Yamaha R6 Review

Yamaha's R6 might not get as much attention as the top dog R1 model, but it's inherited the R1's variable length intake tract system, as well as some serious upgrades for 2008. The R6 was already the first bike to feature a throttle-by-wire system, and the '08 bike also gets an all-new frame, more aerodynamic bodywork, and lots of revisions to the titanium-valved, 599cc inline-4.

Reworked ergonomics move the rider and bars forward and slightly lower, which you'll feel the moment you climb aboard and reach for the grips; the posture is extreme, the seat thin, and the view from the cockpit puts a big tachometer in your face, right where it belongs. The engine cranks to life with a snarl, and the nearly instantaneous throttle response sends the tach shooting up dramatically- though with 16,500 rpm to play with, it takes quite a bit of pavement to reach redline. The R6 feels like everything you'd expect a hardcore sportbike to feel like: it's powerful, quick to turn, and its brakes stops on a dime with great lever feel.

Canyon carving reveals decent low-end power, but an incredible amount of thrust at higher rpms- if you've got the gumption to go there. Screaming along at around 8,000 rpm is where power really picks up, and the exhaust note becomes especially sweet; its tasty snarl puts many premium sportbikes to shame. The six-speed shifts with light effort, and the slipper clutch works well enough— though I did manage to lockup the rear tire during one aggressive downshift.

With its committed riding position and track-ready performance, the Yamaha R6 is rather overqualified for road use—and a bit uncomfortable for daily use. But if you crave speed and don't want to spend more than ten grand, the $9,599 R6 is one heck of a performance bargain.

Click here for a photo gallery of the 2008 Yamaha R6

Click here for the 2008 Yamaha Buyer's Guide

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
2008 yamaha r6, Member scoor6

the 2008 yamaha R6 is a fantastic machine. loads of power low and high.off the line is strong for a 600cc bike, and any thing over 800 rpm is a garunted rush, and with a 1650 rpm red line there is plenty of room to rev out in every gear. I have been at 170 mph and seemed to have more to go on.( not recomended) for your safty. as for pullin the front wheel, there is deffently enough toqure just takes some getting use to once its a few inches off the street it revs out quick. with the new sexy body styling its going to catch some looks... and questions. there are tons of upgrades some new and some taken from the top dog R1. great ever day rider and compettive on track day. if your looking for a good 600 bike that runs close to a liter bike the 2008 Yamaha R6 is the bike for you.

31 out of 31 people found this helpful.

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