The Yamaha Motor Company was established in 1955 and manufactures motorcycles, boats, outboard motors and a range of other motorised equipment; however, it is primarily for its motorcycles that the firm is celebrated and admired.
The Yamaha R6 - also known as the Yamaha YZF-R6 - is a superbike that was initially introduced in 1998 and is currently available in its eighth generation. It has a 600cc DOHC 16-valve, liquid-cooled inline four-cylinder engine. Earlier models - up to 2004 - had 120/60-ZR17 front tyres and 180/55-ZR17 on the rear; since 2005, the rears have remained the same size but the fronts have changed to 120/70-ZR17.
The 2017 model is sold with Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S21 tyres. These are performance tyres designed as much for the race track as the open road, performing superbly in wet conditions. They are also renowned for their longevity.
Choose the right tyres for the Yamaha R6 Motorcycle
The legal limit of tyre tread depth in the UK for motorcycles over 50cc is one millimetre across 75 per cent of the width of the tread pattern and with visible tread on the remainder. This might be fine in dry conditions; however, you can't depend on enjoying too many days like this in the UK. Many experienced motorcycle riders accordingly recommend replacing tyres when there are about two millimetres of tread remaining. It is bad enough losing grip on a car where you have four wheels in contact with the road surface and a metal box surrounding you; doing so on a motorcycle - particularly a superbike - is another matter entirely.
When looking to replace tyres for a Yamaha R6 motorcycle, whether the latest 2017 model or an earlier version, you could opt for the excellent Bridgestone S21s, which are fitted by Yamaha to the current R6. If you would like to try something different, yet designed for similar riding conditions, you might also consider Pirelli Diablo Rosso 3, Dunlop Sportsmart 2 Max, Metzeler M7 and Continental Sport Attack 3.
These are all road/racing performance tyres that perform equally well on the fast sweeping curves of the open road and on the closed racetracks on which the Yamaha YZF-R6 is designed to be driven hard. Under these conditions, you require a combination of steering responsiveness, grip and braking capabilities. If you ride at a more sedate pace or primarily around town, you won't need tyres with such a racing pedigree and might look for a more road-oriented tyre.
Ask the Experts
If you are not sure which make and model of tyre is best for your Yamaha R6, our specialist fitters here at Protyre will be pleased to advise you on which are most suitable for your requirements.