The End of an Era
Yamaha has killed the WR250R, VMAX, and most importantly, the iconic R6 from their 2021 lineup. This may come as a big surprise to many, but I can assure you that the legendary R6 will be missing from Yamaha’s 2021 lineup.
We all know and love the R6, it’s a ratty, sporty motorcycle that is most known for competing with the Honda CBR 600RR and Kawasaki ZX-6R. How could the brand remove such a ‘staple’ of their brand from the market? How did we get here?
The R6 was an important bike in the 2020 Yamaha lineup, allowing new and intermediate riders the opportunity to get on a high-end ‘track’ bike without being stuck on an extremely underwhelming R3, or a face-melting 200+ horsepower R1. Sure, there are options available with Yamaha’s naked motorcycle lineup, namely the MT-07 and MT-09… But in many cases some riders just want a traditional “crotch rocket” and the R6 fills that common ground between underpowered and overpowered.
Yamaha hasn’t said anything specific regarding this cut. “Yamaha understands the iconic history of these models. Regarding the future, Yamaha is continuously looking at new ideas and concepts to support and expand the market, as well as enhance our customers’ experiences” is what they had to say in their official release.
It’s very possible that the Euro 5 Regulations threw a wrench in the release schedule for the R6, and they may have to take the design back to the drawing board. It’s also a possibility that they might be planning an MT-07 based full-fairing supersport bike, much like the highly successful GSX-R750.
For now, we have no way to say what the exact plan is until Yamaha decides to shed some light on the subject. Regardless, you can kiss your 2021 R6 dreams goodbye and cross your fingers for a 2022 R6 or R7 (MT-07 engine derived).