Renthal Rear SprocketsAfter riding your Yamaha R6 on the track and street for a few weeks, months, or years you may be asking yourself eventually “how do I get more power from my R6?”  The answer is easy and relatively cheap in comparison to other modifications that can be done for 1 horespower here or there.

Upgrading to a 520 Chain conversion with an X-Ring type chain can be  easy on the wallet and mechanically straight forward. It is a basic mod for all ranges of skill in the garage.  With a torque wrench, chain splitter, and a basic set of tools you should be able to swap the stock setup for the new gear in about 30 minutes (depending on your skill level, some can turn this into a four hour job).  You will also need to purchase a speedohealer in order compensate for the change in gearing.

What does the 520 chain conversion and new X-Ring chain do for you?  It does give you a significant increase in torque.  More importantly the lighter sprockets weigh less and the X-Ring chain has lower friction which gives you two things.

  • You decreasing the amount of unsprung weight on the motorcycle WikiPedia Definition of Unsprung Weight
  • You reduce the amount of HP that’s lost between the engine and the wheels due to drivetrain loss
  • You will increase available torque at low RPMs (wheelies anyone?)

The new combination of chain and sprocket will increase rear wheel available torque but not produce more engine/crank HP.  If you change the gearing down then you will get more bottom end drive from low speed and vice versa if you gear up you get more top speed.  By using the Gearing Commander you can figure out exactly the combination you desire for your particular riding.  If you need more power out of the corners or need that extra MPH on the top end this is the mod you have been looking for.  Not exactly a 30 Hp increase but it sure can feel like it if you gear it down a couple sprocket teeth!

Tools needed for the job:

$150 for both sprockets & chain
$100 for speedohealer
$50 for chain breaker / riveter

Good luck and ride safe!

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.