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"Fast Bikes", January 1, 2013

CHARLIE | YAMAHA YZF-R6

Oh look, the fastest Ad-Man in the South West! Maybe...

TIME ON TEST 9 MONTHS (FBK262)

11459 ODOMETER MILES

BHP: 111

GAIN: 5

NEXT SERVICE & PREP

AIM: PREP FOR THE COLD

THIS MONTH I HAVE MOSTLY BEEN… “WONDERING WHAT THE MAMBA THOUGHT… ”

Handing your bike over to some black-leather clad “phantom” and waiting for he/she to openly critique your last eight months is a nervy experience. It was also a lot harder to do this year than last because, as great as the FZ8 was, I am smitten with the R6. I feel the same way about this bike as if it were my own, I totally adore it – but now I have to watch the Mamba be fluffed by it, and the rest of the test fleet… Made me feel sick, I tell thee.

But hell, that’s the deal and if it’s going to happen I had to make sure it was as good a ride as it could be. The M5’s were whipped off with two days to spare before Mamba time and a set of Bridgestone’s excellent S20’s made their R6 debut. I was in a dichotomy with tyre choice but for the job in hand on a damp Autumn day at the trackside they were perfect. The grip is fabulous and the new rubber reintroduced the nimble handling that had long departed the R6 as the old shoes flattened out.

Metzlers M5’s have given me good service and had only fallen out of shape due to the hard yards I have done on the motorways this summer, but I could not send out a noob to my R6 out on squared tyres, could I? No, I couldn’t.

With the addition of power my ill-advised neglect of braking pushed me into another last minute pre-Mamba decision. Now I’m into five figure mileage I thought it was time to check out the stopping as the brakes were, well how do you put it – wooden. They had lost their bite, so a call to HPS and a set of the sintered pads that were so effective on the FZ1 two seasons ago duly arrived. These were fitted at the same time as the tyres and then loaded into a van, with the other staff bikes for delivery to the track. If the Mamba was going to ride my bike, the Mamba would have to bed in the tyres and the brake pads. Hah!

As it was she was bedded with skill and I got the thumbs up after the test. Whatever the final position, the Mamba enjoyed the ride. After this Rootsy gave her a run out and tested the new pads out thoroughly, spending a great deal of time on the front wheel. Finally I even got out for a bit of a play. Now I am not sure of how well she fared against the competition. The Givi luggage, sat nav posts and Road Loks are not as sexy as a full set of carbon wheels, but they have been very necessary additions for me to make the most of my experiences on the R6. I’ve made it my own.

The great thing is, I still have the bike through the winter, so there’s more life and miles in this love affair to come!

THANKS TO:

BRIDGESTONE 01926 488500 WWW.BRIDGESTONE.EU

HPS 01773 831122 WWW.BIKEHPS.COM

Price from new: £9,499

Insurance group 15

Modifications Price

Metzeler Sportec Interact £240.00

Givi T485 XStream tail pack £88.08

Givi T489 Tanklock tank bag £84.30

HM quickshifter plus £340.42

Akrapovic exhaust £605.99

Techmount £62.76

Yamaha tail tidy £83.99

Dynojet PCV £334.98

Yamaha seat cowl £171.99

Bridgestone S20’s £280.00

Brembo sintered brake pads £73.00

RUNNING TOTAL £2,865.13

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