| Engine 599
| Estimated price
Sales of sports bikes of no other class are so affected by successes in sports races in which these motorcycles participate, as in the Supersport 600. The “iron” dependence works here: “I won on Sunday - I sold it on Monday”. Better than others with the inevitability of this causal relationship, Yamaha co is familiar with its R6. The model was launched into the series in 1999, the device was called the "younger brother" of the hypersports R1, presented a year earlier. Since then, Yamaha has sold more than 100, 000 sixes, and not least because these bikes won 22 races in the Supersport World Championship and also won three of the world's top titles in a manufacturers competition.
And then - a decline in sports results, threatening a decline in commercial results. In 2003, the second (after Honda) place in the Supersport World Cup is no better this season. But, it would seem, the victory over the archenemy rival countryman was close: the leading racer of the factory team Yamaha Racing Italy Jurgen van der Huber spoke convincingly. But … only until the middle of the season. And he finished in third place (second year in a row!), Losing to two guys from Ten Kate Honda. In the US AMA Supersport 600 Championship, the Yamaha team also finished only third - now behind a pair of Hayden speakers at Kawasaki. The winners went on bikes, which, unlike the 2004 Yamaha, are equipped with everything for driving on the streets (and the track): radial brake discs, an inverted fork, a slipping clutch and an engine with commendable technical characteristics. It is these attributes of standard equipment that became decisive in the racing category, in which there are severe restrictions on tuning and chassis design, as well as (very important!) For the sale of this equipment in the street bike market. And buyers of R6, in addition to the device, are forced to purchase additional equipment kits - the very same that is already installed in competing machines. Otherwise, they will not enjoy driving during track days or participating in races at the club level.
Will Yamaha survive another bummer if it happens? And what amount of lost profits will it cost her?.. And the reputation ?! These questions arise when you remember that ahead is the Stocksport European Championship, which will be held in 2005 as an auxiliary class of the Superbike World Championship, and the new “six hundred” will “ride” it, and they will be led by ambitious young racers …
The answer to how Yamaha prepares for battles on the tracks of the next season was shown by the Intermot-2004 exhibition: the company made the debut of the high-tech R6 - the 2005 model in the fall and promised that the bike would soon appear in Yamaha dealerships around the world. Yamaha executives by the very fact of the debut of the updated model made it clear that they decided to reduce the life of the previous version of the model to two years. This gesture is eloquent: it emphasizes how violently the battle of competitors for wallets of buyers takes place in the 600-cc sports bike sector.
The new model was created under the motto: “Only track characteristics are important!” The designers of the company followed the general task: to transfer from the racing models to the market the best that brought the MotoGP victory mark and what is used in the Supersport 600 program. And - without raising the price! A strong declaration, isn't it ?!
In order to confirm that it was implemented, representatives of the press were invited to ride the R6 along the Valencia highway during a specially arranged test session.
The test was honored by the presence shortly before the crowned MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi. But you can’t bewilder me even with a crowd of authorities. To adequately evaluate the new car (you need to compare it with something!), Before “Valencia” I was not too lazy - I flew to the “Monza”, where I traveled on the racing R6 Jürgen van den Huber (on the very one on which the rider spoke in the championship Supersport World). And this bike, I recall, served as the basis for the development of the 2005 street bike.
An unexpected guest at a test press session at Valencia was recently crowned racer Valentino Rossi. He, as always, smiled, behaved easily and naturally, and we paid tribute to him: only two days ago he returned from another time zone, from another hemisphere - from Australia. Such flights take away strength as moderate injuries.
“I know, I know what you thought, looking at my face and eyes.” I assure you: I'm not from a hangover, but just a little tired, - the racer insisted. - Yes, I say, I didn’t take it in our mouths - we have not yet “washed” my title won in the Philippine Islands. When the last Grand Prix race * takes place at Valencia, it will be possible to throw a banquet after it.
Then Valentino set about training. I take the word in quotation marks because, in fact, he worked for the public - for us: this is his role today. He got behind the wheel of not M1, on which he speaks in MotoGP, but of the other - the first motorcycle from a limited edition of a batch of 2500 copies of Rossi's replicas.