Yamaha FZ6R: FZ6R Star
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Yamaha FZ6R: FZ6R Star

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By JeffWare - 06 June 2023
A great looker, this Yamaha Racing Blue was a few hundred dollars extra when new.

Words by Jeff Ware Photography by Heather Ware, Keith Muir

Fifteen years-ago Yamaha introduced the awesome little FZ6 to the Aussie market. A full-powered middleweight naked that they also used for a race series called the FZ6 Cup, which I competed in riding for Yamaha Australia and Rapid Bikes Magazine. It was a great series and cool little bike that made about 90hp in race tune, but there were better options for full licence holders and it was never a hit…

Soft suspension and a restricted LAMS approved 47hp engine.

Fast forward to 2013 and the FZ6R was a restricted, faired, learner legal version. At the time these bikes were not popular, for various reasons, but ten years later they are still holding up to $7,000 plus for a mint one, only three grand less than new price! There are some out there for as low as $5k, however, and these represent great value… I mean, you are getting an inline-four, full sized machine…

A very wet race in Tasmania in 2007. 

Let’s take a look back at the 2013 Yamaha FZ6R as tested by myself and Kris Hodgson… When choosing a learner bike the first thing you realise is that everything is a trade-off, although in some cases this is less true than others. The FZ6R is a more drastic modification of its original form – down-spec’d in a variety of ways, as well as being tuned for road use and a less aggressive powerband.

The Yamaha FZ6 Cup was popular, this is Jeff leading the group in ASBK at Symmonds Plains, Tasmania.

The FZ6R has an underbelly exhaust following the decade-old fashion, minimising and centralising weight, in a move sure to have its supporters and detractors.

Where the inline-four is noticeably sluggish off the mark at first (which for any new rider will be a boon) the engine proves more interesting once on the boil, creating steady useable power as you roll on the throttle. LAMS restrictions do limit throttle movement though, meaning it is easy to find oneself opening the throttle as wide as possible when fanging around.

The FZ6R is a great LAMS option for taller riders. I am 187cm and fit it well.

The FZ6R boasts dual 298mm rotors on the front in conjunction with two-piston calipers, in an amazingly uninspiring package, which may well be aimed at keeping new riders from locking up their wheels at the first sign of trouble but requiring a very firm squeeze for maximum stopping potential. When racing the FZ6 with the same brakes, we had to run carbon-matrix or sintered pads and braided brake lines.

The FZ6R’s suspension comprises 41mm forks and a matching shock with adjustable spring preload, that give a very forgiving and soft ride, ideal for everyday commuting and highway use and proving a suitable everyday ride across a variety of roads. On the track, we used an Ohlins shock and modified fork internals.

Turn 2, Sydney Motorsports Park, Yamaha FZ6. A fun little machine.

The bike’s extra weight is noticeable in that the bike is happier being pointed into a corner, rather than chucked around and it is much more rewarding to ride in this fashion, with good lean angles to be had through the sweepers. Check out the race photos, these things can really be punted hard.

Our racebike was a really fast and fun machine. I wonder where it is now? 

The FZ6R has a comfy ergonomic setup, with a good upright position, comfortable reach to the bars and good layout for longer rides. Thankfully the mirrors remain useful regardless of speed or revs, with none of the vibrations travelling to them when pushing the limits. But the FZ6R is definitely a sportsbike, despite being more like a nakedbike from an ergonomic perspective.

2013 model, this was a big comfy ride compared to the racebike. I really liked it.

Yamaha’s FZ6R is a great all-round option and provides plenty of go, not to mention fun. It’s a very easy bike to ride and is a great option in the larger learner category. With a bit of work, you can really make them handle well too.

Big bike looks, one of the last models, around 2015.

Specifications 2013 Yamaha FZ6R

Price New: $9,999 + ORC

Claimed power: 35kW[47.6hp]

Wet weight: 212kg

Engine: Liquid-cooled, DOHC, four-stroke, four-valve, forward-inclined parallel four-cylinder, 600cc, 65.5 x 44.5 mm bore x stroke, EFI, six-speed gearbox, 12.2:1 compression

Chassis: Steel diamond-shaped frame, Suspension: Conventional forks, 130mm travel, Monoshock shock, spring pre-load adjustable Brakes: Front: Dual 298mm rotors, Akebono two-piston calipers Rear: Single 245mm rotor, Nissin single-piston caliper

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