Yamaha YZF-R6 Discontinued After 2020Yamaha USA has announced the 2020 model year will be the last for the Yamaha YZF-R6, as the model will be discontinued in the USA and Europe.
Buried deep within a new model press release issued by the company was an ominous paragraph relating to the Yamaha YZF-R6, VMAX, WR250R, and SMAX.
There are few finer sportbikes you can buy for the price of a Yamaha YZF-R6, and now it’s no more.
“With deep consideration of evolving global market trends and regulations that limit production volumes on certain models, the following Yamaha models will be discontinued after model year 2020: YZF-R6, VMAX, WR250R, and SMAX.
“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.
“Consumers can contact their local Yamaha dealer on the remaining model year 2020 availability of these discontinued models.”
It’s a sad and rather quiet departure for the machine regarded by any a tester (myself included) as one of the finest Yamaha’s ever created, but its demise comes as a result of strict Euro 5 emissions regulations and with Europe now no longer selling the model, Yamaha in Japan can’t justify selling the R6 in North America.
The YZF-R6 was still a good performer for Yamaha USA in the sales charts, however, numbers had steadily dwindled since the heyday of sportbikes in the early to mid-2000s, and when Yamaha released the 2017 R6 that had fancy new clothes but not a lot of new tech, the writing was already on the wall for the much-loved machine.
The Yamaha YZF-R6 debuted one year after the YZF-R1 in 1999, going on to become the instant benchmark of the supersport category. The model was responsible for debuting a number of key Yamaha innovations, including the Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle (YCCT) and Yamaha Chip Controlled Intake (YCCI) systems with the landmark 2006 R6, a machine so good, you can directly trace the current 2020 R6 back to that model in both chassis and engine architecture.
The demise of the Yamaha YZF-R6 leaves Yamaha with no middleweight sportbike—either in twin-cylinder or supersport form—with only the YZF-R3 and YZF-R1 (a jump of 40 hp for the R3 to 190 hp for the R1) on sale. That leaves a massive hole in Yamaha’s line-up, and we have yet to hear of any word as to what the company will do to fix it.
This is a sad day for sportbike lovers around the world, as we say farewell to one of the finest sports motorcycles ever created in the Yamaha YZF-R6.