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2008 Yamaha YZF-R6 Photo Gallery
Yamaha delivers a retooled YZF-R6 to the 2008 supersport fray, hoping its latest 600 will return it to the head of the class.
Photos of the new 2008 Yamaha R6 at Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway.
2008 Yamaha R6 First Ride
2008 Yamaha R6
2008 Yamaha R6
The rear subframe is now made of magnesium (a first for a Yamaha production motorcycle) and weighs over a pound less then the cast aluminum design it replaces.
Soaking up tarmac at the front is a new 41mm inverted fork featuring four-way adjustment (high/low-speed compression and rebound damping, and spring preload).
Seat and footpeg height are the same as before
Like the frame, the boomerang shaped black aluminum swingarm has also been tweaked and now incorporates a thicker, reinforced pivot section.
Visually it's difficult to distinguish the new R6 from the old.
Want to go two-up? Why, not?
Up front, the upper cowling had been reshaped and the rearview mirror mounting points have been relocated from the fairing itself to the fairing support stay.
Although sleek looks play a big part in a bike's overall commercial success, it's what's on the inside that counts. In the new R6's case, this amounts to over 50 changes to the supersport powerplant.
2008 Yamaha R6
The Yamaha Chip Controlled Intake (YCC-I) has trickled down to the supersport class.
Despite its nearly identical appearance, underneath that slick new bodywork lies an entirely new chassis.
The suspension components on the '08 R6 have changed, with both units four-way adjustable.
The tuning fork engineers understood that its bike needed a mid-range power boost, so they incorporated over 50 changes aimed at increasing engine power and durability
the chassis was so stable that we thought for sure it came equipped with some kind of steering damper, but to our surprise it's not.
Our test rider couldn't contain his excitement over the new R6, but will the new Yamaha supersport have what it takes to best its 600 competitors?
With wider 310mm rotors, the Yamaha's brakes delivered steady stopping power. Combined with the Dunlop Qualifier rubber, the new R6 package had us very comfortable at Laguna.
In addition to the new found stability, the new chassis delivers tons of feedback through both ends, even on OEM street tires.
Mid-corner line changes are as effortless as before, but motoring through Laguna's ultra-fast, uphill, blind Turn 1 revealed a chassis that was as solid as Hulk Hogan in his prime - even while cranked over with the throttle pegged in fifth gear.
All of the agility and the ability to maneuver quickly from side-to-side remains, but unlike last year's version, a broad feeling of stability is now present at all speeds.
Not happy with being relegated out of the top spot, the R-six is back for '08 with some substantial changes that aim to bring the bike back to the front.
The R6 rolls on new spec Dunlop Qualifier "PTM" 120/70 front and 180/55 rear tires.
The Yamaha R6 has always been a machine of few compromises, and that's why we've always loved it.
Although the new R6 appears almost identical to its 2007 predecessor, the chassis has been changed to improve stability and handling.
Straight up at the track the new R6 rips. It's nimble, precise steering chassis finally has the stability it always needed served up with a fat side of elusive road feel.
The ergos on the new Yamaha supersport move the rider forward and place more weight on the front end.
The riding position on the new R6 felt no more aggressive then the '07 version.
Instead of messing up a good thing, the Tuning Fork designers chose to make some very subtle tweaks that further enhance the machine's clean, yet edgy, look.
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