Is The Low End Torque Really That Bad On The Yamaha R6?

I have a 2006 Yamaha R6 which supposedly has very bad low end torque and is therfore (according to some wannabe pundits) unsuitable for street use. I’m not quite convinced.5891_100995262780_584412780_2152261_7866925_n

When I read the official motorcycle reviews and the unofficial opinions on Yahoo Answers it seemed there was a general consensus that the low end torque was debilitating to street use. They often cite a unreachable power band, unusable power, and inevitably how a GSXR or CBR is a better bike for the street.

I ride my Yamaha R6 every day, every where and couldn’t disagree more. I’ve put almost 7,000 miles on it this year even with the reduced riding season here in Idaho. I know that isn’t as much as some others put on in a year but at least you can believe me when I say I’ve spent some time on the bike.

Here are some quick numbers. The R6 is supposedly capable of a zero to sixty in 3.7 seconds. I can’t claim this number as I value the life of my clutch and drivetrain but 3.7 seconds is a good place to start to debunk this fantasy that the Yamaha R6 is hard to ride on the street.

My 2006 R6 puts out 50.2 ft lbs at 6930 RPM. Anyone who thinks that isn’t enough to get around town doesn’t understand the overwhelming maths that represents. My supposedly unstreetable R6 has a 4.4 lbs per HP ratio with me on it (578 lbs/131 BHP=4.4 lbs/BHP). That’s better than a Corvette ZR-1 which has a ratio of 5.2 lbs/1 BHP! Just in case you were wondering that is also better than a Ferrari 599, Porshe GT2, and Lamborghini Gallardo.

I will admit that the low end power isn’t unbelievable and hi RPMs are essential to tapping the inline engine’s full potential of fury but not to the length that some so-call experts claim.

Another component of this debate is the skill required to make these bikes fast. Undoubtedly all modern 600cc sportbikes are fast but I make the claim the the R6 requires just a little more out of it’s rider to maximize performance. The snappy handling and high RPM torque curve make the bike a challenge and very fast when ridden well.

If you are considering buy one of these bikes don’t let the low end torque scare you away. It’s not the big deal some make it out to be and the strengths of the bikes more than make up for it.

 And just for laughs.


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